We all arrived on Tuesday, June 27. Nine different missionary units. All different ages. All different family structures. All different routines. All with different stories and backgrounds. All from different states. All preparing for ministry in different countries: Southeast Asia, the Middle East,Greece, France, Colombia, Bulgaria, Peru, and Romania. All different, yet all very similar, too.
All eager, nervous, and exhausted in our own way from our travels and what unknowns we had lying before us at CCMI. All with a specific calling from the Lord to live incarnationally in cross-cultural ministry experiences so as to help usher in the restored Kingdom of Christ. All knowing what it feels like for others to unrealistically hold us up on a faith pedestal. All knowing what it feels like for others to question whether we're being stupid, irresponsible, or a little crazy. All probably actually a little bit crazy in our own rights. All living under one roof in crammed quarters for one month.
11.5 hours of Worship and Prayer
73 hours of Classroom Training
21 hours of Fieldwork, Ethnographic Research, and Service
7 hours of Presentations
8 hours of Service Team Meetings
10 hours of Homework
We learned how to analyze a culture and test our assumptions and biases to determine how to best serve cross-culturally.
We refined our own missiology as we looked at case studies and learned from Bill Yarbrough.
We added to (or started!) our toolbox for language-learning strategies and spent several hours making fools of ourselves practicing nonsense syllables and sounds, all under the tutelage of Nancy Craig and Mischa Marlowe.
We discussed team dynamics and role-played how to deal with conflict with the help of Jeff Marlowe and Minette Lugo.
We tested our ability to contextualize our conversations with others and move toward Gospel-centered evangelistic conversations with John Leonard.
We made plans for caring for our families and ourselves and finding joy and Sabbath in our new fields with the help of Michael and Tricia Lee, Erin Pettingill, and Katie Navarra.
We played a lot of card games, sang karaoke, watched some movies, visited several other countries, and laughed at ourselves and each other a lot.
We became family.
Four weeks ago, we came together as different individuals with the common bond of wanting to reach every tribe, tongue, and nation with the Gospel of God's Great Rescue Plan for taking His beloved people out of captivity. We are parting ways as beloved friends and colleagues who have bared each other's burdens, hurts, growth, and joys - many of us never to see one another in person again until we finally see that Restored Kingdom come to full fruition. We are living and loving in the already but not yet. So with tears, hugs, prayers, and love, we send one another off to the ends of the earth with "Jehovah our Banner" leading the way, knowing that the victory already belongs to our Lord.
Adiós, Au revoir, Довиждане, अलविदा, Αντίο, وداعًا, La Revedere, and Goodbye!
The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still. -Exodus 14:14