It’s been a week (and month) of firsts- the greatest of which is also the culmination of everything we’ve been talking about, dreaming about, and praying over for the last year and a half… the start of school at Black Forest Academy. It was an incredible day. All of the BFA campuses met at the High School for the Opening Ceremony… a not-to-be-missed event where the Senior class leads a procession of flags representing where they were born and/or where their parents serve. This awe-filled moment is followed by a roll call of the nations… in which all 52 countries represented are acknowledged, and their representatives recognized. It’s incredible to see the global impact this school is having! And humbling to realize our small part in it. (You can watch videos of both the procession and the roll call on our facebook page by clicking here.)
Jeremy also began teaching his fifth grade class this week. 15 children under his care and guidance… all children of local missionaries serving with TeachBeyond, Greater Europe Mission, Wycliffe, and many others. After the ceremony, Jeremy rode the school bus over to his site in the neighboring village, Wollbach. His room is on the top story of the dual immersion elementary school, CSK / BFA. His, however, is the only class that is not dual immersion. In Germany, teachers and parents determine the track their child will take in life by 4th grade. Therefore, German children are already heading into their future career paths by grade five… leaving Jeremy with the non-German kids typically. Though he felt a bit nervous at the start of the week… the kids have been wonderful and Jeremy has enjoyed their initial time together. Favorite question of the week? “Do you dance?” (They’ve seen a video of Jeremy dancing on YouTube!) Currently Jeremy rides a bike to school… which takes about 25-30 minutes. He can also take the school bus in with the kids if he wants. Hoping our funds for a vehicle come in before the snow does!
Matt and Liz also began their first days of school… and not just any school, MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!!! They are so excited. In the first week they’ve learned to catch the bus from BFA High School to BFA Middle School (in Sitzenkirch). They’ve learned how to work combination locks on their lockers, have chosen a foreign language to learn (Matt: French, Liz: German), learned to change classes 7 times a day… and both been nominated for class president! Yep, that means they will both be vying for the votes of their 18 other classmates. Who will it be? Praying they remain friends, regardless of the outcome. They also are really enjoying getting to pack their own school lunches each day. Go figure. So far they are loving their classes. Because we arrived a couple weeks before school started, they were able to make friends… so instead of a “I don’t know anyone at school!” kind of beginning… they had more of a homecoming “finally we get to spend every day together” kind of start. Praise the Lord for all His ways are so much better than ours!
Last but not least, Corban and Hannah also had their monumental first day… of Kindergarden! Kindergarden in Germany goes from ages 3 until you are ready for first grade! This has been a really great option for their language learning…as kindergarden is in GERMAN! Their teachers are AMAZING and such darling women… so patient with my limited German and willing to take the time to help me understand. It has demystified german women for me, to some extent, and I find myself longing to know the words so I can get to know them. My prayer is for a gift of tongues in German… or at the very least, a speedy acquisition, so I can go deeper with these lovely women. In the meantime, they are taking beautiful care of my kiddos and I couldn’t be happier. Their school grounds are out of your greatest hopes and dreams for a kindergarden… so much so that I kind of wish I was 5 again! I am excited to see my kids a year from now… to know they’ve developed friendships with other German children, developed the language, and most importantly, a love for the people and culture we are now a part of. That’s all future. Right now their little heads are adjusting to living in another language. Hannah said, “It’s hard hearing German!” after her first day. Yet each day has been met with greater and greater excitement from them. My heart is happy.
Here are more pictures of all of these first days.
As for me… well, I’ve had my first couple of mornings entirely alone! Corban and Hannah are in school from 8ish until Noonish… making me one free woman! My first day of freedom found me tackling all of the things I’d been putting off in Kandern… like learning how to send mail, finding a place to print photos (which I needed for the Kindergarden), and walking to the edges of town for our favorite milk and groceries. It ended up being a fabulous day. For now my role is entirely around helping my family transition into their new roles, and supporting Jeremy in his position. I’ve committed to not committing to anything these first six months as I get a sense of the need, my family’s hearts, and how my gifting and time tie in. So for now I’ve been quite the domestic momma… and enjoying every minute! We will continue to keep you posted on the ins and outs of life here… and how we hope to make an impact on our community.
Love to you all!