April Newsletter

Sour Patch Kids are among our family’s favorite candies. So, we were really excited to find them on the shelf at our local grocery store in Albertville, France. When we read the name on the bag though, we laughed out loud. Very Bad Kids doesn’t have the same meaning or connection to the candy at all. Something was clearly lost in translation. This simple candy name illustrates the difficulty and importance of quality translation for the Bible. Preserving the accuracy as well as ensuring a translation that is clear and natural is essential. These and other challenges remind us of the need for trained translators and consultants in the monumental task of ensuring that all people have a Bible in their heart language. Thanks for being part of this work with us!

Lost in Translation

Sour Patch/Very Bad Kids

Our time in France is nearing the halfway point and each one of us has recently received a report card along with a conference with the teacher. Learning a language, even while immersed in the culture, can take an average of about 18 months of full-time study. Since we had a very good base in the language, we are functioning pretty well. The children came in with no French at all and are now able to read and write a little and even understand some of what is happening around them. They are able to play some sports with their classmates. The boys are also getting to be decent with a yo-yo, thanks to its popularity on the playground at school. It will still be a while before they can make their own sentences or carry on a “normal” conversation in French. Despite the challenges, we see God’s protection and provision. We are thrilled with the progress that we are making in our language studies. And, we are encouraged by your continued partnership with us in ministry. Thank you for being part of this adventure with us.

Let’s Praise God for answered prayers!

  • We survived the first semester with exams; we are all making a lot of progress in language learning.
  • We are getting involved in our local church.
  • Our neighbors and classmates have been very helpful, including lending a bike to Eila for the rest of our time in France.

Please Continue to Pray:

  • for continued development of friendships for each of us with our French neighbors and classmates
  • for the kids to seek God and trust Him during this difficult season for them
  • for good health, study habits and motivation to speak in French, even when it is humiliating.

We are truly grateful for your role in the work that God is doing in and through us!

Bonjour, Bonjour Dit Le Soleil

Josiah memorized another poem for school.  Here’s the text:

Bonjour, bonjour, dit le soleil

Au bon foin qui sent le pain chaud,

À la faux qui étincelle,

À l’herbe et aux coquelicots.

Bonjour, bonjour, dit le soleil,

Il fait chaud et il fait beau.

Le monde est plein de merveilles.

Il fait bon se lever tôt.

by Claude Roy

This translates to:

The sun says hello

Hello, hello, says the sun

To the hay smells of hot bread,

To the sparkling scythe,

To the grass and the poppies.

Hello, hello, says the sun,

It’s warm and beautiful.

The world is full of wonders.

It’s good to get up early.


Nous avons réussi nos examens!

We passed our exams!

We are almost halfway through our language training here in France and have progressed on to the next level and also class. We will have another set of exams at the end of June that will determine if we have the necessary fluency in the French language.

It was a full week of testing that covered speaking, pronunciation, reading comprehension, listening, writing, vocabulary, grammar and of course, une dictée (a dictation), which is typically french. The boys have two dictées each week in school. The grammar test was grueling, but the production exams in writing and speaking were also extremely fearsome.

Test Results

Grades in France are usually based out of 20 points. 50% is passing and anything less is failing.  It is acceptable to get 10-11,9/20 (passable). Scoring 12-13,9/20 is pretty good or a C (assez bien) while 14-15,9/20 is good (bien), which is the equivalent of a B and 16-19,9/20 is very good (très bien) or an A grade.