So, 3 missionaries move to India to do mission work. One is from Germany, another from the USA, and another from South Korea. How do you make them all get along while working with nationals, be a successful missionary team, glorifying God and seeing churches established? Just call us in to supervise. OK, well, maybe not. Our missionary training at CIT was great but we don't now think we can solve all the cultural problems of the world. Actually, we feel the opposite of that: we, in ourselves, aren't adequate for the job.
There are 3 main things we came away from our training with. 1. The gospel has to be central to every aspect of our lives. 2. We have a few more tools for understanding the differences between cultures and how to work on teams better. 3. Great fellowship with other fellow missionaries.
The first thing was surprising to us. To be honest, we went in expecting to hear lots of academic things on how cultures function and how we can understand them better. We did get that (I'll talk about it in a moment) but I think we were honestly changed by God through our time there. As the days went on we felt God systematically breaking us down. Teachings about pride, resting in the works of Christ, false religion in our heart, understanding adoption, idolatry, addiction, and many other things began to bring a new awareness of our need of Christ and how He has provided everything for us in Christ. The gospel isn't just a card we receive at the beginning of our walk with Christ. It's what God has given us in Christ and it must touch every little aspect of our lives, every day of our lives. We see how insufficient we are for the missionary task but understand that God delights in finding treasure in broken jars of clay.
We did also learn quite a bit about how cultures function. The idea of this aspect of the training was to give us tools to be able to come into a culture and learn about it. So, no we can't tell you how to solve the issue with the 3 missionaries I mentioned about but at least we now know what type of questions to be asking. Rather than knowing a lot, we have a better idea of what areas we are ignorant of!
The fellowship was a great encouragement to us also. Sometimes it's good to be in a group of people that are in the same stage and process as you. Hearing all their stories and learning about the ministries they will be doing was a great. There were people going all over the world: Latin America, various parts of Asia, and Africa. We were able to mutually support and help each other.
Overall, we really feel revived and equipped for what is ahead of us. God used the teaching and fellowship to help us understand more about the Gospel and how to check to see if it's applied to every area of our lives. Also, we trust we'll be able to be a better team member and have some tools to go in and learn about the specific cultures that are in southern Ecuador.
If you want some more information on CIT their website is: http://cit-online.org/
Down below under Media, I've put a video about the course.