Some of you who faithfully read our blog, may not get our update letter. This time around we shared some big news, so I thought I would just post what we sent out. Sorry – it is rather long!
A big change ahead!!!
In some ways the busy days at the start of the school year may sound like “business as usual,” but in fact these events have a very different feel for us this year. Over the past several months we have felt God refining and expanding upon the call that originally brought us to (and kept us at) BFA. As a result of that process, we want to let you know that we are leaving BFA after the 2010-11 school year, but we are NOT leaving the ministry of serving missions through international education.
I (Micah) originally accepted BFA’s invitation to serve as Assistant Principal because I saw it as an opportunity to gain new experiences and to add “tools” that God could use later on. While my job requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work and orchestrating many little practical details, I have also been given numerous opportunities to lead teams of colleagues and to meet with teachers one-on-one. Through these experiences, the Lord has given me an excitement and a desire to be in school leadership. Those in leadership here at BFA, in our mission, and even in ACSI have greatly encouraged me and affirmed that God has gifted me in this way. Specifically, this means I will begin to pursue a position as the director or headmaster (or whatever other title one might use) of an international Christian school.
There are very many schools like BFA in Europe and around the world who are in need of leaders with educational experience and a heart for third-culture kids. There are also opportunities to open new schools in many of these places. In fact, the main reason our mission’s name was changed to “TeachBeyond” was to represent a new focus on helping to initiate and support the work of transformational Christian education.
The first step down this path is for me to finish my Master’s degree in Educational Administration. The plan is to return to the U.S. next summer for me to complete my degree. We, along with TeachBeyond, are viewing that time as a sabbatical, not as an end to our missions work. At the end of one year in the States, we would plan to leave again to enter into the next chapter of our ministry, as “career” missionaries at another school.
As you can tell, there are a lot of unknowns in our “plan” at the moment. We are excited about the direction in which God is calling us and we eagerly and confidently await His faithful guidance and provision. Our prayer is that you will be excited too and will continue to be involved in our ministry. Specifically, we ask that you continue to stand beside us through your prayers and financial support.
Please pray with us…
- For God’s leading as we consider what our time in the U.S. will look like. I am certified to teach in Maryland and would probably work full-time or part-time as a teacher or administrator if we can find the right job. Of course, we will also have to find housing, transportation, etc. for that time.
- For God’s leading – right now and next year – as we investigate possible schools for the future.
- For peace for us – especially Heather – as we prepare to leave the only home we have known in our post-college, married life.
With regard to giving, we prayerfully ask those of you who have been part of our support team to consider continuing your giving long-term. Although I plan to find a job for our time in the U.S., we will also need to pay for 24 remaining credits of graduate school during that time. We will also have numerous extra expenses related to moving from Germany and then setting up a home in a new place in 2012 or 2013.
Your love, encouragement and support of us and our ministry here over the past 7 years has been overwhelming and humbling. God has used you to teach us new things about Him and to grow in our faith and confidence in His voice to the point that we can take a step of faith like this. We have come to a fuller and deeper appreciation of Jesus’ wonderful promise to his disciples, that “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life” (Luke 18:29-30). We hope and pray that you will feel led to continue to invest in us, and in God’s work through us, wherever He leads us next. We cannot thank you enough for walking so faithfully with us to this point. May God bless you for involvement in His work as richly as He is blessing us!
What are Heather’s thoughts on this?
When the few people who knew of our plans initially asked me if I wanted to leave BFA, my answer was “no”. If you asked me today if I wanted to leave BFA my answer would still be “no”. This has been my home since graduating from college – nearly my entire ‘adult’ life has been spent in this community. It was here that Micah and I met, dated, were engaged, began married life, and welcomed Ezra into our lives. This community is a wonderful place and is full of friends and ‘family’ that God has blessed us with over the past 7 years. This is home. And yet, God is calling me to leave all this behind. Do I want to? No. Will I? Yes.
When we first started to consider what God had for us at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, I felt as though God was giving me two verses. The first from John 12:24: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” The second verse is Ephesians 3:20: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”. What I wrote in my journal back in April best sums up what I was feeling at that point and what I have been feeling since:
“I don’t know exactly what the future will be, but I feel that I am to give up my wants and desires (be the grain of wheat that dies) so that God can do amazing things in our lives (beyond anything we could ever think to ask or imagine).
Truthfully, I don’t want to. I like life the way it is. I am comfortable at BFA. I am starting to learn German. I have a community that loves and supports us. Why would I ever give all this up? Every time I ask myself this question, God brings me back to these verses. Then He reminds me how He has taken my small dreams for my life and blown them out of the water. As a high school student I would never have been able to foresee where I am now and even if I could have foreseen I might not have wanted to come, but look at what I would have missed out on! My life is so rich and so full and it is all because of following God and His crazy wonderful plan for me.”
By leaving BFA, I am putting my trust in my faithful Heavenly Father to continue doing with my life more than I ever could have asked or imagined. Does that make it easy to say good-bye to my life here at BFA? No. But will I go? Yes, I will and with a peace and an excitement for the plans that God has ahead of us.