Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 4: Eating it up

We start the day at breakfast with Joy. She's a prof who served as the outside reader for my dissertation. She's brilliant, loves research, and is full of interesting ideas. She's always fun to talk to.

The day's training focuses on field relationships and cultural orientation. First, we are asked to sit with all those planning to go to the same area. Two couples and a single gal belong to our Indo group.

Then it's on to culture training.

 "You'll have many disconnects with your surroundings," warn the missionaries. "You WILL experience culture shock. You can't change the people you're going to work with. They are born and live with their worldview, just like you do. And theirs is no better or worse than yours. You can only try to understand and grow yourself." The information - some of it from books by Geert Hofstede and Duane Elmer - is a good review for me, but it's new to W. The presenters are excellent and keep us engaged.

We have lunch with Bill and Kim, our area directors. It's their 42nd anniversary: cool that they're willing to spend it with us! Bill and I were classmates. He's finishing his PhD. Kim made it through at another school 2 years ago. They encourage us, give us good information, and help us make connections we hadn't thought through.

The afternoon is full - we have one brief break and then it's full steam ahead until 4:45.

We eat supper with a couple who ask why and how we're headed overseas. We spend a few hours laughing and talking together about what we love, why we serve God, and what that might look like in the future. Really, none of us has a clue what lies ahead. We're moving through open doors with the security that God is in this.

"We're open," we tell them. So are they. At this stage of our lives, who has time to fool around, gather possessions, or waste time?

We're tired when we get home. It's almost 10, and I can't believe we're still awake. Thanks for every prayer, every note of encouragement!

Read more:
*O Lord, you are our God; let no mortal prevail against you. 2 Chronicles 14:11 NLT

*You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 NKJV

*We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21 NLT

Moravian Prayer: Abba, Father, your nurturing love surrounds us as we face an often unwelcoming world. We wrap ourselves in your grace and mercy, your boundless love. Amen.

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