Monday, June 13, 2011

What I Am Doing and How You Can Be Involved

Grüsse! Möge der Friede Gottes mit euch sein!                 
(Greetings! May the peace of God be with you all.)
For all the unknowns surrounding my recent college graduation, there is one thing I felt deeply in the core of my being: even though it might be uncomfortable for a time, I could not jump into a job for a job’s sake-- I believed God would bring me something with which my soul resonated, and I had to be willing to wait for God to do so on His timeline.

I waited, and God’s given me a unique opportunity to pursue my heart, apply all I’ve been learning, and be challenged to grow in ways that will continue to shape my life long after I return home.

In the end of July 2011, I begin a two year adventure serving with TeachBeyond missions agency in Germany, working as a Resident Assistant (R. A.) for high school students... not just any high school students, though.  I’ll be working at Black Forest Academy, where missionary kids go to learn and process life and gain not only their education, but also their basis for understanding life, faith and the world.

My heart breaks for missionary kids in a unique way because they experience the isolation of being from one culture and in another (often times neither connecting nor identifying completely with either), and also feel weighty expectation to have it all together.  Being a teenager is hard... being a teenager in a place where they are often perceived to be exemplary leaders is even harder.  I feel called to be a safe place for these students, one where they can be honest -- honest with God, honest with themselves and honest with each other-- about their imperfections, fears and brokenness... and from this honesty to be able to experience and embrace life.
As an RA, I will be a live-in “older sister” in a house of 22 students, working alongside two house parents and another RA.  My days will be full of miscellaneous tasks of food preparation, laundry, errands, and driving, while getting to take part in informal mentoring students and supporting the other staff.  By living alongside students, I will be available to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15) in a very real sense everyday during a time where they are away from their families.

Black Forest Academy provides quality, international, Christian education in English and boarding housing for mainly missionary kids from all over Europe, North Africa and Asia.  Sadly, for various reasons, these young people are not able to have quality education near their families because home-schooling is often illegal, private school is too expensive, and public school is often a negative influence.  BFA enables Christian workers to be able to continue serving in various parts of the world, knowing that their children are being cared for well by RAs and other loving staff.  

I would like to invite you to be a part of what God is doing at Black Forest Academy.  

You can come alongside me as I come alongside these students through the means of prayer and/or giving:

1.       Prayer - I need a core prayer team committed to praying for me –
      Preparation - In such things as my fund-raising, practicing driving stick shift, learning German, and preparing to live overseas with diverse students.  
      Daily - In addition, I need people who are willing to commit to praying with me for my ministry of RA throughout the next two years.  Although it will be a rewarding job, it will likely be immensely challenging.  I need ongoing patience, endurance, and empathy that only God can provide.  

2.       Giving - In order to serve at BFA as an RA and keep the price down for the students’ families, I need $1,657.00/month of monthly support to cover the costs of living, transportation, and insurance.  
      I’d like to get as many people involved as possible in my monthly support with gifts of any amount, so that more friends and family can take part of what God is doing around the world. 
      Right now I still need 78% of this monthly support.  This is 24 people committing to give $50/month (or 12 people giving $100/month, or 49 people giving $25/month); then I will be fully supported.   A donation of any amount would be helpful.

If you would like to pledge to support me through finances and/or prayer, please indicate that on the appropriate enclosed forms, or go to:

I am excited and immensely humbled to see what God is going to do through, in, and around me as I take the step of faith to serve as a Residence Assistant at BFA from roughly 2011-2013.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you as well as continuing to hear updates from you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your love and support now and through the years!  May the peace of God be with you now and always.   

Peace be with you,
Michelle Waters