Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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August 15th, 2014

New Travel Plans and a Support Update

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Baby Belly with Israel Two!
First of all, here’s an updated belly photo. We’ve entered the third trimester, and Baby Girl is getting so big that Mama is uncomfortable. We’re so thankful for this little life and a healthy, easy pregnancy!

Travel Plans

We have rescheduled our tickets for one week later than originally planned. We will now return to Germany on August 22nd. These are the latest tickets we would find while still being back in Germany for Black Forest Academy’s Opening Ceremony on September 2. While neither of us are on staff at BFA this year, it is still important to us to be there for these events!

With our new itinerary, we have a seven hour layover in London, after our nine hour international flight. I (Dani) am to the point in the pregnancy that I’m getting rather uncomfortable. I also have a pulled muscle in my stomach which can be painful. Please join us in praying that I will be comfortable during this long travel day. I’m even asking the Lord for a bump up to economy class so I can lay down for a few hours!
Baby Belly with Israel!

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May 31st, 2014

America! Baby! Summer! Money!

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17 Weeks SmallWe’re coming at ya America! Here’s our summer itinerary:

  • June 19 – 23 | New York City
  • June 24 – July 1 | Colorado
  • July 2 – 9 | Texas
  • July 10 – August 5 | Arkansas
  • August 6 – 13 | Oklahoma
  • August 14 | Return to Germany

We want to meet with whomever we can. So, if you would like to see us, or see the baby belly—let us know!

Taxes, Budget, and Planning for the Baby

Because our budget is based on the size of our family, having a baby means an increase in our needed support. What with the new budget, changes in the exchange rate, and normal support fluctuations, we need to raise at least $1,100 more per month. In order to be fully funded for the new baby, we need to raise $1,800 more per month. We were hoping to have a relaxed summer, minimally focused on support raising, but we’re certainly willing to raise more money for our wee baby!

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May 26th, 2013

Job Changes and a Difficult Month

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TB World

Job Changes for Israel

Since 2009, when we joined our sending organization TeachBeyond, Israel’s vision has reached beyond one country. At Black Forest Academy, Israel was able to help one school accomplish their mission through media, but his desire has always been to help not just one school, but many. In light of this vision, Israel will join the Communications Team of TeachBeyond this July.

TeachBeyond is our sending organization. Their vision is, “to be an instrument of redemptive change through transformational education – an education grounded in Judeo-Christian values that equips students to reach their full potential as human beings. It is a vision for global impact, building bridges between peoples and cultures.” TeachBeyond currently has about 330 members serving in 32 countries. These numbers increase every year as TeachBeyond partners with, founds and equips new schools around the globe. With 30 partner schools, TeachBeyond serves a combined enrollment of over 26,000 national and international students. If you’d like to learn more about TeachBeyond, please view their website or the annual report.

Israel’s change in position means that he will no longer be an employee of BFA, though he will continue to partner with BFA’s Communications Team. Many things are still being discussed regarding the specifics of TeachBeyond’s Communications Team, but Israel’s hope is to make TeachBeyond and it’s partner schools successful in using transformational education to reach the world for Christ. Logistically, very little will change for us. Israel will work from the TeachBeyond offices in Kandern, the same town where BFA is located. Dani will continue to serve BFA as an Assistant Chaplain. We will live in the same house and work less than a kilometer away from each other. Israel will still be involved at BFA through coaching and being a class sponsor and dorm sub.

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January 4th, 2013

Welcome to the New Year 2013

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Welcome new year. The Mayans were wrong. The soothsayers were all mistaken. The world didn’t end. Photobombing made it to the online Oxford dictionary. A university decided YOLO should be banned. And 3D printing is a real thing; insert Yoda.

Anyways…

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October 14th, 2012

Newsletter: The Whirlwind of September and October

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Wow. It’s mid October. It seems ages ago that we were in America, but it’s only been two months. The first six weeks of school are perhaps the busiest time of year for us. We’re pretty exhausted, but despite the need for a mini-vacation, we’re so very grateful to be here.

We Thank You

Thank you. Thank you, once again, for all you have done to allow us to be loving these students at Black Forest Academy. Your generosity, prayers and friendship are what allow us to be here. God worked a financial miracle this summer through all of you. It was no small thing, your generosity and prayers. God used you to do the seemingly impossible. We have already seen evidences of why God worked so unbelievably—in relationships with students, in new opportunities to serve, in renewed excitement, in our own growth.

Sometimes, I get anxious about this life we lead, about living on support. What if the money goes away? What if people forget to give? What if someone loses their job? I was worrying about these things the other day, but then I remembered you all, your love for us, our love for you, and the great God we serve. I want to always chose gratitude, because we have been abundantly blessed, because for this time we get to be at BFA, because we get to partner with you in the work God is doing at Black Forest Academy.

So thank you. Though we may not be the most frequent communicators, we are always grateful for your partnership with us and for your love for these students.

Highlights and Blessings from September and October

  • Small Groups  – I oversee BFA’s High School Small Group program. This year, I tried to provide more leader training than we’ve done in recent years, and am planning to offer continued support to small group leaders throughout the year. I also have more enthusiasm for the small group program than I’ve had before! Already, God’s hand has been evident in the way small groups were set up. Some of the more challenging groups have been shuffled around and seem to be connecting very well already!
  • Volleyball – Israel coaches the JV girls volleyball team. Volleyball season is grueling, with practices everyday and overnight trips almost every weekend, but it’s rewarding. Israel loves coaching the girls and is trying new techniques this season. I’ve heard from several students and parents that they greatly appreciate having Israel as a coach. The teams are doing much better this year, winning most of their games!
  • Relationships – I already have about 10 girls that I’m meeting with on a regular basis. I didn’t expect so many so soon!  God has allowed me to quickly connect with girls, new and old. This year has already been full of serious, heart-level conversations about girls’ pain and brokenness. I’m trying to be more intentional in praying with and for students; it’s the most valuable thing I can do for them.
  • God Is at Work – During Spiritual Emphasis Week, in Small Groups, in relationships, it’s evident that God is moving among our students. I have a great sense of expectation about what he will do at BFA this year.
  • Junior Trip to Normandy and Paris – We are Junior Class Sponsors this year, which means that we attended the Junior Class trip to Normandy and Paris last weekend. It was a wet, exhausting, cramped, educational, meaningful, fun, and unifying trip with the 75 Juniors. Israel connected with a lot of the guys, and I was able to support some girls through difficult moments. We also helped prepare meals, led small discussion groups, handed out money, and successfully navigated the Metro with all 86 Juniors and Sponsors. We greatly enjoyed seeing the WWII sites in Normandy and, of course, the wonders of Paris, but it was particularly lovely to share these things with our beloved students. You can see photos from the trip here.

Upcoming Events and Needs

  • CCEF Conference – I will be traveling from October 24th to 31st to attend a conference in Chattanooga, TN. The conference is on guilt and shame and is hosted by the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. I am very excited about the subject matter, as these topics come up almost daily with students, not to mention in my own life. I’ll also get to see some of my lovely college friends on the way back! Pray for safe travels, no jetlag and that I’m able to absorb everything!
  • Dorm Subbing – This weekend, we’re subbing at the fabulous Palmgarten Dorm. We always love the opportunity to hang out with girls, help out the dorm staff and just do whatever needs doing.
  • Day Retreat Planning – In November, I’ll be hosting the first Day Retreat at BFA. This will be a Saturday retreat for students who are interested in taking some intentional time to process their lives and encounter God in new ways. I’m meeting with a few staff this week to work out the details of this trip. I’m very excited about this event, but am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the possibilities of what this time could be. Pray for guidance and for God to work during this retreat.
  • Time Management and Rest – We’re tired, and it’s only been six weeks. We need wisdom to know how to use our time wisely. Israel has two more weeks of volleyball; we’re hoping things will slow down a bit after that.
  • Students – Please pray for God to work in the lives of these students. So many girls have been on my heart. I want them to know God’s great love and care for them. They have so many hurts. Please intercede on their behalf.

Here’s a smattering of photos from the semester so far. If you’d like to see more, you can check out this album or the Junior Trip album on Facebook.

August 17th, 2012

Germany, We’re Coming Home!

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We reached our 90% support requirement! We depart for Germany on Monday morning! Eek!

We are overwhelmed and awed. Did this really happen? Are we really at 92%? Are we really heading back to Germany, not only in time for the beginning of the school year, but also in time for our staff conference? We’re amazed.

At one point, I thought it would be November before the support was in place. I knew that we would return at some point, but I didn’t know what the timing would be. All summer, I’ve been reminding myself that my BFA girls will be okay without me. The school will not collapse without us. God is completely capable of keeping everything running, and running well, without us.

So our joy is multiplied by this blessing of returning on time. We are so grateful.

Abundantly Blessed

God has done an amazing thing this summer. When it was all said and done, we needed to raise about 60% of our monthly budget, a little over $3,200. The fact that God’s brought in so much support in only 69 days is astonishing. Honestly, it can take months, sometimes even years to raise that amount.

God has not only met our financial needs, but he has met our financial wants. We have enough money in our account to replace our nearly dead car, invest in a comfortable mattress, and pay our German taxes. We feel abundantly provided for.

Beyond the financial aspect, we are so grateful to be returning to Black Forest Academy. We get to see our BFA kids again. We get to sub in our beloved dorm. We get to return to the beautiful hills of Kandern. We are completely unworthy to know and love these kids, but God has given us the opportunity anyway. Even more, it seems that he’s not begrudgingly letting us return to BFA, but is saying, “Here, I prepared this for you. You desire to be there because I desire it for you. This is my best for you.” What an unbelievable thought.

Thank You

Thank you for making this possible. Thank you for the numerous expressions of love and care we received this summer—the beds to sleep in, home-cooked meals, dinners at our favorite restaurants, cash for gas, prayers for encouragement, conversations about the things on our hearts, loaned cars, invitations to speak, Facebook posts, thoughtful emails, coffee dates, hugs, smiles, and so much more. We have so many amazing people in our lives.

Thank you for being interesting in the work God is doing in and through us at Black Forest Academy. Thank you for caring about missionary kids and Third Culture Kids with us. Thank you for showing just how important you think they are, by giving of your money. It may seem like a small thing, but to us, it is invaluable.

You allow us to be at Black Forest Academy. We are an extension of you. We have been changed by our time there. We think God has changed a few students through us too.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We are blessed.

The Final Push

We would love to be fully funded before boarding that plane on Monday morning. Being at 100% of our support would be incredible. It would allow us to save, invest in retirement, and even travel a bit. It would give us more stability as we serve over the next three years.

We are currently at 92% of our support. We need to raise only $409 per month in order to be fully funded. We’re still praying to find people to commit to giving $25, $50, or $100 per month. If you would like to give, please contact us! You can easily set up a donation with the buttons above.

Vielen Dank und auf Wiedersehen!

 

August 3rd, 2012

12 Days. $1,340.

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Update: We are now at 73%! That’s means we’ve raised $300 in four days.

With God’s help we can be at 80% this coming Sunday, August 5th. We’ve had a good surge and are praying that God will continue to bring people to us who love missions and what God is doing in the lives of the kids at BFA. We have a mission to bring God’s love to the kids at BFA.

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What can you do to help us reach our goal?

Pray. We need to raise $1,340 more per-month. We would like to raise $340 more by this Sunday. You can also pray that our support comes in by August 15. God is faithful. Pray that we continue to seek him daily, and trust in him.

Practically, you can help us share what we are doing with people and churches. Share our videos and blog posts using social media like facebook and twitter. Friends, family, churches and small businesses are a great way for us to find new people and friends who would be interested in helping us with our mission. You can let us know about anyone, and we can contact them for you.

Summer Recap From Israel

So this summer has been very full. Let’s condense:

  • Our car was in a small accident in Germany (a new driver was borrowing while we were away)
  • We hosted a brunch for thanking and updating our current supporters (fun and exhausting)
  • We traveled to 5 different states in the span of a month (via plane, but still tiring)
  • We saw our family and friends while travelling (thank you all so much; we need you more than you know)
  • We are now at 73% of our monthly budget (hurrah!)
  • August brings with it many unknowns (eek! but excited to see what God has in store)

July 31st, 2012

16 Days. 16 People. $1,600.

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Well Folks, we’ve got 16 days left in America. We’re planning to head back to Germany on August 15th, but we still need to raise $1,600 a month.

We’re at 67% of our monthly support right now. To board that plane on August 15th, we must be at 90% of our support. This means that, in order for us to return to Germany at all, we must raise $1,100 more per month. In order to return fully funded, we need to raise $1,600.

We try not to make internet appeals, but with our time so short, we’re getting the word out through every avenue we have.

We’re looking for 16 people who will commit to giving $100 a month for the next three years.

If you’ve read our blog, received our updates, cared about our kids, or cared about us, would you consider joining our support team? If you’re reading this message, we would humbly request that you talk to Jesus about whether he would like you to be one of those 16 people. We are honored by every person who considers supporting us, even if the answer is ultimately no.

If you don’t know about our ministry to Third Culture Kids at Black Forest Academy, we’d love to share with you during these last few days.

How to Give

If you are considering giving, or have decided to give, would you let us know? israelanddani@talesfromtheblackforest.com

Please Join Us In Prayer

Please join us in praying for full support by August 15th.

We are so grateful for the people God has placed in our lives, and for his perfect, often surprising, provision.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving.

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