We have finished our first full week with EVERYONE back in school. And while this is our fifth school year, this year particularly brings a lot of change and adjustment. If you read our last newsletter (which you can still do by signing up here), you’ll have read that Jeremy has moved from the 5th grade classroom at the Middle School to the German bilingual school that partners with BFA. He is now teaching 3rd grade and the ONLY BILINGUAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL in all of Germany, Christian School Kandern (CSK). And he’s not only teaching, he’s the Lead English Teacher (aka – assistant to the principal, co-administrator, etc). He has the privilege of helping guide the direction of the school. The only school like it. So crazy!
Now, while that sounds incredible (and it is) it has quite a lot of change and transition for Jeremy. Please pray for wisdom, healthy boundaries and time-balance between roles, as well as good relationships with his German and English colleagues and students. This is a two-year minimum commitment and fits right in line with why Jeremy began teaching to begin with!
The first day of school for the first graders began with a presentation from the 2nd graders at the local church. Our Hannah is among the 2nd graders, who sang and performed a welcome-show for the new kiddos. Last year, Hannah was one of these first graders, so it was so sweet to see her on the welcoming end of things. AND, this event made it into the newspaper! You can read the article HERE. (If you use Chrome, the article will automatically translate for you).
There are also some other really great changes happening around here. Our mission has a great vision for planting a few more schools over the next four years. The stories of how God is providing for this vision reminds me so much of the stories I recently read in “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret” by his son and daughter-in-law. Hudson often felt God lead him to pray for some BIG things… and then watched as God unfolded His plan. He was often challenged to trust God in every detail, dealing with the same doubts so many of us deal with every day. “Was that really God?” “Isn’t this prayer TOO big? Shouldn’t I pray for something smaller first?” “What if I look like a fool?” “Why isn’t He showing up?”
Hudson’s life inspired me, especially, in the way he faced challenges in the “final hour.” He always met a point where it seemed God was not making a way and Hudson felt the temptation to try to work it out himself. But it was in these moments that Hudson realized his deepest roots of belief and faith were tested. And as he waited, God always unveiled the plan and led the way.
We are excited to see what God has in store for Germany over these next few years as He begins to share dreams and visions for more of His work to be done. In addition to new schools, the government recently approached our mission and asked us to take over a home for unaccompanied refugee children. At the moment, only hired German workers from our mission are allowed to participate, but the stories coming back are incredible. For such a time as this!
Finally, I have to share a crazy-praise. We are below our goals for financial support… but we have at least two more years before our furlough (this current year and the next one). Our last newsletter laid out the situation. Again, after reading the book on Hudson Taylor, I’ve been inspired to sit back in God’s rest and watch how He will meet this need. We do not believe that God will use money to communicate the end of our time here. Instead, we believe He will tell US and we will have peace when that day comes. But if until then, our money is short, this is a call to prayer and trust… not an end to His work. He has unlimited resources and we believe He will provide. Often, it’s through you. But sometimes, it’s not.
We recently received a bill from our health insurance stating that we owed over €6000 in back pay. Well, we don’t have €6000 and we couldn’t understand how they’d arrived at this number. Our agent wanted us to just pay it and be good customers. And while we want to be great customers and keep excellent relations with our German services, we also want to understand our bills.
Plus, we just plumb didn’t have it. And so, instead of worrying, we knew God would have to remove it or pay it.
We ended up sending a very long email and fax in English to the company pointing out some of the errors that we saw in the accounting and asking them to re-do the assessment. Now, up until this point, they had been pretty difficult to work with. We’d called a few times with translators only to find that the company wouldn’t budge in any way, or even listen to our concerns. I didn’t have a lot of confidence that our email would do any good… but it was worth a try.
WELL, we just received €3000 to our bank account. Yep! It ended up that instead of us owing THEM €6000, they owed US! HA!!! Not only did they take our email seriously, but they promptly corrected their error. This is plainly a miracle of God. And what a joy that while we were able to rest in Him during the surprise bill… He was actually unfolding a debt owed to US! I’m so glad I didn’t spend energy stressing and worrying about that bill. He had a beautiful, surprising plan all along. (*I do often expend energy stressing and worrying but am practicing resting in the truth that God provides and if He is not worried, why should I be? Worry is exhausting…)
AND that €3000 covers about 6 months of what we are short. HA! I can’t stop laughing in delight over the way He works. As Hudson Taylor said:
Depend on it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purpose for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so.
“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize the Lord is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult, His grace is sufficient.”
― James Hudson Taylor
Thank you all for following our journey, and especially to those of you who are ministry partners. While we do the hands-on work here, this is just as much your work as ours. We are so grateful for your willingness to say “YES!” to His global work through this small spot on a map, and through this small family among millions. We know that it is not we alone who are serving Him here, but so many of you who send your finances and prayers on behalf of this glory-story.
And if you feel God prompting you to accept the blessing and invitation to share in this story, you can join HERE!
First day of school for Matt and Liz (11th graders!) (and Jeremy with meetings) and First day of school for Corban (4th grade) and Hannah (2nd grade) and Jeremy (3rd grade 🙂 ).