Hey, Everyone! We are very happy to announce that we have completed our pre-departure orientation, a two week training which Christar requires that their personnel attend prior to leaving for their field of service. At the end of the training, we were informed that we had been approved as official members of Christar!
Every day began with worship together. Almost every class, meeting, and meal began and ended with prayer. We really appreciate how much Christar relies on God through prayer, and practicing this for two weeks has helped us to continue to do so even now that training is over.
We also benefitted from hearing stories from missionaries who had spent significant time on the field. All of the stories we heard had aspects of heartbreak involved. Wether it was death, disease, war, abductions, or some other difficulty, each person testified to the fact that God can be trusted with our lives, and that He works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) There was even a mother who had lost her son on the mission field who came to tell us that it was worth it, to have raised him to follow Christ, even though it meant she lost him on this Earth.
Did you know that the majority of missionaries who leave the field quit due to interpersonal problems with other team members? In response to this reality, we were equipped to better understand how our own personalities and preferences work together with others. We learned important principles for working on multicultural teams, handling conflicts, and providing our best contributions to better serve our co-laborers as well as our target people group. We also had the opportunity to practice our teamwork skills in several group exercises, including a “road rally,” a clue finding game somewhat similar to The Amazing Race.
There was also training provided to and for our children. Each day the kids tried new foods, took field trips to ethnic markets, discussed how to process transitions, and/or studied Scripture. They learned that God will not forsake them, and that they can’t go anywhere that is too far for Him to care for them. (Joshua 1:5, Psalm 139) And since children who are raised in multiple cultures face unique challenges, we were taught how to understand and address their specific needs as parents. Third-culture kids (TCKs), a category that missionary children—as well as refugees, military kids, and adoptees—fall into, have a unique set of difficulties, but they also have opportunities to grow in ways which single culture children do not. Augustine, Viggo Mortenson, President Obama, and even Jesus Himself were all TCKs. We had a seminar on how to help our children thrive and grow while balancing multiple cultural influences. We also had training on how to work through saying goodbye to our family, friends, church, and home, and how to deal with emotions that we will encounter during this process.
Christar even celebrated our anniversary with us, with a surprise cake and roses! We really appreciate that Christar cares both about reaching the nations and about taking care of the missionaries they send out to the field. It was truly helpful to have this time of training and renewal for our souls to be fully prepared for service together.
We are now one step closer to Japan. With all our training behind us, the only thing we have left to do is raise more supporters. If you aren’t already on our team, but you are interested, then please email us to let us know. We would be happy to send you a packet with more information or to meet with you. Additionally, please sign up for our prayer letters if you haven’t already.
Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed for us to be able to attend this training, and to everyone who has donated to help us pay for the training and other upfront costs for our departure to the mission field. We could not have made it this far without your help!
God is good, and we pray He blesses you as you serve Him with your life.