During Passion Week I had the chance to visit our soon to be hometown of Kandern, Germany in order to be introduced to the Black Forest Academy community. In the space of four jam-packed days, I was able to meet with multiple staff, student, and parent groups. It was a very encouraging time. Here are a few of the highlights of this important trip.
Highlight #1 - Meeting with several BFA student groups
While most of my time was spent getting to know the remarkable staff who serve at BFA, I had the chance to meet with three student groups - the Student Council, the Chapel Worship Team leaders, and students from one of the school's dorms. Despite the limited time, I was able to hear a little about their stories and experience at BFA. I came away tremendously impressed!
Highlight #2 - Sharing our journey to BFA with three key parts of the community
I was also able to introduce myself and my family (virtually) to three important stakeholder groups - BFA’s Residence Life Staff, a group of BFA parents, and the school's academic staff. The fact that I spoke "at length" (for around 45 minutes to each group) is an indication of the warm welcome that I felt (and their graciousness). Regardless of any verbosity on my part, I was grateful for the chance to provide these key groups with a meaningful window into the Dows and my deep commitment to BFA's mission and the Great Commission that the school exists to support.
Highlight #3 - Quality time with my friend and current Head of School Rob Shuman
I have known Rob for around ten years now and have greatly valued his friendship and insight as we have labored together in the cause of international Christian education. Rob has served at BFA in a number of leadership positions, including this year as the school's current Head. The many hours we were able to spend in meetings and over meals together were a gift.
Highlight #4 - The awareness that people were praying for me during this important trip
Knowing how significant this trip was, not just for me and my family, but for the BFA community, I wanted it to go really well. Before I got on the plane to Germany an old friend bluntly reminded me that, while I needed to do my part, the success of this trip was not dependent on me. Instead as I sought to obey the Lord's leading, He would go before me and smooth the way. I definitely felt your prayers in a very real way throughout the trip and have returned to Kenya with a full heart and a building excitement for this new chapter at Black Forest Academy. Thank you!