THEY showed up last weekend. The ones we've been waiting for so long for. Meeting the students as they came in and helping them with their luggage, I was able to talk with them and some of their parents if they came and check them into their room, which will be their new home for the coming school year. It seems like we have a really good group of guys here at HBR. The majority of the students came on Sunday (about ten new students and ten returning students) and then the rest on Monday and one on Tuesday.
Tuesday was the opening ceremony for the school year, which was very cool. Charges were given to the senior class, to the faculty, and to the residence staff (that's me). Then every country represented at BFA was read one by one, and if students were from there or if their parents served there, they stood up. This took a while but was very cool to see. The new student body president spoke, and then, following a tradition of the school, the director of BFA introduced and interviewed the class of 2020 (this year's first graders). This consisted of just one student, a little boy. Some more messages followed this cute little conversation, and then students checked out their classes and eventually made their way home in the afternoon. Since then, they have had three full days of classes and are getting used to life at BFA.
Some more noteworthy items:
#1) Calvin and Joan are the dorm parents I'm working with here at HBR. They are from Washington, and this is their fourth year in the dorm. Andrew is the other male RA working with me here. He grew up in Cyprus where his parents were missionaries, and he attended BFA for all of high school. He then attended Wheaton college not too far from me and came back to work as an RA last year. Rachel is the female RA working here. She is from Pennsylvania and was working here last year as well. I have been getting along great with all four of them - we make a good team. They were all here last year so I'm the only new addition to the dorm staff. Next year will be the opposite as BFA doesn't let dorm parents stay more than four years, and Andrew and Rachel aren't planning on staying for a third year. So next year, I'll be given four new people to work with. But pray for all five of us as we work together this year, that we would be forgiving and understanding with the students and with each other and that our purpose through everything is to glorify God. And that we don't go crazy. If you know me, then you know that the four of them need your prayer!
#2) I have played more soccer in the last two weeks than the rest of my life combined times ten. That is not an exaggeration. I hadn't played but once before, and I have played many times since being in Germany. In the area outside next to the house, there is a large fenced in area with two basketball hoops and a stone floor. It's the kind of basketball court in which you can stand at half-court and shoot a three-pointer on either basket. But the students play a lot (a lot) of a game called "pole soccer" which is just soccer on this court but instead of goals, you are shooting at the pole of the basketball hoop. If it sounds difficult, that's because it is. But there is plenty of scoring, and most of the kids are better than me, but I've been working on it.
#3) Also, bad news. Last night we had our first visit to the hospital of the year. And of course, it wasn't a student. It was me. I won't put pictures up, but remember that basketball pole? Well, long story short, we were playing basketball, and I caught a pass and it seems I was closer than I thought because I sort of turned right into the pole. I think it would have been a lot more embarrassing if not for the blood that immediately started flowing from my forehead. So eventually Rachel and I headed to the hospital where the first woman who dealt with us didn't know any English at all, and it didn't help that I forgot to bring any ID of any kind (hey, I had just been given a head wound). Eventually though, I received two stitches and we headed back home. This could be good or bad news, but some of you may be interested to know that the cut on my forehead is somewhat in the shape of a lightning bolt. Accordingly, somebody soon after cleverly dubbed me The RA That Lived. If you don't understand the last two sentences, just move on. Calvin was musing about why it was God's plan for me to visit the hospital instead of spending time working at the dorm last night. The only answer I could come up with so far was that I was meant to be allowed to stop afterwards for a cheeseburger from McDonald's, which I bought from the euro menu. Yes, it's true - there is a euro menu.
Anyway, that is enough stories for the time being. Thank you for your continued prayers. God is working here!