Posts Tagged ‘Dani’

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April 25th, 2014

We’re Having a Baby!

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We're Having a Baby!

The "Broken" Pregnancy Test

Yes, folks, it’s true. We are having a baby!! I’m 12 weeks pregnant and due around November 8. Can you believe it?!

As you can imagine, we are unbelievably thrilled to be expecting a little one. We were rather surprised to see a positive pregnancy test. I actually thought it was broken, “Where’s the not before the pregnant?” Just weeks earlier we’d discussed finally going in to have fertility tests; we had not expected to become pregnant just a few weeks later.

We are very, very excited. I am (obsessively) pinning nursery ideas on Pinterest, while Israel is patting my barely-different belly.

Today, I had the privilege of sharing our news with the BFA community during Chapel. I have spoken many times over the past few years about the miscarriages and infertility. This community has shared in our suffering and sorrow. We were thrilled to also be able to share our joy! Our joy is multiplied by BFA’s joy on our behalf!

Some people have asked if we are worried at all. We have moments of fear, but we are trying to walk in faith, rather than fear. Actually, a couple weeks ago, I had a little bit of bleeding. We know now that all is well, but we were pretty frightened at the time. Even so, we both responded from positions of faith. Israel said that he was choosing to believe and pray the baby was okay. We asked other’s to join us in that prayer. I told God that, even though I didn’t know what would happen, I trusted him, knew he was good, and knew he would be with us. In the past, we didn’t know how to choose faith over fear. We praise God that he has brought us to a place where we are able to walk in the truth more fully.

There is also a little apprehension in making our news public. What if something happens and we lose the baby? We know, though, that there is nothing we can do to control whether we meet this baby on this side of eternity, and we know that we can trust God with this little life, as well as our own lives.

Isn't this the cutest alien baby you've ever seen?

Because we are expecting, I will not be returning to BFA next year, though we will stay in Germany. This is a sad goodbye for me—I have loved my job—but I cannot think of a better reason to leave this beloved job. We plan to continue to be involved in the BFA community next year.

Many of you have prayed for and encouraged us through the years. Thank you. We have felt so loved and cared for during our six-year struggle to have a child. God has chosen to bless us with a pregnancy now, but he also blessed us with those years of infertility and loss. We would not trade them; from that dark time, we gained the invaluable riches of Jesus’ presence, goodness, and redemption.

Please join us in praying for:

  • A continued safe pregnancy and healthy baby.
  • That I will remain healthy. We will be traveling to the States this summer and hope that the pregnancy will remain complication-free.
  • That we will continue to choose faith over fear.

Also, join in our rejoicing! We are not ecstatic like we might have been at age 24, but our joy is much deeper than it would have been otherwise. We sense the great privilege of this pregnancy. We are joyfully expectant of what we have waited so long to receive.

 

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!

 

August 27th, 2013

Hello Senior Year

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We’re about to begin our Senior year in Germany. This is not to say that it’s our final year, but our fourth year. When we came to Black Forest Academy, this year’s Seniors were freshman. We’re also Senior Sponsors, so we get to join the Seniors in all of their final year festivities. My how we’ve grown.

In mid-June, we said tearful goodbyes to the Seniors and a few other beloved students who won’t be returning. Dani graduated six girls she met with on a regular basis. Goodbyes are hard here. There are many more than we’d prefer, and some are unexpected.

A few days after Grad, we flew to Oklahoma for the Inner Healing and Freedom Conference. Dani spoke twice, about shame and the value of suffering. We were delighted to have two BFA students attend the conference. It was a small gathering of about 50 people, but God moved powerfully. We spent two more weeks with our family before flying back to Germany. The past few months have provided some much-needed rest.

From Dani

School starts in a week, and for the first time, I don’t know if I’m ready. Last week, I cried over the events of the past school year. I cried for my students’ pain, suffering and sin. I cried for the brokenness of the world. In some ways, I think it’s taken me these two summer months to relax enough to be able to cry.

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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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March 17th, 2013

The End of Winter: February and March at BFA

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Sometimes, it is most exciting to have nothing to do. For the first time in a month, Israel and I are spending a weekend at home. We don’t look forward to the empty weekends because we dread our work and ministry, but because our lives are filled with so much good that it’s easy to do too much.

It’s been a full six-weeks since we last wrote: two weekends of dorm subbing, speaking on a panel about identity, high school retreat, helping host an open house at a dorm, illness, doctor’s appointments, an international church service, Service Project prep, attending counseling, participating in a Murder Mystery Night, a new women’s bible study, time with friends, working on new web projects, planning for the future of our ministry, meeting with students, and the list could go on, but that would make this update even longer, so I’ll stop.

Highlights

Of the many things we’ve done over the past weeks, here are two that most stood out.

Time at the Dorm

We got to spend two of the past three weekends subbing at the wonderful Palmgarten dorm. We love being at the dorm! From cooking meals, to helping with homework, to playing games, to just laughing with the girls, it’s always a joy and privilege. On one of these weeks, Palm and the boys dorm upstairs, Maugenhard, hosted an open house. We helped the girls clean, cook and decorate, to host over 100 guests from our community. The theme of the evening was the Evolution of Music. Each floor and room was assigned a different era and genre of music ranging from the 50s to today; students were encouraged to dress up as a musician. We brought our Wii Just Dance game, which was quite hilarious to watch.

We also had the opportunity to join Palm on their Valentine’s Day event, a casino-themed Murder Mystery Night. Israel got to play an Elvis impersonator, while I was Security Sam, the head of casino security. Don’t worry, neither of us were the murderer.

The Murder Mystery Night Cast

The Murder Mystery Night Cast

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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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August 5th, 2012

We Need You!

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Partner with us in loving missionary kids

10 More Days!

Wow. What an amazing six days it has been. On Tuesday, we needed to raise $1640 a month. Now, we only need $1140! God’s provided $500 in new support since Tuesday!

All summer, our support had been slowly inching its way forward, so it’s fabulous to see it grow by leaps and bounds. It’s been such an encouraging and energizing week. We’ve been abundantly blessed by the generosity of our friends, family and church. God has surprised us with his speedy provision. We are currently at 77% of our monthly support. We are praying to be at 80% by the end of the day, and to be fully funded by August 15th!

We are still looking for 11 people to commit to giving $100 a month. Would you pray about being one of those people?

We know that not every one can commit to giving $100 each month, but don’t let the amount prevent you from giving. Commitments of any amount help us reach our goal of returning to Germany! Actually the majority of this week’s new support came from commitments that were smaller than $100 per month.

We are eager to see how God will provide over these final 10 days. Ten days, Folks! We can’t wait to get back to Germany and our BFA kids.

We Need You

This morning, we shared this video with our church. We would love for you to watch it and pass it along. We need you to partner with us and Jesus in loving missionary kids!

 

June 23rd, 2012

RSVP – German Brunch with Israel and Dani

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Come Hear About Germany

Don’t forget to RSVP to the German Brunch. We’d love to see you there.

You can now RSVP through Facebook if that’s to your liking – http://www.facebook.com/events/397847740251782/

Below is an excerpt about the event. You can read the full article here – German Brunch with Israel and Dani.

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Join us for a German Brunch and Update!

At The Grove Church at 385 E. Sunbridge in Fayetteville, AR
On Saturday, June 30th
At 10:00 AM

In addition to hearing about how God has worked in and through us at Black Forest Academy, you’ll get to enjoy a wonderful German brunch. Sliced meats and cheeses, rolls, veggies, yogurt, müsli (granola), boiled eggs, coffee, tea, juice, and mineral water all await you.

It would be helpful to have an idea of how many people are coming, so that we can prepare. If you know that you’ll be joining us, could you let us know you’re coming by commenting below, texting, emailing—you know the drill. But if you forget to RSVP, come anyway!

Our Contact Information

In Case You Don’t Have It

Israel: (479) 966-9381
Dani: (479) 301-0150

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