Who Are We

Wayne, Hilary & Adelaide Denny. Preparing to Serve in Leadership Training in Senegal, Africa. God has called us to take advantage of a unique window of religious freedom in Muslim Senegal by equipping church leaders who have a heart for reaching their country and the Muslim world.

We should be jealous. . . for the honour of His name – troubled when it remains unknown, hurt when it is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed. And all the time anxious and determined that it shall be given the honour and glory which are due to it.” John Stott

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Love according to Addie

When she's trying to stall going to sleep - "Mommy wait, I have to tell you something...I love you!  I need to tell daddy too, go get him!"

Getting ready to watch Enchanted together - "Mommy, I'm ready for True Love's Kiss, are you?"  (she actually doesn't know it's called Enchanted - maybe we should teach her though because I'm not sure I like the sound of this sentence, she's only 2!)

While watching - "Mommy, they're going on a date.  That's like when you go to McDonalds."

And while we were at McDonalds for dinner - "Mommy, I love you.  You're my true love's kiss."

And when I ask her who my true love's kiss really is - "Daddy!"

Oh I love this girl!

Monday, April 20, 2009

It'll come to you

"Andy explains long division"

I've often heard "you don't understand your first language until you learn a second." This has been true for me as a remember someone explaining Biblical Greek to me and comparing certain greek tenses to the gerund in English or the participle. My immediate response when someone referred to English grammar as an example was typically something like this, "What's a gerund?"

The fact is that you often don't know how to explain grammatical concepts in your first language because you've used them so long, they're just natural. You can't explain it. You just do it and you can do it because you've been using that language for decades now. When you start a second language that doesn't mirror your first language, you can on longer just do it. And you don't have the luxery that kids have of time. When you hear a 5 year old saying "He gaved me the ball," you say, he's only 5. He'll eventually learn it. But he's been studying English for 5 years!

Undoubtedly, French will be something that we will need to continue working on years beyond language school, but we need to cram a whole lot of learning in during these 18 months. Thus, a few prayer requests for us related to this is:

1) the ability the comprehend the different grammatical concepts in a timely manner
2) the patience to not become frustrated when things don't come in a timely manner

3) and probably the most important, pray that God will develop patience within us as we learn French, and that the patience He gives us will spill over into other areas of our lives.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our normal work week and a huge prayer request

Many people ask, how many days are you in class? The answer is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We're in class for about 5 1/2 hours and spend a few hours each night on homework. You're probably thinking, how do I get a 4 day work week?

Well, while we work 4 days on school work, in reality, the only way to not be working on French is to not leave the apartment and only watch American movies. It's impossible to leave our apartment and not be involved somehow in learning French whether it's by talking to people or reading roadsigns. In fact, probably our most intense day of language studies is at church on Sunday, and if we get invited to have lunch with someone, it's even more exhausting. That's not because we don't enjoy the people. We have an awesome church and everybody has been incredibly kind and patient with us.

In fact, now, there are a lot of things that we once did to relax, but now are anything but.

1) Going to someone's house for a meal
2) Watching TV or a movie (in french of course)
3) Listening to the radio (in french)
4) Making a phone call (you have no idea how awkward this still feels)
5) Playing basketball (being in the shape I'm in already makes this physically tiring, but now it's mentally exhausting also)

These are all things that now are certainly enjoyable and fun, but downright exhausting! This brings me to foreigners in Dallas and our prayer request. I remember seeing foreigners (not all or course) in Dallas who couldn't speak English and seemed to not be trying and I always wondered why not? I now know. The toughest thing to do is force yourself to get out of your apartment and do something that involves talking to other people!

So, our big prayer request: energy! This may be hard to believe, but I even find it difficult to find the motivation to play basketball here. After class, I'm already tired and don't feel like I have the energy to go. Often, the Thursday night Bible study at church comes (which starts at 9PM!!) and I think, I'm too tired.

Please pray that along with the grace to understand what we're being taught in class, we have the energy to practice it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Picture post

Just a few pictures to show you a little more of our life here.

Addie is getting to be so big!  She built this tower all by herself and we are so proud of her!

We had an Easter party this weekend with the other families from school.  Addie loved doing the egg and spoon race (although there was no one there to race against).  I was quite impressed that she could actually do it.

We've gotten a couple of packages with some goodies from the US lately.  This one included Betty Crocker brownie mix.  They were delicious (and we still have 3 left!)

Addie still has her best bud here, although sometimes it is a love/hate relationship between the two.  Here we caught them in a love moment.

We have to go to the grocery store almost daily here (due to the fact that we have no car and can't get much each time).  Addie is a big help though (when we let her go :)  She brings her suitcase along and loads it up with groceries for us.  We usually end up carrying it and her home (which is why she only gets to go sometimes!)

So there is a little of our life.  We have started our end of the term two week vacation and are looking forward to some time as a family (and some time with a car thanks to our friends at church!)  School is going very well, but I think that all of our brains are ready for a break!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Things that no longer make me panic...

The cheese aisle at the grocery store.  I actually bought my first French cheese this week and it's really good!

Praying in French.  At least in class, if I ever have to actually pray in front of French people, that might be a different story.  

The Bises.  That's the way French people greet each other at church.  Obviously you can see why I said Bises and not French kiss.  

Having people stop me on the street to ask a question.  I've even been able to answer them a couple of times (hope the directions worked!)

Choosing French as the language of choice at the ATM machine.  It's harder than you think!

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are making progress!