Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Catching Up to the End

Dear Friend,

My heart is so very full! This last month and a half has been filled with many events and opportunities. Mid-April held our annual Music Festival, so after spring break my schedule centered around teaching and playing for as many string and voice lessons as possible. So many great opportunities to work with fantastic students. There were a few days in which I played for 10 lessons. That may not sound like much, but I also maintained a normal teaching schedule of both piano classes and private lessons. It was a very busy season, but it was also very fulfilling as well. I loved getting to be a 'fly on the wall' as the students learned and grew. Music Festival week was a full one. In addition to playing for all of our string players and singers, I also had piano students participate. As I observed the adjudicator working with them, it was gratifying to hear him tell them things I had told them, as well as pick up some new teaching ideas myself!

I think I have mentioned before that I'm a junior class sponsor. During the weeks leading up to MF I was also involved with helping our junior class plan the school's Junior-Senior Banquet. Each year the junior class, headed by their sponsors, plans this event to honor and say good-bye to the senior class. I helped head up the committee in charge of decorations. To be honest, I feel as though I've completed some kind of initiation - this experience was a new and intimidating one. However, it was a time full of teaching moments, helping the juniors delegate, and enabling their ideas.
(side note: If you have been around Emmanuel or Pilgrim for a while, you'll understand when I say that I have a new appreciation for Mrs. Reynolds and the vision she used to cast with the Formal!) 
In the end, although it was exhausting, it was also fulfilling. Walking around the room, taking in its transformation, we were able to help the juniors take ownership of a wonderful event, and allow the seniors to feel honored and loved. God answered so much prayer in the process, and I was again reminded of the care He takes of both the big and little things. From the way He held off the rain EVERY time we had to load or unload decorations from a vehicle, to providing unexpected time to set up the venue, to the great attitudes held by everyone, He was at work in every detail. "He leads me by still waters, He restores my soul," even in the midst of planning an event like this!
 Enjoy some pictures below!

Now that Music Festival and JSB are over, normal busy schedules continue. I continue to help lead a small group of girls, and would appreciate continued prayer for them. They have bonded so much as a group, and some great friendships are forming. Many of them are walking into some big changes in their senior year, whether in their families, dorm situations, or contemplating the future. Please pray that God would draw each one close to His heart.

We are a little more than 2 weeks away from graduation, and in 3 weeks I'll be flying to the US to serve at Csehy Summer School of Music for a good portion of the summer. My time in NJ will be pretty limited, but I look forward to seeing as many people there as possible! Please pray for me and everyone else at BFA as we push to finish the year well. It has been a busy year, and we are tired, as teachers tend to be at the end of a school year. It has been a year full of blessing, lessons learned, and growth. This graduation is more bittersweet than some others because 3 of the students graduating were freshmen during my last year as an RA. They have grown into amazing young men, and I'll miss their smiles next year!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you who support me in prayer and financially. God has enabled so much to happen because of your partnership with me and this ministry. I think of you often, and pray that God will bless you richly for the sacrifice and intercession you make on my behalf. I do plan to return to BFA in August, Lord willing, and to continue to walk in His will for me here.

If you would like to hear any more stories or more details, or have questions about life in Germany or future plans, please feel free to email me at: lauren.holland@bfacademy.de

"As Time Goes By" - a collage of clocks to go with our theme

Tables included baby pictures of the seniors :)

Isaak is one of the most amazing students I know. He was a freshman when he and his family moved to Germany and Sonne, and God is doing absolutely stunning things in his life!

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