Monday, October 17, 2011

Missionary Kid Monday: Leaving

{To see how this series started, click here. To see why we decided to move to France, click here.}

I was only seven when my family moved to France.

I had no idea what kind of faith it took for my parents to leave behind everything and everyone they knew to move to a foreign country for the sake of the gospel.

I had no idea how drastically my life would change because of my parents' decision.

I was just excited because my mom told me that they had this chocolate peanut butter stuff over there that I was really going to LOVE.

Plus, I was going to go on a PLANE. I felt very popular during first grade recess.

The day before we left, we all stayed overnight at my grandma's house. My siblings and I slept on the floor in the office. Our flight left really early in the morning, and I have a distinct memory of my mother standing in the doorway to wake us up, the dim light in the hallway behind her making her look like just a dark shadow.

The plane ride itself was a blur. My parents must have been a special kind of crazy to drag all three of us kids (and all of our luggage) on a super long flight. Our first "term" was going to be for four years. After that, we would come back to CA for one year, then return to France for another term. And so on and so on. I'm impressed with my folks for being so brave!!

When we landed in Paris, a nice missionary couple picked us up from the airport and drove us to their apartment in the suburbs of the city.

We stopped at a little grocery store on the way to get some supplies. My first encounter with French culture? Having to deposit a coin into the shopping cart in order to use it! (If you've been to Aldi, you know what I'm talking about!). At the time, it cost 1 Franc - about 25 cents-

This was the first of many culture shocks - these first few years redefined what I came to believe as "normal."

{Stay tuned for more next Monday when I'll be sharing about our year in language school!}


  1. I love this series. Your parents had such bold faith to move!

  2. We have to deposit coins for carts at Korean department stores too! ^^

  3. I love Aldi! So fun! Can't wait to read more.

  4. So fun!! We used to have those kinds of shopping carts in Canada where I grew up.

    And Nutella makes anything good. :-D

  5. Wow!! How exciting! And how very brave of your parents to take a journey so big!! I can not wait to read next weeks installment!! (I am loving this series Sarah!!!)

  6. I couldn't imagine taking 3 kids on a plane! Haha. And I still haven't tried Nutella.!/MandyCrandell

  7. What a grand adventure for a 7 year old! My first experience in Germany was paying to use the bathroom. You had to insert coins in the stall door! That is where I also discovered Nutella!

  8. i'm looking forward to hearing more about your experiences :) i have a 7 year old right now, and i can just imagine this story from her perspective. have a happy monday :)

  9. What an amazing experience! I first went over-seas when I was 20... I was amazed that you had to rent a shopping cart, eggs were not refrigerated and that Italy didn't have peanut butter. Nutella is amazing, but it's no peanut butter!

  10. The first time I had Nutella was on a crepe while sitting beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This will always have special meaning to me.

  11. Haha, I live in the Netherlands, and for us it's pretty normal to have to put coins in a shopping cart in order to use it :)

    Always funny to hear about culture differences. I also grew up in different places and some stuff just doesn't make sense at first :)



  12. What a great move. Def Brave parents. My parents also moved from Ukraine to America in 1989 with four little kids and a week old new born to a foreign country not knowing one person there.. Some courage. They moved because there was no freedom or religion and life was just to hard.
    God has great plans for us all!