Sunday, October 23, 2016

So, How is Germany?

Happy October! We are in the midst of a beautiful Autumn season here, full of the lovely colors of changing foliage. This month has been jam-packed full of life and happenings! This update is my attempt to summarize all that has happened.

One question that I hear frequently when I talk to friends and family is "How's Germany?" Well, Germany (and some other places) has been pretty exciting lately... Three weeks ago, I was privileged to travel with the senior class and a group of adult sponsors on the senior trip to Italy. We are very fortunate to be able to tour such a beautiful country! Every day we saw something exceptional and unique. The educational and social value of seeing and experiencing things that so many of us grew up only reading about in textbooks is immense. Only when you walk through the Colosseum do you really begin to understand how huge it is and how much happened in that place. As amazing as it was to get to see the Pantheon and St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Duomo in Florence, and to wander Venice, it was even more amazing to get to spend that time with the class of 2017, sharing life and laughter. Experiences are shaped by those with whom you share them. As we walked to the different sites, rode buses, or sat and enjoyed coffee, it was all woven together by conversation. With the different schedule that traveling affords, I was able to have conversations with students that a school schedule doesn't always accommodate for. I was also privileged to get to share part of my journey with Christ with the class one evening. Since the beginning of the school year, I had been praying for an opportunity to do this in some setting, and it was a huge blessing to get to be vulnerable with this class. They listened well, and even laughed at my attempts to be humorous. :) We ended the trip with a concert of Vivaldi (and other composers) in Venice. I personally really enjoyed getting to guide our students through the concert experience, showing them when to applaud, and helping them appreciate the value of what they were hearing. I wish that I could take you all through every crazy twist and turn of the trip, but suffice it to say that I was thankful to once again be home in Kandern. If you want to hear more stories, please email or message me!
With the weeks leading up to the trip being filled with preparations, I finally feel that I can now settle into somewhat of a routine. The year is flying by already, and there is so much left to do. I missed working with my classes and private students, and it has been great to be back with them again. My piano class is working towards a performance where they will perform several pieces for three pianos.  Music Appreciation is exploring the classical era. They did some composer research over the weekend, and I'm eagerly awaiting hearing about their findings tomorrow!

One of the aspects of this year I'm enjoying the most is spending time with my small group. They're a remarkable group of young women that all have a zest for life and an eagerness to talk things over. Sometimes Heather, my co-leader, and I have a hard time keeping up! Please pray for these young women as they contemplate their futures and trust God for what is ahead.

One last thing...I was privileged to participate in BFA's first-ever Facebook live open house. We have several dedicated recruiters who spend their days contacting prospective future employees, and traveling to various churches and college campuses. The live open house was an interview conducted live on Facebook with various BFA staff, giving viewers a window into the cross-cultural world of BFA. If you are interested in viewing the recorded video of the event, you can watch it here in full on the Black Forest Academy Facebook page:

As always, thank you so much for your prayerful and financial support and encouragement! It is such a privilege to work and serve here, where God has called me. I am in awe of the work God is doing, and it gives me such peace to know that He is at work in many other ways that I am not able to see...yet. Please pray that I will stay sensitive to His leading and guidance, and that He will love others through me!

Please enjoy some snapshots of the senior trip below!

St. Paul's church - a beautiful edifice
At the Colosseum with the lovely ladies in my small group!

St. Mark's in Venice with Jo and Ellen, co-sponsors and great friends!

Fancy dinner at the hotel with some delicious food!

The Pantheon at night