“When will I ever need to know French?”

I’m just about finished working through a French grammar in preparation for our ministry in Africa. Quelle joie! This got me thinking about the other times in my life when I studied French.

In the middle school I attended, a foreign language was required, so, for no particular reason, I chose French. I remember thinking, “When will I ever need to know French?”

When I got to high school, I was also required to take a foreign language, so I just chose to continue studying French. I remember thinking, “When will I ever need to know French?”

The university I attended also required proficiency in a foreign language, so I took a semester of French and then passed the proficiency exam. I remember thinking, “When will I ever need to know French?”

While I was doing my Ph.D. I was required to pass a proficiency examination in theological French. I was writing a dissertation on the German (Kantian) background of an American theologian (H. Richard Niebuhr). I remember thinking, “When will I ever need to know French?”

At age 53, I’ve accepted a call to serve as an appointed missionary in Africa. We will be working with a number of French speaking provinces in the Anglican Communion. I’m reviewing my French so I can work on theological education with my brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa.

A passage from Hebrews (13:20-21), comes to mind: “Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Go figure!

4 thoughts on ““When will I ever need to know French?”

  1. As a former French teacher, I love this! Next week at coffee hour at Grace, I’m supposed to translate for a visiting priest from Haiti. Vive le français! Eve

    On Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 12:57 PM, Amy and Joe Go to Africa wrote:

    > Joe Pagano posted: “I’m just about finished working through a French > grammar in preparation for our ministry in Africa. Quelle joie! This got me > thinking about the other times in my life when I studied French. In the > middle school I attended, a foreign language was required” >

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Eve. And thank you for your ministry of teaching French. Think of how many students you have helped whether they realized it at the time or not! Blessings, Joe

      Like

  2. Just got back from two weeks in France, and I wish that I had followed up on the two years of French I had in Jr. High. I remember a surprising amount of vocabulary from more than 50 years ago, but that helped me read (0r rather get the gist of) some things, but not to speak, and certainly not to understand speech…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Eric. Hope you had a wonderful trip. I hear you. Having reviewed a French grammar, I can now read articles in Le Monde (online) pretty well. However, this morning, I listened to President Macron and could only get “C’est ensemble … c’est ensemble …” Apparently, we will be doing many things together, but I couldn’t tell you what they will be. Alas, I will need to work on my conversational French. Peace, Joe

      Like

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