We greatly appreciate your prayers. They make a huge difference. Here are some things you can pray for over the next week.
Support – That God will bring 100% of our support in by October.
We’re at about 14% of our monthly support or $765. Now, not everyone has told us what they will be giving and not everyone has sent in their paperwork yet. So this is not an official number. We need 80% of our support in order to book tickets, but we would prefer to have 100%. We just found out that we will be living in an apartment one town over from Kandern, where the school is. This means we’ll need a car. At 80% of our budget, all of our living expenses are covered. At 100%, a car is covered. We are still praying that God will provide our support by the beginning of October, but it will definitely take a miracle!
Last Month in Our Apartment – Should October be the last month we’re in this apartment?
We are praying about whether October should be the last month we stay in our apartment. We have to give a month’s notice when we move. So, if October is our last month, but we don’t have enough support to leave, we’ll be homeless. But, if we wait until we have our support, we might have to pay rent for a month that we aren’t here.
Money for Our Lease – $1600
I signed a year-long lease three weeks before we found out about BFA. We tried to change our lease, but they wouldn’t let us. So, in order to break our lease we will have to pay three extra months of rent, about $1,600. This will basically deplete our savings, which is definitely not ideal. So, pray that we will either not have to pay this amount or that God will provide the money for it.
Video Equipment – BFA needs video equipment
Black Forest Academy doesn’t really have any video equipment. We would love to be able to find people to donate equipment or money to buy equipment for the school. Here are the specifics that we’d like to have: two professional quality, mini-DV video cameras with all the fixings (tripods, batteries, a light kit, boom mic, lapel mic, etc.), a Mac Pro desktop computer, an external hard drive with LOTS of storage space, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Creative Suite.
Our Marriage – We don’t work well together
Pray for our marriage in general, that through this experience we’ll love each other more, grow closer together and bring more glory to God. But also pray that we’ll work well together. We tend to argue when we’re working on a creative project together—like a website, video or design project. Since we’ll pretty much be doing these kinds of projects all the time in Germany, pray that we’ll learn to communicate in a way that is encouraging and supportive to the other person. Pray that we’ll be patient.
Preparing a Place for Us – Our life in Germany
Pray that God will prepare a place for us in Germany. Pray that we’ll have great friends, a comfortable home and good relationships with the students. Pray that we’ll enjoy our jobs and excel at them. Pray that we’ll learn German quickly and feel comfortable driving a car with a standard transmission. Just pray for our adjustment in general, and that God would get things ready for us there.
Israel – Trusting God
Pray that Israel will give his worries to God. He takes very seriously his role as the provider of our family, so raising support is definitely a challenging experience for him. Pray that he will remember that God is our ultimate provider. Pray that he will not be discouraged or feel defeated. Pray that he will have time to get everything done, even though he still working a full-time job. He needs joy and peace!
Dani – Proper response to difficulties
I tend to get discouraged when things don’t go as I want them to. My habit is to withdraw and become depressed. So, pray that when things don’t go as I plan, that I will press in to God and seek his perspective. Pray that I am open to learning through my hardships and that I have a positive attitude. I don’t want to repeat my pattern of withdrawal and depression.
We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks sharing with people in Northwest Arkansas about BFA and why we’re so excited about going. On Sunday we shared with our church. As I was preparing, I realized how wonderful BFA is for missionary families. I think the idea of boarding school can be kind of difficult for some people. I know the first things that pop into my head when I think of boarding school are some rich parents who don’t want to deal with their children, so they send them away to boarding school. But that’s so not Black Forest Academy.
As I’ve read through parent testimonies about BFA, I’ve realized that there are so many reasons that missionary families might decide BFA is the best place for their kids. Here are a few.
Some countries don’t have English speaking schools.
Many national school systems end at 8th grade or before.
If MKs go to a national school, they might not be able to get into a college in North America.
National schools might not be able to meet the educational needs of an MK. For example, an MK with a learning disability,
You can’t home school in some countries. Did you know that?! It’s actually illegal.
If MKs are having behavioral problems or trouble adjusting to the country in which they serve, BFA might be a needed removal from negative or difficult influences.
There aren’t many other opportunities for MKs to be surrounded by other kids who totally get them.
Parents don’t send their kids to BFA because they don’t want to deal with them. Parents send their kids because it’s the best option for their family. It’s difficult for missionaries to let their children spend eight months of the year thousands of miles away, but they trust that God is ultimately the one caring for their children, and that he can do it just as well in Germany. Black Forest Academy is full of teachers, dorm parents and staff who love missionary kids and want to invest in and love them. We, as staff, are partnering with missionaries in parenting their kids. What a huge responsibility and great honor.
So today was pretty crazy. Dani woke up to a giant knock on the door! I answered the door and was reminded by a friend from the worship team at church that I was late. Our alarm hadn’t gone off. I was supposed to be at church at 7:30 am. He knocked at our door at 8. So needless to say, I was pretty frantic while getting a shower, clothes, my bass and heading to the church.
This Sunday was also the day that Dani and I were supposed to talk before our home church about what we will be doing in Germany. So we needed to get up. I was very happy that they sent someone to wake us up, but was also pretty upset at myself—ugh.
Another thing that happened to me during the service was my monitor battery died—during the middle of the main worship set! We use in-ear pieces for our monitor system. And I play the bass without an amp. So, I basically couldn’t hear myself at all. It was weird and unexpected, as I had a new battery. Just another thing thrown at me to try and stress me out. But—eh—it’s just a monitor system. It doesn’t mean I still can’t worship. But it was weird all the stuff that seemed to happen this morning.
But church went well. We talked in both services about what we are doing in Germany, and how people can support what God is doing through us. We are praying that the church got our vision. We want people to see how passionate we are, but at the same time, we had limited time to speak. So it was an interesting public speaking experience for me. Super stressful, but a really good step.
Then the day continues. After church we went home, changed clothes and went to grab some lunch. After getting some tacos we went to the park to celebrate our community group leader’s birthday! Which was great. It was super nice outside, and I wish we had remembered to bring our camera to take pictures. 🙁 I think we’ll have a new camera soon to make it easier to take quick pics.
Then, we went to a seminar on an introduction to Perspectives. (Find out more here.) Matt Fries, an elder at our church who is a becoming a great friend to us, led the discussion. Both Dani and I have been interested in taking the course, and thought it would be good to learn a little more about it. Plus, it was great to see Matt. It’s just amazing what God is doing in the world, and how our view of Christianity is shaped by where we grow up. World-wide thinking is becoming a much bigger part of our lives, and we want to learn more.
For dinner, we drove back and called our friend Evie for a quick bite. We went and grabbed some pizza on the square in Fayetteville. We love doing stuff with her and are totally glad she’s our friend. I think we just love having friends, and having them be a part of our lives, and us a part of theirs. It’s just great. It’s supposed to be that way.
To end our day, we met with a new friend who wanted to know more about us and Germany. It was a good wrap-up for our day, I think. We got to be more personal and share more from our hearts about who we are. Speaking in front of a large group is fine and all, but our passion and heart is relationships. So it was really great.
So now I have my coffee, and am relaxing while I write this out. It’s great to have people around you who support you and want to be a part of your life. I love it, and feel so blessed.
I think one of the hardest things about moving to Germany will be leaving behind our cat, Felin (pronounced Fa-LEAN). We got Felin from a shelter in April. Israel thought she was the coolest cat he’d ever seen. I thought he was weird. But he wasn’t, he was right. She is the coolest cat. Ever.
In the past six months, she’s become my little companion. What will I do without her? Sniff.
Would you like to live with the coolest cat ever? She needs a good home. Preferably one with lots of treats. Felin is declawed in her front paws and probably wouldn’t survive as a full-time outdoor cat. Though, we’ve been letting her outside a bit lately, and I think we’ve created a door-dasher. She’s a Siamese mix, so she might not do well with other cats, but we really have no idea.*
Here are some awesome things about Felin, the Wonder Cat.
At five o’clock every morning she plops down on my chest and purrs while I scratch her head and fall back asleep.
When I whistle, she comes running, even though my whistle is barely audible. I think she’s part dog…
Every time she hears me walking in the kitchen, she runs in, meows, purrs and rubs against my legs to beg me to, please, give her a dollop of that yummy canned cat food. Then she will stretch her little paws up toward the counter top to demonstrate how much she’d love some.
Felin will happily stand on her hind legs, give a high five, kiss my nose or turn in a circle to get a treat. Do you know any other cat that will do that?
Felin’s favorite toys are cheap. Really cheap. We just wad up taffy or cough drop wrappers and toss them to her. Months of fun. She also loves to eat rubber bands. Yum.
Felin is very organized. When we leave our sock drawer open at night, all of our fuzzy socks are lined up in a row on the floor in the morning.
She knows how to take down those pesky things called feet. Because she’s ferocious like that.
If we leave any glasses full of liquid sitting around, she happily pulls them over for us. She knows we prefer the water all over the table. Doesn’t everyone?
I mean really, how could you resist this face?
Best Eyes Ever
The Wonder Cat
Look at that Face
Yawning Is the Best
Stretching Is also the Best
Sitting on the Floor
*I checked the info sheet from the shelter where we got Felin. She’s good with kids and other pets, so she’s pretty much the perfect cat.
The past two months have been busy, and this week was no exception. Israel’s brother, Judah, stayed with us for three days, which was wonderful. We’ve been sharing with a lot of Community Groups from our church about our adventure to Germany. And we spent the weekend hanging out with friends. But, before I tell you all the details, I want to give you an update on our support raising.
We’ve been working on support raising for about two weeks. Our goal is to have at least 80% of our support raised by the beginning of October. October is two weeks away. So far, seven people have told us the amount they’ll be giving each month, which totals to $335 a month, 6% of our budget. But as far as I know, no one has actually mailed in their paperwork. If you have committed to supporting us each month, will you get your support paperwork in the mail by Tuesday? This will be a huge help for us, as it will give us a better idea of where we are financially. We’re also hoping that Israel will be able to start working part-time to focus more on support raising, but in order for this to happen, we need to have some support to draw on.
We know that raising $5,000 in two weeks is pretty impossible. Which is why we’re praying for God do the impossible, by raising $5,000 in two weeks. Please pray that with us. If God has a different time-line in mind, that’s fine, but we know he has unlimited resources at his disposal and can easily make impossible things happen. He is God, after all.
Okay, onto our weekend.
On Friday, we took Judah to Hugo’s. This is probably our favorite restaurant in Fayetteville. This great hamburger place is located in a basement off of the Fayetteville Square. It feels like a dark little pub and there’s usually a loooong wait. I had the Blue Moon Burger. With. Blue. Cheese. Yum. I was looking forward to to Hugo’s all week long. No joke. Then we went to Common Grounds and had mochas. This summer, we’ve taken three friends to Hugo’s and then Common Grounds. If you come to visit, you can be the fourth.
On Saturday, we met our friends Brandon and Becca for breakfast at The Little Bread Company, right across the street from Hugo’s. We recently discovered this bakery and, let me tell you, it’s pretty good. Try anything. You’ll like it. After chatting about video for a while—Brandon is a digital media dude—we wandered up to the Farmer’s Market with Lily, the dog. On the way, young Lily decided she needed a bathroom break, but, apparently, she hasn’t quite figured out that she needs to finish pooing before walking again. Things were a little gross for a while. While we were wandering the Farmer’s Market, I saw the biggest dog ever. I think it was four feet tall, just standing there. Four feet! I believe it was an Irish Wolfhound or Scottish Deerhound. No, I didn’t get a photo.
It has been a wonderful Sunday. We went to the early service at our amazing church, The Grove Church. Before we left, I ate breakfast on our porch. I love being outside in the mornings, especially rainy mornings. I haven’t seen many mornings in the past year, since my schedule has been pretty flexible (meaning I get up at 10 and don’t shower until 2). But early mornings are the best time for me to sit with God and be still. I’m going to try to get up earlier and enjoy the AM from now on. We’ll see how that goes.
After church we had breakfast, for lunch, with Evan and Emily from our Community Group. Then we played Canasta, with real cards instead of the Canasta Caliente deck we have at home. It is confusing going from pretty cards that say Wild and Stop, to A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…. Anyway, Israel and Evan won. Emily and I lost. Stupid discard pile.
Here are a few photos from our weekend adventures.
Outdoor Seating at The Little Bread Company
Working Hard for the Money—Actually, he's checking our blog stats
This is a song I received after God overwhelmed me with His love. I was lead to read John 1:11-14. It talks about how God welcomes all those who believe in His name into His family. And that we, of our own flesh, cannot enter in any other way.
To me that’s so freeing and brings about a peace beyond any I can describe. Which is why verse 14 is so awesome—His glory is full of grace and truth.
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
We spent Labor Day weekend with Israel’s family in Muskogee. We were hoping to do a lot of support raising while there, but nothing really worked out. Instead, we had a wonderfully relaxing weekend with the fam. Israel’s brother Judah just returned from 10 months in Australia. It was wonderful to see him (he’s actually visiting our house right now). Eight of the nine Jernigan kids were together at once. Pretty amazing. In a few weeks, the ninth, Hannah, will be visiting from Australia with her fiancé Ash. Madness will ensue.
One of my goals for the weekend was to buy a whole new wardrobe for as little money as possible. I’ve been working from home for the past year and most of my clothes are worn out or don’t fit. So, I was in desperate need of some new pants, tops, shoes and all that jazz. On Saturday, all the girls went shopping. I got quite a lot for not much money—thank you Ross and Name Brand Clothing. I pretty much stood in the dressing room for four hours while the Jernigan women brought me racks of clothes to try on. I don’t think I’ve ever tried on so many clothes in one shopping trip.
We played a LOT of games this weekend. I love games. They are some of my favorite things. We introduced the Jernigan kids to Carcassonne, a German-style board game similar to Settlers of Catan. We also had a Spades tournament and played a lot of Bananagrams. I’m pretty sure Banangrams is Speed Scrabble, but you yell “Banana!” when you finish. Awesome. There was also a lot of Facebook Farm Town going on. Now I’m doing it too. Sigh.
On Labor Day, the whole extended Jernigan clan, about 60 people, met at a park for fried chicken and football. Israel got a lot of bruises. I watched.
This is the last post about my decision for going to Germany, and the process that I went through. I’m sure there is alot more I could talk about, but these few posts were simply a way for me to share with you my journey. There will definitely be more about what Dani and I are both going through.
This last step was about realizing my need more and more for God to be in control and the one I seek for guidance. He is big enough to care for me and take care of all my cares. He is Jehovah-Jireh “The Lord will provide”. He knows my needs before I even know. His love is so big.