28 August 2009

I'm Here!

I've landed in Paris! And it is BEAUTIFUL! Good friends met me at the airport, took me for a tour, helped me get a cell phone, and dropped me at the language school. I'm unpacked in my little tiny room, and this will be home for the year.

I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I keep reminding myself "French is so easy kids learn it!" So, item number one on my to-do list: BECOME CHILDLIKE! Once I get a library card I'm going to start hanging out with the picture books. Although, it was recommended that I watch soap operas, as they tend to speak slowly and show cultural things like weddings and funerals and birthdays, etc. And you never know when it will be important to have phrases like "You mean, you're my twin brother who was seperated from me at birth and rased by a pack of gypsies in Luxemburg???" And "Oh Pierre, my love, you've been in a coma for 17 years, but you haven't wrinkled or gone gray yet!" So I'll have to keep a look out for creative ways to learn me some French.

I have already found two families that I attended a pre-field training course with back last summer. One family has been here since January and showed us around town. What a blessing to have some familiar faces! PTL!

Okay, I need to get going. One quick point of prayer, I got an email today about the tragic murders of the son of a family friend and his girlfriend. He was 19, she was 18, both sophomores at VA Tech. Please be lifting these grieving families up! What immense heartbreak.

17 August 2009

The Great Cloud of Witnesses

I have heard the name "Helen Roseveare" before and have been told on numerous occasions that I would love her writings. But I've never remembered her name long enough to even look her up. Until this morning when I actually pulled out a pen and a post-it and wrote myself a note.

Helen Roseveare served in the Congo for many years as a doctor . . . she has an amazing story of how God has been molding her into the image of His Son. She is now officially one of my heroes.

What struck me most today while listening to her stories was not so much what she's been through (intense suffering including being held hostage and raped numerous times), but the promise she made to the Lord before she left for Africa. She described a time of prayer regarding Philippians 3:10 (That I may know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings), she said to the Lord something along the lines of: "when it gets to be too much, and I tell You that I cannot bear any more and I beg You to make it stop, I am giving You permission now to ignore me." This is a woman who understood that God's purpose for us is to be made like Him . . . no matter the cost.

I came across two of her speaking engagements that are available for free download online. The first was in 2007 at the Desiring God conference . . . incredible!! http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/850_stand__helen_roseveare/
The second, from 1975, is the fourth download on sermonindex.net entitled The Cost of Declaring His Glory

There is also a two part article on the Urbana website in a section called The Great Cloud of Witnesses: Page 1: http://www.urbana.org/great-cloud-of-witnesses/helen-roseveare-courageous-woman-doctor-in-the-congo Page 2: http://www.urbana.org/great-cloud-of-witnesses/the-fellowship-of-his-suffering-helen-roseveare-cont

Be sure to check out the other incredible men and women that the Lord has used over the years: http://www.urbana.org/great-cloud-of-witnesses/introduction-a-great-cloud-of-witnesses

05 August 2009

Coming Up Next

I have a plane ticket! I leave for France August 26. I will be studying French for a year at Les Cedres, a language school in the southern suburbs of Paris. So stay tuned for lots of funny stories of how I manage to butcher the beautiful French language.

In the mean time, I checked out Niger on www.lonelyplanet.com. They have some interesting information about Niger, along with photos. My favorite was what it had to say about ATM machines in Niger: ATM's Nonexistent. HA! Current exchange rate is $1: CFA498 (West African CFA Franc). Population: 12.5 million + 4, as Galmi's new pediatrician and his family head over at the end of August. And there is no traffic report either! Guess the semi's and camels are flowing nicely. Looking forward to being back there.