October 2005 – On Target

October 2005 – On Target

This fall, our family has settled into some rhythms that are giving us lots of peace and purpose.

On Target!

I’ll share about Noah’s experience first since it provides the theme for this month’s newsletter. He gets a two-hour block of P.E. once a week, and because that’s the only time his heart is challenged to beat faster than resting rate, he usually feels like he’s going to fall over dead in class. He hates competition and team sports, and doesn’t even ride a bike because we have nowhere to store one. So it was all looking pretty grim until we decided to ask his gym teacher for advice. Knowing Noah’s aversions, he suggested archery, and we knew immediately that this was the answer; we just hadn’t known it was an option! The icing on the cake is that it is being offered just down the street from our house, enabling him to walk there eagerly every week! Bulls eye!

Rachel is getting on her bike every morning at 6:45 to pray for an hour with some of her youth group as they try to get a Bible study club going at one of the local high schools. They are full of faith as they hear from God, pray His will, and see Him act. (This activity also easily fulfills her PE requirement at home this year!)

She definitely knows where her target is.

Olivia has a Muslim girlfriend in the neighborhood now, and since she comes over weekly, Olivia has lots of opportunities to plant little seeds. Olivia tells us that this girl believes that she is going to hell because she cannot be forgiven for her sins, and is awe-struck when Olivia tells her otherwise! We are surrounded by Turkish- speaking Muslims and our aim is to offer friendly smiles while praying against conflict and prejudice in our village.

David is starting to work with the organization that makes official French translations of English worship songs. Because there are so many good songs worth translating and the work is slow, his help is appreciated, esp. as David can work with the music software that they use. He is also working to become more efficient in web design and hopes to earn some money with it in the future. We are also thrilled to report that the middle-school kids are beginning to sing with gusto during our Monday morning worship times, sending arrows against the enemy with every note!

I am thrilled to see God help me improve my aim with relationships this year, and I think I am finding solutions to my physical ailments as well. (I’ll verify that next month!) This summer I met an American that lives in a nearby village and works at my favorite grocery store. We finally got together recently, and it did my heart good to unload in English to a fellow mother my age. It was also refreshing to get out of the Christian bubble I live in, and talk about God to someone who doesn’t, but isn’t closed either. I am alsoso much more involved at school that I’ve asked to be part of the weekly teacher meetings in order to feel more at ease, more supported, and more in-the-know. And then there is a new English-speaking family at school who is drawn to us, and the “mum” is eager for some relational time as well. I’m also making headway with some French friends at church – a couple of them take me to Germany with them when they go to shop, and in exchange I offer female help and empathy for their computer struggles!

I end with another enlightening list in our never-ending effort to give you a better picture of our life here!

“You know you’re becoming a European when…”

  • A ride in a newer model mini-van feels like a limousine.
  • Your youngest child will pour room temperature UHT milk on her cereal without even a grimace. (Not true for the older ones!)
  • You never consider running a dryer in the summer time.
  • Carpeting feels strange, and all members of the family have a sturdy pair of house slippers in sizes ranging from 34 – 42!
  • American junk food doesn’t taste good anymore.
  • Your sixth grader needs not only a ruler for math, but also a compass, a right triangle, a protractor, a scientific calculator, cm graph paper, mm graph paper and tracing paper.
  • You panic when you realize that you forget to bring your own bags to sack your groceries.
  • You enjoy watching DVDs in more than one language.
  • You are euphoric when finding an “American” item that you thought didn’t exist here. (Today it was those curly shoelaces that you don’t have to tie.)
  • You get so used to chiming church bells that you don’t notice them anymore.
  • Your 16 yr. old is not eager to get her driving license and none of her (16-20 year old) friends drive either.

How’s your aim these days?

Drop us a line!

Angela and family

Posted in newsletter.