09 February 2008

Missionary Boot Camp - Part 3

I sure over the years as I look back on this blog with fond memories and tears I will come to sections and I will think to myself…

Did I really say that?

… or

What was I thinking?

Because this blog is a blog… my web log… a public journal… a written form of the Truman Show… AKA “my thoughts in process”

Over the past 2 weeks I have experienced a different side to missions… a breathe of fresh air… and a reminder of what I missed out on in my youthful arrogance to “get on the field”

Now it is common to look back on life experience with dread and regret… but I don’t dread of regret going to Uganda or signing on with our initial agency… its what I wanted at the time and through the process I learned more about missions than I had in my previous 26 years of life…

When we first started looking into missions most of the agencies we contacted let us know that it would take us around 4 years to get on the field and then we would commit to another 4 years working under an experienced missionary already on the field…

My thought was… 8 years!… by then I’ll be 34… that is half way to dead as life expectancy goes… that is 8 years in the prime of my life where I can still wake up without back aches, sore knees and chronic indigestion… an 8 year commitment wasn’t for me!

So I found an agency that accepted us solely on the basis that I had an Masters in Divinity… they gave me a 3-ringed binder explaining salary, retirement and health care… and 11 months later we were in Uganda…

Although the binder was helpful our experience quickly showed me that an M. Div in no way prepared me for missions… just rapid fire Q & A’s on theology and the bible…

Here at Missionary Boot Camp they are drilling us from 8-5 about spiritual formation plans, on field accountability, adapting to culture, working with diversity and on and on… they have affiliates to help us with media and fundraising presentations, short term missions teams, finance, field advising, health issues… of which I’ve had a few… and again on and on…

Normally I’m the guy begging for the meeting to be over or fighting sleep in the back of the room but in this place for some reason I can’t get enough… of our group I’m the designated question asker and official story teller of everything you shouldn’t do… sharing most of my own experience…

Now I know it won’t always be roses… next week we’ll probably practice sky diving without parachutes… but for now all the push-ups and sit-ups at missionary boot camp are completely worth it… so as they say at McDonald’s… I’m lovin’ it!

By the way… when did McDonalds get wi-fi and white chicken meat?

5 comments:

Jen said...

Glad to see your tone has changed from your first missionary boot camp post. I wanted to write some snarky warning about humbling yourself before you get humbled, but looks like things are going well. And by the way.... 34 is not THAT old..... I agree about the white chicken meat, sure makes it hard to turn down a 6 piece meal.

Teenietinyt said...

McD's got real food when the veggitarians started pointing out their rubbery appearances and suggesting that it wasn't healthy!

Flo Oakes said...

White or not, as long as it comes from McDonalds, I will not remove the quotes from around the word..."Chicken".

They supposedly have "fancy coffee drinks" now too.

Jen said...

Flo must have seen "Super Size Me" too many times. That movie will make you think twice about eating fast food again!

-shane- said...

a couple of things:

one - it doesn't get better than NMSI here on earth.

two - the only sky-diving-without-parachutes happens in andrew olsen's office.

three - that isn't white meat in mc. donald's.