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.
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!
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.
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.
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.