We just finished a full month of pre-field training in Colorado. The first two weeks were focused on language acquisition. Its not learning a language, which was a relief as my language helper, Irena, spoke Bulgarian. But it's learning how to learn a language. It was really interesting, and Mike and I both are thinking a lot more about the importance of language study. The second two weeks dealt with conflict resolution, stress management, dynamics between team members on the field and grief and loss. It was a really heavy month, but a really good month. It gave us a lot of new tools for our 'missionary belt' and a lot more food for thought.
Eden was in a kids program while we were in our class. They taught the kids all the same things as the adults, just in a different way. Its amazing to me how much of the teaching Eden is getting. They talked lot about transition and how it can be a paradox, or "pair a ducks" as the kids are learning. Its good and hard all at the same time. You can have a 'yuck duck' and a 'yay duck' at the same time because this 'pair a ducks' swim together. I'm so thankful that Eden is getting the language to be able to talk about how this transition and moving is impacting her heart and mind. It sparked a lot of conversation about how to transition well as a family. We are so thankful for our time there. Below is a shot of a group of people roped together that had to cross the 'bridge of transition' together, taking care of each member of the team according to the part of the transition they were in.
In between rain/thunder storms, we did a little bit of hiking around the training center.
We are now back in New York packing down our house. We are still looking for those who would partner with us so that we can go. We are about 70% funded, and praying for the remaining amount. Would you prayerfully consider joining with us? Or do you know people who are passionate about missions, who would be interested in hearing what the Lord is calling us to? We would love to be introduced! We are confident that the Lord has a plan. We have run out of ideas of people/places to contact, so we are asking for your help. Would you pray and ask the Lord if/how you could be involved with us in training African doctors to be excellent, godly surgeons, serving the children in Kenya?
Mike (pediatric surgeon) and Julie (nurse/mother to two) living in Kenya, East Africa