Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Euro 2008

Seeing as how in a little over a month I will call Germany home, I felt it necessary to post and show my excitement that Germany beat Turkey (sorry Shindy!) and is in the Championship game for Euro 2008!! I have been watching Germany with a little more interest as of late and am excited to be in a culture that has such a large passion for soccer.
So if you find yourself wondering who to cheer for this weekend...Germany is not a bad choice.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Winnipeg

What a great week! I have returned from my Janz Team orientation in Winnipeg and the entire week was a true blessing. The week was filled with many informative seminars and helpful tips to be aware of prior to heading to Germany. There was a vast array of topics covered, which produced a wide range of emotions. After some of the seminars I was excited and ready to go! I was daydreaming of what to pack and ready to get on the plane! Then, after a little more discussion I found myself nervous and scared. The week was spent going back and forth with these emotions.
I am excited beyond belief to go to Germany and work at BFA. I cannot wait to be in the position to work with these missionary kids and love them. I am excited to get to know them, to attend their athletic games, to cook them food, to be at BFA with them and walk through this experience with them.
I know that it will not be easy. There will be long and tiring days. There will be difficult days and difficult students. I will be attacked and challenged.

As I went through the orientation week there are two 'conclusions' I arrived at.
#1 - The Body of Christ is amazing. There were 27 individuals who were commissioned by Janz Team in Winnipeg. I was among the 'young' crowd and then there were some as old as 65. There were some who were married for one or two years - and then some who had been married for twenty years and were raising four children. Individuals came from Christian homes, some from broken homes. Prior to joining Janz Team individuals worked as; teachers, engineers, librarians, students, youth ministers, nurses, etc. Individuals of our team came from Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, California, Illinois, Canada etc. As we go serve at BFA we will fulfill the positions of; RA, Dorm Parents, literature teachers, physical education, tech-staff, etc.
As Paul wrote to the church of Corinth in his first letter he expressed to them this image of the body of Christ. In chapter 12 verse 12 he states, "The body is a unit though it is made up of many parts and though all its parts are many, they form one body. so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body..."
I was blessed to see the body of Christ come together while in Winnipeg. We all have our different talents, abilities and personality traits. Though we share many differences we all united together in our love for Christ and our desire to serve as missionaries.
#2 The second 'conclusion' I came to while in Winnipeg comes from Exodus 17:8-15. This passage is an account of the Israelites battle against the Amalekites. Though it is more commonly known for the passage in which Moses' hands were held up - it brought a reality of warfare to me. I am not going out with a physical sword when I go to Germany. But have no illusions, it will be a battle. There is a spiritual battle taking place in Kandern, Germany and I am going on the front lines. I learned that the Black Forest region where BFA is located is not simply labeled "black" Forest as a result of the many trees. It is 'black' because it is a gathering place for cults and pagan rituals and it is a spiritually dark place.

The week in Canada was a blessing and a great time. For those from Grove City College, you will be glad to know that I played a game of ultimate frisbee. I even made a few catches for points - I think you call them 'touchdowns.' But I can now call myself an "international discer."
Thank you for all of your support. I am blessed by your continuing help and encouragement as I prepare to go to Germany.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oh Canada!

Everything is in place and I will be leaving for Winnipeg Monday morning and returning Saturday night. I am looking forward to taking a week off of work and being able to meet individuals who will be serving with me in Germany over the next year. The week will be busy with different seminars, meetings, and general preparation work to be taken care of.
I recently sent out a letter containing an update...if you did not receive one of these and would like to please let me know via e-mail.
Thank you for checking my blog!

Tommy

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Germany and BFA

I continue to be in contact with Janz Team (my missions agency) and BFA on a fairly regular basis. I get an e-mail at least every other day and sometimes more. They keep me updated on things to consider before moving over, things to expect upon moving and other bits and pieces.
The biggest thing coming up for me is that the week of June 16 I will be in Winnipeg, Canada for a week of orientation and preparation. This week will prove to be very informative and helpful in my final preparations. In addition to this it will be an opportunity for me to meet some of the RA's I will be working with as well as other Janz Team missionaries deployed all over the world.

A question I have been asked on several occassions is, "when will you be going over to Germany?" BFA wants me there by the first week of August (August 4). I have NOT purchased my plane ticket yet, seeing as how Janz Team will do this for me however they will not do so until I have raised 80% of my support.

I am starting to count down the days until I leave. I am extremely excited, and if I am being honest I am a little nervous and scared as well. Yet at the end of the day I cannot wait to be over there and get started.

Friends

I have been thinking about what to write on the blog to keep people updated. I am sure there are a few people who read the blog in order to check up on the things happening in Germany. However, seeing as how I am not in Germany many of these posts are irrelevant and perhaps even boring. Also, considering the fact that I am not used to blogging and at times find it a little awkward and unnatural - I imagine things are not that entertaining and informative. Therefore I will let you know that this particular blog will be used to discuss some of the recent things going on in New Hampshire with myself - while the next blog will be primarily focused on Germany and BFA.

Over the past weekend I drove down to Virginia to see two of my good friends from Grove City College get married - and I had a great time. It was a long drive (11 1/2 hours each way) but it was well worth the trip. While it was a blessing and honor to be at the ceremony and reception on such a monumental day for Andrew and Alix, it reminded me of how blessed I am. Through the years I truly have been blessed with amazing friends. It was a bit sad leaving the wedding knowing that I will not see many of my friends for quite some time. However I left encouraged and knowing that I have been blessed by being able to share many memories and years with great people.

I am continuing to work hard with my landscaping job. Work is not too exciting - I just dig holes and lay mulch for at least eight hours every day.
A quick note about work that was pretty encouraging and will be in my prayers as I continue throughout the summer - Last week I drove to work and was listening to a praise and worship CD - upon coming to work I was informed I would drive my car to the individual's house and was going to take a co-worker with me. Knowing he (Mike) does not display any religious beliefs I turned off my CD player as soon as I got in the car and drove in silence. As I went through the work day I was reminded of a verse in Romans 1:16 where it says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes."
I realized that I had been ashamed of my beliefs and dedication to serving Jesus Christ. After lecturing myself throughout the entirety of my work day I was determined to play the CD while driving home. Unfortunately he left the job site before I did and I drove home alone.
This past Thursday however, I rode with Mike once again and this time did NOT turn off my CD player and we drove while listening to "Our God is an awesome God." Upon getting to the site he asked me, "are you religious or something?" To which I responded 'yes' and he said "huh, that's interesting.'
So if you think about it, please pray for my relationship with Mike, and opportunities I may have to get to know him better and to pour Truth into him.
That's all I got on this post - I will now write another post and have it more concentrated on Germany.