Trust...

Josh and Beth Paulick on October 17, 2019

    We have devotions as a school on Monday and Thursday mornings (in French of course!). One of our professors gave a devotion at the beginning of the year that has stuck with me.  She used a picture of a train and used the illustration of the different “cars” needed for the “train” of adapting to a new culture.  First of all, we need to be willing to try and communicate “communiquer” (even when we mess words up and say things like “I am finished” which means basically that you are dead instead of “I have finished” or that your husband HAS a man instead of that he is a man).  Then, you need to be willing to open your heart to new things and new ideas “ouvert.”  Next, “nouveau” is the idea that there are a lot of new things when you get to a new culture.  “Foi” is faith.  We have to have faith and know that God will help us in those areas.  “Imiter” is imitation.  When we have no idea how even to do things, sometimes we sit and watch and are able to imitate how others do them ahead of us.  “Aimer,” is like or love.  It helps to find things that you like about the new culture (and people!).  We have met so many friendly people and have enjoyed getting to know some of the people in Albertville and that definitely has made it at least a little easier.  “Nom” is your name.  You have to know who we are…we are Christ’s and he will help us.  “Connaitre” is knowledge.  Using what we know and applying it to the new culture, even when it is hard!  Finally, “écouter,” listening.  Listening to the culture around us and to the language.  Now all of those first letters spell a word, “Confiance” which means trust.  “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song,  and he has become my salvation.”  (Isaiah 12:2) (Ou en français, Esaïe 12:2 <<Dieu est mon Sauveur.  Je serai plein de confiance et je n’aurai plus peur, car l’Eternel, oui, l’Eternel est ma force et le sujet de mes louanges.  C’est lui qui m’a sauvé.>>)

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    So since our last update, we are well into our trimester.  We are into our 7th week of classes and next week begins our 2 week vacation time.  The kids are doing really well in school this year.  For the most part, they are happy and excited about going to school and have enjoyed it.  Avery is now in the “élémentaire” (elementary school) with Eli.  The élémentaire is just across the parking lot from the maternelle where Isaiah goes.  Elijah and Isaiah are in mixed classes with 2 grades being in each class.  It seems to be working out ok for them.  Avery has been going to a French class every day and has been enjoying her teachers.  Elijah is disappointed because he doesn’t go to the French class anymore (because he was doing too well with talking in French!).  I have been very encouraged to see the kids progress, even though Isaiah will not talk in French to us!  His teacher said he’s doing really well.  Everyone once in a while I ask him a question in French and he responds appropriately (although in English!), so I know he’s understanding it!
    I am still struggling in my class, but starting this week, I am going to start meeting with a tutor, so I pray that that will help me.  Josh has been doing well (at least I think he’s doing well!) and continuing to work hard.  
    Josh has started playing soccer on Friday nights and afterwards the teams all have dinner.  This has been a really good time for him to practice his French and he enjoys playing soccer, and the soccer team wears kilts while playing.  I still need a picture of him haha.  Avery has started ballet lessons on Saturday mornings with some of the other missionary kids.  One of the junior high girl started offering the lessons, and all the little girls love going.  We had some visitors a few weeks ago.  The McGhees were our Sunday school teachers (and he was one of the pastors of the church) when we first got married at our sending church.  They have since joined ABWE North America team, but we were so thankful for getting to see them.

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    We also were able to go on a school field trip to a fort and a knife (Opinel knives) museum.  It was a beautiful day and it was nice that the kids were able to come with us!

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    Right now, we are in the midst of studying, helping kids with their homework, and attending class.  Our days off are filled with homework, laundry, cleaning, and trying to get prepared for our departure.  This week has been a special week because it’s Avery’s birthday!  She turns 6 on the 17th.  She unfortunately got sick this week, so we have to reschedule her party, but she’s still making the most of it. 

IMG_3058 Avery helping Mommy making cupcakes

   Next week during our vacation time we are heading to Paris to get Elijah’s and Avery’s passports renewed.  Since they are minors, we have to do it in person, and we figured it would be a good time to go back and visit anyway.  We are looking forward to getting away and I’m really hoping we can go see the Paris opera house :).  
    After our vacation time, we have another 6 weeks of class until our exams.  We are praying that we can remain faithful in studying and also find time to start getting packed up.  It is so hard to think about leaving here already, someplace that has become home.  We really have loved our time here, however challenging and are sad to leave, but our hearts are preparing for Togo and thinking about being there.  
    So…what’s next?  We have plane tickets for December 23rd to go back to the United States for 5 weeks.  We are excited to be able to spend the holidays with family and then we are going to be attending a 3 week growth and renewal retreat before heading to Togo.  We, Lord-willing, will be heading to Togo, the end of January, beginning of February.  We are excited for this opportunity to attend this retreat, and are excited to be heading to Togo soon.  
    Thank you all for your prayers.  They have meant so much to us!    
    
Prayers and Praises
1.). Please pray that we would be faithful and remain diligent during our remaining time in Albertville, particularly when we have a lot of things we need to tie up before we leave (e.g. selling the car and the bikes, closing our bank account, etc.)
2.) Praise that our children are doing well in school and have been enjoying it this year!
3.). Please pray that we can continue to make progress in French.
4.) Praise for the break we have that we can relax and spend time together and have some time to study and organize!