What Are We Doing Here?
Dave & Barbara Schultz
Black Forest Academy, Germany
We are dorm parents at a Christian boarding-high school, a twelve hour flight away from Red Deer. Some days, I stare at these photos of our beautiful family back in Canada, and I find myself asking again, “What are we doing here, Lord?” Not that this is a “thankless” job by any stretch of the imagination. My grandmother heart just aches for my own little ones sometimes.
I take a deep breath, ask God for more grace, and let my feet take me into the thick of things again.
For Dave and I that means being in the midst of a dozen lovely, motivated, faith-filled, sometimes homesick, high-school girls. They come from all over: the Middle East, Korea, Europe, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Their parents have sacrificed their greatest treasures to remain in ministry in places which are either unsafe, culturally “difficult,” or academically unsuitable for their teenage daughters.
We had the great privilege of meeting several of these sets of parents when they brought their girls to Haus Jesse at the beginning of September. What heart these folks have! A dear couple working in the south of Spain spoke of the spiritual darkness in the culture there. Their passion is to lead young Spanish university students where they teach to faith in Christ. Their only daughter begged them to allow her to come to Black Forest Academy after years of having been the only Christian in her class, frequently suffering persecution by her teachers.
Another family works with refugees coming through a closed country, providing material help and inserting the gospel into daily conversations. They talked about the deplorable conditions the refugees are living in; their lack of anything decent and how they are taken advantage of by the nationals in the country they are passing through. Passion filled their eyes with tears and choked their voices. Their eldest daughter is in her fourth year here, hoping to study in a North American university next year, and their son began studying at BFA this year.
It’s a sacrifice no one planned to make, but BFA is a safe, healthy, Christian environment staffed by Bible-believing, caring teachers and dorm-staff. Here youth have an opportunity to develop academically, socially and spiritually to impact their world for Christ.
So, what are we doing here? Ensuring chores are done, washing bed-linen, cheering volleyball players on, editing English papers, making doctors’ appointments, baking cinnamon buns, and answering tough questions with prayer sprinkled throughout it all.
Our goal, by God’s grace and for His glory is to enable families to continue to minister as we help their daughters to transition into adulthood, independence, and success in their faith-journey.