I really wanted to post our full orange tree, which I’ve been using to show our progress towards 85% support, but we recently replaced, scrubbed to factory settings and gave away our old laptop, and apparently the files, which were on the desktop, didn’t make it through our minimalistic backup process. So, like I posted in our Facebook group, here’s a full bowl of oranges.
On Sunday, we head to Harrisburg, PA for a two week training called Field Prep Seminar (FPS) at our mission agency’s headquarters. It’s for prefield missionaries who have raised 85% or more of their monthly support requirement and who plan to leave for the field within the year.
Obviously we don’t know much abut it, but according to ABWE.org, it will focus on at least three things:
- Transition to the mission field
- Major adjustments to living in another culture
- Adapting to the existing ABWE field team
To prepare for FPS, we read a number of books, including Tim Keller’s The Reason for God, John Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad, and Cross-Cultural Connections by Duane Elmer. We also completed a Missional Biblical Theology course, which was essentially Systematic Theology for missionaries. Once we received our invitation to FPS, we did a few hours of homework on spiritual warfare, cultural issues, leadership, and child safety training.
Our schedule is going to be kind of grueling – some days are 12 hours long. But our leaders will make sure we have lots of snacks, breaks, fellowship and even some fun. They will allow us to include our kids when appropriate and, most certainly, the whole training will be engaging and life-changing. Between a missionary’s application for service and departure to the field, ABWE gets 3 opportunities to ensure excellence in missions – candidate seminar, Essential Missions Components, and Field Prep. So they take advantage of our presence.
We would appreciate prayers for us while we are attending this valuable training:
- Safety and favor regarding travel logistics
- Energy for us and for Chris’s parents, who will be taking care of the kids
- Spiritual, mental and physical strength for our long days of training, and the ability to take it all in
- Provision for the ministries we leave behind – our small group friends who will lead our Chinese friends through The Story of Hope, and our youth pastor who will lead our middle schoolers through The Way to Joy solo
We are so excited to reach this prefield milestone! Glory to God!