Week 4 was a great wrap up to all the training g we had been learning as our team (Shay, Andy, and Missy) presented what we had observed and learned from our church host for the month. It helped to solidify the need to continue to take the posture of a learner and reflect Jesus. It was great to see what everyone else had experienced as well. We are all going to different parts of the world but the message is the same. God loves us more than we deserve because He desires to have a relationship with us. It is a message of hope and one I know will be proclaimed boldly by those I was in training with.
We also learned about taking care of our selfs as we transition to the field and begin the work. This was a great resource. Perhaps the most important session for is was helping us understand an giving us tools to help our wonderful children with the adjustment.
Speaking of the children, they all did a great job and I think really enjoyed themselves. They also learned a lot. Maddie said the best thing she learned was that culture ah ok is real and you need to be prepared for it. Reagan said she learned that we can travel well as a family. Georgia learned that she could do different things like helping people right now even when she is just seven.
Braden found some new friends and more independence which is great.
We wrapped up with a few days in Paris before heading home (more on that in a different post to come later). And after a 8 hour layover in the Boston airport we arrived at 11:45pm and drive home . It was weird getting behind the wheel of a car after a month of only public transport. The time was useful, confirming and encouraging. It is good to be home but we do miss our CCMI family.
There is a lot to still process but we are excited to have this training under our belt. Thanks for all the prayers.
It really is hard to believe that we have been in Belgium for a little over 3 weeks. It has been very stretching and confirming.
Last week we finished up language and culture acquisition. This training really reminded me how much I want to be the expert and usually feel like I am just that. In my flesh I believe I know exactly how things need to happen and am normally pretty willing to share it with anyone who cares to listen. This training continues to remind me of my desperate need for Jesus and His finished work. I also need to take the stance of a learner more often.
After a hard week of training we had an extra day (Friday and Saturday) off. The family loaded up on a train on Friday afternoon and arrived in Amsterdam 2 hours later. This was a great time to get away from the Centre and just be with our family. Living with 8 other missionary families is fun but you sometimes need to be with just your family. We stayed on a house boat for the night and had a nibble plate for dinner. I haven’t made breakfast since we had arrived ( something I do every day when we are at home) so I cooked up some eggs in the morning and we headed out for a day of Anne Frank’s House and a canal boat tour. The preserved children’s growth markings on the wall took my breath away. A grasping to a normal life in the midst of chaos and evil. The canal ride was a great way to see a lot of Amsterdam at once.
We arrived back to the Centre to prepare for a long day of worship. I preached and was translated into Turkish at our Arminian church. It was a fun experience that I get to this coming Sunday but this time into Armenian. After service we found a great Moroccan restaurant where we are lunch and waited forlorn the 3:00 service. Needless to say that by the time we arrived back at the Centre we were pretty worn out.
Michael Elling stopped by to grab a beer on Sunday night. Michael is a great friend from Indianapolis who is moving here this month with his family. His girls are friends with our girls.
Monday started with training on contextualization and it was challenging. To think of the gospel as a custom fitting suit makes us move to grace in our own lives and for those around us. Law is easy because it is one size fits all but grace is hard because it is specific.
The rest of training pushed us to think differently about church planting and structure, mercy and justice ministry, and tried to prepare us for culture shock.
Two highlights this week were the great dinner and Bible study with the Arminian Church
The second was hearing everyone sing “happy birthday” to our sweet Georgia and then just Shay and I taking her to downtown Brussels ti shop for a present and have a special treat. Pretty amazing birthday for her.
One more week to go. Keep praying for us. We are living it here but excited to get home to are our people.