Summer Adventure: Day 21
by Doug Darfus
Wow! Week 3 of 4 complete. What a week! I’m going to try to condense all we have learned into a couple sentences per day to give you an idea about what training is about.
Monday: In the morning we had a simulation where we were put into a situation that seemed a bit scary. Afterward, we were asked our impressions of various things that happened. We were given the whole story to show how our American filter can put a spin on events that were not there.
The afternoon was about lifestyle choices and how one way of behaving can have one meaning here while having a totally different meeting in another culture. We were also challenged on the things to which we must hold firm and what things we could modify to help us better meet the culture. For example: We can’t bend on the Gospel, but maybe we could hold our fork in our left hand instead of our right.
Tuesday: Conflict all day. We did various activities to see how we handle conflict and how that transfers to people who handle conflict in other ways. This was a very useful day. I realized why I bump heads with some people and not others.
Wednesday: In the morning we learned how every one of us will go through culture shock that can last weeks, months, or even years. The entire family was involved and we simulated culture shock with a make-shift, wobbling bridge. Although the activity was fun, it was also sobering to know that we will all go through some level of anxiety, emotional isolation, and depression while adjusting to the new culture.
In the afternoon we talked about how important it is to keep up our spiritual vitality. Many tools were given to help us keep our spiritual vitality meter full.
Thursday: The day started with another very intense simulation to see how we deal with stress. After the simulation, we discussed how we handle stress in different ways. It was shared with us that research has shown a missionary’s stress level is greater than a first responder. Reserves of resilience are important to be able to cope.
Friday: The Sabbath. We were given guiding notes to work with while having time to spend the day with the Lord. There was a debrief before lunch and another before dinner. This was a very refreshing day. The importance of spending a day with God couldn’t be overstated.
These small paragraphs don’t even come close to fully explaining all that we have done this week or the important information we were given and reflected on. We thank God that we have been given this opportunity to be at Missions Training International. It has been a blessing beyond belief!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We REALLY appreciate it!