In so many ways… we are blessed and overblessed… I just need to share some of them wtih you. First of all, I wrote a blog while back called Love to France… it was in the midst of frustration over not knowing how to find things we wanted. Living in a foreign country is challenging. We have been so blessed by people who have showered us with packages with all sorts of goodies. Thank you for thinking of us and for sacrificing your time and money to light up our days. I cannot tell you how excited the kids are when we get a package and we all dig in with anticipation.
Another thing we have asked for, mostly from God, is for opportunities to speak french and make some friends. This last week we were blessed. We had a birthday party for Zach on Saturday. Jeff told me on Wednesday that I should go invite 3 of our neighbors to his party. I didn't want to… it is hard to approach a strangers door and use my broken french to talk… but I did. The first door I went to, a family with one little girl Harley's age invited me in. I almost said no, I need to go invite more people, but then thought better of it. We visited for about an hour after which we promised to stop by anytime and watch each others kids. She even offered to take me shopping in her car and after I have the baby, take me to a local moms group.
On Friday our Church has a ladies bible study. I have been trying to go with my friend Hilary from our school who also attends our Church. It has been canceled numerous times and this Friday she was going to be on vacation. But she asked one of the Church ladies if they could pick me up. So Friday I went to a ladies Bible Study. I did not understand a lot, but was once again blessed by their kindness to me. And enjoyed the fellowship between believers that crosses over cultural and language barriers. One Church lady had brought me two bags of toys for our kids that her daughters had outgrown. So thoughtful. And another lady told me there was a porta crib at Church for me. She knew we were looking for an extra baby bed. God just goes before us taking care of the extra things. When we left San Jose we knew our kids wouldn't miss their toys too much they couldn't bring with them, but isn't it just like God to provide for them anyway with extra!?
That night we recieved a phone call from a man we do not know from our Church. He said he had heard that we wanted to go visit the farm of another Church man, but didn't have a ride. He would be happy to pick us up and take us. So right after Zach's party Jeff, Drew, Joe and Harley went with Charles an hours ride away to a dairy farm. After an extensive tour they were able to sample the cheese made on the farm.
All three of the families we invited came to Zach's party on Saturday. (As well as many of our good friends from Les Cedres) It was a wild good time with about 20 kids.) Jeff even had one of our neighbors read a portion from Job and explained to them all why he had chosen the name Zachariah Job for him.
On Sunday we had been invited to a families home for lunch after Church. (Our Church goes till 1:30PM so this is a late affair.) After a pre appetizer of goat cheese, dried salami, pretzel sticks and juice, we were invited to a beautiful table for an appetizer salad, then a sausage and potato main course, followed by a cheese and wine, and then a delicious chocolate cake. Wow! We were impressed. Then we visited and the wife took me up to her attick and blessed me with baby clothes she had saved that were her own childrens things. I could not believe their kindness and generosity. They gave the kids books in french and let them play endlessly with toys. And fed them another snack. When we finally checked the time we saw that it was 7:20PM… He drove us home and when we got there he gave us a special cake from the south of france.
Also this last week Jeff met a couple at the park in front of our house from Tunisia. They were super friendly. They live just around the corner from us and on our second meeting with them they gave us their phone number and said to call them when we need a ride to the hospital. Day or night, they would be happy to take us. This is a blessing because Taxi's can take a long time to come, and some will refuse to take a pregnant women. If you are in the french health care system, you can call an ambulance, but we would have to pay for that!
So as you can see… when it rains, it pours… Thank God with us for all these opportunities and pray for us to have the energy to take it all in and continue to learn all we can. God is good...