Friday, March 27, 2009

Serving God Alone

Today is my last day at CIT. It has been such a wonderful experience. I wanted to share with you one particular experience that helped to bond the 8 single women missionaries who attended this training session.

One of the staff at CIT had a special session to discuss the unique issues for single women missionaries. We all went out to dinner together, and about half way through our discussion she suggested a devotional for single women missionaries. I am sure it is a wonderful devotional, unfortunately, the title is pretty discouraging (but also hilarious). "Serving God Alone" ... that word Alone. The title became a running joke between all of us. And the reason it was so funny was that it could not be further from the truth.

We are NOT serving God alone! God is with us always! God will never leave us or forsake us! We are also all joining teams of missionaries on the field. We have the support of family, friends, and churches at home praying for us. You are all a part of our ministry. We are not alone.

The running joke about the single women "Serving God Alone", which was shortened to SGA over the weeks, was a constant reminder that God is with us.

Monday, March 23, 2009

God is good

God willing, I will be leaving for Sudan in less than a month! Thank you so much for your prayers. God has provided in amazing ways! I have a seat on a flight to Africa reserved, and a date set to be commissioned at my sending church.

Right now, I am finishing up my last week of language acquisition training at CIT. I am not exactly sure what the next few weeks will look like, but I'm excited!

Bittersweet. I think that is best word that I can come up with to describe how I feel. Amidst the excitement and joy of leaving for Sudan, I am also sad to leave friends and family. I am also nervous to be leaving for a continent I have never seen, to learn a language I have never heard, and to serve as an engineer in an environment I have never experienced with new and different criteria and resources. But I know that I can (and must) rely and depend on God. If I ever doubt God's faithfulness or provision, I can just look back at how he has worked in my life over the last year and be sure that God is faithful!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reflections on CIT

It is hard to sum up the impact of the past four weeks of cross-cultural training on my life. It was so much more than just cross-cultural training. It was overwhelming at times to just scratch the surface of topics that I wanted to explore in more depth. These four weeks have challenged my assumptions, and showed me how much I must rely on God. I also have felt so loved here in a community of people who are all experiencing the same challenges and transitions. Some of the best moments of my time here happened when I was having dinner with my new friends, working on homework in the student center, or just sitting around after class talking about the things that we are all processing.

I didn't realize how tired and exhausted I was after the last year of working, learning about Sudan, raising support, studying appropriate technology in engineering, moving, and sharing my heart with my friends and family. Being here is a breath of fresh air. As much as I was processing the new things I learned in class, I was also processing the ways God has worked in my life over the last year.

In class we discussed topics including ethnocentrism, suffering, humility in service, learning a culture at a heart level, the role of women, the definition of truth, spirtual warfare, security and risk management, culture shock, dealing with transitions, and team interactions.

Am I completely prepared for everything that might happen in Sudan? No, but I am more aware of the difficulties and blessings of cross-cultural ministry, I have new resources to consult in different circumstances, and most of all I have been reminded of the Truth of the gospel and its impact on every aspect of my life and even the way I serve as I an engineer. I am not completely prepared to leave, but I am preparing to leave. I am excited, and not at all anxious.

On Monday, I will start the second class I am attending with will focus on language acquisition.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pray for Sudan

You may have read about Sudan and the ICC in the news over the last week. Please pray for peace and justice in Sudan.

Our team leaders' comments are at the following link.