The school year is up and running here at Black Forest Academy. We have made it through orientation, and safely gathered all our charges back into the dorm from around the globe. We’ve been asked if it feels different this year, and I am quick to say that it does! Last year, we felt we were floundering in a sea of information that had no context. We didn’t know the culture, the school, the job, or the people. This year, we feel that we are coming back into a community that is beginning to know us. We are able to answer questions rather than seek answers.
We loved seeing so many of our dear friends and family this summer. We had precious conversations that were and still are an encouragement to us. I was a bit surprised by how many of the conversations shared common themes. It seems that the work of sanctification that God was doing in our lives in Germany was also taking place in the lives of our friends. Imagine that! During one of our professional development days last year, our speaker reminded us that the reason we were here was not to be of service to God. He didn’t need our service. We were here because God wanted to make us more like His Son. Regardless of where we are or what we are doing, God’s will is to transform us into the image of His Son.
Over the summer, our daughter’s apartment-mate gave us a great idea that we have adopted for ourselves. We have created an on-line sign up sheet asking people to commit to praying for us one day each month. Knowing that there are people “doing battle” with us daily has encouraged us. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) We are in a battle for the hearts and minds of these young people, and are so thankful for our partners who stand with us in prayer and support.