Sunday, November 28, 2010

Catching You Up

Greetings. Well, this semester is winding down (only 2 more weeks of classes) and so much has happened since we last blogged. Like every semester before, it's been a very fast pace and lots and lots of details to take care of. One thing about BFA is the constancy. In our thrid year here, we've come to know what is coming down the pike - events, responsibilities and routines. But as predictable as things are there's always the unforeseen.

This semester has been no exception. I (Mark) have been very busy with my work with students. This has been my most rewarding year so far. It is very satisfying to build and experience community.

We began "subbing" (helping as substitutes) at Maugenhard dorm this year. We had to say our "good-byes" to the wonderful Storch (dorm) girls (where we subbed for the past two years) which was very sad . It was only because of the warm welcome received at Maugenhard that we were able to "work through" our loss. The guys and staff at Maugenhard are great and we have felt true community in these walls.

We continue to be blessed by our small groups. Recently we had a spaghetti dinner with the combined groups. The girls were in the kitchen cooking the meal.

Everyone around the table for spaghetti.

Last year we became sponsors to the sophomore class (now juniors) and this year we took a field trip to Normandy, France. Below are a few shots from the beaches of Normandy and some of the cemeteries where both German and American soldiers were laid to rest.

The American Cemetery.

A pensive student in the German cemetery.

Mark's small group at Omaha Beach.

Mark also worked to start a cycling club at BFA. This is still a rather informal club but we hope to build on what we were able to do this year. We organized both road and mountain bike rides. Some of the clothing (jerseys and bibs) were contributions from a racing team back in Franklin, Tennessee. Who knows, maybe one year there will be a cycling team!

After a long climb up the nearby mountain of Hoch Blauen.

Ethan continues to do well in soccer with the local Fussball Club. He moved up to an older age group and can handle his own. Ethan is also learning to play the violin.

This semester we've had several guests. Back in September the McVays visited us from Spain. We had such a good time talking about "the old days" and enjoying each others' stories about culture shock, adjustment and the unusual experiences that missionaries sometimes find themselves in. In October, the Keeners visited from France and we adults just tried to keep up with the boys. We climbed rocks, castles and each other. Most recently, our pastor Dixon came to visit to do some pre-work on a mission trip for next year. What great times!

Ethan and the Keener boys in Riquewihr, France.

Cotton candy and friends.

Herbstmesse in Basel, Switzerland.

Meredith is busy with school and college applications. Truth be know, Susan has been busy with college applications. In early November, Meredith participated in the DoDs European Volleyball Championship Tournament. The BFA girls won the Division II Championship Title.

Meredith spikes the ball.

Evan is adjusting to the demands of high school. He continues to practice with his band and even had a "gig" earlier in the year. Sorry, no pictures we weren't invited.

This weekend was the Christmas Banquet. Below are some of the pictures from our time together.

Mark's small group

Evan and his mother

Evan and Hannah

Meredith and David

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. We also would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

The Powells

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Year!

We are off to a great start in our now 3rd year of ministry at BFA. It's hard to believe how quickly time flies when you're having fun! Here's a few pictures of the first activities to this school year.

First Day of School Activities

Every year the seniors march into the opening ceremonies with the flags of the world. Most students get to carry the flag of the country where they are from/where their parents are serving.

Meredith and Meghan were going to share the American flag, but another student beat them to it. They carried the Swedish flag in honor of a recent graduate.

Getting reacquainted with friends while waiting for the opening ceremonies to begin.

Checking out textbooks for the school year.

Olivia, looking a little shell shocked at the number of textbooks she had to get:)

Heading home after a long, tiring first day...and we're not even students!

Chillin' and Grillin'

The first Friday of the school year we always have an event called Chillin' and Grillin'. It's an opportunity for the new students to get to know all the returners. There are usually silly but fun games and hamburgers and hot dogs. It's a good way to "chill" after a long first week.

Fall Party

We have several parties throughout the year. The Fall Party is always a costume party based upon a theme. This year's theme was Games.

Lucky Ethan gets to attend all the high school activities because Mark and I are class sponsors. To know Ethan is to know why he chose Candyland as his game!

Even the staff get in on the act:)

Connect the Dots


Super Mario

Lots of Guitar Hero costumes

Dodge Ball

We actually do have school too! Students have begun having tests, complaining about homework and soon field trips will begin. Please remember to pray for these students who are, for the most part, far from home. Pray for the different ministries that each student represent. Pray for us as well as we continue to do kingdom work here. We love and appreciate each one of you. We are so thankful for our time home this summer and are missing you all very much. May you be blessed richly for your support of our ministry.

In Him and in peace,
All the Powells