Friday, 13 April 2012

SIM training

Last week we attended training with our mission agency SIM. To be honest before we went we didn't know a huge amount about SIM apart from a standard statement of faith and core values. They had been recommended to us by someone whose opinion we respected so we had applied to them and somehow ended up on this training week at the end of a lengthy application process.

We spent a week in a beautiful old manor house in the Suffolk countryside with a group of people all preparing for overseas trips. There were people heading to Benin as a nurse, accountant and teacher, nurses going to work in HIV care in Malawi, a student going to work in a student cafe in Equador and others off to Asia.

We had such a busy, but fantastic week where we were able to think through so many topics together, plus play a bit of frisbee and eat a lot of nice food :-)

We were able to glean so much from the staff, all of whom seemed to have lived in far flung places around the globe at some point and were willing to share so much of their experiences with us. We talked practicalities, maintaining health abroad, we talked about the support we need while we are away and we talked about communicating with people back home. We also talked about the biblical basis for overseas mission, how much God cares for the poor and needy and how he is concerned with human suffering and injustice. We discussed topics like 'resilience', 'culture shock' and 'spiritual vitality' and ways of coping when the going gets tough and you just want to get on the next plane home.

Tom and Josh had some sessions too, along with the more lighthearted rice crispie cake making activities, a tractor ride and football playing. Tom was able to express his feelings a little more, he is really missing his ship friends and is worried about being lonely when we move to Ethiopia. He is feeling quite unsettled by the idea of moving again. Josh is a little worried about the food in Ethiopia and is not impressed with the idea of eating with his fingers. Please be praying for them as they process the idea of another move.
Now we are back and starting to work on some of the next things in preparation. We are gathering the documentation for our work permits, renewing the boys passports, arranging more travel vaccinations and a ton of other things. Then we have to start the support raising that I'm sure every missionary dreads!!

You'll see that we have updated our blog to try and make it less cluttered and easier to navigate - any feedback let us know! The prayer partner links and giving links should work :-) 

1 comment:

The Koontz Family said...

Hello Farrell's! You can tell Tom that we miss him, too (not to mention the rest of you). We're so excited about the ways God is working in your lives and we be in prayer for your transition, especially the points you mention about the boys, and for strong financial support. We've started our fellowship group again and think of you often. I haven't played but maybe one round of Wii frisbee golf since you left:( Love from all of us!