Posts Tagged ‘moving’

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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!

 

June 1st, 2011

Grad Is Upon Us

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In two days, 60-something seniors will graduate from Black Forest Academy. This is a big deal. It’s a big deal because it’s a milestone they’ve been working towards for 12-plus years, but it’s also a big deal because graduation will usher in what will probably be the biggest change of their lives.

Senior Transition Day

In April, I had the privilege of participating in Senior Transition Day. It was a day meant to help prepare them for transitioning to their passport countries. The day covered topics like building community, what it’s like to go to college as a Third Culture Kid, how to say goodbye to BFA, and how to say hello to America. The Seniors even received practical information about opening a bank account, what documents they need to take, and what to consider when getting a phone plan. I spoke on a panel just for the girls. We talked about managing your time and money, The Freshman 15, drinking, dating, boundaries, sex, extracurriculars and more. I was very excited to participate and greatly enjoyed my time with the girls. I hope the Seniors learned from this day; I certainly did. I walked away from Senior Transition Day with a greater appreciation for the immensity of the change these kids are about to encounter.

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July 16th, 2010

Are We Dreaming?

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Well, unless God has some seriously different plans, today is the day we move to Germany. Can you believe it?! We can’t. God has been so very faithful to us through this process. Praise him for making this dream a reality!

Here’s our itinerary for the day. All times are local.

  • Depart from NW Arkansas at 13:15. Arrive at O’Hare (Chicago) Terminal 3 at 14:53.
  • Depart from O’Hare (Chicago) Terminal 5  at 17:20. Arrive at Heathrow (London) Terminal 5 at 07:00.
  • Depart from Heathrow (London) Terminal 5 at 08:30. Arrive at Basel (Basel), Switzerland at 11:05, July 17th.

Pray that all of our flights would be on time and easy. Pray that all of our bags arrive undamaged. Pray that God provides peace and excitement during this journey.

We have been so blessed over the past year. God has proven his provision, goodness and power so many times. Just think what the next year will hold!

We’ll try to update again once we arrive.

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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April 30th, 2010

29 Days Since

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Well, it’s been another month since our last blog post. The five sentence post previous to this one doesn’t count, obviously. Usually, not posting for a month means that nothing exciting has happened, which is kind of the case here. Not much has happened on the support side of things.

Because I know you’re all dying to know, I’ll give you a brief overview of what’s been going on for us in April. Ready?

April 1st happened.

We knew it would eventually—the looming, self-imposed deadline. When April rolled around, we found ourselves not at 100% or even 80% of our monthly support, but at 53%. Well, it’s better than 25%. Moving on.

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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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December 9th, 2009

Grief

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Hopefully you know by now (unless you’ve just stumbled across our blog) that we are planning to work with missionary kids at Black Forest Academy. As part of our preparation, I’ve been reading (rather slowly) Third Culture Kids by David Pollock and Ruth Van Reken. Missionary kids are third culture kids (TCKs), which means they’ve spent a significant period of their formative years outside their passport countries. I’ve also been going to counseling for the past few months. One of the things that keeps coming up, in the book and counseling, is grief.

I moved a lot growing up. I believe I moved 12 times in my first 14 years of life. I don’t know if I technically qualify as a TCK, but I do relate to some of the aspects of TCK life. One thing I’d never realized is that there is a grieving process to moving. Let me tell you, that was an eye-opening chapter. According to the book, the transition cycle for moving is Involvement, Leaving, Transition, Entering and Reinvolvment. Okay, in and of itself, that doesn’t really mean much. The wow moment for me was reading about the Leaving stage, which isn’t talking about getting on a plane and heading to your new home, although that’s part of it, but about emotionally removing yourself from your home. You begin to loosen emotional ties, back out of responsibilities and refrain from taking new ones, and stop making new friends.

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December 2nd, 2009

Won’t You Be My Neighbor…in Germany?

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Every year, BFA has staff members that return home to the States (or Canada or wherever else home might be). The staff member might be leaving because they only made a one or two year commitment, or they might need to leave for health purposes, or they might not have enough support to remain on the field. BFA would love to have staff members stay for years and years, but that’s not always possible. So, when someone leaves, someone else needs to fill in.

Do you want to fill in? Do you have a passion for missions, or for helping Christians love Jesus more, or for Christian education? Because BFA is always in need of people who want to invest in missionary kids. And you don’t have to be a teacher. There’s pretty much a place for every kind of person with every kind of skill. I mean, we’re not teachers, and we’re going.

So, here are Black Forest Academy’s staff needs for the 2010-2011 school year.

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