Posts Tagged ‘Missionaries’

February 3rd, 2013

The Semester Begins; Twice.

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So classes resumed January 8th here at Black Forest Academy.  Students were buzzing with stories from the Christmas break, and dorms were again full of screaming highschoolers pining for more sleep. But this school year is different for two reasons. One, the first semester exams were three weeks into the new calendar year. Two, that means that the second semester didn’t start until the week after. You can imagine the horror of realizing you have to remember geometry theorems from over a month ago for an upcoming final exam.

A School Schedule to Rule Them All

As a sidenote, many students had seen “The Hobbit” over break. So I thought it fitting to find a correlation with the movie and our school schedule.

Our new school schedule places our semester’s ending and beginnings around the same time that all the German schools in the area have their breaks and starts. The reasons behind are many, but one of the main reasons is so that our bilingual elementary school doesn’t start or end 3-4 weeks before or after our high school campus does. Many of the families have students on both campuses, and I think that the parents appreciate the move, much more so than the students.

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July 28th, 2012

We Have a Mission

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One of the things we like to do is share our ministry with groups. Sunday school classes, home groups, random people pulled off the street, we like them all. Actually, sharing with a small group is probably how we communicate most effectively, because there’s some structure to our time, but it’s also casual and personal. But that’s besides the point.

During one of these presentations, I realized that I’d verbalized our mission statement. I didn’t really know we had a mission statement. I mean, I probably could have pulled some words together to somehow express our love and care for TCKS, but now I know what our mission is. I’ve probably even said some variation of this in the past, perhaps even this exact phrase, but this time, it stuck. And the tiny lightbulb in my head went off.

Our mission is to help missionary kids know that Jesus loves them too.

From my conversations with MKs over the past two years, I would say that most MKs struggle with fear, loneliness, and feeling like God loves everyone else, but not them. These kids’ families have been called to far-away countries. Their parents have been called to share the love of Jesus with specific people groups. Their lives have been uprooted, possessions sold, friends left, familiar languages abandoned, all in the name of Jesus.

MKs spend their lives supporting their parents’ lives. They know how to perform well. They know how to act the part which they are required to play. They have to travel around America, visit countless churches, and talk to people they don’t know, in order to raise money to get back to the place where Jesus wants them.

Now, don’t get me wrong, for the most part, MKs love their lives. They grow to love the countries where they live. They learn to speak the language more fluently than their parents. They go to school, have friends, and enjoy the food of the countries where they serve. Most of them wouldn’t trade these experiences, but these aren’t things they chose; Jesus called, and their parents answered.

Many MKs feel like a burden to their parents. Often, these missionary families are under incredible stress. In addition to ministry concerns, support raising, and the difficulties of living in another country, missionaries are not always safe. Sometimes, they’re in danger of being kicked out of the country. Sometimes, their houses are bugged. Sometimes, their very lives are in danger. Missionary kids know this. They see the stress their parents feel. They feel their parents’ burdens. So they don’t add to the burden. MKs often keep their hurts, struggles and thoughts to themselves, because if they tell their parents, they think they’ll just make things worse. As a result, many things which should be spoken, which missionary parents wish would be spoken, stay in secret.

So the thought that God cares for the world, but not for them, grows, gains significance, and takes up residence in the hearts and minds of these teenagers. It seems that God doesn’t care about their lives. It seems that God sacrifices them for the sake of everyone else. It seems that God sends someone to the entire world, but has forgotten them.

But we have a mission.

We want to help missionary kids know that Jesus loves them too.

God has sent us. God has sent us to Black Forest Academy. God has sent us to Germany. God has sent us to missionary kids, to help them believe that, yes, Jesus loves you.

You are not forgotten. You are not alone. You are valuable and loved and cared for. Jesus delights in you, little soul that you are. He knows you. He works on your behalf. We have left our families, we have left our lives, we have left our possessions, so that you would know He cares.

And BFA students, if you’re reading this, I’m talking about you.

We have a mission, it’s to share the love of Jesus with missionary kids, who know of Jesus, but don’t always know that his great plan of salvation and love includes them. It does.

June 15th, 2012

Social Media in a Christian School

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So I’ve been creating, producing, brainstorming all with a focus towards combining high school education, a boarding program and Christian missions into the social media world. There’s been a steep learning curve. Everything from, “I never went to a public high school” to, “I now have management type responsibilities, and a budget.” Both have been strange for me to look back upon, and to see how I’ve failed and succeeded. So, if you will let me, I feel the need to share some of my thoughts from the past year.

Failures, and the One the Got Away

So I’ve been put in charge of the Communications at Black Forest Academy (BFA), which most of you likely already know. 😉 My role involves protecting and pursuing the “brand” of the school. But what I didn’t know this would mean is overseeing people as part of that.

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December 25th, 2010

A Long Awaited Post and Merry Christmas!

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Well right now we are staying warm inside on a very snowy white Christmas! Dani is trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube (starting from the solved position) and I built a two-seater car. We are really glad to have some time to ourselves and to have a short break.

My dad and Raina just left from being here for about 10 days. We went to France, Switzerland, and of course Germany. They wanted to see all of Europe, but that wasn’t going to happen. 🙂 We both miss having family here for the holiday seasons. Christmas is amazing here, but it isn’t the the same without family.

Dani solving the Rubix Cube, from the end.

Dani solving the Rubix Cube, from the end.

Israel making a two-seater car.

Israel making a two-seater car.

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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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September 22nd, 2009

Why BFA Is Awesome for Families

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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.

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