Prayer Requests

  • Praise the Lord that He brought Peter and Janet to rent our house. Pray that they will be settled there and feel that it is home.
  • Please pray for our children, Niall and Sorche, as they settle into school and dorm life. Pray for good friends for both of them and that they will be able to handle the adjustment to a new school routine.
  • We are so thankful for the many people who have pledged to support us financially. Please continue to pray for this area, for our understanding of the new things we are encountering and that God will provide for us in all areas.

View of our village, Holzen

View of our village, Holzen
Our dorm is the white building to the left of the church

Lynn and Sorche in Colmar, France

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March Break, finally!

The early morning airport runs are over for another term, the dorm is down to 6 of us, the "boredom" is settling in and we have two weeks to recover, rest and get ready for the last 7 weeks of the school year. In some ways, it seems like this has been our life forever, in other ways, we are discovering new things about ourselves and this job every day. Once the break is over, the rest of the term will fly by, we are told.
Being dorm parents to 20 teenage girls has opened our eyes to a whole new world. It has been a challenge on many levels, but we have met so many interesting and special people here. As our ResLife supervisor says, "God has worked hard to arrange all of these specific people being here at this particular time and has placed His best here to help us grow and learn more about Him and ourselves." So we continue to learn from those around us.
Niall and Sorche have done well with their academics and have many new friends and connections both at school and in the neighbourhood. Jim has completed his Cycle B paintings and been inspired by a number of art galleries in Basel to bring his total of paintings up over 60 so far this year. (And he thought he was having a sabattical from art!) We have learned to love the girls in our dorm and appreciate them as God's special creations. I wish we could introduce them to you all! They are fascinating individuals. The countryside is beautiful too and we are planning to travel to Lake Constance in our second week of March break to meet up with our friends, the Nettleton's from Manchester, at their friend's lakeside apartment. A nice chance for a drive and a change in scenery.
So, life is good in the Black Forest and we are looking forward to our "big boys" coming for a visit in April. In the meantime. HOORAY for March break!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Long Overdue Report

Wow! I can't believe how fast time has gone and that we've been at Storch Dorm for two months now. Life here is so busy, intense and concentrated that there is little time for the luxury of writing a blog. Tonight is the Christmas Banquet and as Jim and I opted to go to the train station instead, we have a little quiet time in the dorm until we pick the girls up.
The intense learning curve we have been on has plateaued somewhat as we have a better handle on the day-to-day running of the dorm; however, events such as Banquets (can you imagine primping and preening 20 teenage girls at the same time for the same event? The dorm still smells like hairspray hours later!), home basketball games where everyone comes to the school to eat dinner and cheer, and exams, will present new challenges and stresses.
To back track a little, Niall enjoyed celebrating his 15th birthday here in the dorm where the tradition of "troughing" the birthday person was graciously extended to him. He was able to toss in a few girls himself, including his sister.
In early November, Jim and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with a long weekend in Athens, Greece, where we met our friends from Vineland, Dave and Rhonda Gossen and Karl and Julie Stobbe. The men ran the marathon and two of the women ran the 5 km race. It was a wonderful weekend to be refreshed, see some sites, eat outdoors and enjoy some warmer weather, and be encouraged by folks from home.
The rest of the month has flown by with much of the focus on who was going to the banquet with whom, late night essay writing, basketball practices, grocery shopping, paperwork, baking, laundry, tending to sick children, and getting to know the girls better. There are 3 weeks left of school, then a flurry of airport trips to deliver our charges home for Christmas and then we fly out on Monday, December 22, Jim's birthday.
We are looking forward to being at home with our boys and our extended families. We hope to do better at keeping you all up to date on how we're doing.
For now, "Tusch", local German dialect for "See you"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

We are HERE!

My apologies to all who are wondering where we are and what we are doing. The last 5 weeks in Canada stretched into 7 more weeks of MANY ups and downs and moments of wondering if we would ever get to Germany. The Lord had his plans for us, which included not selling our house but renting it out to a couple who have come back from teaching at a missionary school in Taiwan for 8 years, Janet and Peter Muller. They were earnestly seeking housing in our area and a mutual friend inquired about our renting it to them and within a week they had a house and we had a solution to our house issue. God also spared us from selling it to the buyer interested in early August who, as we found out in September, was not a reliable person and there would have been problems with the close of the deal, while we would have been in Germany.
So, on Monday, September 22 we flew out from Toronto with our 10 pieces of luggage and 8 carry-ons and arrived in Basel, Switzerland on Tuesday, September 23. Our supervisors, Glenn and Sheila Lewis picked us up and delivered us to the dorm we will be serving in. "Storchenblick" dorm is in a quaint little village called Holzen, 5 kilometres from the school. Black Forest Academy is in a town called Kandern, located in the Black Forest area of Germany, in the extreme southwest corner, bordering on France and Switzerland. We have had 2 and a half weeks of living in the dorm, acquainting ourselves with the girls, the routines, the local countryside, the neighbours, and the storks. Storks are plentiful and build nests on the chimneys and rooftops of the village. There is a stork refuge where they are fed and cared for if injured. On our first weekend we took a walk up the hill into the forest with one of the dorm girls, Melody. We have beautiful vineyards, hills, and forests and the walking trails are plentiful. Jim has discovered many of them for running with some of the other dorm dads and even entered a half marathon last Sunday, running with a dorm dad and the pastor of the church which meets at the school.
Niall and Sorche are adjusting to dorm life and their new school. They have been warmly welcomed by the girls here and the other students in the school. There are still some things we are figuring out, but in general we feel comfortable here. We will be celebrating Canadian thanksgiving with the other Canadians from Janz team on Sunday. We will think of you all and pray you are all well.
Happy thanksgiving! Love, Lynn and Jim

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meeting with Michelle

The weaving of our lives with other Christians through this journey to Germany has been a surprise at times but such a blessing. When we met with our lawyer back in the spring, we found out she was a graduate of BFA and had lived in the dorm we have been assigned to. She was thrilled to hear we were heading off to serve there. Then she called to invite us for lunch in August to meet a BFA schoolmate of hers who has been serving there for the past 16 years, Michele Phoenix. We had heard her name mentioned at orientation in Winnipeg and were thrilled to meet her in person. She was able to fill us in on life at BFA and particularly at Storchenblick dorm where she has helped out. We had a lovely time and felt privileged to have met her here in Canada. Please pray for her health and strength as she deals with the latest news about her cancer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Over one more hurdle

Jim has finally finished the commission he has been working on over the last 6 months called "Land of the Silver Birch". If you ask him, he might sing the whole song for you. It is an amazing sculpture and fascinating to watch when all the parts are in motion. (I might be a little biased but it's pure genius!)
We are heading up north today to deliver it tomorrow to it's final resting place.
We have been given an extension on our arrival time at BFA and are looking at mid-September for our departure, at this point. This is giving us the cushion of time we need to finish up Jim's work, sell the house, pack, take Hamish to university and raise our support. The young couple who first introduced us to BFA will be looking after the dorm until we arrive. We are thankful for God's timing and God's way! Praise the Lord!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Anniversary Day

Last Wednesday, July 23, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We had our special time away in early June to St. Maarten for a resort-type holiday so the real day was a somewhat low-key occasion. Niall and Sorche were available for dinner so we ate out at an Italian restaurant in downtown Oakville called Big Papa's. A generous "on the house" dessert was enjoyed by all there, followed by a gathering for cake at our house with Jim's brother, sister and spouses along with our friends, the Camerons. It was a fun time together. We are grateful to God for 25 happy years of marriage.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Battle Continues

The closer we get to the month of August, the tougher the battle seems to be getting. As we have increased our network of prayer partners and asked them to rally around the cause of getting us to Germany, the personal attacks on all of us seem to be increasing daily. There were numerous times last week when things happened that left us puzzled and perplexed, but then an email would come from someone offering words of encouragement and reassurances that they were praying. We were able to finally mail out letters asking for support and have already been blessed by the positive responses we have received, especially those from unexpected quarters. We were even surprised by how quickly Canada Post delivered those letters.
The house has not sold but there are so many people praying that we are experiencing God's peace as we wait for His perfect timing, as well as the best buyer for this place.
Today we were privileged to pray with The Venerable Charlie Masters and his wife Judy here in our home. Judy is the daughter of Adolph Janz, one of the original Janz Team members. She grew up in Germany from the age of 5 and was educated along with her cousins in the very beginnings of BFA. We were so blessed by their willingness to come and pray with us about serving with Janz Team at BFA.
Jim and the kids have taken another load tonight up to the warehouse where we are storing our stuff. Little by little the house is being emptied (only to uncover more dust and interesting bits!) The excitement is mounting as we anticipate what God will do this week as we wait on Him.
On another note, Jim and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. Wow! Can't think of a more exciting way to mark this auspicious occasion than to be selling and packing up our household and moving to Germany in a very short period of time! For our 30th I think I'll settle for a quiet vacation somewhere or maybe just dinner out.