Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blessed by Required Training

It was required of me to go to Mission Training International (MTI) in Colorado for some training before heading to the mission field.  I had to be gone for five weeks.  This first three weeks has been called SPLICE.  SPLICE is an acronym for Spiritual, Personal, Lifestyle, Interpersonal, Cultural, Endurance/Enjoyment. 

At first I tried to get out of the training.  My first tactic I used was stating it cost a lot of money.  But doesn’t college training cost a lot, too?  The cost of SPLICE included housing and food.  (The quality of this training has rivaled any college class.)

Then I said I knew a lot about cultural differences.  After all I have had a Pakistani brother-in-law for over 37 years, had exchange students from three different countries live at my house, and gone on short-term mission trips several times.  I really thought I understood the cultural aspect and didn’t need to spend money for this kind of training.

I finally gave in and came to the training.  WOW!  This training has been great.  So much has been covered in the class times and yet it has just scratched the surface.  They gave us homework as well as simulation situations.  We had growth groups and coaching times.  We’ve laughed, cried, and prayed together. 

Well, I thank God that I this training was ‘required’.  It has been three weeks of living in community with other missionaries getting ready to go on the field.  We’ve eaten together, shared common areas together, worshiped together, trained together, as well as had fun together. 

The missionary families here are heading to South America, Central American, Haiti, Mexico, Africa, Europe, Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and Eastern Asia.  There are people leaving for the Middle East the day after we end.  Others will be leaving the country in early October through the end of the year.  There are others of us who are still finding people who will partner with us in our ministry to get us to the field, so we are unsure when we can go.

Next week starts two weeks at MTI for their PILAT program.  This is a training to help missionaries get ready for for language learning.  I’m looking forward to this now, too.

Anyone planning on heading into a new culture for missions, I highly recommend SPLICE.

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