Today is the day that BFA 9th graders begin their High School career. Two of those 9th graders are ours.
Yep. We sat in on the opening ceremonies (which you can watch here) for our third time… except this time, I knew my two “big” kids were sitting down there as High Schoolers. Not the little Middle Schoolers who’ve been let in on a big High School ceremony. This was now their ceremony. They were being represented among the flags. These are their people.
I can’t believe we have High Schoolers.
I lost count around 65 when the Roll Call of Nations ended… 65 countries represented among our small group of high schoolers.
65 places in the world where these kids feel a piece of home. Even though most of them hold passports to North American countries… they’ve hardly (if ever) lived there. But the other 63 countries… these places in the Middle East and Africa and Eastern Europe… these places in South America… these places in jungle or desert or vineyard or farmland or deep, deep inner city. These are the places our kids feel comfortable. The languages they speak. The faces that speak “family.”
I stand on sacred ground among them.
These… the future of mission because they aren’t scared of being a missionary in Africa or China… because that’s where they’ve grown up. They aren’t afraid of what most call “different” or of learning new languages or of change. That’s their life.
And here they are. Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior… pliable, moldable, working out who they are and who they want to be. And what better place to do that than BFA. Where people have given up everything to come teach them… to be part of their transformational education, not just because it transforms them and us, but our whole world.
But I diverge. I really just wanted to tell you that school started and my kids are off. But I get all excited when I think about what this school does. More than that… how God keeps bringing people here to keep it going. How He keeps funding the workers. I wish you could see it…
Today is the day all of BFA begins again. Jet lagged kids working through a new schedule. Hugs and tears and goodbyes and hellos as parents get back on planes and head to ministry sites and kids reunite with friends and staff they haven’t seen all summer. It’s hard to walk through the crowd without joy and sorrow ripping at your sides. There’s no doubt that these students want to be here- the squeals and laughter and embraces are evidence. But there’s also no doubt that these students are loved by parents and siblings and that goodbyes, as familiar as they are, are still hard.
Then there’s Jeremy’s new class… a new group of 5th graders… full of nerves and excitement to be on the Middle School campus this year. Yep, the 5th grade class made the leap. Because German schools of this nature end at 4th grade… 5th grade at BFA has always been a bit of an island… the first class that’s not part of the bilingual school, CSK. Well, now they’ve moved sites. New village. New campus. With the BIG kids.
I had my own new “hello” today… another family who has adopted through foster care. We look forward to trying to be more intentional with adoptive families this year… in bridging them together in some way. To be a place that says, “We get it.”
And trust me, we do.
This is also our last year with Hannah in Kindergarden. Our last day with her home half day. I’m taking a step back from some of my busyness to really invest in and enjoy this time with her. I’m excited to return to a slower-paced life again. To do things like this:
To live this moment with her instead of multi-tasking my afternoon away to make up for my too-busy morning. I’ll be subbing a bit later this year but until then, my mornings will be quiet. Reflective. I’m learning to play the Ukulele. Get back into the Word and let it speak and give life in the way it always does when I take the time. And pray for the overflow of Christ’s love that I need to love this world around me well. Starting at home.
So it’s a first day back for many things. School. Routines. New Starts. Re-newed Starts.