Luke and I joke a lot about how often we look at each other and say "I can't believe we are here!", but it rings just as true today as it did the first time we said it arriving 2 months ago. I am finding everyday when I go to work that I feel I am doing what God created me to do for this span of time. Our day to day here in Germany does not come without challenges, but I feel freedom in using the gifts God has given me to serve here at BFA. As many of you know I did not know what to expect from my job title as Resource Room Teacher. When I got here I was given a few names of students who either have a learning disability or have taken years of schooling in another language and are in ESL. I was also given a list of students who received D's or F's last year in order to keep track of how they are progressing this year. At first I started out with 2 high school students and 2 middle school students. As a couple weeks in the school year went by, I would get emails from teachers or from parents asking if I could meet with their student. I am now meeting with 8 high school students and 2 middle school students.
For some of the kids I work with it is as simple as answering a few questions on their homework. For others it means meeting with their teachers every week to find out what they are teaching so I can read ahead in 6 different subjects. I had to review long division with decimals which took me longer to get then the 7th grader I was helping! I am starting to see patterns now with each student to unlock strengths and weaknesses within their education. It is exciting to find new ways to help them comprehend what they are learning. Most of all I love being able to be a part of their life for 50 minutes everyday. I get to be a challenger, an encourager and a listening ear when they are frustrated. The thrilling part is that even though these kids may be struggling academically, I am able to get a glimpse into the kind of leaders I know they all can be. I know that most of them get sick from time to time of my optimism and encouragement, because we all have bad days, but as long as they don't give up I know they will be fine. When I meet with them I really do see their potential and their futures in front of them. I know the daily grind of what I do would frustrate most people, but I have never felt so at home. I love what I do! I have had so many people in my life modeling unconditional love for me that it feels natural to be able to extend that love and grace to other people. I think in general that is what I am called to do as a Christian- to show love when people's actions don't warrant it. There have been times in my life that people could have given up on me in the midst of frustration, so it is exciting to work with kids you see being at those crossroads of life and being able to be the voice of constant love. It's my hope and prayer that in being that voice it points them back to God where they will find true unconditional love and acceptance.