Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blessings

We are grateful for all those families who gave to our mission in lieu of gifts this year, and the Good News Ladies group. We are exceedingly blessed by the generous spirit of giving.

God bless.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Quebec, did you know?

  • We have not met a Quebecer who does not love Canada.♥
  • Quebec is passionate about local artisans.
  • We see a lot more Honda's and less 1/2 ton trucks.

Christmas Greetings

Salut amis et famille

Merry Christmas
Joyeux Noël
As we are writing this letter, we have just received our schedule for our French language exams next week. These exams include Bible (written and oral) and general French (written, oral, phonetics and vocabulary).

We are sitting at a dining room table, listening to Christmas music, writing letters and cards. Today we have decided we will do no more studying. It is good to have a break.

After exams, we will have a three-week Christmas break. We have been told we are best off staying in Quebec in order to retain the French. We will, however, go to Winnipeg for the first week and return to Quebec on December 21 to join most of the other language students who are staying for Christmas.

Amazingly, we just went for a nice walk around Lac des Nations in Sherbrooke. Today it is December 4 and we are out strolling on a beautiful day around a small unfrozen lake. We are hoping that there will be a white Christmas when we return from Manitoba.

Mid November, we had the privilege to attend the Quebec mission’s festival in Montreal. It was great to be at this event and to be able to spend time with SIM representatives and other missionaries. We had the opportunity to spend time with a couple whom we will be serving with in Galmi.

As an update, there have been some unforeseen difficulties with our apartment and we hope to be moving during the Christmas break. In addition, Orest is going to start getting some significant dental work started in the middle of exams next week. He needs two root canals.

As missionary appointees to Africa, we are excited about the road ahead. It has been a wonderful time to be able to spend time with others who will be going to serve in Africa. There have been trials and times of great joy. We have had so many God experiences in the last couple of years we have had to record everything to keep track of all that God has done for us. We love this part of our life. We are actually starting to understand some French. There is hope for us after all. God is wonderful. In all we do we seek to serve Him to the very best of our abilities knowing He will take us through everything else.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who support us in so many ways.

Reminder - If you want to receive regular email updates then please send us an email and we will add you to our list.

Blessings to all of you.
Bénédictions à tous d'entre vous

Thursday, November 19, 2009

September 2009

Welcome, Bienvenue to all our friends,
     We are now in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to study French. We are in a beginner's class of twelve students all of whom will be going to serve in missions in Africa.
This is beautiful country.
 Here are pictures of the drive to the school. 


 
As we have said, the area is very hilly which allows for lots of exercise when we walk.
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Here are some photos of the school grounds where we now live.


This building has the library in the basement, chapel on the main floor and boy's dorm (for Bible School students) on the top floor.


Here, Grace is walking up to the building
where we have French language classes.

The school also has 31 Bible school students plus French classes
for intermediate and advanced.
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This building houses the cafeteria on the main floor. Top floor is the Bible School girls dorm and the bottom floor is a recreational area.

Same building but a view from the front step, going down to the building where we have classes.

Our apartment is even further down.


Pictures from the church picnic.

People bring a lunch and tailgate from the back of the cars,
then share in the boiled corn.
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Fresh apples from the tree, how delicious!
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Just visiting!


      A lot of cedars and evergreen trees planted for the nursery market. This region also produces evergreen trees for the Christmas market in Canada and USA. Maple syrup is harvested in the region and is manufactured into products you find on grocery shelves. 

Below are pictures of what has been our favourite walking trail
along the river. 



 The leaves are starting to turn colour.


     As we go for our walks, it feels like we are in a magnificent cathedral with a rainbow of colours surrounding us. Beneath our feet is a blanket of colourful confetti leaves rustling with each step and we are delighted, like young children playing in stacks of dried leaves. 
     We have completed three full weeks of French language training. This is tough, and we have not hit the hard parts yet. At least for the the first few weeks we get a bit of a break in that they do use some English in class. Hereinafter, that is not supposed to be the case. We cling to the promise that equips the people he calls. In our moments of humiliation and embarrassment, as we struggle to use this new language, we are comforted by the greater purpose for being here. On September 20th, we attended our first French speaking church. We were overwhelmed at the friendliness and graciousness of the people; over a dozen people came and introduced themselves to us. They are use to the language students so they actually speak a little slower and more clearly. Even when you do not know all of the words, there is a lot we can understand just by listening and picking out familiar words.
     That same Sunday, the church had its annual picnic. It was 20 minutes out in the country to get there. There were people who greeted us and then began helping us with the language. It was a great time of fellowship and learning. Went on a hayride and even had an opportunity to walk around the farm with the pastor and another couple. We were so grateful to God that he blessed us with this time of fellowship. 
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Fall is coming and the trees are displaying splendid colours.




     As part of our language training, we need to do activities that allow us to interact with the French-speaking people. We went on a couple of outings to help us with that.
     First of all we went to an apple orchard. We had a guided tour of the orchard and the instructors made sure that everything was in French.

Here is a picture of some of the 200-300 handmade apple pies prepared everyday. They use two pounds of apples in each pie. 

We were allowed to pick one bag of apples each.
These were Spartan apples and they were good.
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We also went to a Lavender farm.

The country was very picturesque and very aromatic.

We went on a guided tour - in French and English. 
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