We’ve Arrived in France!

By Stacey
Our new home
Well we have arrived and are settled-ish here in Chambery, France. To those who have prayed for us, we really cannot thank you enough. We have relocated our family across the globe and, thanks to your prayers, the transition has been overall very smooth. Here are a couple highlights:
  • I was in line to check-in at the Dallas airport and a man asked me where we were going. I told him that we are going to Cameroon to translate the Bible, but would be spending a year in France first. There was a long pause (there is always a long pause). He then told me that my reward will be great in Heaven and handed me $200.
  • We were kind of dreading hauling our four kids and 6 carry-ons through the airports. But the Lord provided a very kind TSA agent in Dallas who helped us through security. Then he provided fellow-passengers who hand-carried our baggage for us all the way to our gate in NJ. We felt like we were surrounded by angels all the way to France. It was not easy, but the Lord helped us through it on several occasions.
  • There are several fellow-missionaries who are doing French study in Chambery and this missionary community has saved our lives. One lady hand-walked me through the bus system, how to buy groceries, how to get to church, and so on. Others brought us groceries, house-hold items, and have helped us get our kids enrolled in school. We had four visitors with presents our first day in France. Thank God for the body of Christ. 
  • Also, we and the kids really have not suffered much from jet-lag (probably because none of us slept in the plane to get here) and, as of now, we are all sleeping through the night and healthy.

So all that to say, we are so incredibly grateful for those who have prayed for us and we are so grateful to God for answering prayer.

Other than that, we are realizing that France is different than America. I kind of thought that because it is a western, developed country, there would be very few ways we would have to adjust. I am finding that I was wrong. France, although somewhat similar to America, is still a different country. And French, although somewhat similar to English, is still a different language. Our lives here are very different. Not bad, but foreign and very unfamiliar. However, I feel a sense of adventure as I go walk the city here, trying to find my way around and interacting with people using the little French I know. It is exciting, a little nerve-wracking, and all so new.
Lots has changed, but some things never will…
The city we live in is simply breath-taking. We live in the old city of Chambery and we actually have a waterfall and gorgeous park right behind our house. Most of the streets are cobble-stone and it is a much slower pace of life here. The stores are closed throughout the weekend and on Mondays, people usually walk to work and there are bakeries everywhere. Oh and the Alps, they surround our city. I cannot believe we are living here—I love it.

As far as learning French, we have already learned a lot being immersed in this culture the whole week we have been here. We have unfortunately heard from other missionaries that the school we have come here for has been going through some changes that will limit the classes we can take. This is very concerning to us and we would love prayer about that. Our goal and greatest desire for our time here is that we learn French WELL. If this school would not help us achieve this goal, we need to find private tutors, another school, or whatever else would help us achieve this. There are several opportunities here in Chambery, and we are ready to explore them if the school does not work out. We would like to each get in 40 hrs of formal French study each, per week. Please pray that we would be able to do this and pray for wisdom as we make big decisions.
Stacey studying French

The kids? Makyra is super easy-going and is extremely happy. Kaden, however, does not like change and is grieving the loss of the familiar. However he is able to communicate to us how he is feeling and this has led to many good conversations with them. One such conversation started the other night by Dave noticing that Kaden looked like he was about to cry. Dave asked him what was wrong. Fighting back the tears he replied, “Why is everything different?!” We understand buddy.

Please pray for Kaden and Makyra as they will be starting French pre-school on Tuesday. They will be put in different classes so they will not be tempted to speak English to one another. Elias and Zoey have been a mess and have been extremely fussy and lacking overall self control. We find out on Friday if the pre-school with admit them or not (technically they are supposed to be 3 and they are only 2½). Please pray they would be admitted so that we would be freed up to go to school and so they would learn French. 
Well that is probably all for now. Again, thank you for the prayers you have prayed on our behalf. We’ve only just begun.
P.S. As an aside, we consistently bump into missionaries who are on the field as a direct result of John Piper’s ministry. One older couple with established careers and a big house read Don’t Waste your Life and are now going to minister in Africa. I say this to inspire those who are pastors or aspiring pastors in the states. Pray that the Lord would use you to propel your people into the nations like he’s used John Piper. And preach on missions. There may be a 60 year old couple in your church who will sell everything and preach the Gospel overseas for the rest of their lives after hearing one of your sermons. 

Author: David M. Hare

Dave is a husband, father of four Africans, and is currently helping the Kwakum people do Oral Bible Storying and Bible translation in Cameroon, Africa.