Life is like sitting on a chair, you don’t get to choose the chair but you can decide how to sit on it. The last day of mission training had more of a focus on helping us to thrive rather than just survive whilst overseas.
Again there was input: a session on Animism and a session on culturally relevant communication (which was as applicable to the UK as overseas) and some stuff around safeguarding, insurance and health and safety. But the focus was on reflective approaches to mission, thinking about our own expectations (which might not be met) and the places we are involved in serving. My quote of the day was “Resilience is not a passive sport”.
Overall it has been a great course. It’s packed with content which has tried to weave some theological background, cultural orientation, skills to keep you safe & sane and practical tips to help you fit into a team. I’d recommend it to others going overseas – BMS happily train people going with other agencies / organisations, particularly those who don’t have preparation courses of their own. There is also lots in the course which helps us think about mission in the UK and how to sustain ministry. The course is practical but thoughtful, extensive but focused, encouraging but realistic and totally worth it.
It will take me a while to process everything we covered, I wondered a few times during the week whether a stronger understanding of Calvin’s doctrine of depravity might inform our understanding of mission (but managed to resist asking). However, I did think there were two things in the course that BMS could use in the input they provide to ministers conferences (my mind wonders in strange ways). First, in creating a seminar that looks at how to encourage and support people in short term mission. Second, in looking at UK contexts and helping us appreciate the other world views that are not woven into UK society by global migration.