With a little over a month remaining in France I thought I would do a short update on the family.
Kaden has had a great year. He enjoys school so much that he has actually cried about having to stay home for vacation. This is particularly amazing being that when we lived in Chambéry he cried everyday when we got to school and said he wanted to go home. In a recent parent-teacher conference his teacher said that he speaks French fluently. He also had to get glasses which actually seem to fit his personality well as he is very “scholarly.” He has learned to ride a bike without training wheels, though take-offs are still a bit rocky. Stacey confessed a sin in her reaction to him the other day and he replied, “Don’t worry mom, I love you even when you sin and even when you are not wearing your glasses.” As an indication of the French influence in his life, Kaden often asks me why Superman wears a crêpe.
For Prayer: Kaden asks great questions like just yesterday: “Why would Jesus say ‘the first will be last and the last will be first’?” However, when teaching him about humility and the need to put others before himself in daily life he clearly resists it. Please pray that God would soften his heart so that he would not just know what the Bible says, but love it.
Makyra (who just turned 5) seems to get more beautiful every day. She is definitely the only introvert in the family (poor kid) and if you stick her in a room with some markers she can spend hours by herself coloring. For some reason she has decided that her thumb can become anything (i.e. a teddy bear, Donald Duck) and will walk around talking to it and having it talk to us. She is excited to move to Cameroon because we are probably going to get a kitty cat (to keep the mice/lizards/insects at bay). For an end of the year party Makyra learned some dance moves at school and practices them at home. She really could not be any cuter.
For Prayer: Makyra too has majorly transformed from hating school to loving it. However, she has been having a fair amount of conflict at school and is not handling it well. Please pray that we will be wise in teaching her gospel-based conflict resolution principles and that she will love and apply them.
Elias is something else. Of all of the children he seems the most comfortable speaking in French and I even hear him speaking in French in his sleep from time to time. He has won his teachers heart and it is very evident that she cares about him a lot. We even were invited to her house one day and spent several hours there letting our kids play with theirs and enjoying pleasant conversation. Eli has had a difficult year and daily lacks self control. On the light(er) side of this he has had several “bathroom accidents” at school. One day we were walking home from school and he was carrying his dirty clothes in a bag. We saw are neighbor on the stairs and he held up the bag like it was some kind of treasure. The neighbor asked what was in it and he replied (in French) “It is my poopoo.” She looked at me, but I really did not know what to say.
For Prayer: Elias often expresses his disappointment or anger by throwing himself on the ground and/or screaming. Please pray that he would grow in self-control and that God would give us grace to be patient with this cute (but ever so difficult) child.
Zoey is still the firecracker that you all knew in the States. She is a little gymnast and loves jumping, running and doing flips. She has become quite popular at the school and there is always someone yelling out her name as we walk through the city. She is very sweet and very cute and is often a joy to her parents. Zoey has several times expressed a desire to be in Stacey’s belly like other babies, though we have explained that it is impossible.
For Prayer: Zoey lives in a world all to herself and when asked questions about her day will often begin telling us about adventures of her teddy bear and Mickey Mouse. She is sweet and a lot of fun but very rarely thinks outside of herself. Please pray that she would learn to be a servant and to truly love.
Dave and Stacey
It is amazing to think that we have been studying French for a year. And yet here we are, just a few days away from our last exam before we move. It turns out that learning another language is even more difficult than we thought. We expected to be speaking fluently and though we have advanced a lot in French, we are still far from fluent. We have, however, formed some great relationships here in France and are realizing that it will be difficult to leave. Our French brothers and sisters have showed us great love and sacrificed a lot to help us learn French. They have not mocked us (too much) when we butcher their language and will patiently endure long awkward pauses as we run through our conjugations in our heads. I had the excellent opportunity to preach at our church in Albertville at the beginning of this month. I had to write out the sermon ahead of time and basically just read it, but overall I think it went very well. Not-met expectations and all, we are feeling very ready to move to Cameroon and we think that we have sufficiently grasped French for our purposes in Cameroon.
Please pray for our upcoming exams. We will be taking exams from June 19th – June 24th. As we are at our most advanced level, the exams will be the hardest yet. Pray we’d pass.
Please pray for a document called “Permission to Enter and Stay” that we are awaiting from Cameroon. We cannot get our visa without this document and we already have our plane tickets to leave on July 29th. Please pray specifically that we receive this document by July 1st as the process for the visa takes yet even more time.
For fun (and specifically for our friend Lauren King) here is a short video of Elias’ dance moves at the party at school: