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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 'Traditions'

Although we miss our families A LOT this Christmas, it has been fun to have a Christmas in our own small apartment and start some new 'traditions' with our own little family (I guess we'll see if they stick!). This is actually the first Christmas since we've been married that we haven't been traveling or moving, so we enjoyed having our own little tree, decorating our apartment, and having friends over for Christmas Eve. A few of the traditions we started...

- Advent candles...on Christmas Eve. We really meant to start on the first Advent Sunday, but it just didn't work out, and by the time Christmas Eve came, we hadn't lit any of our candles! So we did it all on Christmas Eve, lit each candle, read a passage and sang (or listened to on iTunes) a carol. It was a nice way of focusing on the birth of Christ, and we got use out of our Advent candles I bought over a month before! I think we may keep this tradition up.

- When I was growing up, we always watched It's a Wondrful Life on Christmas. We always talked about not liking it, but I think we all liked it a bit :) Wayne has never seen it though and had is own favorite Christmas movies. So instead of the classic Christmas movie, we (Wayne and I) watched Home Alone 1 and 2, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (more cult-classics than classics). Addie watched the VeggieTales Saint Nicholas (over and over and over and over again in the last month).

And then there were things that we did that will not become traditions.
- For Christmas Eve dinner, we had ham and a potato dish with a yummy yet stinky French cheese in it. Not going to be able to find the ham or the cheese in Senegal.

- And last night, we did this. I think this might have been a once in a lifetime Christmas experience!

Notre Dame

The Eiffel Tower

Champs Elysees

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Perfect Timing

I love to plan things out. Wayne will tell you, it drives him nuts sometimes. If we're talking about doing something in the future, near or far, I want to figure it out now. I want to know when we are leaving and how it is all working out. But as we are coming up on one year in France (on January 2nd!) I have been thinking about the last few years and how everything has worked out so well for us, and not because of my planning, but because of God's timing (if it were up to me, we would have been finished with our time in France already). But God knew the perfect time to bring us to France.
When we first started out, we were hoping to arrive in France in September of 2008. We worked hard at raising our support to be able to leave then, but not only were were not ready, we had very limited choice in housing for that time (it would have been way too big and expensive for us). So we planned for January 2009, and I am so glad that we arrived when we did. Looking back over our time and looking ahead to our last few months, I see that we arrived not a day too early or too late. A few of the reasons that I see for this are...
- we got the perfect apartment for us, just the right size (and price!)
- we moved into our apartment the same weekend that one of my now best friends moved into their apartment just down the hall. Both being new students with young kids, we spent a lot of time together at the beginning of the year and had a good 10 months together before they had to move on :(
- both Wayne and I were put into really good classes with excellent teachers. Our classes have had very little disruptions as far as changing teachers or rearranging students, and both have moved along at very good paces for us.
- Addie's situation has been pretty much ideal. For the first 6 months of her time here in France, she was in a nursery at our school with 2 French ladies and between 3 and 6 other kids. Isabelle and Nadine speak a little English, so they were able to communicate well with her at the beginning of our time, but they used as much French as they could with her. The other kids either spoke English or were too young to talk, so she didn't have the opportunity to speak much French (ie. she wasn't forced to!). We were a little worried that she wasn't learning it because she didn't use it, but I think now that those 6 months of hearing French every day were perfect for her. Now she needs to use it to communicate with her teachers and friends, and she does! It's all there! She now has almost a full year to be with French kids and teachers, but didn't have to go through the complete shock of entering a French school the week after we arrived.
- we will be able to finish our time here in France and do a quick trip back to the States for some very important events in my family! We will finish our last week here just one week before my sister Jenna's baby is due and a couple of weeks before my sister Kara graduates with her PhD! The timing for a trip back to see our families and to prepare to move to Senegal couldn't be better.

Looking back on this, I am incredibly thankful that God has perfect timing, as He has proved and continues to prove over and over in our lives.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Status Report - Hilary

In general, Hilary's been doing awesome with french. She had studied some before we came to France and thus didn't start in one of the beginner classes. I can't tell you how much it's helped me to have a wife smarter than me. She has been the recepient of numerous questions from me this year.

She's also beginning to have opportunities to minister to others. A couple months back, she had an opportunity to share some thoughts in chapel at our school. If you want to hear how she sounds speaking french, here's the link.

(If you prefer, you can download the message by clicking on the DivShare icon. That shold open up a new window where you can download it.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mon message - My sermon

Pour nos amis à Antony, J'ai beaucoup apprecié l'opportunité de precher. Si vous n'étiez pas là et voulez l'écouter, voici un lien.

Here's a sermon I recently preached at our church here in Paris. It was the first time I attempted preaching on a subject that was more abstract "The glory of God." In addition, the first time I preached, I read my manuscript for most of the sermon. This time I attempted to preach more like I would in english by only looking at my notes to remind myself of the main points and illustrations. It wasn't near as fluid or concise as it would have been in English, but I do feel that I was able to communicate my main points and it wasn't incredibly painful to listen to either. Hilary said she understood every word (she's fluent in hick french).

(Si vous préférez, vous pouvez telecharger le message en cliquant l'icon "DivShare.")
(If you prefer, you can download the sermon by clicking on the icon "DivShare)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Les Princesses

Tonight we got our Christmas present from Grandma and Papa Van Dine, tickets to Disney on Ice, A Princess' Dream! Addie loved seeing all of the princesses and mom and dad loved seeing Addie enjoy the evening so much.

Wayne did tell me that it was the best figure skating show that he'd ever been to (guess how many that is!), although he did watch a little figure skating on TV for the olympics one year, (the Harding-Kerrigan event) and expected a little more competition between the princesses :)

It was also a good language learning experience for us! I understood almost all of it, et après avoir entendu la phrase "Je souhaite que tu me fasse un prince!" par Aladdin, je ne oublierai jamais qu'il faut utiliser le subjontif avec souhaiter!