Monday, March 31, 2008

March almost behind us.

Bonjour à tous. Another month is almost behind us. It seems hard to believe that we have already been in France for three months. We will finish our first trimester of schooling in a couple of weeks as well. I am happy with our level of language learning so far. Not just French, but I am learning to comprehend a lot of English (England english) as well. God has blessed us these three months. Our mail goal for this first year and a half is to learn the language and culture of France. Focusing on that now will help the ministry considerable later. God has blessed with allowing us to have contacts as well that we are trying to win for Christ. I believe this is just a taste of what is to come during the next few years. We are also going to have a church organized here soon. I have been teaching Yvain and Virginie about various aspects of Church. They are already familiar with some aspects after attending church for about a year in the US, but it has been a good review for them. Since they have this knowledge already, I believe God is leading them organize, we picked late April for the organization. Gary Orr the pastor of the church they attend in the US will come for the service. It means a lot to them to have him here for this. Please pray for them as Satan will try to attack these young believers and the new church with strong efforts to try and hurt the further work of God here. Since there will be a local congregation for those saved to be added to, to follow God and become disciples and disciple makers themselves, I think God will bless with more souls saved. Join us in praying toward this goal.

March being finished is also signs of warmer weather and less rain. Yesterday we saw a rainbow in the sky, kind of significant for the end or March. God bless and thanks for the prayers. JASON

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Last wait

So I had a strange wait on the street again. My last wait on the street I hope. At least until I know how to handle it better. It was Saturday and I was waiting for my friend to pick me up for the grocery store. She was very late (but with good reason, she had 2 extra girls with her) While I waited a guy approached me and began to speak. Of course I couldn't "hear" him when he spoke so I had to give the I'm learning french thing again. So then he looked toward me when he spoke and spoke slowly and I could understand better. He was saying that he was looking for a public phone. I had no idea where a public phone was. So I just kept saying I don't know. Of course I wanted to explain that when we moved here no one could tell us where a public phone was. But I could not say all that so I just said I'm waiting for a friend and I don't know where a phone is . He asked if I lived here (we were just in front of our house). I said yes and I think he said something about using my phone. I answered no. In my head I'm like no way I don't know who you are and I am not letting you in my house. Jason and the kids were there but still- I wasn't taking any chances- he could just keep looking for a payphone. And I wasn't going to let him use my cell phone either. I thought he would leave after I said no about the phone but he didn't so I just stopped speaking to him and stopped looking at him just so he would get the message. He did and finally moved on. Remember now everything we said was in French! He moved on down the street and crossed over to a place that has a sign taxiphone_ I have no idea what that means but maybe it is a public phone. I have been curious about that but of course have not asked anyone. So a few minutes later he comes out from there and stops just across the street from me. I'm like great how do I get rid of this guy- then I think well maybe he is just waiting for his ride he called.(yeah right) (mind you I am not looking his way except in passing to make sure he is not coming across the street toward me. I am getting a little nervous because what if he does come across- he already knows that there is no interest here so what are his intentions) So then he motions for me to come across to him. I shake my head and roll my eyes and give hime the evil eye and the "what are you thinking you crazy" look. Then he yells at me in ENGLISH - Come here!. I mouth NO! at him. -then I began to pray for Virginie to hurry up and be there. Then out of the corner of my eye I see that he has begun to cross the street. I check down the street for Virginie again- and she is coming- Driving way to fast too because she is very late. She cuts the guy off ( almost running over him- but I am glad) He keeps coming across though behind her car. I circle around the front of the car desperate to get in. I got in but the seat was not cleaned out. I was like let me sit down so I can close the door. It took a few moments but he realized he lost and finally left. Can somone tell me what is with the guys in this country?- Ok well we thought about it and have discussed it since Saturday. Virginie said maybe I made a face- I think she meant maybe he was encouraged because I smiled or something like that. Jason and I discussed that I am the same age as the average marrying age of women in this country. Anyway, It was all very surreal at least the part where he was yelling in english and Virginie arriving in the nick of time. I thanked God she did. I still don't know why this happened. Maybe I need to smile less and less (which is sad- but maybe a necessity here) Or maybe I need to not wait on the sidewalk. Either way I am sure God had good purpose in it. ANGIE

Life in Europe.

It is different living in an area where there are multiple cultures. For instance, I noticed on the cereal box this morning that the ingredients are listed in 6 different languages, none of them English. Yet the name of the cereal is Chocolate Moons (in English). On the back the cereal there is a game that can be cut out. There is a warning in English, Kids should not use scissors without the parents supervision. This message was not translated at all. It would seem to me that that would be important to translate. In Micah's class of 3 year olds, there are 12 students who do not speak french. It is not unusual to see all different cultures of people just while walking down the street. You might hear other languages spoken as well.
We had a good weekend. Services went well Sunday. They understood my french sermon, listed below, so I guess it was good. We had few times this weekend when it snowed. The temperature dropped down to 28 degrees (-2) Sunday morning. I was sick with a slight temperature Sunday night and Monday. Not serious, but we called off our babysitter exchange and stayed home. Friday we watched the two children of a couple of classmates while they looked around Paris. Monday they were going to do the same for us. It seems we get the better end of it because they were going to watch our four children. It ended up okay that we postponed because the weather was not that good as well. Time to go back to school, lunch is over. Attached is a picture of the clouds looking out of our back window. God bless, JASON

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Faith sense.

Someone posed the question to me, What if you run out of funds. This came after we received our Schooling and rent bill for 6 months, which is about $24000. I gave the answer a little thought and replied. . . It is not possible for us to run out of funds. I believe that we are where God wants us and as such He will provide for our needs. Our salary amount is not excessive and we are not spending out of the mission fund unwisely. So God will provide as he promises. James Taylor shared with us that while in Africa, he always had less than $100 in the mission fund at the end of each month. I have been feeling secure but a little worried about having all that money in the account. I know that God is not exactly in favor of us having excess money laying around in the mission fund, even though it helps us feel secure (which it should not, we should be secure in Him). I believe that God will provide our salary and also above that for our ministry expenses. Does that all make sense (not common sense, but faith sense)? Faith sense takes some effort, but it is easier the more we see God provide in wonderful ways. We have been doing well. I heard Lilia and Caleb playing school the other day. They were playing in french, wow. We received a couple of boxes from our church containing things that we wanted to have. Things like M&M's, Mustard, macaroni & cheese, popcorn, things you really miss when they are no longer available. I am looking forward to our evening servies. I will tell you more about my sermon later. Attached are some pictures of Andrew, "vegged" out to veggietales when he was tired. God Bless and have a great day. À tout à l'heure! Jason

Monday, March 17, 2008


We had a lot of meetings today. We also had a pretty large test this morning at school. So far Angie has beaten or tied me on every test but one. I have fun picking on her about it. I usually miss just one more than she does. I feel pretty good about doing better on this next one. Angie has started jogging/running. I am very proud of her, today she ran during lunch with another student. One day I'm going to need to start getting more excercise than just the 4 mile walk each day. Angie had a meeting with our teacher after school today. She wanted to know how we were progressing and if we needed to speed up. The teacher said that the class is on a good pace. Angie also had a meeting with Caleb's and Micah's teachers. That went real well, Angie had the secretary from the language school come to translate, but she followed what the teacers said pretty well and only needed a little bit of translating. The boys are doing well. Caleb's teacher said that he understands a lot and is calm. He no longer has to have help to do his work. She says he is doing very well considering that this has been his first few months of school. Students here that are his age already have been in school for two years. Micah's teacher said that he was progressing good as well. She said that he was also very calm, which was a big surprise to us. We were glad he was because she has a class of 27 three year olds. She says that he does daydream some (gets that from me). The teacher said that in French they say, "He is on the moon." JASON

Saturday, March 15, 2008

La Baguette

"La Baguette" is the famous french bread here. It is a lot different than the traditional french bread in the states. It has a tough crust, normally small pieces are torn off and eaten by itself or with sauce, never butter. They are relatively cheap, less than 1 euro a piece. Some places you can buy three for 2 euros. They taste good but you can not make them at home. They require a special oven. We enjoy them as a snack or sandwich. Lilia is pictured here with the two we purchased today. I had gotten quite comfortable with purchasing them. Today I was proud of myself, I told her I wanted two baguettes. She didn't hear me because the bakery was busy and I had to tell her two again, I also held up two fingers to explain. Later as I was proudly walking home with my accomplishement thinking, "She probably thought I was french". I realized then that I had help up the wrong two fingers, French count starting with the thumb then index finger. Opps. One day I may get it right. Otherwise the weather is pretty here, it is 60 degrees and sunny, but with a 70% chance of rain. God bless, JASON

Thursday, March 13, 2008

On a more personal note.

I have debated about sharing this, but I think it will glorify God and perhaps help others, so why not. Many of you may not know that I suffer from a form of social anxiety. When I get in situations that I am unfamiliar with (like moving to a new country, or traveling new places) I have anxiety, it is hard to describe the feeling, it is a nauseousness and . . . just a really uncomfortable feeling. I have prayed often and in tears at times for God to remove this thorn from my flesh. I have even hesistantly tried medication, didn't seem to help. I have wondered if it was just a lack of faith at first. I have suffered with it since High school. This may come as a suprise to many because once I am comfortable I can be natural and outgoing. It is unpredictable, in some circumstances when you would think I would have it, I don't. Yet some where I thought I would not, I do. I am thankfully for Angie's support and help during these difficult times. This makes service to God difficult at times. I have found that God is all about getting you out of your comfort zone. Why you may ask, as I did, would God call me to preach, to the mission field, to another country? I can only assume because through me, He gets all the glory. It was not my strength that got me on the airplane to fly here. I almost told Dad to turn the church van around twice. I prayed hard and begged God to give me the strength just to get out of the van and into the airport, to accomplish what I knew he wanted for my life. I almost was not able to take my children to the Eiffel tower a week or so ago, it was hard to say that Daddy may not be able to go. I have come to realize that it is only by God's strength that I can face everyday situations. On our first trip to France, I was unable to eat for the first three days, yet by God's strength I was able to make it. I believe that that is where God wants us all to be, relying on him for our daily strength, and giving him the thanks and glory for it. Thankfully, my anxiety has gotten less and less over the last few years. My prayer is that it will not return again, though I have come to accept that it probably will. But even if it does not, I hope that I always realize that it is by God's strength I face each day and circumstances. And I pray that God gets all the glory for whatever He accomplishes through my life. Amen, JASON

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blown away.

France can be windy at times. Especially here in the city. The wind was blowing steadily at 25 mph, and gusting even higher. It is fun for the kids at times, when it stops them or speeds them up. It will sure slow you down. In certain places it blows harder, I guess because of how the buildings funnel it. At one point I was looking forward to getting behind an apartment building to block the wind. I stepped behind the building and the wind kept blowing from the direction of the building. I do not know how it happened. Angie said walking to school one day, it would blow her hood off, and then back on.
Lessons are still going well. We are not allowed to speak English anymore and so at times it gets frustrating when trying to ask questions. Conversations are a lot slower with the other students. I am ready for spring to be here. It is starting to get a little warmer outside. On that note, I'm going to take the kids over to the language school and let them play in the back yard. Later, JASON

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Un bon dimanche, a good Sunday

We had a good day today. Service went real well, I enjoyed the song services. It has been fun learning new songs in French and some of the same ones in French. I have been playing my guitar for the services. It is a little harder to read music here, because they do not use the same notes and keys like we do (a, b, c, d . . .), they use do,re,mi,fa,sol, la . . . It takes a little recalculation. We start at 10:30 with a few songs, we try to learn a new one every Sunday. The last one is a song for the kids. I then have a short lesson for the kids and hand out coloring pages which they do during the adult lesson. Today we spoke about faith. I like having the home atmosphere and the close fellowship and discussion that it brings. Afterwards we enjoyed lunch together. Today was special as well because we attended the morning services of our sending church in Hillsboro, Texas. This happened by way of Skype (free over the web phone service). We were able to see and hear them. It was good. We are also able to answer questions and they can see us, it is amazing what technology is capable of. If you want to know more about this just let me know and I will explain it. After services Sunday, I am in a joyful mood, the only reason I think is because of the good fellowship and because I love preaching God's word. I employed a little more french in the lesson today, where I was able. Thank you all for the prayer and please continue to pray for the work here.

On another note, I found out what Gas costs here 1.70 euros/liter. I calculated that out and it is $7.14 a gallon. The U.S. does not have a lot of room to complain. Also pray for the exchange rate, that it will eventually start tipping back the other way. Currently at $1.53 for one Euro. To check out the status and see the trends check out
God bless, JASON

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Kids Recital

We have had a good week. It seemed to have passed real fast. I was thinking one day I'll have this blog available in French as well. This week the kids did not have school and we did, so the school put together a daycare for them. It was real nice, they were able to play with other missionary kids and they learned songs and memorized verses in French. It was real cute. So far I have found that writing in French takes more space that english. I was talking with a German student at school and German is a lot longer. He wrote a letter, one page from and back, and then translated it into English and it took only one side of one page. It gets interesting in class when you are trying to get the teacher to explain what a certain word is in French, while trying to use what little French you know. This week marked the point of no more English, or German, or any other language while at School. This has made the conversations a little simpler. It helps us speak with the German students, because French has become our common language. I am really looking forward to having it learned. JASON

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Runaway Moose!

God is good- all the time. Today Micah (Moose) ran away from me on the sidewalk and would not stop when I called him. I couldn't catch up to him and I was getting scared because he was sleepy and not minding very well. I knew he wasn't going to stop and I was afraid he was going to go into the street or stumble into the street while he laughed at Mommy chasing him. Little did I know that danger was closer than I thought. He was headed toward a man and behind him was a lady. I hollered for him to stop again hoping they would catch him for me. Thankfully the lady put her hand up at him and he stopped right in front of her. At that instant a car backed out of the next gated driveway right where Micah would have been. The driveway was right behind the lady. She was watching for her husband to back the car out of driveway. She had been looking the other direction and only turned around when she heard me call to Micah. I am so glad she did. It is a blind spot impossible for a driver to see down the sidewalk from the direction we were coming. I am very glad she was there. It all happened so fast once he got a way from me I only had time to call to him twice. I was really shaken up after it-so after carrying him the rest of they way home and having a long talk with him I went straight for my Bible. This is what God showed me!
Psa 34:3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
Psa 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Psa 34:5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
Psa 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psa 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Psa 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
I especially liked verses 4 and 7 and once again I am in awe of the God we serve. This was definitely one of my fears, before we moved here because I have had to have this same talk with Micah before. God already knew about it though and He had a plan for it. I think Thursday I will have a better plan for sleepy Micah and I will borrow a friends stroller. He is not getting any naps this week because the kids are not in school. They are at our school being watched by babysitters. Thanks for all the prayers you have offered on our behalf!

Rain, Snow, Sleet, Sunshine, Cold, Wind

The above title describes the weather today. I was told that this is how it is in March. It would rain for a little and while the sun was out. Then it would stop, then it rained and snowed a little. Then it stopped, then it sleeted some, then stopped. It does not get boring. Oddly enough I heard there was supposed to be snow in Texas today as well. It was very windy today as well. That's all for now, I'll try to add some more later tonight. God bless, JASON

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What is possible with God?

We are seeing God work in Virginie B.'s life. She had been seeing a young lady with a new baby in the town where she lives. She had seen her a few times when she began to pray for God to make an opportunity to meet her (because in France you don't just strike up a conversation with a total stranger and expect it to be a lasting relationship). So after a few weeks of praying......
One day she went to check her mail in the building where she lives and on top of the mailboxes there was a package. She checked to see who's it was and noticed that it had been delivered to the wrong building. So she decided the right thing to do would be to take it to the person so they would not have to wait so long for it. When she arrived at the address and knocked on the door, the package belonged to the very girl she had been praying to meet! Not only that but the girl began to tell Virginie how thankful she was that she came so they could meet because she was very lonely and sad. And if that wasn't enough, we were able to share this testimony of God's wonders with another person. Needless to say this person was very surprised to hear what God had done. We are praying for both to come to know Jesus as savior. We know God is powerful and we know people are searching for Him.
Luke 18:27
And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.