08-May-2016

Last week I consecrated more time at the library to study the 6 articles that I was given in preparation for the oral expression exam. The day of the exam we will pick from a pile and have to resume the article by explaining the general theme, the main points, the opinion of the author as well as our own. We’ll have 30 minutes of preparation and 30 minutes of presentation though the time used to express our own opinion will be in the form of conversation. Each day last week I set a goal to study 1 article and then on Friday I read through two. Friday my host mom was kind enough to listen to me read on of the articles and correct me a little. She did not correct my pronunciation so much as my intonation. I tend not to speak loud enough and I tend to have problems with my intonation. This has always been a point of critique even in English. Saturday morning I went to the Jardin d’Arquebuse and I read a few articles out loud trying my best to ameliorate the fludity, rapidity and intonation of my phrases. Sunday afternoon I found a video on YouTube that ressembles a workbook exercise tape for french phonétiques. My mentor, Louise, mentioned that this is something I as well as other Grace students could work on.

Last week, I also made a goal to finish reading the book entitled ‘Stange Virtues: Ethics in a Multicultural Word’. It was very pertinent as I had some conversations with neighbors, personal encounters and social events that corresponded to some general themes from the last chapters. Reading about the necessity and priority of justice in the Kingdom of God via the story of a missionary couple who risked their lives to stop neighborhood violence, rape, as well as other injustices is challanging. I reflect upon the conditions of my host family, house mates, neighbors,class mates, refugies, homeless people etc. who are not far away from me and I have some serious questions from the bottom of my heart concerning the superficiality of my love for others. It has to be God’s love that changes me through believing, trusting and obeying Jesus Christ.

Louise and I had our last official rendez-vous as supervisor, intern, last Wednessday and this Wednesday we’ll meet at Caf&Co in order to finish out the interviews during the University Bible Group. However this Monday night she has opened her home to the Groupe Biblique Universitaire (GBU) responsables and I so that we can prepare for this Wednessday’s soirée à thème where we will ask the cultural survey questions. Prayers that this will be a culturally sensitive and spiritually nurturing time as we plan to follow up the categories with some Biblical references in order to see culture, society, morality, etc… from the point of view of God’s inspired Word. Also, prayers that people would be open … that I would be open and yet keep my eyes on Jesus.

I went out with some classmates Wednessday night, visited with some people from GBU, walked with a classmate to a tram station and had Amandine over at the host house for dinner! That was nice because otherwise I would have eaten alone.

Thursday morning was studying but I took a short break to talk with Amandine and Zoé whom I met later in the afternoon after I had finished my study goals for that day. That night, since it was a holiday, Bronson and I had ‘Audry Hepburn movie break’ with a bit of wine. We didn’t finish the movie but that’s okay.

Friday morning was expression orale and in the late afternoon I had the second to last English conversation with Thibault. We worked on phonics using the varied past tense forms of  irregular verbs that french students about his age will eventually be tested on. Ex.” She rang the bell. They had rung the bell seven times before we decided to get up.” Doing the lesson makes me think about colonialisme and I hope that I teach in a manner that is respectful and not dominating.

Saturday I ate some comte bread, musli bread and a scoop of cassis sorbet. I sent a post card to my mom for her birthday which is coming up and I ran into the leader of the group KAWAA, which is a group formed in partnership with coexist but remains somewhat separate. He reminded me that the meeting was that night at Caf&Co. There I had intersting conversations. It was good to keep an open mind as far as the way of seeing things but I had to keep my gaurd up because alot of cultural pluralisme seems to seep into religous thought. I shared some about my relationship with Jesus but did not completely. Please pray for the Jewish, Laic, Muslum, Athiest, etc. members of the Dijon society. They are people made in Gods image too.

This Sunday we took communion and I was reminded of my need personally of Jesus’ forgiveness, of course that includes the recognition of my shortcomings, my sins – of intentional or unintentional discrimination(there are certain people with whom I was sharing but they became a bit demanding and so I started to avoid them… I hope that my heart is not hardening…Everyone needs the compasion of our Lord Jesus)

Kate returned from Normandy while I skyped with my mom on Mother’s day!

There is much else that I could include, but that will have to do for now.

Until next time, lets give our all-knowing God more control by letting go of our worries, getting rid of our sin and by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus who understands us.

Hebrews 12

 

 

Souvenirs…

Not this Sunday but the one beforehand the message was about the negative tendancys of women after the fall and how to lutte against them. During the afternoon I visited the Musée de la vie bourguignonne with two couples. We spent a good while at one of the couple’s house afterward.

I had a paper about laughter that was due on Thursday. Many of my interactions over the break helped me think about the bad and good reasons for laughter.

Alongside Louise I met some local refugies particularly some from  the ethnic group TOUAREG whose language is called TAMACHEQ.

This weekend Kate and I visited my friend Amandine at her family’s house near Montbéliard in Franche-Comté.

Saturday night was a youth service centered around the need to not judge others while we need to judge actions and correct and encourage one another after having first saught correction and encouragement ourselves.

This Sunday the message was to have a little bit of faith in our Big God because in doing so great things happen.

The past two weeks

The past to weeks I have heard a lot of personal information that I don’t think I can share in a blog post.

Last week was the first week of vacation from the International language school. This week is the second.

I have one writing assignement to do over the break as well as one reading assignement for the language school and should probably start reviewing now for the finals. I have not yet started.

There are only 39 days until the date of the return flight.

Between now and then are interviews to finish, a WE trip to see Amandine, final exams, a certification test and then packing and going.

A lady from the church let me know which questions she finds too personal in the questionnaire. Particulary those about the point of view of immigrants and refugies and the question about sacrifice to spirits. At the museums or on the streets one can find sufficiant information concerning the latter.

Last WE was a youth retreat at the château St. Albain. (the 16th and 17th)

Last Wednesday I met a student from Mali at an atelier knitting group. We ended up reading all of John 6.. This student has islamic upbringing.

This is far too little but at least you can know that I am pressing on as I find my force in a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

 

03 April 2016

In this blog post I am going to describe a little bit about what has happened this weekend, last week and last weekend.

Last weekend the majority of believers celebrated the saving work of Christ on the cross, in the grave and in victory over death on earth and heaven. Saturday, I worked during the morning time until about noon, because at half past noon I met with ‘Emma’. Emma is a believer from China who  studies buisnes and a little bit of French and English. We went to a Chinese restaurant and then walked a bit in the Parc Darcy. She explained to me that when her family lived in Vancouver, Canada for one year, both her parents and her became believers and were baptized. However, an interesting difference I noted in our conversation is that she said that she didn’t have grow up celebrating the life, death and resurrection of Christ during this particular weekend; It is just not a part of the teaching tradition in the Chinese church I assume. Later I invited Emma to come to an easter meal at a couple’s appartement after the Sunday service since my roomate left to voyage that weekend.

Sunday at the service, the pastors wife did a drama putting herself in the place of the one who fabricated the nails in Jerusalem, those used for crucifixions included. Usually crucifixion nails were ordered well in advance but this time the transaction was pressed and it consequentially rendered her curious to see for whom they were destined. Her reaction and response upon discovering that they were destined for Jesus were convicting. She expressed her bewilderment and lamentation to see that this man being crucified with her nails was one she had attentively listened to and of whom she had heard many miraculous stories. He had done no wrong to anybody. She explained this story to a hypothetical client in search of crucifixion nails in order to explain why she no longer fabricated them. We read scriptures to reflect on his resurrection as well as sang songs to dwell upon his return. The service did not last very long. Emma did not arrive. Jacqueline was there and wanted to leave no later than 12:30. We had a good amount of time to talk. My friend Amandine as well as Laurie sang that morning. Amandine has invited Kate and me to her parents house in Montbéliard the weekend of the 30th of April. We talked a bit about the plans. I talked with a Colombian lady who moved to France and is now teaching in a french school. We talked about struggled in the french school system and she guided me to ask for some help. Emma had still not arrived and it was about 12:20. We left and Jaqueline had decided to invite an elderly lady from the Juras to come over instead. Later I found out that she has been widowed for about 5 years and has a son who is married to an american and lives near Chicago. The meal could be described as a french touch. Afterward we walked to the Parc de la Colombière. From there I walked back to the host house. My host mom Josianne was planning for a family/neighborhood dinner. Albert had left for Italy because most of his family is there. Josianne stayed here because Edouard is having physcological(spiritual oppression) problems and does not like to leave his room let alone the house. It has gotten worse and he doesn’t go to school now. However, he came out to join everyone that night and behaved rather respectfully. Josianne was there, Sidney and Kelly, the twin host sisters, Edouard, Fred,Kelly’s boyfriend, Bronson, fellow housemate, David and Marcello, neighbors in the court, and Emma! Yes she was invited to both events so it was a joy that at least one worked out. Earlier that day I tried sharing a song that I had translated with the help of my friends Dan and Laurie(who are a couple) with James, Jaquelines husband as well as the widowed lady. They kindly listened to the first couple of verses but not the end of the song. Other things were pressing. On the other hand, Emma listened attentively the song and asked to here it in English as well. This song is called ‘You are the Life’ or ‘Tu es la Vie’ ,was composed by my earthly dad Jon Wright and is inspired by the passage at the end of John 6 when many have turned away and Jesus asks Peter if he will turn away also.

During the week, I asked God to guide my study times and to discipline me a bit more. Also I tried my best to maintain and restore a respectful relationship with my professors. It is getting a bit harder since this level requires us students to be regularly involved in discussions of argumentation, debate and our ethics. A lot of times I have just replied “I am reflecting upon that” however, in a class room full of people leaning toward the idea that abortion is a logical and reasonable operation under the persuasion that it is the only option for a single mom to be in a tough situation, I thank God I could share another option. Adoption. I said barely anything. Just a sentence or two for the discussion was hard to enter. I shared the story of my cousin and his wife who are searching for a baby. On her blog site my cousin’s wife Kelly beautifully expresses the option of adoption. Basically that is how children of God become his own. For we belonged to a different disfunctionel family before Christ paved the way as our Big Saving Brother, God’s Unique Son’ so that we could be adopted into His Holy family.

This weekend I cleaned and started calculating the amount of stuff I’ll need to sort out of my bagage so that my suitcases are under the weight limit. There are some books and gifts that others have asked me to transport for them as well as my own notes that I have required so some cloths, etc. will be left behind. Sidney and I went to a horse competition Saturday late afternoon. It was good to finally spend some time together. We had talked about it for such a long time. She is studying her second year of communication. She really likes horses. Kate and Bronson and some other students went on a bike ride but it was to late to join and I needed to attend to some other things anyway. Sunday Kate went to an assemblies of God congregation and I went to be with a baptist one though we are both in accord that we are one in Christ Jesus. One body. There was much prayer there. I am motivated to be in fellowship with brothers and sisters in wherever because there is much spiritual oppression.

Again I did not describe all, but I described much.

This is part of God’s story for His Kingdom I hope. Louise encouraged me especially this week. And some french students have been interested in conversations lately . May they eventually make a decision based on a desire to know our Heavenly Father in Christ Jesus. It’s really easy to close up instead of open up in this environment so please pray for refuges of grace.

Have a great week!

March 25th 2016

Too much time has passed since I last reported what has been going on. Today most of the Christian community takes time out of their day to reflect and thank God for the great sacrifice he payed by dying for our shortcomings and atrocities. Today I identify with the robber hanging next to Jesus who is dying and realizing that it is the consequence of his own sin that he is suffering but that Jesus was suffering and dying despite his perfect inocence. Recently I have been receiving terrible grades in my language class and am fumbling through many things. To réussir/pass an exam  it is necessary to have 10points out of 20 or more. Out of the 3 irst tests I took I only received one result higher than a 10 … an 11.5.  I spend a of time just contemplating, finding tasks to do around the house and trying to keep up with relationships that I have not been devoting the time to disciplined studying and paper writing completion. I have been well informed that the french educational system weeds out the non elite. I know that even in English my writing organisation is terrible. Recently for a paper I sought assistance from french friends as well as a professor and I was severly reprimanded. I forgot that seeking help from native speakers was forbidden. It helped me correct my anglisized phrasing but my teacher said I have to make these mistakes and learn from my failure. I think I have failure anxiety and it is becoming a reality at least acidemically  Last week I had miscommunication problems again with Louise and we ended up at to different locations. Today I have the English conversation with Thibault and we plan to listen to a Johnny Cash song (or 2) that are hymns,”It was Jesus” and possibly ” Here was a man” . I may go to Jacqeline Princhet’s for Ressurecion Sunday. Kate is in Ireland visiting her ansestor’s land. I have 22 years as of today. What mercy and grace but I need badly the discipline of our heavenly Father in Christ. Have a great weekend.

 

13-03-2016

Last week the decision to rest in level 5 french was solidified and the first round of testing, entitled Partiels took place. On Tuesday we listened to a podcast about a french-canadian author who despite her English speaking origins, began her writing career in french. Recently she has started to publish her works in English. Her point of view on life is heavily influenced by a pluralistic view point for she grew up with family members of different religions or sects for example catholisisme, protestantisme, methodiste and budhism. She expressed that her parents went through a divorce and that her mother, when she switched congregations had her children baptized a second time. This author has now stated that she is atheist and does not think that she needs salvation. She did clairify that she still holds the belief that certain things in life, like family are sacred to her. And also, contrary to the view of many atheists, she thinks there is meaning to life. Her name is Nancy Huston. The Holy Spirit in me was unsettled as I listened to this podcast during oral comprehension class and contemplated the salvation of those sitting around me. This radio emission treated the topic so casualy. Nancy compared chosing a religion in today’s world with choosing a brand of yogurt. It saddended me that she never was actually baptized with the Holy Spirit, that the division found in the religous world clouded her view from knowing God in the person of Jesus and that her family members were struggling and grapeling with religous systems while undergoinggrave relational problems. We listen to the pod cast three times before discussing our responses. I was a little emotional in reaction but asked God to calm me down for a response when the time was given. Even then I waited until the end but like David I couldn’t help but publish what the Lord had put on my heart, in short that God isliving and Jesus saves. I was still a little emotional. My professor and my classmate Ali spoke a bit with me afterwards. Ali who is muslim addressed the issue rather casually. My professor said this is not an issue to be so sensitive about and expressed that she is atheist. This is just a little example of the burden I cast upon the Lord concerning those I see regulary in class and have grown to love.

Wednessday I met with Louise and we discussed the possiblity of visiting the Hoberts as well as going to the circle of silence, a manifestation to raise awareness and partner with local associations to help refugies in the area and/or visting a refuge for the refugies/immigrants found locally in or near Dijon.

Wednessday night was GBU and after having ate a bit with Bronson and Josianne I went to the group. We read out of John 5 verses 31 to the end I beieve where Jesus is talking to the Jewish religious leaders who were questioning his athourity after he had healed on the sabbath. He reproached them about studying the scripures with the idea that they(the Law of Moses) saves them when in reality even the law points to the need of the Messiah and the prophecies about the works of the Messiah are completed in Christ Jesus. It was interessting to think and reflect about how I view Jesus and how I view Bible study. THere was a girl there from an oriental country who spoke English better than french so afterward we went through the passage again focusing on Jesus, who does what the Father wants.

Friday was the English lesson with Thibault and not next week but the week after we will listen to our third Johnny cash song which will be a gospel song called , It was Jesus, Lord willing. This previous Friday we listened to and discussed Run Softly, Blue River and before that, Ride this Train. Next week the subject will be bmx, rollerblading and skateboarding since Thibault enjoys doing or would like to do these activities in the spring.

I don’t remember which day of the week but I talked with Willsam, a student from Irak who kept asking me to go to a restaurant or something, so I invited him to an outreach brunch that a local church is holding for a series of saturday mornings from 9 to 11h15. He attended. Another aquantence Julien came again for the second time. Willsam is from an arabe, Islamique background and Julien is from a catholique background. I am not sure how much Willsam retains but I told him the subject was God and the christian view on who Jesus is. He likes the opportunity to hear spoken french. Julien expressed that nothing particularly strikes him. They both ask to do other activities but I really try to stay in groups and ask the Holy Spirit to guide.

 

Today is Sunday and yesterday Madame Michon asked me while we were working on the questions if I would like to go the Jura mountain range in the region Franche-compte just during the afternoon.

I