I'm taking a break from the usual business of our lives here to give you glimpse into what life at SPLICE missionary training has been like.
Imagine taking 39 future missionaries, complete with their 34 children (yes I'm not kidding!) and putting them to live together in a large house for 3 weeks. Make them eat 3 meals a day together and attend trainings together 8:00-4:00. Don't give them any TVs or internet (except in common areas). It's a bit like being at camp or in college, except everyone's grown up with kids. We have missionaries who are bound for Napal, Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, the Ukraine, South Africa, and many other places. We're all as different as can be, and yet the same. We have formed many lasting friendships.
Our trainings have been a bit like trying to drink water from a fire hose. Each day has been emotionally draining and heavy. We've leaned about paradoxes, resilience in adversity, how to exit one culture and enter another, signs of stress and stess management, conflict resolution styles, and and expectations vs. reality. And we are only half way through!
Chad and I are sharing a room with our two kiddos. I was very dissappointed when I found out that's how it would be, but it's turned out to kind of be a blessing. In the evenings when our kids go to bed at 7:30, we are forced to spend our time in the common area with a baby monitor. We have spent every night staying up late talking and playing games. It's a fun way to relieve the heaviness of our training sessions.
Our instructors are amazing! Our main instructor has the uncanny ability to make his students come up with all the answers and conclusions. Our sessions have involved lots of tears. We also have small growth groups we meet with and a personal coach that meets with each family.
So there it is! A glimpse into our life. We dread entering back into our "real world" and yet we can't wait. Another paradox! Friends and family: we miss you terribly. See you soon!