“Stop!” our trainer, Robin, called out in his strong South African accent. “Now, tell me how you feel.”
A ripple of laughter ran around the room as we looked at the six people balanced precariously on the bridge made up of wobbly chairs and large exercise balls. The bridge represented the process of transition from a settled existence in the States, to the unsettled moving time (wobbly chairs), to the chaos of cultural adjustment (balls), and back to a new settled state. As we watched the “team” of people cross the bridge, they served not only as an illustration of difficult times ahead, but also of the possibility of getting through the transition.
Our last three weeks at Mission Training International were no ordinary three weeks! We have been prepared spiritually, intellectually, personally, interpersonally, culturally, and emotionally for our work in Nicaragua. We have been through missionary boot camp and many of the team literally had guns held to their heads in training exercises simulating guerilla warfare in politically unstable countries. Almost no area was left untouched which might have been of help to us. I felt as if my heart were a field, some parts cultivated and tilled to produce fruit for the gospel, others not. The SPLICE leaders dropped an enormous rake at one end of my heart and dragged it through the whole area. It was an exhausting exercise, but well worth the investment. In addition to this, we deeply bonded with the other missionaries. When the time came to say goodbye, there were no dry eyes.
We have six weeks to get our lives toNicaragua. That includes contacting a lawyer to help us with residency papers, selling our belongings and packing the rest, saying goodbye, redirecting mail, and various other tasks. Pray that God grants us success in every necessary endeavor. Pray also for our families during this time of transition.