Well today was the first day of the start of school. This day is nothing like any other when you work at a boarding school. Not only is it the day that school begins, but it is also the day that parents say goodbye. What a mixed bag of emotions are experienced on this day. The day started out with my own family getting ready for the day - and it is a BIG day in our household. We have a Middle Schooler now!! Jordan started 6th grade today, and moves up to the big boys campus. Ellie, being in 5th grade is the big momma at the elementary campus now.
When I got to the high school (HS and Middle School are on the same grounds, elementary is separate), I arrived to the sounds of squeals and laughter and hugs and celebration as many students were seeing each other for the first time in many months. But the ironic thing about this morning is that in the same moments of so much Joy and celebration you can look around and see just as many faces streaked with tears and pain. This is not an easy day for many students and parents alike. Whatever your view of MK boarding, know that it is NEVER an easy decision for parents to leave their children here. It is never more evident than on this day of separation. As one parent shared with me this morning, It was not a hard decision in that they know it to be what God would have them do, but it was a hard decision in that it breaks there heart to say goodbye. With that, please continue to pray for our students and their parents and for the next few weeks of transition into life here at BFA
One of the highlights of my morning was watching the seniors march in with the flags of the many countries around the world and then to hear the "Roll Call of Nations", where they list out the 47 different countries that are represented here at BFA by just the students alone. They have the students who have a passport from, or whose parents work in, a specific country stand when their country is read. It is a great reminder that we are able to literally touch the world, as we work to touch the lives of these students.
Continue to pray for us, as a family. We had a wonderful summer and we are so thankful to God for the great days we had together. I still had responsibilities throughout the summer at the school, but it is so much less stress and responsibility (in fact there are NO evening meetings). even while working, there is so much time to be with family, and we felt like we were able to "reconnect" this summer.
I begin my second year as chaplain at BFA (and our 6th here in Germany), and it is definitely good to have a year under my belt. I feel like I know where we are headed and what it will take to get there. Our theme this year is "Fully Equipped" from II Peter 1:3, which states, "His divine power has given us everything for life and godliness". It is good to know that as we head down the road that this year holds for us, we are fully equipped for this journey. Pray that we would take hold of the power of Jesus Christ and live out that power in the lives of these students we are ministering to.
Thank you for your prayers ... Continue to Pray!!
Sam Stemple, for Jen; Jordan; Ellie; Matthew; and Katie