Our summer didn't provide much opportunity for reflection, but it deserved to.
When we arrived in Germany just over two years ago, we didn't really know what we'd done to ourselves. The whole thing seemed like a much better idea in our heads. If you haven't moved a family overseas before, I'll toss you a spoiler; things are different.
One thing that persisted was the peace we carried which, unlike other things, hadn't been forgotten in a seatback pocket on the flight from London to Basel. We knew why we'd left security and consistency. We knew why we'd moved over 7000 kilometers away from our family and friends. What we didn't know was how that would actually play out. Transient relationships. Struggling with language and cultural misunderstandings. Financial uncertainty. Meanwhile, back in Canada, we've missed births, deaths, and tons of life in between.
Missing people and security isn't minimized by the successes that our first two years have been. However, when I look back, I would have to say I'd do it again in a heartbeat. At work with BFA, we're contributing to a ministry that has lovingly served missionary families for almost 60 years. I'm humbled to be part of the school leadership, and thankful to work with so many good people. Longer hours, more responsibilities, but through the grace of God, more time with my family and a host of meaningful relationships.
At home, we're closer as a family than we've ever been before, and it's a ridiculous joy to listen to our kids giggle and laugh uncontrollably when playing together. We've made friends, both at BFA and in the communities surrounding Kandern. Our German is comfortably conversational, albeit a long way from the overall aptitude we'd like, and our community involvements have become a natural part of our rhythm.
Professionally, I'm grateful to be charged with the challenges of marginal gains here at BFA. I've often discussed my penchant for incremental growth, and this environment has reinforced its value. It's a shame when the efforts of an individual are imprisoned within their personal motivation, regardless of their passion. When we work together toward a common goal, allow ourselves to acknowledge failure and seek improvement despite the momentum of past experiences, and remember that we all have important and distinct roles to play (1 Corinthians 12:12-26), we build something that will be better because we were here, not simply something that was better while we were here.
We've had lots of challenges and I don't expect that to change, but there's so much peace knowing that you're where God wants you to be. Being faithful isn't easy, regardless of that peace and assurance, but I've repeatedly been reaffirmed in what we're doing. It's with the confidence of God's faithfulness that I continue to look with heartfelt anticipation to the year, and years, ahead.