One Year!

Roos-003

So it’s been one year. One long quick year. I understand that the year didn’t pass any slower or faster than any other year but today we all looked at each other and said, “Has it already been a year?” and “Has it only been a year?”  We just sent out our Christmas letter with a few of the things we have done over the year but I thought I would blog about about the emotional roller coaster that has been this year.

The language learning roller coaster. It starts out slow as you climb the big first hill. You struggle to say words like hello and ask for the time. You then reach the top and start to pick up speed. You can tell people you like to go to the movies and you can order a coffee without stuttering. Then they another hill and you slow down you start to turn. Everything you learned before starts to feel different. Another crest of the hill and you think you are further along. The next hill doesn’t seem to big but you  realize you were looking at it from a distance. It’s a bigger hill than you thought and there are twists and turns again you make it to the top but this time the ride down doesn’t seem as fun. It’s the up and down part. You are good at one thing but worse at another. You have a conversation with a neighbor about living in France but you fail the grammar test.  You catch your breath and breathe deep hoping not to vomit. The next hill is coming and you are still going. It’s a long ride. But on you go…

The parenting roller coaster. This is the ride I (Tony) have struggled with the most this year. My highs have been when my daughters have been low and their highs have been when I was low. Being a student has meant there is has been very few nights away from home. It has been overall a good thing but a hard thing to get used to after being up and running as much as I was in the USA. I can’t say I haven’t vomited on this ride and lost my hat along the way. But it has been a ride I have learned to ride and hang on at the right moments.

The cultural roller coaster. Things are different and that’s okay. Things don’t always work, look, taste, feel or seem the same and that’s okay. I have never liked shopping but add another language, slower checkout lines and a ton more people and I dislike it more. Finding the things that can be tension relieving can be difficult. Things that used to soothe can now be frustrating. Personality is wiped clean and rebuilt as you learn a language and culture. Humor is tough to find. Emotions are raw but each moment God provides His grace. And His Grace is always sufficient.

Life is a roller coaster. But it’s a good ride.

One Year!

Roos-003

So it’s been one year. One long quick year. I understand that the year didn’t pass any slower or faster than any other year but today we all looked at each other and said, “Has it already been a year?” and “Has it only been a year?”  We just sent out our Christmas letter with a few of the things we have done over the year but I thought I would blog about about the emotional roller coaster that has been this year.

The language learning roller coaster. It starts out slow as you climb the big first hill. You struggle to say words like hello and ask for the time. You then reach the top and start to pick up speed. You can tell people you like to go to the movies and you can order a coffee without stuttering. Then they another hill and you slow down you start to turn. Everything you learned before starts to feel different. Another crest of the hill and you think you are further along. The next hill doesn’t seem to big but you  realize you were looking at it from a distance. It’s a bigger hill than you thought and there are twists and turns again you make it to the top but this time the ride down doesn’t seem as fun. It’s the up and down part. You are good at one thing but worse at another. You have a conversation with a neighbor about living in France but you fail the grammar test.  You catch your breath and breathe deep hoping not to vomit. The next hill is coming and you are still going. It’s a long ride. But on you go…

The parenting roller coaster. This is the ride I (Tony) have struggled with the most this year. My highs have been when my daughters have been low and their highs have been when I was low. Being a student has meant there is has been very few nights away from home. It has been overall a good thing but a hard thing to get used to after being up and running as much as I was in the USA. I can’t say I haven’t vomited on this ride and lost my hat along the way. But it has been a ride I have learned to ride and hang on at the right moments.

The cultural roller coaster. Things are different and that’s okay. Things don’t always work, look, taste, feel or seem the same and that’s okay. I have never liked shopping but add another language, slower checkout lines and a ton more people and I dislike it more. Finding the things that can be tension relieving can be difficult. Things that used to soothe can now be frustrating. Personality is wiped clean and rebuilt as you learn a language and culture. Humor is tough to find. Emotions are raw but each moment God provides His grace. And His Grace is always sufficient.

Life is a roller coaster. But it’s a good ride.

I remember…

I remember where I was; I had just dropped off my last students from my school bus route and turned on the radio for the ride back to the bus depot. At that time they didn’t really know what had happened. I was then glued to my radio for the next few hours until I understood what had happened and the response to it. I remember in the small town in south central Minnesota they close the mall. I remember not having football practice to coach that night. I remember thinking, “why am I bringing a child into this mess?” I easily remember all of that from that day.

But (Jesus Juke moment), honestly, I don’t easily remember the scripture reference that our Pastor used on Sunday. (and no it’s not because he’s a bad preacher or didn’t use scripture, okay I remember he spoke on idols from the book of Jonah, but it took me a while to remember (see Al, I was listening.)) I think it is for that reason that throughout scripture we see God commanding the people of Israel to build reminders throughout their journey to remind themselves and teach their children what God had done for them. We do that with signicifcant events in our countries and even our lives. There is a small momumount not far from where we live which celebrates the liberation of our city from the German soldiers. I wear a wedding ring to remind me of my love for my wife and of my commitments to her (honestly that is one I don’t think I would forget.).

However, I have been very terrible about building reminders in my life of things God has done. We have a small board in our house which we call our Joy board. But I forget to write down my blessing and put them on it. I write this blog here but I often don’t remember to update it, with the blessings of God that I should remember. The reality is this. God knew we were a forgetful people it’s why many of his commands in the old testament included the word remember.

How can we better remember our blessings?

  • write it down
  • tell someone else
  • shout it from the mountain. (okay if you don’t live near a mountain just tell somebody.)
  • take a picture of it. (might be difficult but maybe you can find an abstract representation of the blessing)
  • create a blessing board (search pintrest, we all know you have an account (i don’t but we know you do))
  • create space in you life to remember. Each day remember one thing that God did. Once a week look back and remember what God did that week. Take one day a year to focus on what God did that year. (it doesn’t have to be on New Years Eve)

Remember.

I remember…

I remember where I was; I had just dropped off my last students from my school bus route and turned on the radio for the ride back to the bus depot. At that time they didn’t really know what had happened. I was then glued to my radio for the next few hours until I understood what had happened and the response to it. I remember in the small town in south central Minnesota they close the mall. I remember not having football practice to coach that night. I remember thinking, “why am I bringing a child into this mess?” I easily remember all of that from that day.

But (Jesus Juke moment), honestly, I don’t easily remember the scripture reference that our Pastor used on Sunday. (and no it’s not because he’s a bad preacher or didn’t use scripture, okay I remember he spoke on idols from the book of Jonah, but it took me a while to remember (see Al, I was listening.)) I think it is for that reason that throughout scripture we see God commanding the people of Israel to build reminders throughout their journey to remind themselves and teach their children what God had done for them. We do that with signicifcant events in our countries and even our lives. There is a small momumount not far from where we live which celebrates the liberation of our city from the German soldiers. I wear a wedding ring to remind me of my love for my wife and of my commitments to her (honestly that is one I don’t think I would forget.).

However, I have been very terrible about building reminders in my life of things God has done. We have a small board in our house which we call our Joy board. But I forget to write down my blessing and put them on it. I write this blog here but I often don’t remember to update it, with the blessings of God that I should remember. The reality is this. God knew we were a forgetful people it’s why many of his commands in the old testament included the word remember.

How can we better remember our blessings?

  • write it down
  • tell someone else
  • shout it from the mountain. (okay if you don’t live near a mountain just tell somebody.)
  • take a picture of it. (might be difficult but maybe you can find an abstract representation of the blessing)
  • create a blessing board (search pintrest, we all know you have an account (i don’t but we know you do))
  • create space in you life to remember. Each day remember one thing that God did. Once a week look back and remember what God did that week. Take one day a year to focus on what God did that year. (it doesn’t have to be on New Years Eve)

Remember.

These are a few of my favorite things…

So a couple of weeks ago we had an assignment to write 15 things that disappointed or wasn’t what we expected when we moved to France. So I decided for my mental health that I needed to come up with 30 positives about moving to Paris. Don’t want to dwell on the negative.

So here goes but I am not sure I will get to 30 unless I start listing my new favorite cheeses and pastries individually. But lets get going and I am going to start with the food.

  • CHEESE – I have spent 8 years living in Wisconsin so I felt I appreciated good cheese but let me tell you French cheese is amazing. My new favorite is Reblochon – soft, creamy, and so yummy.  The cheese is AMAZING even more important cost friendly! On a side note it does leave our fridge smelling like a small animal is decomposing.
  • Butter – we have amazing salted butter. Like nothing I have ever had before.
  • Bread – you don’t know good bread till you pinch the end off of a baguette freshly baked from the boulangerie.
  • Finally on my food list is the chocolate. Real French chocolate is so good. Especially my favorites Mon Cheri. They come with a little surprise when you bite into them. A small disclaimer I think Mon Cheri is actually produced in Italy (and only for adult consumption).
  • Apartment life – while not particular glamorous I do appreciate the fact that having limited space and limited stuff means limited cleaning and housework. It has been such a relief to know that the apartment can be thoroughly cleaned in an hour.
  • The speed of life in France. Life moves slower here. Things take longer, just a fact. People don’t seem to stress about the fact that usually you are the 4th or 5th person in line at the grocery store. It just is part of life you must wait. Slowing down is a good thing.
  • Walking – while the amount surprised when we got here. When the girls have school we walk 3+ miles everyday just getting them there and back.  But walking is good because you go slow enough to see the things around you. Like the little old lady that wears the bright red orange lipstick and is always out walking her two yorkies. You notice when one is missing.
  • The other part about walking that I love is all the talking the girls do when we walk. When you read parenting stuff on talking to your kids they often say that good talks happen in the car. Not the case in our family. Each kid has some kind of electronic device. Tony is listening to podcasts of Car Talk and I am passed out (because I fall asleep anytime I spend more than 15 minutes in the car). So all that to say talking never really happened in the car for us. But when you have a 10 or 15 minute walk home from school you hear a lot about what happened during the day or any other random thing that they are thinking about.
  • Diversity – coming from rural Midwest towns cultural diversity was not something we had much experience with. At our church in Paris we worship with people from all over the world.  Now, often, we are the minority.  A new thing but interesting and eye opening thing for us.
  • Fayth and Hannah– It is interesting and amazing to watch your child be placed into challenging circumstances where you can’t help them. I have watched each of the girls grow in confidence as they have tackled tough situations this past 7 months.
  • Hannah’s eyes – I am thankful we were put in a place that forced us to deal with Hannah’s issues in school and that God provided us the right people so that we are moving down a track of getting her the help she needs. On a positive Hannah read to me today and she commented that it is much easier to read. A credit to the fact that eye therapy is helping.
  • Public transportation – I must admit that most of the time I love hopping on a bus, train, tram or metro to get me where I need to go.
  • A car – I am also grateful to our teammates the Meier’s who have allowed us to use their car this year as there are moments when it is much easier to take the car.
  • Interns – we have been blessed with great interns the past few months. We enjoy having them as additions to our family. They bring with them life, excitement and hard questions.
  • The City – Paris is a beautiful city with so much history. We are so blessed to live here and experience all it has to offer.
  • Living in another country -It has made me realize how little I know about the rest of the world. My curiosity about history and culture has been heightened.  My world had been very small before and I can say I think my eyes are being opened to other things around me.
  • A house out of the city – while the city is beautiful and full of life I am thankful God knows me well enough to provide us with housing outside of the city. Our apartment now and our house next year are in quiet neighborhoods. A blessing for a small town girl like me.
  • I am thankful for the team here in Paris, The Classon’s, Bower’s, Whiteman’s, and Meier’s. Each family has welcomed us so warmly and we are blessed to be working with them.
  • Time as a family – our life here has provided us with a lot more time as a family. While all the extra time is not always easy it is a blessing that our time together is not revolving around events.
  • Time with my husband – This past 7 months I have spent most of my time with Tony. Class, walking somewhere, grocery shopping, navigating some once easy task that now takes both our brains. We spend most of our time together and you know what. I really like my husband. It’s a given that I love him but I really enjoying being his friend and his partner.
  • Lastly I am thankful that I am not the same person that I was when I arrived. I have tackled some tough things in the past 7 month and am still standing. God has been faithful in giving me what I need when I need it.

Well I don’t think I hit 30 things but it is good to take a look at what I can be thankful for. Some days I am surprised – but I really like it here.

post

Double Vision – Raeni

This morning it is about 7:30 the house is quiet and the sun is out. Both unusual occurrences for 7:30 on a Sunday morning.  Last night Massy had its big city wide celebration and we capped our night off with amazing fireworks that started after 11:00 last night and lasted about 30 minutes. Started so late because the sun doesn’t set here till about 10:00.  But honestly the best fireworks I have ever seen in person. Set to music and absolutely incredible. If you visit France and are privileged enough to attend the fireworks one thing you should know is that the fireworks are a very proper event. Like going to a movie or musical performance. The French quietly listen and watch and then clap at the end. We had to tell our kiddos, we were sitting with several American families, to be quiet. They like typical American kids, were oohing and aahing, squealing at their favorites. We were quite the scene at the beginning but by the end of the first number they had settled themselves in.

So I am sitting here on my little porch caramel latte in hand, not Exchange Bank quality but an okay substitute, because I want to share with your how God has answered a prayer for our family. As many of you know, from reading my other blog posts the last six weeks have bit more difficult for me. This morning I can say God has given me such a gift that I don’t want to be anywhere else. I guess I will start at the beginning.

Ever since Hannah has started school she has struggled. Reading was difficult writing was extremely difficult. Every time we would meet with one of her teachers they would express concern about her usually saying her fine motor skills were a little slow to develop. They would tell us it takes time and they weren’t really that bad. She was even evaluated by the schools occupational therapist. The OT saw that there was a problem but it wasn’t significant enough to qualify for any extra help. She made some suggestions. One of the nice things typically about schools in the States is that if you don’t fit into the box that’s okay they will make a new box for you. So Hannah got some extra toys to play with and a fancy pencil. We started her in piano lessons thinking it would build finger strength.  We believed the school – and if you have every tried to read Tony’s handwriting we weren’t surprised that her writing was terrible. We resigned ourselves to the fact that she probably wouldn’t be a surgeon.

Anyway our move to France – when we moved to France Hannah had to immediately learn cursive. We were all surprised by this as this was skill kids learn at the end of second grade and in third grade. In France kids don’t really learn to print, at least not in our school. Again we had to have the talk with Hannah’s teacher about her motor skills. Within a month of starting school here her teacher was saying there is problem and we need to get it checked out. We said yeah we know, but let’s give her some time. Shortly after this I started a language swap with Hannah’s teacher and just about every week I would be asked about what we were doing at home to help her fine motor skills – was she peeling carrots, cutting food, coloring, playing with play-dough. Yep, we were encouraging all those things. So this last month the teacher really started pushing me to have Hannah see a specialist because next year Hannah will have the majority of her day in the classroom with the other French student. She was concerned that Hannah would not be able to keep up because it takes her so long to write, when she gets it done its messy, also France starts kids on geometry in elementary school and Hannah wouldn’t be able to do that because it is very precise. In France you need to fit the box. They don’t really make a new box for each kid. Okay, time to start addressing the problem.

On what we thought was a completely unrelated subject, about 6 weeks ago Hannah started complaining about her eyes. She had a similar complaint about a year ago and we took her to the optometrist and she checked out fine. But we figured it’s been a year we should have her checked again. This time, there is a problem. A problem so significant that Tony can see during the exam that one of her eyes isn’t tracking with the other. The doctor says see the specialist. Okay we set up 12 appointments with the specialist.

So now we are thinking fine motor problem and eye problem. ARGH we are going to spend the whole summer hauling her around to therapy appointments. Okay, if that’s what we have to do that’s what we have to do. So we start searching for France’s version of an occupational therapist. Low and behold none in our area. In fact it will take an hour via public transportation to get to one. ARG again – I sent an e-mail to a recommended pediatrician at the American Hospital and he refers me to an OT there that works with kids. An hour and half commute each way but worth it since the person would be English speaking. Also, our professor at school says she has a friend from Africa who is coming who is an OT and she is sure she will evaluate her. Good we have a plan and will get two opinions. We will find out if there is really a problem with these fine motor skills. I was content and sure God had provided us with these two individuals and I was at peace, we were going to be waiting a few weeks but no big deal. I was sure this was an answer to prayer as I was struggling because so many details seemed out of my control.

Now the answer to prayer, her name is Becky, she has been a student at our language school who I know in passing. Each Friday, the school offers 1 hour long seminars on culture or French life style. This past week one of the seminars was one the French medical system. Ok God, another gift from you. If I am going to navigate this system I might as well learn a little about what’s coming. Seminar not what I was expecting, in fact I was like this isn’t useful to me at all. Anyway I was sitting next to Becky, and after the bell rang, and I turned off the French side of my brain I heard the prof say to Becky ergotherapist (the French word for OT). I lean over and whisper, in English(which I was promptly reprimand for), “Did she say ergotherapist?” Becky, “Yep.” Me, “Why?” Becky, “Because I am one.” WHAT!!!!

I ask Becky to take a look at Hannah and she says sure but I usually work with the elderly. I am like whatever, your right here, you can give me your opinion. So I bring Hannah over, she does some coloring, tries to draw a line. Within 5 minutes, Becky starts focusing on her eyes. What? How did she catch that, we are dealing with a fine motor skill problem here. I tell her we are starting with an eye specialist the next day. Becky’s conclusion; Hannah is functioning really well and has compensated greatly for a problem that she has had for a while. Becky is pretty sure it’s an eye problem not a fine motor skill issue. I found out last night from my friend who is a doctor, who even after hearing about Hannah’s eye problem couldn’t see it with the test she does in the clinic, that God placed Becky in our lives. Becky’s work with the elderly, was with stroke patients, a lot of them that had the same vision problem as Hannah has. Most OT’s wouldn’t have picked that up as quickly as she did. But because of God’s mighty hand, she was placed in our lives so we wouldn’t have to go through of a frustrating summer of OT when most of the problem is her eyes.

Yesterday afternoon, Hannah started with the eye specialist. There is a problem, a rather significant problem since she is almost 8 and we are just catching it. Hannah sees double of anything within 3 feet of her. The eye doctor confirmed what Becky told us. Hannah has a lot of hard work ahead of her. She has made so many adjustments to her life and has developed some bad habits to accommodate this problem. Did you know, she always tilts her head to one side? I didn’t till yesterday. It is actually difficult for her to hold her head up straight because she has spent so long tilting it to one side so that her dominate eye could do more of the work.  The reality is Hannah may need some OT in the future to relearn some things that she missed because she has been dealing with this eye problem for so long. But God in his faithfulness sent us to France so that we would be forced to deal with the issue. He sent us to the right eye doctor, who caught it. He sent us Becky, who knew about fine motor skills and eyes. Today I am praising God for being right where he wants me.

Pray for Hannah. Pray for her complete healing. Pray for her as she does therapy. She needs to teach her eyes to be a team. 20 minutes a day of working a bunch of muscles that don’t want to work. Pray that she does not become discouraged. Pray for Tony and I as we need to encourage her and perhaps force her to do her therapy. Help us to gentle but persistent.

Alright that was rather lengthy. Thank you to all who pray so faithfully for our family. Thank you for praying that I would be encouraged because I have been. I am off to study – finals start this week.

A note from Jason and Calu Ostrander

A note from Jason and Calu Ostrander

Running For Roos
by Jason Ostrander on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 11:02pm ·

Dear friends and family,

On April 15th my wife and I will be running our second marathon in a year. Last October Calu and I ran the Chicago Marathon in order to raise awareness for the Family Empowerment Center in Chicago, IL. In April we will travel to France to run for the Roos family. Tony, Raeni and their two daughters moved to France last January where they will head-up the newly formed Envision Culture site in Paris.

Envision Culture exists to mobilize the next generation of young adults in our churches for Kingdom change.

Change is not easy though -as the Roos family has found out. Not only does it take a large amount of pateince and grace to learn another culture, but it also takes a lot of money -and while the Roos’ have taken up the call to relocate to France as Alliance workers, they have also agreed to raise their own support.

Tony and his family have inspired me and my wife so much that we want to give -not only of our finances but of our time to help raise awareness for them. This is why we are running the 26.2 miles in Paris.

I have an idea about how we can all encourage them in both word and deed:

1. Over the next few weeks as we build up for the Paris Marathon tweet words of encouragement to the Roos family (@tonyroos) and express your committment to bring their family before the Lord. Don’t forget to include #RunForRoos in your message.

2. Consider supporting them financially by making a one-time gift that will go to support their family’s living expenses while in Paris. Last I spoke to Tony he said they were about 50% funded for the year.

You can go here to make your donation: http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/4559

The Roos’ are deeply committed to sharing Christ with the people of France. So committed in fact that they uprooted their lives and relocated in a culture not their own…so to give sight to the blind and hope to the hopeless.

Please join me in supporting the Roos family -I would consider it a personal favor.

Blessings all. Keep running.

Jason and Calu Ostrander
Running for a cause (aka. #RunForRoos).

A note from Jason and Calu Ostrander

A note from Jason and Calu Ostrander

Running For Roos
by Jason Ostrander on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 11:02pm ·

Dear friends and family,

On April 15th my wife and I will be running our second marathon in a year. Last October Calu and I ran the Chicago Marathon in order to raise awareness for the Family Empowerment Center in Chicago, IL. In April we will travel to France to run for the Roos family. Tony, Raeni and their two daughters moved to France last January where they will head-up the newly formed Envision Culture site in Paris.

Envision Culture exists to mobilize the next generation of young adults in our churches for Kingdom change.

Change is not easy though -as the Roos family has found out. Not only does it take a large amount of pateince and grace to learn another culture, but it also takes a lot of money -and while the Roos’ have taken up the call to relocate to France as Alliance workers, they have also agreed to raise their own support.

Tony and his family have inspired me and my wife so much that we want to give -not only of our finances but of our time to help raise awareness for them. This is why we are running the 26.2 miles in Paris.

I have an idea about how we can all encourage them in both word and deed:

1. Over the next few weeks as we build up for the Paris Marathon tweet words of encouragement to the Roos family (@tonyroos) and express your committment to bring their family before the Lord. Don’t forget to include #RunForRoos in your message.

2. Consider supporting them financially by making a one-time gift that will go to support their family’s living expenses while in Paris. Last I spoke to Tony he said they were about 50% funded for the year.

You can go here to make your donation: http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/4559

The Roos’ are deeply committed to sharing Christ with the people of France. So committed in fact that they uprooted their lives and relocated in a culture not their own…so to give sight to the blind and hope to the hopeless.

Please join me in supporting the Roos family -I would consider it a personal favor.

Blessings all. Keep running.

Jason and Calu Ostrander
Running for a cause (aka. #RunForRoos).

Three Weeks – Tony

 

Three weeks ago we arrived here at our new home in France. What could we say about the move?

First it is overwhelming to move from a town of 7 800 to a city of well over 12 000 000, that’s 12 million. Thankfully, for now, we are a bit out of the city for language school in a town called Massy. Population 40 000. That population is in roughly 3.5 square miles. Plymouth’s population of 7 800 is within 4.1 square miles. That means there are a bunch of people here in a pretty small space. Even with that dense population there are quite a few parks that we have found for the girls to run and unwind after a hard day at school.

Our apartment is very nice for language school and we have slowly but surely been making our home. The first thing we quickly realized is that the bed that was here for the furnished part of our apartment was going to be far to small to meet our needs. So we made our first trip to IKEA where we muddled through ordering the biggest bed that IKEA sells. It arrived two weeks later and we assembled it in record time and slept soundly that night.

 

One of the hardest things that I have found is shopping for groceries in a foreign language. First things aren’t called the same thing and things aren’t in the same spot. One day I walked to the Hyper Marche to find five items. After wondering for over 30 minutes I found two items and decided that was enough. Many would say that was not a passing grade when it comes to shopping but for me I thought at least I found two things. We are also trying to figure out how to shop for a family of 4  + 1 while here. It means almost daily trips to the small store near us to pick up what we forgot or couldn’t find the day before.

Language school is in full swing with both Raeni and I attend 5 hours a day of school where we attempt to drink from the fire hose and then spend hours in the books each night. The good news is we have two days on, one day off, two days on and two days off. Off is probably not the right word because every moment we interact with our community we are learning or at least attempting to learn. As we walk to school each morning, lunch and afternoon; the friendly crossing guard helps us to communicate with him and questions us about life. At the bakery (boulanger) I asked for a pain de chocolate, she said we don’t have chocolate here only chocolat. The difference is the t at the end of the word is not pronounced and both of the os say O. So she at least was able to laugh with us as we bought our bread and treats. Please pray for our brains to begin to make connections between words and meanings and our ears to hear sounds that we haven’t heard before. Pray also that our tongues would move in new ways to speak correctly. A few of our neighbor ladies have been conversing with us when we cross their paths. Conversing is a strong word. They say things, we smile, they smile, say things louder, we say things that make no sense they smile and then we say goodbye. Soon (probably not soon) we will be able to tell them the answer to their questions.

Fayth and Hannah seem to be adjusting fairly well to the move around the world. There have been hard days and fun days. We have had the great opportunity to head into the heart of Paris a few times and see the beauty that is the city. We spent last Saturday (samedi) in line to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower was very cold but the view from the top was epic. It is nice to be able to see things that we have only seen in books. School for the girls is very rigid but they both seem to be doing fairly well. Both are coming home with marbles given by the teacher for knowing the right words and saying things in French. So at least they have that going for them.

Lastly we have been joined by our first intern here in with ENvision Paris. Kala Auch arrived last Thursday to help us adjust and help keep us a bit sane. She helps with the girls while we are doing homework and will be helping out with some things at Trinity-International Church starting next week. Pray for her as she adjusts to life in a large city and traveling by buses and trains.

Keep praying. Keep hoping. Keep Trusting.

Tony

Running for Paris

I don’t really understand it. Running that is. I mean I get running when there is a bear chasing you. I have never experienced that, but believe if there was a bear chasing me, I would be inclined to run. I believe in running to protect my children. Like if I have to chase after them as they run out into the street. Again like the bear scenario this doesn’t happen much.

In 2009 Raeni and I “ran” a half marathon. I use the term run loosely in this situation. More for me than for Raeni. Raeni ran and thanks to her compassion she slowed down to stay with me. Prior to that we “ran” four miles at the Road America American Cancer society run. That was my first introduction to the fact that people run to raise money, and people run for simply for the fact that they like to run and then other people pay them money to run. Weird, I know.

So in 2009 Plymouth Alliance Church hosted a fun run and walk to raise money for the youth mission trip that summer. Eighty people ran or walked and brought in over $3000.00 for the trip. Not bad. Not bad. So people run, pay money to run and gather sponsors to support them and their cause.

Which brings me to my reason for posting. Raeni and I have a couple good friends, Jason and Calu, who ran their first marathon this last summer and I think they are hooked. Before they even finished they agreed to run a marathon in Paris to help support ENvision Paris. Seriously. I don’t get it. But I am glad they said yes.

What I do get is that they believe in what ENvision Paris stands for and in our family. They believe that there are a ton of people here that need to hear about the love of Christ and they believe they can help be a part of that by running a marathon.

The craziest thing they they believe is that they are going to finish the marathon. Twenty six point two miles. Or forty two point one nine five kilometers since they are running in Paris. I believe that also. But behind those miles of the marathon, are the many miles run in preparation for the event. Over the coming months Jason and Calu will run over 600 miles each in preparing for this event.  That is over a 1000 miles total. That is in miles, not even counting the hours they will spend running.

I truly am grateful for what they are doing. Will you help me say thank you to them by sponsoring them and ENvision Paris as they run? Imagine if they knew that for every mile they ran, you were giving a dollar? Every footstep that fell as they ran will be adding up money for the future of ENvision Paris and for more people to hear about the love of Jesus. You can make a difference by making a donation through PayitSquare.  Check out the options on how you can sponsor and be a part of their training. The start running today, January 15th, and the Paris Marathon is April 15th.

Encourage Jason and Calu as they run for ENvision Paris.