Posts Tagged ‘thanks’

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.

September 2nd, 2012

A New Year Begins

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Well Folks, we’ve been back in Germany for two weeks. How fabulous it is to be back to our beautiful Schwarzwald (Black Forest). The past two weeks have already been quite busy, and school hasn’t even started yet!
Today, new students are moving into their dorms. Tomorrow, new families and students will meet teachers, finalize schedules and learn about life at BFA. On Tuesday, we kick off the school year with our Opening Ceremony. The seniors will carry in the flags of each country represented at BFA. Staff and students will be charged to honor God, set an example and love each other well. And with that, a new year begins. It’s an exciting time.

A Few Things You Can Pray For

  • Safe travels — For new and returning students
  • New students and their families — That God would comfort these families as they separate and students as they adjust to life at BFA.
  • Our Staff — This year, we have twice as many new staff as normal. Pray for unity, easy adjustments and energy. Pray for the dorm staff, as several dorms have entirely new staff teams.
  • Our Students — Join us in praying that God will revive the students of BFA this year, that they will desire him above all else.
  • For Us — This year, we want to be more intentional about maintaining balance in our lives, focusing on each other, and pursuing Jesus together.

Thank You

We are so grateful to be back. Thank you for getting us here. This summer was flabbergasting. God did what we thought was impossible, and he used you to accomplish it. We literally would not be here without your prayers, your enthusiasm, your giving. We are abundantly blessed by you who support us, who minister with us, from across the sea. Our ministry at Black Forest Academy is your ministry at Black Forest Academy.

A Final Support Update

It looks like we’ve settled at 93% of our support, which means that all of our expenses are covered, but we’re still lacking about $370 per month. We are still praying to be fully funded. If you’d like to join our team, we’d love to have you!

Since we’ve ended our summer support raising, our blog and newsletter updates will be non-support focused from now on. 🙂

Receive Blog Posts Via Email

In the past, we’ve not been great about sending out newsletters. This year, our goal is to send an email newsletter every quarter. If you’d like to receive more frequent updates on our life and ministry, you can sign up to get our blog posts via email. Simply fill out this form. Our blog is a personal look at our life, struggles, joys, and ministry to the wonderful students of BFA. If you have yet to visit our blog, you can check it out here.

We’re looking forward to jumping back into the crazy-wonderfulness that is Black Forest Academy! By the way, the photo on this post is the view from our balcony.

August 17th, 2012

Germany, We’re Coming Home!

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Partner with us in loving missionary kids

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!