Saturday, October 31, 2009

Missionaries in Training

Today was a very special day for us and we will post an update about that soon. BUT, this week of training at MTI was really intense and I wanted to write a little bit about what we are doing here for those of you who are interested, before I forget.

This week we went over a number of topics including conflict resolution and our conflict styles (Tricia - that's me - is a SHARK, and Kelly is a TURTLE... big surprise). We also covered adversity and God's plan for our trials and difficulties as well as how we handle stress.

Lots of heavy topics but one of the craziest experiences of the week was a hostage simulation we went through. Basically our large group was separated into two smaller groups and each group was placed in a makeshift shelter. We were given a scenario and we were supposed to try to "be ourselves" as the scenario played out. The scenario became more and more intense as the group was presented with an opportunity for a few people to escape and then that opportunity was rejected because we wanted to give the other team (who we were in contact with by radio) the chance to send a group to the rescue helicopter.

Then all of a sudden our group was captured and the "enemy" soldier really started to rough up our group. He said that we could choose three of our group to be traded to our government in exchange for three of their military leaders that were being held. There were a few of us there that were young moms so the group said to take us. But when we were removed from the shelter shots started firing and it appeared we were being executed.

I'm going to stop here to say that even though this was just a simulation, I was having a very strong emotional reaction to all that was happening. I had kept my cool pretty well until I was chosen to leave the group. Even though they were trying to help me, I really didn't want to leave the group behind. The "enemy soldier" had me lie down on the cement floor and cover my head. I could no longer see what was happening to anyone else in my group. When shots were fired I seriously lost it! I was totally weeping and having a hard time getting back in control. Snot was streaming down and I got a bloody nose. I could not escape the thoughts that even though this was not real, violence like this simulation is happening all over the world all the time. I was completely overwhelmed by these thoughts and felt so convicted about the fact that I do NOT pray enough for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted.

Anyway, it was wild. I really was not expecting a simulation to affect me so deeply. It gave me a lot to think about in terms of how I handle stress, ha ha ha. When the simulation was over I was a mess and a few people in our group came and prayed with me as we all tried to pull ourselves together. I felt relieved and embarrassed and exhausted.

Obviously I will think of that experience again down the road. I want to be more faithful in praying for those that are facing violence around the world and this is good motivation. I'm sure I will have more thoughts as I process this experience but I just wanted to give you all a bit of an insight into the training we are going through. While this simulation is by far the heaviest of the activities we have done here, all of the training has been valuable and for the most part, quite serious. I am so grateful for all that we are learning here. Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Donate Now

Planning a one-time gift for the holidays? Looking to do some tax-deductible yearend giving? Want to support our work at Ciyanjano? You can give a one time gift for Christmas or school fees or car repair or to help us get back to America for our home assignment next year, or you can become a committed monthly supporter for as little as $5 a month? Click here now!.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At MTI in Palmer Lake

Well, for all (two) of you Huckablog followers, we have safely arrived in Palmer Lake, CO @ Mission Training International. We spent the last week on the road from Oakland, Ca - where we visited with Tricia's brother, went to the beach, saw a lot of sea lions at Fisherman's Wharf, and checked out an emergency room, Luke stepped off a curb while I was holding his hand and it dislocated his elbow. Easy fix, and he was a trooper. We traveled through some of the most boring country (central Nevada), stayed with the cousin of a friend in Salt Lake (thanks Steve & Matthew), and drove through some of the most beautiful country (I-70 through Colorado). We arrived at MTI safely on Monday afternoon with two minutes to spare before our orientation started. That Monday it was in the mid-70's and clear and sunny, by Tuesday it was cool and foggy, and by Wednesday morning there was 3" of snow on the ground and 30 mph winds. Big change.

So far, we have settled into a routine here between classes, meals, and family time. So far the training is great. One of the best things, though is this:
One of the trainers said - "You are now among your tribe, your people group. These people understand support-raising, traveling and sleeping on couches and speaking at churches and bible studies." This is so true - I have felt a little out of place in the world over the last six months. We're not quite here or there and often feel that no-one in the world and most people in the Church have no idea what you're going through. Being around these people is a blessing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

week one - road trip

Well. We are all surviving and having a very nice time with our friends and family along the way. Had a lovely visit with our very old friends the Collmers in Vancouver, WA. A short day of driving to Grant's Pass, OR hotel offered a needed swim and a chance to catch up on sleep - we all went to sleep around 7:45. In the morning we took a long walk around the little town, got coffee and hit the road. We drove into Whitmore, CA the long and scenic route (oops, thanks Google maps) and stayed with new friends in a pretty little cabin in the piney woods of the California foothills. Had a chance to meet their pastor and his family and had a great dinner and time of conversation & fellowship. In the crisp fall morning, we picked Arkansas Black apples and fed them to the horses. We hit the road a little late but after an EXTREMELY scenic route (thanks again Google) we arrived at camp Koinonia, low on gas and energy. The road over the mountain from CA-17 to Koinonia was like a joke. 15 miles, one lane, no lines, switchbacks on switchbacks, large patches of the road had been washed away in previous mudslides. But beautiful. Koinonia was terrific, the people were all very insightful and helpful and we stayed in another woodsy cabin in the forest with the Breuningers. Saw the beach at Capitola (by the sea) and checked out Santa Cruz. Today we were in Morgan Hill, CA staying with some ex-ACTION Zambia missionaries and visiting with their pastor and going to church. A great day and topped with a greasy bag full of fries and burgers from the In & Out Burger. Delicious! Thanks to all of our great hosts. Please continue to pray for our support raising, and especially, for safe travel and good sleep.

Monday, October 5, 2009

ACTION Zambia Website Gets Facelift

Hey folks,
Please check out the updated and beautified website for ACTION Zambia. Lots of more info, pictures and news. Plus there is a new page all about Ciyanjano Centre where we will be living and working in Zambia. We're on our first full day on the path to MTI in Palmer Lake, CO. and it couldn't be a more beautiful fall say with old friends we love. Pray for safe drives and quiet nights.
Mutsale bwino.