"Go to New Staff Orientation early," they said. "You'll get recharged and pumped up for your partnership development!" they said.
Oh, we got that. Also we got schooled.
Last week we were in Colorado for seven days of training with Engineering Ministries International. It was fun and exciting and exhausting and scary all at once. We did get all pumped up and energized for this next adventure. And we came to the conclusion that WE. KNOW. NOTHING.
Shocking, I know.
Before I explain, I should explain. No, EMI did not pull a bait-and-switch maneuver on us. They never tricked us into thinking we were all highly qualified and the new job would be some kind of breeze. In fact, if I think back carefully over the last two years I am quite certain I can recall at least four different EMI staff members and every missionary I know telling us they never have felt qualified to do 90% of what God calls them to do.
And if you think about it, this is a good thing. I mean, if I feel qualified and competent and ready to take on the world I am likely to get cocky. I will charge in with my pride and my camera and forget all about God. I won't think I need Him. And if ever there was a recipe for disaster...
So what did we learn besides how unqualified we really are? We learned more of EMI's history, scope, and influence. There were class sessions on strengths, spiritual gifts, and personality profiles. We did some role-playing exercises and games to help us better understand and move within cross-cultural settings. There was some time to pick the brains of current staff members and time for all of us to share our own testimonies. We met two Canadians who never said "eh" a single time the whole week. I am pretty sure I said "y'all" a lot.
There was a lot of information thrown at us. I thought I could bang out at least three good blog posts by now but I am still trying to process it all. In fact, it was so full that I am really glad we chose to go now while we still have several months before we actually begin the job. There are books to read, testimonies to hone down, and practical things to consider. For the next couple of weeks I will attempt to share as much of what we learned as I can. Blogging is a good way for me to process and help along the "mental marinade."
From the Keiters:
Here is where we share our daily experiences of how God is using our life in the US and abroad with EMI to draw us closer and to make Himself known.