Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ich bin zu Hause in Deutschland, aber....

The title is translated "I am at home in Germany, but..." I am at home in Germany, but I am homesick. It's official. I am really surprised by it too! Just today it has started and I am feeling a bit sad and on the verge of tears. I'm bearing my soul to you all because I covet your prayers. I am relying heavily today on the incredible and extraordinary ways that God used to get us here and resting in the confirmation of our call. In no way does my sadness indicate that I believe we shouldn't be here or that there is not immense value in what we are doing, I just miss home today. So, pray for me. Wondering what I miss? Well, here's the short list...
1.St. B's - the people, the clergy and the worship
2.My mom and dad
3.Mark's mom and dad
4.Bob, Tamara and Priscilla 
5. The Hamptons, the Grosses, the Wests (both of them), the Flynns, oh heck, everybody in the Lifebuilders Class
6. Chill time with Jenny and RyRy's sweet smile.
7. Affordable Starbucks (it's twice as much here)
8 Shopping at Target
9. Football on TV
10. Mexican food
11. Eating out
12. Tamara's silliness and P calling me Aunt Sue-ie
13. The preschool hall at St. B's
14. American TV
15. Meredith and Evan being in an amazing youth group.
16. The students and staff at Pinewood Elementary
17. Being able to actually read the paper and our mail
18. Being known and having close friends
19. Our little dog that we gave up to come here
20. Our brothers and sisters and their families.
I told you it was a short list!
The holidays are around the corner and I am beginning to imagine what a Christmas will be like without going to our parents' houses for extended family celebrations. It will be hard I am sure, but there are new experiences and new memories to make here. We are hoping to take a small trip over our Christmas break which will give us something fun to look forward to. We are also going to have holiday dinners with some of our fellow Janz Team missionaries, which will be a nice tradition to start. We also hear Germany is amazing at Christmas time with markets and such. 
Thank goodness we have Skype and an unlimited calling plan to the States. If you any of you have webcams, let us know! We'd love to chat sometime. Thanks for all your prayers and know that we love and miss you!
Blessings and peace,
Susan


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recent Ministry Activities

Fall has arrived here in Kandern and the colors are beautiful. The changing leaves remind me of home and how much I love Autumn. Fall at BFA is full of ministry opportunities and we are making the most of every chance we get to invest in the lives of these MK's. On a recent beautiful fall Sunday, Mark and Evan went for a ride with Tony, a dorm student who is in Mark's small group. 


A couple of weeks ago, Mark helped out with the Middle School Fall Party. The theme was Cartoons and the costumes the kids made were amazing! 
The same night, I helped with the Elementary School Party. I coordinated the games for the evening. Unfortunately, I don't have pics of me running around the gym playing Apple, Apple, Pumpkin (a version of duck duck goose). I know you all are really upset to miss those pics:)
Here's a few of the middle school party.  Evan was Eeyore!



I remember when we were raising support how often we told people how we thought a large portion of our ministry would happen in our home. Well, we are happy to report that we were right. What a delight is to have students in our home. Thursday evenings at the Powells have become a sought after event among students. We now have kids inviting themselves over and are beginning to form a waiting list! This is really not so much about us, but rather about how these kids want and need personal contacts and time outside of their dorms. We love being able to provide a meal and some fun times for them. Last Thursday I saw this gang (below) walking down our street and opened my kitchen window so that I could hear their laughter. It made me smile:)


Their smiles and laughter are so contagious. We are learning so much from these students.




My arms are still sore from our Wii boxing matches! But, hey this almost 40 year old won!


Jae and Esther...love, love these sweet girls. They are from Storch dorm where we sub.

One evening while subbing at Storch, we tagged along with the girls to a bonfire they had with a boys dorm. The dorms often play pranks on one another.  During their most recent escapade, the Storch girls "stole" the Maugenhard boys' DVD player. So, in order to get it back the boys had to serenade the girls (pictured above). It was quite comical to hear these guys singing a Backstreet Boys song to the girls. 

Above are some of our sweet Storch girls. 

Mark, Evan and Ethan playing spoons with the girls. It got quite loud during the game!

Sweet Bethany checking her Facebook in the dorm!

I'd like to start something new in this post. I'd love for you all to know where each of these kids' parents are serving and in what capacity. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, it wouldn't be prudent to specify which country each student is from. But what I can do is list which countries are represented in each post so that you all can see how far reaching our ministry at BFA is. So, the countries that I know of represented here are Russia, Kyrgystan, Slovenia, Macedonia, Mali, China, France, Turkey and Germany.

As always, thank you all for your support of our ministry. We think of you often and thank our God upon our every remembrance of you.
Blessings and peace,
Susan