John Barnard

Head of MQ French School Programs & French teacher

Who am I?

My name is John William Barnard, and my wife is Kimmie. We’re both from Florida; we met in 2014, and we were married in 2016. A few months later, we moved to New Hampshire so that I could complete a master’s in linguistics.

In 2013, I tried to find a job in Québec, but without success. I went back to Florida, discouraged and confused, because I was certain that God wanted me to be a missionary there. At the same time, Kimmie came back to the same town from Atlanta to take a position as a French teacher, while I was working as an English teacher at a local university. Neither of us knew exactly why we had come back to where we had grown up. But through our sisters, we met each other that fall. What at first seemed to be one of my greatest disappointments became one of my greatest blessings, since I had finally met the partner in mission work that God had been saving for me.

A few months after getting married, we moved to New Hampshire. Even though I had applied to several universities in the U.S., God confirmed that he wanted us to be missionaries in Québec by giving us a full scholarship to the University of New Hampshire, even though we had not applied for one. We have been able to go regularly on trips to Québec to worship with other Christians and take part in mission projects.

My calling

When we arrived in New Hampshire, we knew that we were where God wanted us to be before the time was right to go to Québec. However, we had no idea how we were supposed to get there from New Hampshire. God gave us the answer in a very unexpected way. A few days after graduating with my master’s from the University of New Hampshire, I had a grand mal seizure. This forced me to work as my wife’s assistant, since she is the French teacher at a school where we live, instead of finding my own job at another school in the region. Together we have completely remade the French program at this school, which has given us experience in directing a language school. During this time, our friend Pat Auger introduced us to the president of SEMBEQ, François Turcotte. We shared our plan with him to create a French language school, and all of us decided to go ahead with the project. We are currently praying and working to create a French immersion school that will help Christians go all over the world and talk to others about Jesus in their own language.

My role in MQ and SEMBEQ is to direct the MQ French School by developing and teaching courses in French for missionaries and students of theology. The objective of our school is to prepare Christians to become actively involved in the French-speaking world, for the Kingdom of Christ.

My objective is to train, and send out Christians everywhere in the French-speaking world to love people in their own language. My vision is to establish a school that offers courses in French that meet the needs of missionaries, students, and Christians who want to move to French-speaking areas. For the moment, I am the only one developing the school’s curriculum, designing the programs, and teaching classes. However, as our dream begins to take shape, I hope to recruit other instructors who will teach this important missionary language to more and more students in a growing school. We hope to be able to open one campus in Montréal for Christians who want to live there, and another one in Trois-Rivières for those who want to study French as a theological language, or who want to leave on mission trips.

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