The (New) Day-to-Day

By Stacey

Well the new theme to our lives right now is…humility. Not vey exotic or exciting being that we are living in France and all, but there is nothing more humbling then opening your mouth and not having any words come out.  Unless perhaps it is more humbling to have a child stare at you mouth agape when all you said was ‘Bonjour’ (I mean, I didn’t think my pronunciation was thatbad).  Or maybe it’s more humbling when you open your mouth and words do come out….but based on the expression of the person you are talking to, you are pretty sure those words did not mean what you thought they meant. And just in case we did not learn our humility lesson for the day, our French tutor has started calling us “linguists” (we surely never told her to consider us linguists…not sure who did) and then pounds on the table because we cannot produce a sound that is so basic to her language.  And after all of that, we study and study how to ask a specific question in French (i.e. where is the bathroom?) and then ask it correctly, but cannot understand the person’s response…bummer. So yes, this is our day-to-day life here in France.  Humility. Lots of blushing. And lots of prayer that the Lord would help us learn this language.

But if you have to be embarrassed as you stammer like a 2-year old, why not be humiliated in one of the most beautiful places in the world? As we mentioned before, we are amazed by the beauty of God’s creation here and are extremely happy to be living here in Chambery. So when we stammer in our words and practice flashcards alone for hours we just look up and see the Alps, castles, and beautiful architecture that surround us. What a gift in the midst of a lot of awkwardness.

Kaden and Makyra’s Pre-school

As far as what our daily lives look like, our goal is to be good parents and also to study French for 40 hours a week. So far both are going pretty well, we think.  Kaden and Makyra are in preschool.  Kaden is thriving and has accepted the changes of living in a different culture.  However, when we ask Makyra what she did all day in school she says, “I just sat there and cried because I missed my Mommy and Daddy.” Quite sad, but we are praying she will come around. Elias and Zoey were officially REJECTED from the public school system here in France until the summer so one of us needs to be home with them at all times. We are disappointed because we wanted to go to school together, but are kind of taking it as a sign from God that they need to be home with their parents to get them through the terrible-twos. So, one of us is home with the little kids while the other goes out and studies and then we switch.  Then at night we have tutors and language helpers come over to teach us French. So far this method is working fine, but we are pretty sure we are going to move to a different school. I am going to go visit the school we are considering this week and if we like it we will likely be moving in June (yay for more transition).

Then on the weekends, we do the girls hair, clean our house, order groceries online (they deliver them to our door for free…thank you God), squeeze in some more French studying and then have a “movie night” where we watch a movie in French that we checked out from our local library. On Sundays we go to a church where people seem to sincerely love Christ and then listen to a sermon without understanding any of it. On Sunday nights Dave and I listen to a sermon in English then have a “small group” made up of just me and Dave.
Being unable to read signs, talk to people, and listen to sermons in a language I can understand shows me even more deeply the importance of Bible translation. Without understanding, there is just noise and confusion. I empathize with those who only hear such noise when people try to share the Gospel with them in a language they do not understand. It is not encouraging or soul-saving; it is just frustrating. So bring on the French flashcards and (in time) the Kwakoum flashcards and we pray someday we will be able to communicate God’s Word in a way that is understandable.

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.