Sunday, March 13, 2016

BFA is...and an Update

Greetings friends and family! I have been itching to get a post up, as it feels as though it has been forever! Tonight I arrived home from the 2nd full day of a conference we are hosting at the school, and though my brain is fried I just KNEW I had to write. There is so much going on that I want to tell you about! Approximately a week and a half ago I was privileged to be part of our annual faculty recital. As much fun as it is to learn a piece to perform solo, I particularly enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues, playing for a violist friend and having immense amounts of fun squeezing no less than four pianists at one piano for a piece titled Galop-march. As much fun as we do have, we also take our performing seriously, as this is something we try to model well for our students.

The day after the recital, the entire high school once again headed off to Switzerland for a weekend away on retreat. Challenges from the Word and deep times of worship were among the highlights. My small group spent the entire time together. We had some great conversations about life and Godliness that my [amazing] co-leader Heather and I are looking forward to continuing in the future!
School picked up as usual on Monday morning, albeit with many sleepy students and teachers. The week flew by, and as the last bell of the day rang on Thursday, the students departed for all points of the globe. Please pray for our many students who will continue to travel throughout the break on M-trips and with their families!

Today, you find me in the midst of the International Christian Educator's Conference, and though my brain is weary, my heart is full! I am inspired by teachers who are working faithfully in spite of many difficult situations, and with far fewer resources than are considered to be the norm. What incredible things God is doing around the world! Friends, we live in a broken, fallen, sin-sick world. But God has never once left us alone or relinquished His sovereignty. He is moving even when we cannot see it. May we never doubt simply because we are not privy to His moving. I am thrilled to be part of what He is doing here, and am ridiculously thankful for all of YOU, my partners in ministry. You are part of His work as well. Thank you for following His lead and giving to His work!

On a slightly different note, last week I asked some of my students and colleagues to finish three phrases that will help give you some insight into life here. Keep in mind that the answers are strongly influenced by all of the different places they have lived. I've done some editing and have tried to clarify some things, so look for the italics.

 Here are the questions and their answers:

1. Black Forest Academy is...
2. The weirdest thing about living in Germany is...
3. The most interesting thing about living in Germany is...

Black Forest Academy is...

  • Loving 
  • Diverse
  • Chaotic
  • A place where you have the chance to get to know your classmates.
  • Stopping for Spring Break!!! - teachers and students get excited about this one :)
  • 60 years old this year.
  • Temporary [or can feel that way because everybody leaves]
  • Unique
  • Different [kind of community] 
  • "Unlike any other school I've ever been to" (this student has attended school in at least three countries)

The weirdest thing about living in Germany...

  • That you can get fined for not picking up after your dog 
  • There are 5 different trash cans and if you get it wrong, they scold you! We sort our trash - seriously! 
  • The Gelbe, pronounced gelb-uh, sack ( I don't get why it's there!) 
    • *note: this is a yellow bag used to recycle packaging, plastics, etc. 
  • I can take home my prescription from the Apotheke without paying because they know me and trust me to come back to pay tomorrow. (teacher)
  • Everyone abides by the rules 
  • People are very direct
  • There are a lot of old people (there are two nursing homes in Kandern)
  • No one speaks English!
  • The shops all close really early and everything is shut on Sundays. 
  • The people - student says: I'm not trying to sound mean, they're just really different! 

The most interesting thing about living in Germany is...

  • The value the Germans place on nature.
  • The community here is a lot different. It's a small town community, everyone knows everyone. 
  • It's pretty! the houses are pretty and boxy!
  • Than an accordion orchestra is a thing. In a 20 kilometer radius there are 10-12 accordion orchestra that have been together over 30 years, one for 80! 
  • It is very natural and beautiful, and there is nature to explore. There's actually grass and countryside. This was not the case where this individual lived previously.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed reading their answers as much as I did! I love the students here, and  I hope to ask more questions so you can hear from even more of them. 

In closing, I have a few items for praise and prayer:

1. That our conference is going well! 
2. That we made it to Spring break!
3. That God continues to provide in ways that only He can.

Please pray with me:
1. That the conference will end well.
2. That students and staff will rest and return to school refreshed at the end of break.
3. That God will continue to provide financial and prayer support.

Once again, thank you for partnering with me both financially and in prayer! Thank you for reading, and thank you for caring.