Saturday, February 6, 2010

Training and Development

Wow, what an interesting 10 days. Currently we are on a Boeing 777 from Denver to Chicago. Renee and I have spent the last 10 days at HCJB Global headquarters in Colorado Springs.

We arrived last Wednesday and checked into “Glen Eyrie”. This is a piece of property owned by the Navigators, a mission agency. The property boasts an old castle with nearly 1,000 acres of grounds and a breathtaking view of the mountains. This is the off season for Glen Eyrie and the place was affordable and deserted. We were only able to take two short hikes into the mountains due to meetings however it was beautiful.

We were with 2 other appointees for all of our meetings. John from Buffalo, New York who is an electrical engineer and will be going to the HCJB Global Technology center in Elkhart, Indiana and Jennifer from Alabama who is a teacher hoping to teach missionary kids in Ecuador. John and Jennifer grew into good friends over the week and we are very privileged to have gotten to know them.

Day seminars covered phone etiquette, presentation skills, “how the internal portions of the mission work”, where and how internal money is spent, cross cultural training and more. We also had 2 evening presentations at people’s homes, chapel every morning and meals with the staff. The main office has a kitchen and each department of the mission took a different day and prepared a lunch meal for the appointees (that’s us – people accepted to the mission, but not yet fully funded). We had a great time getting to meet everyone. We really felt the power of the larger team and the larger reality of how the organization works. The days were long and at the end we were all very tired. We are glad we came and have already begun to use some of the skills we learned from our training.

The kids have really missed us. They have been to both sides of the grandparents, aunts and uncle’s houses and friends. Joshua unfortunately came down with the flu today. We are hoping that he does not pass it around the circle to all the rest of us.

We have had some real God stories while we were there. We received several gifts from generous hearts that allowed us to go from 22% to 33% funded. I am sorry we have not yet had the opportunity to thank each and every one of you in person, but we will soon.

It is exciting to be between Gods resources and Gods opportunities. I know that we have always been in this place as Christians every since we were saved, but somehow this seems more real. In every area of my past work life, I have always had a very direct impact on how profitable the work was. This is no longer the case and I am still adjusting to the new environment. God not only needs to provide for the going, but he needs to provide for the work, not just physical work, but prepare both our hearts and the hearts of the ones we speak with everyday. I love the new environment, but it has tested our faith on more than one occasion already. We have been told over and over by former missionaries at HCJB Global that we have not seen anything yet. Trials and victories intensify as the work goes on.

As a family we started two weeks ago to attend a Spanish speaking church in Holland. We will still be attending our home church first service, but will be attending Spanish church second service. Sunshine met the pastor at “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement” class at Western Seminary and he has offered to take us under his wing to allow us to learn Spanish faster. We are trying to intensify our pre-learning to allow us to not only spend less time at language school in Costa Rica and get to Ecuador sooner, but to soften the headache we know is coming. Nearly every person has told us that stepping into language school as a “new born” was the hardest year of their life.

We would love it if you looked over some of the new features that our friend Tom has put on this site. Connections to HCJB Global’s you-tube, squidoo, dig, wickipedia and others have been added. He has also graciously added news and weather from Ecuador so that all of you can keep in touch. I have no idea how he does all this stuff, but its great!

Below are a few photos of time in Colorado Springs. Thank you for all of your support - we couldn't do it without you!



Bighorn sheep wandering on the property.
Us, John and Jennifer (the other 2 appointees)

After a 45 minute hike we came across this frozen waterfall.


Pikes Peak



The Castle where we had breakfast every morning.











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