Friday, February 3, 2012

Our Day in Deutschland

Today was awesome!
It was wonderful to get to see these familiar faces.
I got to spend the day at BFA! The first half was at an elementary school with some wonderful fourth graders, so that was fantastic! I really do hope to be a teacher someday. Maybe even in Germany :) The second half of my day was spent with Joe at the highschool. I basically shadowed him, and followed him to all of his afternoon classes. That was pretty fun! German highschool is a LOT different than in Fargo.
A lot.
My dad taught his seminars on coaching and they went really well. He met some interesting people and was able to pass off some of his knowledge on the subject to some people who really needed to hear it. So that was awesome!
He also met David and Helen McCormack who work at BFA.  What's really wild is that David graduated from the same High School my dad did, and his aunt was one of his elementary school teachers!  My dad says it's a pretty small world, especially in North Dakota.

My new hat! YES!

The BFA logo, in all of it's splendor! Fun Fact: They are the Falcons. Kind of like another Christian school we know of :)

Look! Germany has a Moorhead, too!

My fourth grade class! 11 students.
I got a hat! A European hat, just for me! And it actually goes with my coat, so that's always good news.

Prayer Requests:
* Please pray for the Granos and their ministry at Black Forest Academy.  Ask God to use them in the classroom and the office to do a great job supporting all the missionary families from 52 countries associated with the school. 
* Pray for God to provide the several other key workers that the school is looking for next year.
*Finally, pray for us to have a safe flight to Minneapolis tomorrow and then drive from Mpls to Fargo in the evening (when we'll probably be pretty tired!).

Thursday, February 2, 2012


We made it! Germany is now under our control.
Just kididng.
But we did arrive safely and intactly, which is a plus. We said our goodbyes to the Gibbons at the airport around 10:15, got on a flight, and arrived in Geneva, Switzerland at around 1:30. We then had a nice 3 hour drive ahead of us, but we stopped off at a Bern, Switzerland (the Swiss capitol) to explore a bit. That was awesome. There was snow falling the whole time, and it felt like North Dakota. It was slightly depressing and slightly comforting all at the same time.
So we shopped around a bit in Bern (and bought, beleive it or not, MORE chocolate), and then headed to Kandern.
We got to the Grano's house at 6:30 tonight, and they have been wonderful with their hospitality. I'm pretty excited to eat supper.
Tomorrow I get to hang out with 4th graders for a couple hours, and Dad will get to teach 2 classes on
"Coaching", so the day will fly by pretty quick.
Which is a shame. I like Germany.
So, we made it! I'm sure there will be tons of pictures up tomorrow, our last official day (there weren't any today because it was mainly a travel day) in Europe, so stay tuned! I'm excited to see how God works tomorrow.
Be praying!
We miss you.
See you on Sunday (if the jet lag isn't too terrible, of course)!

Prayer Requests:
* Pray for the Coach training that Dad will do tomorrow, asking God to make it very helpful to the people who take it.
* Pray for the Granos and their work at Black Forest Academy.  This is a school where many missionary kids from all over the world go to school.  If it weren't for this school, lots of parents would have to go back to their home country instead of staying where God sent them.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Toodle-oo Toulouse!

Well, our experience in Toulouse, France was overall fantastic! We learned quite a bit, and were able to make some wonderful new friends that will last a lifetime! That's always a plus :)
To call it quits, we decided to make the very most of our last day! So, obviously, we went to visit the only double walled medieval city in the entire world-complete with a castle. It was an awesome adventure, and we were able to actively participate in history. Plus, it was chilly, so i got to wear a fantastic French hat (I felt so cultured). That basically made my day.
Once we had seen all there was to see of the majestic castle, we ventured to downtown Toulouse to the most incredible steak restaurant I've ever been to in my life. Steak, French fries, and dessert are the only things they serve. They don't even have a menu.
They just ask you how you would prefer your steak, and that's that.
It was awesome :)
AND, it was all you can eat. We made good use of that deal.
So, we're concluding our time in Toulouse, but we are off to finish up our trip as a whole in beautiful Kandern, Germany, and we couldn't be more excited about that!
It will be great to see some familiar, and dearly missed, faces.
So, until I update tomorrow, have a wonderful night!

Prayer Requests:
* Pray for Dad as he finishes his prep work to teach the Coaching class at Black Forest Academy once we get there.
* Pray for a safe flight to Geneva and four hour car ride to Kandern--could be quite the beautiful trip!
* Pray for Michael and Emilie Gibbons and their very needed ministry to those who don't know Jesus in Toulouse.  Ask God to help them and their team to be faithful and look to Him for the results.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 8

The Retreat Center: Le Colorado

Another shot of the Retreat Center

Rachel at the sign for the Toulouse Evangelical Free Church
Dad and I are both quite tired.
I guess a 3 day retreat in France takes a lot out of ya.
But it's all good, because God has provided us with a couple chill down time days coming up here!
Tomorrow we only have one event going on (I won't tell too much, because I'll need something to write about tomorrow!), and I'm pretty sure the rest of the day will be dedicated to getting our energy back.
It's been a wonderful trip, but it's also been a full trip :)
So, considering this, prayer for restoration of the mind and body would be GREAT.
Because we still have wonderful Germany to go explore, and on Wednesday we get to venture out to an ancient castle here in Toulouse! It's going to really be exciting, and to be rested up for a full day of walking and adventuring would be excellent.
I think tomorrow's going to be nice and calm.
The retreat ended very well! We got our last session in and packed up and headed out! We arrived safely back at about 2:30 (7:30 in the morning US time, in case you're wondering), and we had some lunch, and then Michael, Emilie, Dad, and the rest of the gang headed to an English camp of sorts, but I stayed back and cleaned up and unpacked a bit from our excursion.
So now the kitchen is spotless ;)
Now, we're just about to sit down to supper (hopefully it's some insanely wonderful creation, as they have all been), and end the night with some good discussion and some time with Jesus.
Camps are a blast, but one of my favorite things is taking an honest to goodness (and usually much needed) shower once I get back!
Just being honest.
Love you all!
Until tomorrow,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Last Day of Camp

Well today is our last full day of the retreat that we have been attending to help out our missionary friends.
It is a bittersweet parting, I think.
Bitter, because we're going to have to say goodbye.
Sweet because in a few days we are going to be able to say hello!
BFA, here we come!
But first, we're going to finish up our encouraging here at the camp in this cute little tiny French town. We have the rest of tonight to enjoy, and tomorrow morning we have one more message/worship session before we head out.
It should be a blast :)
We've made some excellent friends here. Emilie, Michael, Lucy, Alex, Kerstin, Phoenix, and Loretta.
2 Germans, 2 Chinese, 3 American missionaries to France, and 2 Americans. I'd say we're pretty well diversified.
It has been an incredible experience so far to be able to get to know these stewards of Christ and understand them and their ambitions. We love them all dearly now, and hate to have to leave them.
But hey, that's life. And it's not going to be "goodbye".
It's going to be "see you later".
Which is good.

Today's agenda consisted of waking up (for myself, it was accidentally an hour later than it should have been), eating breakfast (Nutella and baguettes, doesn't get much more wonderful than that), hearing Dad speak about, beleive it or not, the book of MARK! Wow! Didn't see that one coming :) , worship with Emilie, Lucy, and Alex, I went and did homework and spent some time with Jesus and wrote some letters while the Toulouse team and my father had workshops concerning the continuing ministry here. Then we had lunch. The food here is incredible. Beyond incredible, actually. Then it was a quick ten minute session with my dad to wrap up the previous meetings. Then free time! That's always nice. So I'm blogging, just to keep you wonderful folks in the European loop :)

Tonight the lovely Chinese ladies are preparing supper for us, so that should be an awesome treat! I'm personally quite excited. But, then again, I always get excited about food, so that's nothing new.

Hmmm I feel like that's a pretty sufficient update for the day. What to do you think? Feel free to leave comments, they brighten our day! We love you all <3

Prayer Requests:
*That we finish strong.
*That we start strong.
*That God works through us and the Toulouse team no matter where life takes us.

Most amazing ice cream. It's in the shape of a FLOWER! Definitely tops Coldstone!
Everybody, including Emilie and Michael!
The lovely Phoenix and Loretta!

The dream team. Alex, Lucy, yours truly, and Kerstin. Dad took the picture.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Winter Retreat!

Hey, hey, hey! Day 6!
This trip is just flying by.
It's weird to think we're already halfway done!
And what a wonderful first half it's been!

So, last night we got in to our weekend "resort", which is an assortment of cabins and one main building that lies just out a tiny little French town called Egleton. It's adorable.
It's funny, because this is actually the only Western style lodging in all of France. So it's much like we went from America to France to America.
Gotta love that :)
Dad gave his first lesson this morning, and it really moved the team here, most were tearing up by the end.
So powerful.
God works in such wonderful ways.
So then we had worship (2 songs in French. Dad and I were fumbling through them a bit, but we'll be pros by the end of the retreat and have a few new songs to teach Lee! Haha.), and then went into the downtown area and did a little shopping. We're scheduled to head out there again tonight for some delicious pizza for only like 7 euro per pie! What a deal! Gotta love Europe.

Keep the prayers flowing, God has been so evident in the first portion of our journey, and we'd love to finish strong with your support and love! Thank you so much, by the way. Here's our next round:

*Pray for my dad to have enough energy to finish out the weekend of leadership strong, and prepare well for his next round of teaching at BFA.
*Pray for the Toulouse team, that they would continue to hold down the fort here, and keep loving Jesus every step of the way.
*Pray for the people of France, that their hearts would be softened to the good news being presented to them.
*Pray for me, that I would be able to manage the workload that I'll be facing when I get back.
*Pray for the Gibbons, that they would be willing and able to continue the good work they are doing here.

*Pray for Christ to be revealed to those who need Him, both here, in Fargo, and everywhere in between.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Picture Update

Rachel here, and i have been having a blast taking pictures! Today was basically a "well we came to Europe, so we might as well be American tourists" kind of day. We had 3 wonderful guides walk us around the beautiful city of Toulouse, and I was able to capture most of the adventure on camera. So feast your eyes on some of the highlights thus far!

INCREDIBLE food here. Especially when it's homemade!

Even Europeans need coffee!

The buildings are all so artistic, it's awesome!

Even the TREES are creative.

The French are not the most high-quality drivers, though.

The capital building! Pretty pretty pretty.

A very impressive library!

The cathedral with the highest spier in Europe!

The classiest McDonalds I've ever seen in my life.

When the ice cream is in the shape of a rose, you know you've struck gold.

Even the graffiti is amazing!

All in all, it's been a wonderful trip so far, and it's only day 2 :) Keep the prayers coming, we leave for the winter retreat tomorrow!

Love and miss you all,