Sitting at their dinner table, Trey and Randi wrestled with what to do. When God called them to leave their native Texas and serve Him in Serbia in 2009, it was an easy “Here am I, send me!” answer. But if God was leading them to send their eldest son to boarding school, because that was the best option academically, socially and spiritually, that was a much harder ask.
Who wants to send their child away to boarding school? Well, maybe many of us at various points, but usually the feeling doesn’t last! Who wants their child to potentially feel like they have been abandoned in a strange place, not knowing anyone? Who wants to hand over the day-to-day parenting of their children to someone else, someone whom they don’t know, and doesn’t necessarily share exactly their values? Who wants to have no relationship with their children’s friends, and no real ability to help their children with peer pressure? To be unable give them a hug when they need it? Who wants to do that to their own children, whom they love so much?
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13 (ESV).
For Trey and Randi, it was the hardest “not our will, but yours Lord” decision that they’d ever dealt with. However, when they took the step of faith, and left their eldest son, Connor, at Black Forest Academy for the first time in the fall of 2012, God was faithful, like He always is. They watched that 14 year old boy grow into a godly young man, shaped by the servant hearted staff of Black Forest Academy. He had opportunities far beyond what would have been available in Serbia, with leadership roles on dorm council and the student body, plus involvement in the Model United Nations conference in Basel. Connor graduated in 2016, and is now studying International Relations at Texas A&M University. Trey and Randi’s daughter Brooke is now also studying at BFA, in Grade 11, thriving, and making the most of sporting opportunities in volleyball, hopefully providing exposure and athletic scholarship opportunities down the track. Kyle, their youngest, is looking forward to beginning at BFA in the next school year.
Of the impact that BFA has had on their ministry at a language/cultural center in Serbia, Randi says, “When you support BFA faculty and staff members, you are literally impacting the world with the hope of the gospel. Parents are able to stay on the field and continue serving without sacrificing their children's needs. I cannot adequately express the blessing that BFA has been and will continue to be to our family. To all who support those who serve at BFA, we are forever thankful.”