Monday, January 26


As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God
-Matthew Parris

I can't remember anything I've read in the past year that had drummed up as much emotion in my heart has this one article. Please take a few minutes to read this article.


Friday, January 23

August feels so long ago....

It feels strange to say this foreign land feels like home now. We have our daily routines and relationships with the staff, students and neighbors. When I wake up I still want to crawl back into bed, so the newness has definitely "worn off." Then it hits me, we've only been here for 6 months! In the grand scheme of things...that is a pretty short amount of time. I think it's safe to say that for almost anyone that starts a new job, when the second half of the year comes around things just seem to be a bit easier. I am feeling more inspired in my job and more inspired in my relationship with the students we're surrounded by. I think I've gained a new appreciation for how life ebbs and flows here. Luke and I started going to a study with a few other couples and one of the women defined the students we work with as "at risk students." By looking at the students we work with day in and day out, that description doesn't seem to fit. I've seen some kids who fit that description to a T back in the states. As I thought about it more I began to agree with her definition. The students at BFA are without their families, are in a culture completely unfamiliar to what they have grown up in, and they are surrounded by the allure of fitting into the "American culture." 65% of the students at BFA will end up going into some sort of ministry related career. To say these students are not a target for evil would be denying the spiritual battle that is going on in our midst. These thoughts have brought me to a place in the last few weeks where I am praying specifically for the students I connect with and trying to react slower to the allure of being busy all the time. Like Luke said, we continue to feed off the prayers of all of you supporting us as we are here. I see encouraging changes happening in these kids lives and THAT is what helps me get out of bed in the morning =)

Back in Full Swing

Life is back to normal, whatever that means, now that school's back in session and has been for two weeks. Our schedule has returned to the way it was before with Geezer Ball (adult basketball) on Monday nights, Small Groups on Wednesday nights, and dorm subbing on Thursday nights. Once Friday roles around we're ready for a break. The good thing is we're glad to be back. We missed the kids. I missed my small group guys and it appears as they missed us also. I might be deluding myself a bit, but that's OK.

I've really enjoyed getting back into Small Groups. The guys seems more invested this semester and they seem up for tackling some deeper stuff. I wouldn't have traded last semester for anything. I really liked the way it worked out and am thankful God took it in the direction he did. There was some discussion of deeper things, but it was largely a time to goof off and in the process become comfortable with me and each other. It appears to have worked and the guys are primed for something more.

We'll be reading a book together this semester. I made it clear that goofing off was always going to be an integral part of our group, but for a few minutes every Wednesday we're going to challenge each other and ask some harder questions. The book we're tackling in called "Blue Like Jazz" and I'm sure most have heard of it or read it. I going with it because its a little non-traditional. The book challenges the reader's perception of God. It encourages the reader to try and see God through their own eyes without the scaffolding erected by parents or teachers or pastors they've previously relied upon. To push us towards peronally identifying with nature of Jesus and his character. I believe this is a process all Christians must come to. Especially those who have grown up in Christianity.

I ask you keep my guys in your prayers. That God will lead our discussion and interactions.

I appreaciate it.


Friday, January 2

Christmas With the Family.

I'm sitting here in the home of the Ingrams, the family of two Students Stephanie and I work with at Black Forest Academy, and its one of the first times I've sat still in, well, what seems like a long time. My family flew out yesterday. It was a great visit. All four of them were here for 9 days and it was pretty non-stop. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in the little town of Kandern where we live. We drove around and showed them the school and dorms. It was fun for them to be able to see our lives up close. We then drove south in their big rented diesel van to Lake Geneva in Switzerland. It was absolutely one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The Alps seem to jut up out of the lake and the view is nothing less then majestic. We relaxed, had good food, and just enjoyed each other. After two days there we made the move to Paris. A longer drive then expected, but worth it. We stayed in an apartment in a Paris suburb and took the train into the city in the morning. The city is a little overwhelming. The crowds were pretty nuts. We didn't get into everything we wanted to, but it was amazing just to be able to see all of these things you hear about. The atmosphere was amazing and the food was even better. Each night we ate in the Latin Quarter and had amazing meals each time. The conversation and laugher was intense, as might be expected from the Welbourn clan, but it all feel good and familiar. On the last day we drove to Frankfurt where they would fly out the next day and we would take a train south to where we are now and get ready for our next little adventure. I'll make sure to tell you all about it.

I have a few New Year resolutions. One is to be more consistent with the BLOG. I really enjoying utilizing it, but finding the time has been tough. Not an excuse. It will be a priority in the new year. So please come back and read. We miss you all and hope you all have an amazing new year. Blessings.