So how was training? Like drinking from a fire hydrant–more information than we could possibly process in two weeks, but incredibly refreshing!
These past two weeks were incredible! There were 47 adult trainees (including the two of us), 16 children (including our little guy), and a host of staff. I was blown away by how many different types of roles within Wycliffe were represented by our training class alone: pilots, mechanics, teachers, house parents, security personnel, accountants, administrators, recruiters, museum directors, artists, journalists, language surveyors, linguists/translators, IT and software developers, and more! We had the opportunity to hear everyone’s testimony, and it is truly incredible to see how God worked through so many different people in so many different ways to bring us all to the same place. It was such a perfect illustration of the body of Christ, with all its many members, working together to advance the Kingdom.
We were blessed to have the opportunity to connect with so many people with the same passion we have! Tim and I hit it off immediately, and by the end of the week both our wives were rolling their eyes at us. I had the opportunity to talk with Tim one night on the way to the grocery store and was inspired by his passion for reaching MK’s (missionary kids) for Jesus.
The Phillip’s have already served overseas for several years in Southeast Asia, and now they and their six kids will be serving in PNG. Many people silently wonder, “How could they take their kids overseas?” But these were perhaps the best behaved, most well-adjusted, godly children I have ever seen! I can only hope that our children turn out that well. Plus, Josiah loved them!
We had the opportunity to take a much needed break on Saturday at the beach, just a 45 minute drive from the Wycliffe HQ. Josiah wasn’t a big fan of the water or sand at first, but he warmed up to it after a while. We haven’t had much opportunity to have family time lately, so this was a tremendous blessing, even if it was only for a few hours.
We also received some phenomenal training that will serve us well in the years to come. We covered topics such as maintaining spiritual health in spite of a harsh/hostile environment, raising kids in another culture, public speaking skills, maintaining balance with ministry and family, record keeping, technology skills and usage, managing finances, and a whole host of additional topics! We had the opportunity to hear story after story of life transformation brought about through Bible translation, and we left our training feeling both “Equip”-ed and inspired. Hearing the testimonies of the other trainees and the testimonies of lives impacted by Bible translation reminded me why I signed up! As Wycliffe’s founder, Cam Townsend, once said: “The greatest missionary in the world is the Bible in the mother tongue.”
We are so excited to be a part of this ministry! Our next stage of training is a one-year program in Dallas, TX. In order to make the departure deadline for PNG that Wycliffe has set (September 2016), we need to begin our training in Dallas next July. Please remember us in your prayers as we take these next steps!