Sunday, September 14, 2008

Parole de Vie

I thought I would post a blog about the ministry that is hosting our struggles with the french language (they don't capitalize french so i do not have to either), but first some answers to prayer and some more prayer request.

All in all our transition has gone very well so far and Anna and I enjoy our neighbors and the friendships here.
Ian and Isabelle have each formed some new friends here.
Ann and i were able to stagger our classes so that she goes in the am and I go in the afternoon so Caleb is watched by us and we do not have to have the expense of an every day sitter.
God continues to prov himself gracious to us.
That our eternal salvation is not dependent on our acquisition of the french language

We are in a no mans land for insurance currently. Mine from the govt is finished and ours from the mission has not started. pray for extra safety during this time.

That we would find and pick a good church. The evangelical community is actually pretty small in Sherbrooke and so a church that is close that we can feel a part of and that is good for our family is a tall order. Currently we are deciding between attending a small Brethern church close by and a bigger Baptist style church about 20-25 min away.....My mom asked me tonight "What kind of baptist?" and I told her that there weren't enough of them here to split and form different types yet. There is no Canadian C&MA presence in Sherbrooke. the closest that is listed on their webiste is about 50km away.

Isabelle to adjust to school. She is having some trouble going to school all day and then she has all day french one day and english the next so that is extra hard. Also she is lets say more emotionally sensitive than Ian ( of course some inanimate objects are more emotionally senstive than ian---rather like his dad) so she is having a harder time getting to school.

That Anna and i would weather the ups and downs of language acquistion and be and encouragement to each other and othere here.

Now about Parole de Vie Bethel.

This is a ministry of the Canadian branch of Word of Life that was actually started as an indendent ministry in 1949. It began from the work of missionaries to Quebec as a bible school for training new converts. From there sprung a 3 y bible college and at some point a language school for missionaries. Then in the 90's due to a variety of factors attendance was down at both of these and there were financial difficulties. Then, Word of Life and Bethel partnered together to essentially resurect the program. The focus shifted from a 3 y degree program to a more youth centered one year program (more on why a little bit later). With the transition the camping ministry in the summer to root again as did the language school as well. Currently there are 4 main areas of ministry focus here at WOL Bethel:

#1. camping ministry...>There are summer and winter camps here for high school level students to have fun, hear God's word and grow in that.
#2. The Bible School- I think this is the crux of their ministry here. The setting is not a 4 yr college but a one year jr college type of focus. In Quebec students actually graduate from high school in 11th grade and then attend one to two years of "college" before going to a university. Most of their students are in that range of 17 year old students. They do a one year bible course that aims to lay a foundation for further study and to grow them in their faith.
#3. The french language school-essentially this is a school of about 20 -30 students most of whom have missionary designs in west africa with org such as SIM, NTM, MAF ABWE, WOL and now C&MA IFAP. In addition to learning french with studies we also discuss theological terms, memorize some scripture in french and partner with a bible school student to practice our bible skills in french and to mentor them as well.
#4. One other piece is a french language immersion bible school. It is a hybrid between 2 and 3 where some one with some french and bible can begin in the french course and transition into the bible school program as well.

I hope that helps answers some questions about WOL and PdV and us.
Thanks again for your prayers and thanks to those who have emailed us as well. We love to hear from you.


1 comment:

Mary Jo said...

Stephen & Anna I am keeping you and the kids in my prayers for a smooth transition to life in Canada. Pease give Ian, Isabelle and Caleb hugs and kisses for me. Today is craft night and Anna You are missed. Last week Alice, Denise, William were here. We mostly chatted and took turns holding William. He has really grown.
I miss getting Ian, Isabella and Caleb hugs and kisses. I also miss your hugs as well.
Keeping good thoughts following your way.
Mary Jo