Monday, November 14, 2011

Missionary Kid Monday: Spoiled

{For more on this series, click here}

A few of you (from the comments of my last post) asked to see what French cursive looks like. This is the best example I've found:

Do you see how many of the capitals are different? Do you notice how it's not at all slanted like its American counterpart? Just confusing enough to throw me for a loop when I got back to the States.

In any case, going to school wasn't the only thing I did in France. There were many vacations. And since Europe is a pretty small area and since my parents worked from home, they took us on a lot of road trips in the summer.

We explored lots of different regions of France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, England, and Germany. These trips would have been very expensive coming from California. But for us, it was just a day's drive, and we would often find other missionary families to stay with.

Somewhere in France - I'm on the far left!

I did not appreciate how special this was until I became an adult. I just remember whining in the back of the car ("Are we THERE yet??"). I sadly don't even remember most of these amazing trips.

I went to Barcelona when I was nine, and do you know what I remember from the entire week we were there? We found donuts. Donuts as we know them in America do not exist in Europe, so this discovery was a BIG DEAL. The culture? The sights? The architecture? It must not have made a big enough  impression because I will forever equate Barcelona with DONUTS.

When my parents moved to France, they had NO IDEA of the difficulties that were ahead. They also had NO IDEA of the blessings ahead either. Our lives were made richer because they obeyed God's calling. I clearly remember hearing my dad say on one such trip: "I can't believe I'm skiing in the Alps right now!!"

It's difficult to talk to people about this aspect of our missionary lives. I worry people will think it was just one big vacation over there. It wasn't. It was hard, discouraging work to bring the gospel to a nation of people who were convinced they didn't need it.

But the blessings...... oh, the blessings!


  1. I'm sure it would be hard to do ministry anywhere in Europe. Most seem convinced God is dead, and that they don't need Him, but we can see how well that's working out for their economies right now. :/

    I'm sure being in Europe was a huge blessing. I dream of one day going to Germany. I have some German heritage, I took German in high school, and I was always fascinated by WWII, so it'd be an opportunity to learn as well. What a blessing to be able to travel to all of those places.

  2. Wow that would be difficult to learn letters in a new way too! But I'm glad you can say the blessings outweigh the challenges :)

  3. Interesting cursive writing! I remember my grandparents writing having some of those extra swirls and such...must be a European thing. Lol on the donuts and Barcelona. It's so true though, we don't tend to appreciate things like that until we are older.

    I can imagine how difficult it must have been at times, but so rewarding. And what "guts" it took for your parents to pack up and move a whole family across the ocean!

  4. that cursive is beautiful! and i totally feel you on not appreciating those trips when we were kids. we took a lot of the same trips and i always felt like it was just a vacation and "are we there yet!" i wish i could go back and do it all over again. i so appreciate your family and their heart to reach the lost in europe!

  5. How awesome! God LOVES to reward his children when they follow His calling. He never says that He will make your life completely miserable. He wants to bless those who serve Him. I love to hear these stories from Missionaries. There should be more talk of the rewarding aspects of following Christ! Great post! Thanks for sharing

  6. Sadly, we don't appreciate, or just forget, a lot of things as children. I've been to so many places without a camera, and now I kick myself everytime I look back.!/MandyCrandell

  7. First off I do see the differences between the different writings. I really love the french version though!! Very beautiful!!

    and Second, How wonderful to go to all those different places and experience so many wonderful things. I love that the only thing you can remember is the donuts! :)

  8. what an experience! i want to go to barcelona.

  9. Our High School Church Choir does a trip to Wales every year & I wonder how old they will have to be before they realize how absolutely awesome that is.

  10. My kids remember the Kinder eggs from Germany more than anything else, so remembering donuts from Barcelona sounds about right!

  11. What beautiful cursive! Thanks for sharing these stories, it's fascinating to hear about missions from someone who went through it as a child.