NAYC17

First off, preparing for this massive event didn’t take place for me until about 3 days before our flight to Toronto (next destination being Indianapolis, Indiana). I’m not sure what it is about me or if everyone is like this, but I HATE packing, not just a little either. For me, preparing clothes and other necessities for a week in a place where if you don’t have what you need you either ask someone for it or get along without it, isn’t too easy. Most of the things that mom says were necessary and that I shook off as otherwise, turned out to be much needed while I was there…

Besides my struggles at making responsible packing decisions, the traveling was pretty straight forward, for the most part. The first day we took 2 trains up to Paris where we took our flight to Toronto the next day. Arriving at Toronto we were greeted with a MASSIVE culture shock, everyone… was so nice! During our 5 hour layover, we went to go get some bagels, in the process of ordering the lady asks, “And what kind of bagel would you like sweetie?”. I had to step back and soak in this unexpected endearing phrase. We saw people making conversation with complete strangers meeting for the first time!

Finally arriving in Indianapolis we spent one day just relaxing, recovering from jet-lag and exploring around the hotel and the mall connected with our hotel. Tuesday we had our first meal together with all the other missionary kids  we were going to be staying with during the three day event. This first meal, advanced my whiteness level as a person, yes… I had Chipotle! for the very first time in my life and it surely did not disappoint! I ended up having about two burritos, which made up about 2,000 calories in a single meal. That was also something I noticed while in the States, in all the fast food restaurants they show the amount of calories for every meal, I guess for those who try and watch their calorie intake… sooo yea nothing that concerns me at the moment.

Wednesday night was the first service of the event. This first sermon titled, “The Faith Factor” really impacted me. He talked about the things we would be capable to accomplish if our fear didn’t play a role in the decisions we make. Myself being generally bashful when it comes to sharing my faith openly, it really made me want me to change that stumbling block about myself.

During the few days I got to meet up with lots of my old friends from Canada, and though it had been years since I had seen them, it felt as if we were ever apart.

My roommates for NAYC17 probably doubled the amount of fun I had overall. They were all super cool to hang out with and all spiritually driven! I don’t know how to say how much I enjoyed hanging out with all of the MK’s. Everyone was so inclusive, no one was left out of things, they were all just really genuine. Getting to hear about the different cultures every one of them come from is mind opening when I think about it. Sometimes I forgot that we’re not the only family out in a foreign country dealing with extreme culture shocks. In France I can tell you that ain’t no cashier making small talk with you as you check out your groceries, ain’t no Frenchman gonna comment on how fly you lookin’ in your freshly pressed suit, and sure as anything, ain’t no random person behind you in the line for McDonalds gonna introduce themselves, tell you where they’re from and them ask you who you are and why your where you are!

Annnyway, I could go on and on about how extremely nice the people were how awesomely powerful the services were, and how good the food was, but what’s the fun in that? There’s always another one in 2019 that’s going to be bigger and better, because people who have been going to this event for a while always say the next one is always better. Because something like this can only improve, right?

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I’m Back!

I’ll start this blog off by saying, I hope to be getting back into the grove of blogging in the next few months, because, I’ll face the music, I haven’t been regular in posting these last few months. . . at all. Anywho.

I’m very excited for this coming summer. Why FullSizeRender-2.jpgyou may ask? I will be going to NAYC 2017.  NAYC, (North American Youth Congress) happens every two years and at the moment has over 30,000 people registered to attend, with all those people they’ve had to rent out a football stadium! This will personally my first time going to NAYC.

IMG_0097.JPGWith all that has happened these past few months, enrolling in public school and such, a lot has happened, good things. I’ve made lots of friends, and good memories. And with all my exposure to the French language I’ve also made much progress in my second language.

But even with all the exciting things that have been happening I’ll still be even happier to go back and see all of my old friends. As I’ve heard, “It’s nice to get away from home, but it’s always better to come back”, kind of like me and my blogging habits. 🙂

Today, we went to go see our Australian friends for tea and a nice walk. Cliche? Maybe, but it’s unexplainible how relaxed we all feel being able to talk English with someone. It is so liberating not to have to think about what we should say next or how to conjugate this or that verb. We met these friends in the spring of last year on a walk up some smoke stacks in the town, and when we saw them we said, “Bonsoir” (Good evening) to be polite, and as we walked down the smoke stacks Sophie points out that they were speaking English. We caught up with them later, hit up a conversation, and it went up hill from there.

FullSizeRender-1.jpgRecently I’ve also started writing in a “Prayer journal” which I was inspired to do after watching a movie called “War Room”, and since I don’t have a spare room I can set aside to praying I went to the next best thing, a journal. In it I’ll note down a Bible verse that touched me that day and a prayer I had; so far it’s going pretty well. At the moment I’m in the stage of writing things down, but soon I’ll be able to turn back on all of it when I’m in certain situations and need “inspiration” if you will. All this because I’ve been now realizing my significance in the school I’m in and the testimony I am for all my friends to see. Previously I’ve noticed that I haven’t been very public about the relationship I have with Jesus Christ and I want that to change. With whatever may come I hope that God guides me to do what is right. The desicions I make, the things I say, the way I carry myself. This is my goal for 2017, that I would be a witness to my friends and make a difference in my little part of this big world.

Our New Family Member

Recently we adopted a three year old dog. He’s very hyper, playful and frankly quite obedient. He does have an annoying knack of chewing things when he’s bored. That could range from slipper, jackets, or the table cloth.

IMG_7608It’s quite amazing that he has lasted as long as he has  because with our family’s track record with dogs this is the first one to not die.

As kids we always had pets. Our pets were not the normal though.  Our pets were more in the line of farm animals, for example we had pigeons, rabbits, quail and chickens. Getting a dog was kind of just giving us something to have that would give us a responsibility.

IMG_7576As of now he still needs some work with obeying but he’ll pull through. ;D

Now seeing as how this bed was meant for a beagle (the breed of dog we had before they died) he gets a little restless when he tries to sleep in it.

He’ll start off trying to fit in it and then end up sprawled over the floor nowhere near the bed.

Our dog Pollux also has the ability to jump hurdles so we can’t leave him in the backyard to spend energy or else he’ll jump the fence and take off. Let alone attack the chickens… oh yea we couldn’t live without chickens.  😉

Back On Schedule

With Christmas break over as well as our little vacation to Italy (took place mid December) we’re finally getting back to the “norm”. First week of school seemed to go on FOREVER seeing as we had just come from a mini “summer vacation” we had to get back into the habit of everything.

Mont Blanc, Skyway, Courmayeur, Val d'Aosta, Vallée d'Aoste

On our trip to Italy we visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa which was pretty difficult to climb due to the tilt, and right before going through the border back to France we took the Skyway up the side of Mont Blanc (the highest mountain in the Alps) which was an amazing experience! The picture is of me at over 3km in the air!

Pisa, Italy, Leaning Tower, MKs, MK Ministries

 

January, I find, is a month where we want to make changes in our lives. Me being a student, my resolution might be to study harder, or to pay more attention in class. Since we have this new motivation to make the changes that would improve our lives, it feels like the devil is trying to keep us from making those changes in every way possible. That’s why as Christians one of the most important resolutions we make for ourselves should be to spend more time in the Bible, to counter the attacks of our greatest enemy. One of my teachers told my class of 8th graders that if we think that we are old enough or wise enough to battle Satan on our own, remember that Satan has been around for the entire earth’s existence. Chances are he know a lot more than we do.

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Skating with friends in town.

So in this new year stay close to God and His word, because without God’s help… well… yer’ done. 😉

December Already

I can’t believe it’s already December. We have almost been here in France for a whole year! When we first got here kids were a rare thing to see. They stayed at school until 6 P.M. and were inside after that. So at first we were pretty depressed about the fact that we had no friends, sometimes even insane. I know this might come as a shock but we made friends with our siblings, weird I know.

With time we soon got used to each other and in no time we had made some friends with one of our neighbours’ grandchildren. After being here almost a year, I don’t miss home as much. I still miss all my old friends and stuff like that, but now I think of France as my life.IMG_5340

Most people touring Paris would want to go see the Eiffel Tower, nope not us we see it on a somewhat regular basis. Castles…. noooooo… you’ve seen one old house, you’ve seen em’ all. This would apply to all kids, not just MK’s. If you’ve moved some place new and you’re still missing your old life, I promise it does get better. Because of this “adventure” I’ve become more skilled in instruments than I was in Canada.

With change comes the feeling of pressing the “reset button” and starting a new adventure.

God’s Work Advancing

     I am so happy with what God has done in the short time we have been here. We kids getting involved with the music and things around the church really instills a feeling of involvement. Now I have realized that we didn’t leave all of our friends and everything we knew just to sit on the pew and watch mom and dad reach the people of a lost country, but that we could be a part of all that, and reach out to the young people of France.

     Maybe only seeing the kids at church once a week, and sometimes not even that often, may sound a little discouraging, but in another sense it gives us something to work for, something to shoot for. If we can show the kids here the wonderful love of God they will share that love with their friends at school and if one of those friends is going through trouble they will come to these kids.

    The kids here before we came might not even come that often, but when they knew that there would always be someone their age at church they have been coming much more avidly. This gives us a chance to stick our feet in the door of their life and make a difference.

Getting Our Computers

We came back from Friday prayer at church and dad tells me and my sister to go get a box out of the closet. We look at the logo on the box – “Staples” (An office supply store) – we just looked at each other and smiled both of us knew what the other was thinking. In the dining room my sister and I, just bubbling over with excitement, open the boxes carefully so as not to hurt the contents, and the first thing I do is, “Snap” and post, “We got our computers”.

picstitchFor those of you who don’t know the background of how we got our computers, every year we go to the French Conference in Montreal. This year we brought some scarfs from home and sold some to raise money to buy new computers. Not being very aware of what would happen on the second night of the conference Brother Kahozi a good friend of ours and pastor of the church called Sophie, my brother, and I and told the church of our need for new computers, and raised a fund of $1,700 plus the amount that we had made in selling scarfs. We greatly appreciate the Montreal Church and all others who donated.

This computer will be used for school reports and this blog of course.