Tuesday, November 29, 2011

With a Grateful Heart

Although it is just after Thanksgiving, I wanted to mention several things for which I am thankful. First, I am thankful for the God who loves me, died for me, and has given me eternal life. He is everything. He gives me the grace, strength, and health to live, and most of all, forgiveness from sin. I am thankful for my family, my parents, my sister, my 4 handsome brothers, and of course my amazing extended family. I am thankful for my home church, without whom it would be physically impossible to be here. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve at BFA. God is doing some incredible things here, and I feel honored just to be aware and observant. I am thankful for the staff I am privileged to work with every day here at Sonne. They continually bless my life and I am thankful for the chance to learn from and with them. Lastly, but definitely not least, I am thankful for my guys here at Sonne. To my Sonneknights past and present, if any of you happen to read this: God has given all of you a special place in my heart. Listening to your thoughts, watching you grow and laugh together, crying, laughing, and rejoicing with you are the highlights of my life. You may never know how much God has taught me through you.

  In the last post, I mentioned dorm Thanksgiving. Since then, I had the joy of celebrating two more Thanksgiving meals, both with groups of people here whom I have come to love dearly. Since Germans do not celebrate Thanksgiving like we do, the Christmas decorations here have been appearing since before we had our Thanksgiving celebration. I love Christmas and Christmas decor, so I find this time of year very exciting because the town Germans go all out. The day after dorm Thanksgiving we set up the Christmas tree and decorated the dorm. Last Saturday was Christmas Banquet at school. This is a big event in the BFA community, and the guys began asking the girls weeks ago. Everyone dresses up and gathers for a formal dinner complete with an entertaining program. In my mind, this is the kick-off event for the Christmas season here. Another Christmas tradition which is prominent her in Germany is the Weinachtsmarkt, or “Christmas market.” While every city does their Christmas market differently, the focus is usually on Christmas ornaments, decorations, and other winter/Christmas merchandise. In another week we’ll be taking the guys to one of the big Christmas markets, so look for that in a post soon!

With Christmas just around the corner, I also have some personal excitement. I had not planned on going home for Christmas this year, but God provided money and means, so I’ll be home for Christmas! I am greatly looking forward to being home for the holiday season, and if any of you will be in the southern NJ area, please let me know. I would love to see you!

Please continue to pray for the guys as they persevere to the end of the semester. Their spirits are good, but they are also looking forward to going home to their families. Pray that they will continue to be healthy.
Thank you once again for your continued support. Please know that through your prayers and financial support, you have a vital part in the ministry here.

Blessings,

Lauren
Sonne group picture

Sonne guys looking handsome and ready for Banquet!

Banquet with Josh and Caleb

Christmas Banquet, with Paul 

with Chris and Timmy, my awesome fellow-RAs

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