Notre Dieu est Fidèle !
Notre Dieu est fidèle !
Our God is faithful!
So much has happened this week!
Almost exactly a week ago, we boarded a plane to fly to Switzerland. After two uneventful flights and a ridiculously hectic layover in the middle, we arrived in Zurich. We met up with the Goodlins (the family that will be here in Switzerland and in Côte d’Ivoire with us) at the airport and together took six kids and many suitcases on a train to our new home. Four friendly faces from a local church greeted us at the train station to drive us to our apartments and help us settle! There were linens on the beds, groceries in the fridge, and an amazing amount of grace for our needs during the transition. This is the Body of Christ at work!
We spent the week resting, unpacking, and marveling at the beautiful views! From our fourth floor apartment, we can see Lake Neuchâtel and the Alps. We can see the tops of buildings between here and there. There is a steeple out Lucy’s window with the Alps behind it, and from my kitchen window I can see the trains coming in and out of our train station. From our balcony, I can watch the kids play and I can see the kids’ school at the end of our street. It’s awesome.
God has been so, so good to us this week. Let me share with you some sweet moments of answered prayer.
I’ve been praying for years for friends for our kids in each place that we live. A few days after we moved in, the neighbor kids rang our doorbell to ask if Lucy and Titus could play. The neighbors don’t speak any English, and our kids don’t speak much French yet. But our kids jumped at the opportunity to play! Jack and I introduced the kids to each other, then they all ran off together. What’s even better? It’s a girl about Lucy’s age and a boy about Titus’ age. I asked Lucy how it was going when they don’t share a language and she said, “It’s frustrating when we say something and the other person doesn’t understand. So we use hand motions. Then, once we learn the word, we don’t need to use motions anymore.” This is language learning at its simplest! I love watching it happen!
I’ve been praying that God would prepare the kids’ minds to soak up the language and that they’ll enjoy it. Well, we went to the beach at the lake this weekend and Titus noticed some boys playing soccer. As we walked by the boys, Titus said, “I noticed that whenever someone says ‘Passe moi’, someone kicks the ball to them. So when I play soccer, I’ll say ‘Passe moi.’” This is the best way for them to process learning a new language - without the middle step of asking yourself what it means in English before understanding the concept.
And, of course, SCHOOL! Goodness gracious, we’ve spent time praying about school! This morning (Monday) was their first day and - Praise God! - they loved it! Titus was especially nervous the night before (and also throughout the night) and was the most apprehensive about walking away with his class. Because of COVID precautions, we weren’t able to go in the building with him to see his room. But he bravely walked in with his classmates! When it was time to pick them all up at lunchtime, Titus came running out and said, “That was the most amazing day! I can’t wait to go back tomorrow!” Elias was thrilled when he saw his classroom! And, Lucy has already made a new friend and a sewing project. Truly, we are so thankful for the teachers and staff at our kids’ school for making the first day so much fun!
Over the course of this week, we’ve navigated the grocery store a few times, swam in the lake, had a family over for dinner, went to dinner at someone’s home, and bought Swiss school supplies. We’ve learned a lot about public transportation! Bus routes and train lines - how to live according to timetables… it’s very different than having our own vehicle! Honestly, one of the hardest parts about this lifestyle is that the kids have to stay focused, obedient, and walking even when they’re tired. There have been a few times that I’ve wished we could have strapped them into a mini van and driven home!
We also attended our church for the first time! We were warmly welcomed by people who have been praying for us and preparing for our arrival. I met many ladies that I’ve been communicating with on WhatsApp for a few weeks! The children’s ministry was beginning its new year with the classes being re-grouped. Our kids already knew some of the other MKs in their classes whose parents are also studying French. Each class was introduced in the main service and prayed over, then Jack and I went to the front to be introduced. We met so many incredibly kind people that morning - including a woman who was a missionary in Côte d’Ivoire in the 70s and 80s! She’s looking forward to sharing stories with us, and we’re thrilled to hear them! Our kids had a great morning and came home with French church papers - some things never change!
We’re really enjoying our days here and we’re LOVING being immersed in French. I’m google-translating notes from school and supply lists, but I’m learning more vocabulary every day!
We had a busy season of packing and preparing, and another busy season is on the way with the beginning of a new school year for all of us. But, for the past week, we’ve been able to rest. Soul-level, family-time, sleep-in sort of rest. There is so much joy and peace that comes from knowing we’re exactly where God wants us to be!
Thank you all so much for praying for our family! The encouragement has been incredible! Go Team!
I even had a friend in the US, awake in the middle of the night, who prayed for our family and texted to tell me while we were eating breakfast before sending our kids out the door to school this morning. How amazing is God’s timing?!? So, so thankful for so many of you who take time to pray when God brings us to your minds.
So, so thankful to serve God with you all! Love from Switzerland!