For two years, when folks have asked us where in France we’ll be moving, our answer was Toulouse eventually, but Albertville first.
Language school. Specifically, a Christian language school that specializes in teaching missionaries working in French speaking countries how to speak French. This school came highly recommended to us by a number of sources, and so we’ve been counting it as our future home for over 2 years now.
We just needed to let them know that a little sooner.
When we got back from Belgium this summer, we started working on our visa applications and our applications to language school. You can’t really do this sort of work too far in advance, and so we had to wait until our support was at a certain level before we could begin. We thought August would be plenty early enough to get our applications in to secure us a spot in the school. *1*
We thought wrong.
Albertville was full, too many students, but they could put us on the shortlist if they had any cancelations. This was not good news. To make matters worse, our second choice for language school, a similar school just outside of Paris, was also full for the winter semester, and even their short list was full. Our top two choices for language school were both out, and we weren’t quite certain what to do. *2*
Fortunately, our team leader was available to reassure us that we could find something else, and he took the initiative to find out suitable alternatives. We were considering a school in Bordeaux, and one in Montpellier (the one in France, not Vermont), and were strongly considering the latter when we got an email from our team leader saying that the school in Albertville had a cancelation, and had a place for us if we were interested. *3*
Which we were.
So we’re in, we have an address for our visas, (short-term problem solved) and we’re going to get to go to the best place for us to learn French (long term problem also solved.)
Why relate this story? Because it’s an answer to prayer, and we (I) don’t always take the time to be thankful for answered prayer. We would’ve been fine in Montpellier, (though childcare would’ve been much more expensive than we’ve budgeted) but the best situation is the one provided in Albertville, and now we get to go to Albertville, and that is an answer to prayer. Specifically, your prayers, the prayers of people who love us and lift us up continually, even though we probably don’t deserve them. It’s a thanks to God, it’s a thanks to you.
Please keep praying for us. It’s one hurdle down, but there are many more ahead. *4* We still need to raise the rest of our support, get our visas, sell our stuff, move…you get the idea. But this is an answered prayer. There will be many more before it’s all said and done.
Here’s a picture of Albertville. It’s a cozy little town nestled on the French side of the Alps.
One last time, thank you for your prayers.
*1* I think I’ve talked before about why we chose this school over some others, but if not, then let me summarize: it’s affordable, it provides housing and childcare for Oliver, (Avonlea is already old enough to start public school) and it would teach us some specific skills needed to do church planting in France.
*2* Not being able to go to the language school of our choice wasn’t the real issue, the real issue was the lack of an address needed to apply for our visas. Normally, the language school would provide us with this, but with no school we had no address, and our visa appointment was less than a month away.
*3* Actually, it was even more dramatic than that, as earlier that morning, Pete (our team leader) had called me to talk about the school in Montpellier and was going to call back later that morning to talk to the two of us. We even started to get excited about this school (because it beats the alternative) only for the email from Albertville to come through a little bit later.
*4* Every necessary form, birth certificates, marriage license, etc. has to be translated into French. Apparently people actually do this sort of work for a living. Not surprisingly, these people are not cheap.