Summer School is drawing to a close. The three weeks have passed quickly. We have reviewed and learned several new things in the last few weeks. I have enjoyed what little time I have been able to spend with the other students. Having Angie and the kids at home keeps me from spending too much time at the language school. The Switzerland team won the award for most people present representing their country. USA and Great Britian following close behind. Other countries represented were Germany, Denmark, Norway, Canada and a couple of others. Each country represented presented their country during an evening. August is going to be a lonely month around here. Almost all of the students are will be gone and it will just be us. A lot of France closes down for the month of August for vacations. Most Doctor's offices and small shops. I hope to take the kids into Paris a couple of times to show them some sites. On our survey trip we saw a lot of the tourist sites in France. I have found that seeing touristy places gives you good insite into the culture of a country. Seeing the Eifel Tower you can get the sense of French Pride. Notre Dame gives you a sense of their Catholic Heritage that is now barely present. Attached is a castle on the top of a hill that we saw while on our trip. It seemed like every mountain top had one on it. God bless, JASON
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
The weather got a little warm today. The highest we have had all year. 90 degrees. This has been a cool year even by Paris standards, which we have been praying for. Ninety degrees may not sound bad, but realise that there are no homes and very few businesses with air conditioning. How does everyone survive? For one thing they have homes made for it. All homes have shutters that actually work. You can air your home out at night and then shut it up during the day to hold the cool air in. Also the walls of our home are at least 12 inches thick, solid concrete. That helps. So, even with the ninety degrees outside, it only got up to 82 inside. That is cooler than our TBI apartment would stay with the air conditioner. So, I am not at all complaining about the heat. There are a lot more places hotter. God bless, JASON
Friday, July 25, 2008
An interesting and special day today. After school I finally decided to take apart the sink drain in the bathroom. It had been draining slower and slower. After disassembling the drain contents inside were as follows, two double A batteries, one triple A battery, and various small pieces of plastic. That explains the slow pace. But this is a special day for another reason. Eleven years ago I met my wife.
It was July 25th, 1997. I had been praying for God to give me the perfect wife for me. I was working at McDonalds that day. I noticed on the schedule that I was going to have to train someone that evening. Normally I hated training other people. But that day, it was Angie that I was training. It was the first time that we had worked together. It was a wonderful evening. We talked a lot, we laughed. She was very beautiful, happy, and a good Christian. We finished work at midnight and when I arrived home, the phone rang. It was Angie again. We married a year later. She had been praying for the perfect husband for her. She is not perfect, but she is perfect for me.
C'était le 25 juillet, 1997. J'ai déja prié pour une femme parfaite pour moi. Je travaillais à McDonalds. J'ai regardé le planning qui montrait que j'allais enseigner quelqe'un le soir. Normalement je déteste l'enseignement, mais ce jour la, c'était Angie. C'était la première fois que nous travaillions ensemble. C'était un soir merveilleux. On a beaucoup parlé. On a ri. Ell était très jolie et heureuse, et une bonne chrétienne. On a fini notre travail à minuit. Quand je suis rentré chez moi, le téléphone a sonné. C'était Angie. On s'est mariés une année plus tard. Elle avait aussi prié pour un homme qui est parfait pour elle. Elle n'était pas parfaite, mais elle était parfaite pour moi.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
We have already made a couple of trips into Paris this week. Tuesday Angie went with some girls from the Language school. They went to the largest Christian books store in Paris. It was about half the size of a movie store in the US. That shows somewhat the spiritual state of France. Yesterday I went into town to buy a new bow for my saw, I dropped mine last week and it broke. I went into an area of town (Rome street) that has several dozen music stores and found what I needed. I had a good trip, Lilia and Caleb went with me, it took about 3 hrs. The bow cost 75 euros (little over $100). Last night I found out about a mother and daughter from a church in Texas who were stranded by their tour group in Paris when the mother fell and shattered her knee. I called and made sure they are okay and Angie is now going to check on them. I can imagine how difficult it would be to be in their situation. School is continuing to go well. There are a couple of students who are teachers and other professionals who simply are here as a vacation and language polishing trip. It would be a good time. The school handles room and board and plans activities. It would be a nice three week trip in a good christian and safe environment. Check out their website if you would be interested. http://www.lescedres.com/ God bless, JASON
Monday, July 21, 2008
Just needed to make note of a couple of prayer requests. We had good services sunday morning with Yvain and Virginie, afterwards they expressed some confussion and concerns about our ministry ideas and plans, be in prayer as we prayer about these. ALso pray for a dear friend of mine who is going through a difficult family crisis. Also be in prayer for me as I am scheduled to bring a short lesson to the school next week, all in french. Merci en avance. JASON
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Summer school is off to a good start. We have classes in the mornings and at night. There are 53 students which is a good number, many of the are missionary kids whose parents send off to learn a little french, have a little vacation, and make friends. I met an older man there who was very interesting. At the age of 59, God called him to the East African nation of Djibouti, a largely Islamic nation. When asked what his work was he replied, "to walk with God and answer questions." When asked further, he was the only Doctor for 70,000 people. I liked his simple response, just to walk with God and answer the questions that others ask about him and his faith. I have really enjoyed the lessons so far, we have learned a lot of slang and abbreviations that are important for normal conversation. Right before our vacation, Lilia was talking in her sleep, speaking french. Here is a link for a french movie called "Bienvenue chez les ch'tis". http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ypl0qgdAt2c It broke the record for highest grossing movie in France (previous record holder Titanic). It seems real funny and I can't wait for it to come out on DVD. If you do a search on youtube with the title there is a version with english subtitles. God bless, JASON
Monday, July 14, 2008
Of course the high point of the trip for the kids was the beach. We were only about an hour away. The beach was nice but the water was cold. It didn't bother the kids though. There was a somewhat embarassing moment when Micah decided that he needed to go to the restroom and pulled his pants down right on the beach facing the ocean. He wasn't embarassed though.
We decided today while we still had the car that we would drive to the grocery store. Today is Bastille Day and the store was packed. Every check-out had about 10 people waiting in line, even though there are 50 checkouts in this store. We walked down one aisle and then left, that was enough. Continuing on our trip, we saw some really cool sights while there. We toured a large castle called cité de Carcasonne. It was a huge castle fortress with a small town inside of it. It was used on the movie Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves. There were some pretty drives, we found out while driving that a couple of our boys are prone to car sickness, lovely.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Our trip went real well. The Ford Galaxy ( picture 1 & 2) was a nice car. It went the whole trip down (990 km, 660 miles) on one tank of gas. It was a nice drive, there was a lot of farmland and rolling hills. Speed limit was 130 kph, about 80 mph most of the way down. There was a lot of traffic heading out of Paris and things moved slowly at first but we still managed to make the trip in about 8 hours. I think I have driven through over 100 round-abouts (rond point). We arrived at the house ( picture 3 and 4) which was lovely, it had a real nice view out of the back yard (picture 5 and 6). The yard was nice and there were a lot of toys and kids books there. The neighbors were real nice. On the one side was a young couple with a week old baby. On the other was a couple from Belgium who had retired in the south of France. They spoke no english but were real friendly and had us over for an aperitif one night. They claimed to be catholic and cam out and asked what the difference was in beliefs between us. I hope my words in stumbling French made an impression on them. I had to pick from simple terms I knew and stated something like catholics believe that the church makes the rules, but we believe that the bible has all the rules. We talked for several hours, she has a brother who had committed suicide that she was still broken up about. She had in her house several jars of holy water and her mother's chair from the catholic church. Be in prayers that the words that we said will help her to desire to read her Bible in search of the truth. We exchanged numbers and she called us when we arrived home. They do not have a lot of friends locally because the housing in the area does not have a lot of permanent residents. Next I will blog about our activities including visiting castles, caves, caverns, the beach, Spain and all the interesting cultural moments. God bless, JASON
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Just a quick note to let everyone know that we made it home okay. The trip went real well and God even granted us the chance to get into a spiritual discussion. I will give more details and share pictures in the blogs to come. Just received the news that my grandfather, Clyde Clark passed away yesterday. He was a godly man . He trusted Jesus to save him as a young man. He had a great sense of humor and great faith as well. He was a missionary and pastor for about 50 years. I praise God for his example of faith, for raising my father up in the way of the Lord, for his support of me and my family and our work here. He died yesterday, but he is doing great now. He was a saint, all who are saved are saints. The greek word for saint, sounds like - hagios, is from two words meaning literally "not of earth". Those who have accepted Jesus' sacrifice for their sins and put their faith and trust in him as savior are just temporary dwellers on this land. Now, he is truly home, in heaven with his Savior Jesus Christ, he will be missed here on earth, but I will see him again. Pictured is me, my father and grandfather. JASON
Friday, July 4, 2008
We picked up our rental car this morning. We are driving a Ford Galaxy. It is nice, standard transmission, diesel, 6 speed, 43 mpg, seats 7. I'll post a picture when we get back. We have already stretched ourselves, I have driven in Paris, France. It wasn't too bad. While we were on deputation, I didn't bother keeping up with how many total miles we drove. We went 5000 in one month. So this trip will not be to bad. I have not bought gas for over 6 months. It will be interesting to fill up at the pump. The display in the car said that it could go 750 km on one tank, so we should be able to make it all the way down there on one tank. We are visiting Limoux which is a small town of about 10000 people. It is about 25 miles south of Carcossonne where there was a accidental millitary shooting recently. That is just east of Toulouse and West of Marseille. It is about an hour from the Spanish border, where we will probably go to fill up with Gas. It is about 45 minutes from the beach, which is the main attraction to us. I will blog and post a lot of pictures when we return. The remaining language school students celebrated the fourth of July with a BBQ today. It was a lot of fun. Be in prayer for us while we are traveling and on vacation. Be in prayer for my grandfather Clyde Clark who suffered from a series of heart attacks and is in the hospital, he is very weak. Also be in prayer for Angie, her blood pressure was high still, so the Doctor told her to lay off the salt. That will be tough for her, especially when I am eating popcorn next to her, which I will. God bless and we will be back with you shortly. JASON
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Angie and I had our visit with the Doctor to move along our Visa process. We had to leave the house at 6:45 so we arranged for a friend to watch our kids and walk them to school when it was time. That meant we had to get up about 5:30 to get everyone ready. We left, walked 10 minutes to the train station. Caught the train for 40 minutes. Got on a bus for 12 minutes (most packed bus I had been on). When then walked one more block to the office. There was a line extending out the door. After we sat inside we waited for about thirty minutes where almost everyone in the waiting room was falling asleep, including Andrew. They then called a group of about 10 inside to the doctors office. We were last of the 10 but we went first once inside. It was pretty standard stuff. They took height, weight, blood pressure, chest x-ray, past medical histroy and such. After we got inside it probably was over in 20 mintues. Then we made the trip back home and got back around 10:30. After lunch we had a good little nap. We will prepare things today for our vacation. This "vacation" is actually a good step in our language acquisition. It is good to get out of your friendly and known environment to a new one that also brings about needs to communicate in french. Friday I will pick up our rental car, I need to start brushing up on my car vocabulary. God bless, JASON