It is hard to believe that I am already in the third week of my training for ISP! And already a quarter of the way through the school year! My mind is blown, this month has gone by so fast!
But I am writing once again to get everyone caught up on my journey toward Japan!
Here we go…
This week’s training was spent doing two things: preparing a two-minute testimony, and preparing for ITW, or Intensive Training Weekend. Even though all of our time was spent on these two things, it was so much information. It was all so new, but with the newness came excitement. It is always good to learn new things!
One other thing happened: I shared my life-story with my team. I will get to that later in this post…
As we all got situated in the auditorium, we were given an itinerary for this weekend. Intensive Training Weekend is a weekend designed to put each student in high-stress situations to see how you respond to the pressure. The MOB team does their best to simulate a live-fire, real-life experience for all of the students.
It all begins Friday night at 6:00p.m. sharp. At that time, we arrive in “Ispland,” a third-world, closed, Muslim country where Christians are not welcome. From the very beginning of ITW, anything can happen. Our bags could be “lost” or we could be stuck “circling the airport” for hours! And that is only within the first few minutes of ITW!
Things will get even more intense as the weekend progresses…
We were given a packing list of what to bring, and we were instructed to pack very light. Only essential items should be brought to “Ispland.” Well, one thing that is not considered essential is a cell phone. This is going to throw all of us off because our cell phones are what we use to not only tell the time but also what we use for our alarm clocks. On Saturday morning, we will be waking up at 5:00a.m. so we are all going to have to rely on each other to be able to get up on time. Hopefully, we all succeed at this!
But this is all part of the stressors meant to test us. In some parts of the world, missionaries do not have access to cell phones or anything electronic, sometimes they do not even have access to regular showers. It will be challenging to adjust to the stress, but I know God is calling us to these challenges so we can learn how to rely on Him more.
ITW will be an awesome experience. A time of growth, a time of challenge, a time of faith being tested. But ultimately, it is a weekend to prepare us for any situation we may possibly face while in the field. God will keep us safe this weekend, just as He will have His hand on us when we all go to our respective host countries. He is always in control!
We also learned a short and sweet way to evangelize to someone. It is called “The Bridge” and it is designed to be shared when you are in a crunch for time and just want to share the facts about Jesus and all He did for us. It is so simple, it can be drawn on a napkin! And the best part, it is all based on one verse: Romans 6:23–
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“The Bridge” breaks down the different components of this one verse by going through each line.
The first line (after going through what wages, sin, and death are) can be summarized in one word: hopeless.
The second line (after highlighting the gift of God, who God is, what holiness and justice is, and what eternal life is) is summarized in realizing that humans are not perfect. We have a problem. But what is it?
The third line (highlights Christ Jesus and who He is, and who the Lord is) tells us that our problem is our wrongdoing and the only way to be right is to come to Christ.
So we must first turn from our own ways, and in turning trust that God forgives us and loves us and wants to transform us.
“The Bridge” can be summarized in the acronym ABC:
This simple and easy way to evangelize amazed me! I am an evangelical Christian, but I have never had the opportunity to really share the Gospel with someone before. Now that I have an awesome tool to use that will help me share the Gospel in an effective way! I am really excited about trying “The Bridge!”
The second thing we learned this week was how to give a two-minute testimony. I never knew how difficult it could be to condense your testimony down to JUST two minutes! But, once you get down to just the most important facts about your story, it becomes a little bit easier to share in just two minutes.
Our two-minute testimonies will likely be shared during ITW!
This week, I also shared my full testimony with my team. It was awesome to speak and share what I have learned in my life. No, I do not have a story of what life was like before I knew Christ because Christ has always been a part of my life. But what I do have are struggles. My struggles can mess with me and challenge me, but what Christ did for me when He died on the cross is enough to remind me that no struggle is bigger than my Savior! That was the best thing that God had me share! He is good, and He loves us! He shrinks our struggles! That blows my mind!
God is just so good. In the last four weeks, I have had struggles, but I have also been thankful beyond words at times. God is speaking to me every second of every day, and everything I am learning is being reinforced everywhere I look. Only God can do that! And that is more than enough to be thankful for!
So I end this post with a promise to update everyone about ITW next week! Also, please continues to pray for my team and I. Pray that we will all be teachable this weekend and that God would speak to us and challenge us and help us grow. Please keep or finances in your prayers as well!
Thank you for reading! My hope is that you enjoy reading about my training as much I enjoy learning it and sharing it with you all!