This September, I’ll be moving to Versailles, France to teach English to elementary school kids. I’ve been hired by the French Ministry of Education to participate in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) for the 2019-2020 school year.
I have felt God calling me to France for years, but it never seemed like something that would really happen. I wouldn’t have this opportunity without the University of Mobile, and especially not without my lovely French professor, Madame Barbara Brousseau. My freshman year, she encouraged me to volunteer as a translator for a French-speaking refugee at an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. I volunteered, thinking I’d be there for one night, and three years later I’m still teaching ESL every week.
Last February, Madame hosted an academic conference here at the University of Mobile. The keynote speaker was a French diplomat who spoke about opportunities to study abroad or work in France. That was the first time I heard about TAPIF. Eight months later when the application opened, I was still thinking about the program. Madame encouraged me to apply and wrote a recommendation attesting to my French skill. Last month, I was offered the job!
Like the rest of Europe, France is an often-forgotten mission field. Though France is known for its beautiful cathedrals, Christianity has been on a decline there for a long time. I am so grateful for my time at the University of Mobile, because it has prepared me to share my faith and live on mission while I’m in France. Professors like Rusty Roberts (School of Business); Kyle Beshears and Bob Olsen (both School of Christian Studies) have taught me so much, both in and out of the classroom, about what it means to be a follower of Christ. The theology classes I’ve taken here have solidified my understanding of the gospel and taught me how to explain what I believe to others, and Madame Brousseau’s class, “Does God Speak French?” gave me the resources and vocabulary to do so in French!
I’m so sad to leave the community here that has grown me so much, but I am so excited to see how God uses me as His vessel in France! I cannot wait to live out my Great Commission calling in France.