Thursday, April 18, 2013

Moving Update

Guess what?!? We received the official "OK" to move to campus at the end of this term (April 24th)! So, instead of living in an apartment where less than 10% of the inhabitants speak French, we are going to live on campus with French speaking Bible students. God is good and He truly answers prayers! This is such a blessing for us to have that extra time to listen to French and learn as much as possible.
There was an opening for the on campus housing and as of April 26th, we will begin our move. That being said, I have to say a temporary "Au Revoir" to you guys.These next few weeks are going to be full! This week is our last week of classes and the beginning of next week will be our finals for Intermediate French. The end of next week will begin our moving process. We only have one weekend and one car to move all our things to campus. The week after will be our first week of our conversation class plus continuing to move out anything leftover and clean up the empty apartment. The first week of classes will be us adjusting to a new schedule.
So, let us say "Catch you on the flip side",  and enjoy your break from us! :-) I leave you with an adorable picture of Adah the MK helping us stuff boxes!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sick Week

(Warning! What you are about to read may contain graphic details of illness and references to the behaviors associated with being sick. Please read at your own discretion. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
Two sick babies and one pre-sick mommy
It all started last Monday. My class was cancelled due to a death in the family of the teacher. Daddy had just come home from class and we had all enjoyed lunch together as a family. I remember thinking about all the things I had to get done over the next few days and was going to take advantage of the extra time. I went to rock baby to prepare her for her nap when the unthinkable happened...she vomited...all over us both!

I called for Daddy to come help us. He stripped down the baby and changed her while I did the same. Daddy attempted to rock her to sleep, trying to keep her calm, when it happened again! Once doesn't really concern us, it could have been anything, but twice? Uh oh....poor kiddo. The rest of the day continued with messiness as we watched our normally energetic child turn into a whiney mess, who did nothing but cling to us.

After a worrisome 24 hours, she began to drink fluids steadily and was beginning to nurse again. We thought the worst was over! But late Tuesday afternoon as I was nursing her, I noticed she felt warm...very warm. She had a fever of 102.4! We stripped her down to nothing and gave her a cool bath. Poor baby just sat there, like a zombie. We decided to keep her in a diaper after that. With every attempt to give her Tylenol, she would send it right back up.

The next day, Wednesday, is normally chapel. Daddy went alone while Adah and I laid in our bed together. We watched French cartoons and drank as much water as I could forced on her. When daddy came home from class, he made a beeline for the bathroom. After what felt like forever, poor daddy came out looking pretty green. He put on some sweats and dragged himself into bed with Adah. I decided to eat while daddy and Adah took a mini-nap break together. But soon after eating, I felt it too. Tummy troubles! Oh no! If Adah was sick, and daddy, and now mommy, who will take care of us?

I know what you parents out there are have been there...done that...dead of the middle of nowhere...20 kids... Well, this was our first time folks!

What followed can only be described as torture: 3 people with tummy troubles, and every possible outcome associated with tummy troubles, with ONE bathroom! What about the kitchen sink? Filled with dirty dishes. What about the kitchen trash can? Filled with trash. Let's just say that we got pretty creative.

After 24 hours of dehydration and misery, we were left exhausted, weak, and in pain. After hours of stomach churning and spasming, we felt like we had been hit with a load of bricks! Daddy and I kept saying over and over, "I wish I was in the hospital!" But, we toughed it out and took care of ourselves and the baby.

And we were even blessed by other missionary families who made food drop offs at our doors after the worst of the battle was over! Thank goodness, because we had no "sick people" food and cooking was out of the question!

By Saturday, Adah's fever had officially broke (but she does have a fever rash that is still present). By Sunday, we were all eating normal food again.

So here we are a week later. We are working on getting back to our schedule and we are working on catching up on the homework we missed out on last week. This is the last week of school, so we are WAY behind. Please pray that we can catch us and continue to regain our strength.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Spiritual Saturday

                Friday evening, Kevin and I prepared our MAF presentation. We were to speak at an end of the year breakfast celebration for a Boy’s Club in Lennoxville, QC (where they speak English). We were told that we needed to take up 20 minutes including our videos. We worked late into the evening fine tuning our presentation down to the second, perfecting it specifically for the younger audience. 

                Saturday morning was met head-on. We woke up early, got dressed quickly, and were able to leave on time (a miracle in itself!).  Once we arrived at the church, we were met by many eager faces as we tried to get everything ready. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to go accordingly. Kevin was setting up the table and all of our prayer letters had managed to become very well shuffled and required separation. (He was also very distracted by all the remote control airplanes set up everywhere.) I worked with the audio visual tech guy to try to see why our video was not playing. Adah began crawling everywhere, dirtying herself. But we were encouraged by all the friendly banter and smiling faces. Breakfast was soon ready and I quickly found a high chair to use for Adah so that we could eat our breakfast with the kids. This was going to be fun!

                Unfortunately, my normally hungry baby decided to be picky with her food. She began throwing her strawberries onto the floor (which were cut up into tiny pieces, so they stuck to the floor). Then the minister stood up to do the prayer. A man followed him up there. As the minister began to bless our food, the man translated. Hmmm. We were not told anything about a translator and he was certainly not translating into French. It was Nepalese. Well, maybe the translator was just there for the prayer? I didn't have too much time to think about this as I was busy cleaning up the floor. Finally, we were able to distract Adah with some of the food from our plates so we could eat what was left.

                Then, someone stood up to give a quick intro for a summer youth camp. As I listened, my face turned to one of panic as I realized the translator was translating everything that was being said. “Well,” I thought, “maybe this was just for this guy”.

                At this point, Adah had been sitting in one place long enough; she was ready to let out some energy. I slipped “quietly” into the nursery so she could play.

                The first presenter stood up to talk about his RC airplanes and how God had used those planes in his life. This was going to be interesting! Unfortunately, Adah decided mama was not playing with her enough and required most of my attention. But in between these distractions, I noticed again, the translator was assisting the second speaker.

                As I watched Adah destroy play in the nursery, I began to have a moment of panic. We were told to speak for 20 minutes with videos. If we needed a translator, our perfectly timed 20 minute speech will have to be cut into 1/3 at least (give or take some time for two people to be translated, plus mistakes and awkward pauses.) Fortunately, we have had experience with the flow of speaking and translating, but I still decided that I needed to converse with Kevin over what we were going to cut (even though we had placed our speech on the podium that was currently occupied).  

I walked out the nursery and sat back down next to Kevin to go over our game plan. Our lovely daughter, however, decided that playtime was not over. While Kevin and I began to whisper about what to do, Adah attempted to play with an overly shy child at the table behind us. His sudden outburst of screams only added to our stress.

                Our turn came and we stood up in front of the crowd. As we started, we realized some of our wording was not matching up to the language, so a lot of things had to be modified quickly. We also began to realize 1/3 of our speech was still going to be too much. Since we were not following the script, the tech guy was not able to keep up with us in the presentation. As Kevin spoke his part, I pointed and nodded to the tech guy to turn the page, and Adah decided she had eaten too much food and promptly spit up….in front of God and everybody.

                When our first video came up, Kevin helped me clean her off. After our video, our PowerPoint was supposed to advance the slides without prompting. Unfortunately, our PowerPoint (2010) that was saved with the 2003-2007 version was not being read correctly on their system. The slides were not advancing and the tech guy kept trying to get my attention on what to do…while I was speaking. We must have looked funny with Adah trying to grab the microphone, all the spit up, the PowerPoint not working, our modified speech, and a translator who kept asking what some of the words we were saying meant.

                I decided enough was enough! I said a silent prayer asking God for help and I walked away…during the speech. Kevin kept going like nothing was wrong while I walked into the kitchen and found a sweet lady to hold Adah. I walked back up to the mic right on cue and continued my very highly modified speech. I can't remember what I said, but I saw many solemn nods as I spoke. I could tell they were listening and understanding what we were saying. At the end of the speech, Kevin told everyone that what we needed the most right now was prayers. I went to grab Adah and walked up in time for their leaders to lay hands on us.

                What an encouragement! Just because nothing in your day goes as planned doesn't mean God won't still use what you are saying to get the attention of the people around you. And right on cue, after the prayer had ended, Adah cooed into the microphone!  Everyone laughed at her version of “Amen” and she won over the crowd. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

La Ferme de la Pâque

The other day, Kevin and I took Adah to the "shopping mall" to visit Toys R Us. We needed to buy her some pajamas and some shoes. While at the mall, there was a cute little farm with animals that are often associated with the holiday season. Here are some of the pictures.