Posts Tagged ‘change’

April 20th, 2014

England, Here We Come?

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In the Horsham Park

Happy Easter! May you have a deep awareness of all Christ accomplished on the cross and be filled with the joy of his resurrection.

And now for a non-Easter related update. 🙂

In March, we took a weekend trip to visit Horsham, England, about an hour south of London. The purpose of our trip was to see if we might relocate there. TeachBeyond is establishing a global center in Horsham, which will act as a hub of vision, ideas, and decision making for our organization. Because Israel works on the Global Communications Team, TeachBeyond would like us to work from the Global Center.

Our Visit to Horsham

We had an enjoyable trip. The weather was lovely, perhaps an inaccurate representation of typical English weather. The town is large enough to meet all of our needs, but still quaint enough to feel cozy. One of the things we most enjoyed was speaking English. Dani was thrilled to explore the bookstore — all of the books were in English! — and Israel loved being able to ask simple questions like, “What do you recommend?” and comprehend the answer. We even spent some time with a realtor discussing housing options.

The highlight of our trip, however, was spending time with the President of TeachBeyond and his wife, George and Bev Durance. During our conversations, we were able to gain a better understanding of George’s vision for the Global Center, what life in England would be like, and what our roles might be. Talking with the Durances made us excited about the possibilities for ourselves and TeachBeyond.

Our Roles

If we move to Horsham, Israel would continue working on the Global Communications Team, but would work very closely with TeachBeyond’s leaders. At the moment, many communications decisions are made without much input from the Communications Team. From Horsham, Israel might be able to help shape and advise those decisions for the betterment of TeachBeyond and the more effective work of our people across the world. He would spend less time creating websites, and more time planning, problem-solving and leading. This prospect excites him!

There are variety of administrative and writing tasks that Dani could help with, but her long-term plan would be to pursue a Biblical Counseling degree and work in TeachBeyond’s Member Care Department. There, she would help support, counsel, and train TeachBeyond’s workers around the world. She would be caring for missionaries as they care for others.

Since we joined TeachBeyond, part of our desire has been to see this organization do well. Moving to the Global Center would allow us to invest in TeachBeyond at an organizational level, which would ripple out to many corners of the world. We have felt very strongly TeachBeyond’s desire to have us in Horsham. There’s been a good bit of light-hearted finagling (in the best way), as well as sincere offers to advocate on our behalf.

Just to give you an idea of TeachBeyond’s scope, we have over 400 members (missionaries) serving in over 30 countries around the world. We have over 30 partner organizations — that number is constantly increasing — which range from schools like BFA, to language centers, to teacher training programs. We have offices in eleven countries. We’re even helping to train one-third of the teachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo at over 17,000 Christian schools! We work with adults, missionary kids, orphans, teachers, students, believers and non-believers in countries that are open to the gospel and countries that are not. TeachBeyond’s vision is to be an instrument of redemptive change through transformational education.

The Factors

Our most prominent question is whether we should stay with TeachBeyond. As a couple, our passion is not education, but working with hurting people. We wonder whether we should be pursuing work in areas that more directly engage hurting people. On the other hand, we wonder if we should continue where God has us, and invest in TeachBeyond, which is certainly reaching hurting people across the world. We know that, no matter where we live or what kind of work we do, there will be hurting people nearby. Should we simply engage people as part of our life, rather than our work?

If we move to England, we would like to make a longer term commitment. For Israel this means five years, for Dani, ten. We want to invest in a place and to maintain longer relationships. The move to England would not occur for at least two years. We will spend another school year in Germany and then six months to a year in the States.

Your Role

We covet your feedback. What do you think of us relocating to TeachBeyond’s Global Center? Would you support us moving out of work with students and into organizational work? Do you think the Global Center would be a good fit for us?

Above all, we covet your prayers.

  • We are currently thinking through our gifts, skills, and goals to help us determine what we should pursue. Please pray that God would give us insight and wisdom through this process.
  • Pray for a sensitivity to God’s leading.
  • Pray that our we would sense whether our time with TeachBeyond is closing or continuing.

There is no deadline for us to make this decision, but we would prefer to decide by the end of the summer. If you have thoughts or questions, please write us! We genuinely desire your feedback.

Look for another update soon with our summer travel plans!

 

October 20th, 2011

Fall Fill In

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Well folks, it’s been a looong time since our last update. I’ll skip the list of reasons for our silence, and jump straight to the good stuff.

Summer Happened

This summer was full. We did some manual labor, had family visit, and moved twice. July was filled with an intensive German course, which gave us a little more language confidence. Wir sprechen Deutsch ein bisschen besser. (If you speak German, you may be able to tell just how little better by that sentence.)

School’s back in session!

In late August, BFA started up again. We’re so glad not to be new this year! It’s wonderful to know how BFA operates, know what all those crazy acronyms mean, and best of all, to know students! God has already blessed us with some amazing, truth-filled, life-changing conversations with students.

Israel and the Screaming Girls

Israel is coaching JV Girl’s Volleyball this year. Last year he helped out, but now he’s an official coach. This means daily practices and traveling to games every weekend. Israel seems to be uniquely equipped, by his five sisters, to deal with all the screaming involved in a six hour bus ride with 20 teenage girls. He’s very much enjoying coaching, but it makes for a very tiring schedule.

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June 27th, 2010

We’ve Been Oriented

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Right now, I’m sitting in an armchair at my Mom’s home in Telephone, Texas. In a few days, we’ll say goodbye to them for the last time before we move to Germany. I want to treasure these last few days with them, but I find my mind wandering back to Minnesota.

We spent the last seven days with about 35 other new staff at our sending organization’s orientation. It was amazing. We met some amazing new people—MKs, teachers, staff folks. We learned some amazing things—about Christian Education, living in another country, Third Culture Kids. In short, it was a wonderful time.

Since I’m finding it hard to put my thoughts into words, I’m just going to hit some of the highlights of the week.

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January 26th, 2010

All Will Pass Away

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Here’s a new song I wrote after talking with God and trying to figure out the whole Christian walk. The song is based off of First John 2:15-17 – “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him…“. The song isn’t finalized, but I wanted to share a little of what I’ve been learning and trying to figure out. The lyrics are below as well. To God be the glory.

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January 8th, 2010

What Does it Mean to be Christian in a World Full of Christians?

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For Christmas I asked my wife, Dani, to get me the book In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day. A few men at my church have read it, and it’s been an integral part of where they are today. I also picked up a copy of No Compromise, The Life Story of Keith Green from my dad. It was on the dining room table at the fam’s house and I started reading. I wasn’t able to put either book down.

Both of these books talk about people who are radical about what they believe and how they live their lives. It’s inspiring, motivational, convicting, and scary. In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day talks about how some of the most inspiring people in history are the most daring, the ones who take risks. This book embodies the idea that without risk there is no gain. I think the book takes it one step further and says that if you don’t take risks there are negative repercussions. No Compromise talks about Keith Green’s journey to find truth and meaning. It’s a passionate life story of a passionate man. The book talks about ideas that are radical even to today’s standards of what being a Christian means. If you read this book looking for answers, you won’t come away the same. You might even leave with more questions than answers.

So Why am I Talking About These Books?

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January 5th, 2010

Goodbye and Hello

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As all of you know, we’ve recently entered a new year. 2009 is gone. 2010 is here. Yesterday was also my birthday. My 26th birthday. For some reason, 26 seems a lot older than 25. Much more adult. And….old. Not that I’m getting shorter or graying (no wait, I am graying), I know I’m still quite young and have a lot to learn, but when people ask me how old I am, I’m going to have to say 26. Twenty-six! That seems much more weighty than 25.

Since we’ve entered a new decade and I just turned Old, I’ve been thinking about the past year. I can’t think of any other year that’s had so much change. 2009 hasn’t been the year with the most significant events, those would probably be 2006, when I married, and 2004, when I found freedom from addiction and finally got salvation, and 1996, when my parents divorced. But 2009 has been a year of huge shifts in life—in direction, in desire, in lifestyle.

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