Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reflections of 2006

I know this is a little late for reflections on 2006, but better late than never, huh?

On Dec 31, 2005, Lady R and I arrived to our new home in France. Why are we here? We work here! What do we do? A French person would never ask so much information. hahaha

These are a few things I learned in 2006.
Jan2006:

  • Arrived sick as a dog
  • started full fledge language school almost immediately
  • neighbors met us
  • mass adjustments quickly
  • Do not start language school as soon as you get off the plane. It will be too much, unless you are still in tourist mode. We got off the plane in culture shock.
  • God has got to show up, otherwise we are dead.
  • He confirmed our move and that he approved
  • He GAVE us French friends right off. They were our "people of good-will"

Feb2006

  • Cold
  • Friendships developed
  • Every day counts

March2006

  • Friends are so important in keeping head above water. We had our first friends visit.
  • Getting out into the community by ourselves. Gives you a great amount of confidence although it is scary as heck.

April2006

  • Our 1st out of country experience. When we came back and could see advances in language.

May2006

  • My favorite month in France. Nothing gets done and there are a ton of holidays.

June2006

  • One semester down
  • Stress level at max. Feeling it. Wonder if I will crack under it.
  • Cultural shock almost unbearable
  • RELEASE. 1st trip ever to UK, where they speak English and where things are not as foreign as France. Much needed holiday. When you are under stress, you have to decompress. Breaks are not sin, they are obligatoire.
  • God carries you a lot more than you realize

July2006

  • Ended Vacation. Could tell a lot of stress had been relieved.
  • Need breaks
  • Beginning of the end of culture shock, entering cultural stress
  • Dreaded starting summer school. pleasantly surprised and found it the best part of my formal French learning.
  • HOTest ever!!! Winter may last 49 weeks out of the year, but 3 weeks there will be an inferno.

August2006

  • Dealing with allergies and hospitals. French hospitals can be good or bad, just depends on which one you get. God has to be with you thru sickness or you won't make it.
  • Driving School. The actually school itself was not near as bad as I thought. Learning to drive in France worse than had expected. Expectations can cause misery or bring fulfillment.
  • No French School. Heck yeah!!!
  • Major conflict with co-workers. Worse I think ever. Had to preach on Phil 4:2-3. My, how God has ways of getting you his messsage. Resolution and reconciliation are big in the lives of believers.
  • If God does not do it, it won't get done. He gives peace in the storm.

Sept2006

  • School starts again. On a modified program.
  • More driving
  • increased stress
  • more hospital visits
  • development of stomach/intestinal problems due to stress
  • French language school and France not my cup of tea, but God is faithful to us the faithless. If he is in control, we must trust him thru thick and thin.

Oct2006

  • 1st prayer team visit. Freinds from the States. Oh how I miss USA, but can see how I have integrated some also.
  • Encouraged by their visit and others.
  • Can see the light at the end of the tunnel. First trip to Quimper. What a feeling to see the "fields" in and aorund the area.

Nov2006

  • Trip to Loire Valley. Not a vacation, but the invitation alone means we have broken into the family links. Only God could do that.
  • Realize how little and how bad my French really is. A small valley in regards to the language.
  • Team metting and house hunting. God WILL provide. Encouraged everytime I hear a team mate speaking Welsh or Irish.

Dec2006

  • END OF Formal FRENCH SCHOOL. There could be nothing better that. The end of a thing is much betetr than the beginning. Isn't that in the Bible somewhere?
  • TCF. Official test of French knowledge. Pretty stressful. but I had to remember it was not all together testing me but the school. In my opinion the school failed. I however passed. God is good and helps us with speaking French. This is how I know God is here working behind the scenes (because of all the French speakers, He has to be here otherwise how could they all learn to speak this language). =)
  • 2nd vacation to Ireland. oh happy day. Another country where at least English is spoken (sometimes, but not everywhere--we heard plenty of Irish. You just have to know where to look. Encouraged in that the same will be true with our second language)
  • Refreshed
  • Ready for next season of job. God does give good gifts

And for those who want to know how Jan 2007 has started off. It could not have been better. We moved to the Nortwest part of France. We were given a small budget to outfit our house. That money is still being stretched further than we ever could imagine. It is absolutely beautiful here. We have met a couple of people on our street. One British couple. They are strange in their own right. Our lanlords are also British so that makes renting less stressful. We had to attend a meeting in Germany that went exceptionally well. I came back with a lot of stuff to think about. I feel God can make this a success, but He has got to do it. I can't. We have met some French Christians, rare as they are, they seem nice. May we continue to grow spiritually in order to offer people more than another program, may they and we find LIFE ABUNDANTLY!

2 comments:

Mrs Zeke said...

You know my family is from France generations ago but after the Chirac thing Zeke won't let me talk about it :)

Be loved you are

pecheur said...

Can't blame Mr. Zeke for that...but at the same time our hertitage is important.