It seems this year is going to be ten times busier than last year. Being a senior takes up so much of my time, but I’m determined to keep up with these updates. With that, keep reading:
We had training again this week. Being in training a second makes it seem as though it is going so much faster than it did the first time. Everything is flying by and sometimes all I want is a chance to slow everything down and truly savor it.
This Monday consisted of preparation for Intensive Training Weekend (ITW). ITW is a simulation which places every ISP participant in real-life situations so the Office of Mobilization can observe how teams will respond under different types of stress. Depending on the way a team decides to respond, ITW can either bring us all closer together or create some serious doubts about what we are doing.
I remember everything I experienced during ITW last year. It seemed each of my teammates and I had at least one thing during the weekend that challenged us in a big way. Some of the simulations and exercises exposed strengths in some as they revealed weaknesses in others. But every exercise served a purpose and brought us closer together as a team. To this day, when I walk around certain parts of campus all I can think about is ITW and what we did during on that particular piece of land.
Leading up to this year’s ITW—which in no way will resemble last year—I have been having some intense flashbacks. The most vivid memories are being conjured up in my mind and it blows my mind that I can still feel the stress and tension from every single simulation. Every single feeling and emotion I had during last year was so real, and just writing about it right now is causing me to remember everything that challenged me.
Not only we were each challenged as individuals, but we were also challenged as a team. ITW was a turning point in our dynamic. It made our relationships with one another real and caused them to go even deeper than we could have imagined. ITW truly did give us everything we would need to survive on the field. My team and I went into Japan as a team and we came out as sisters.
I know I will always have strong relationships with each of them!
This year, my team is so different from last year. In all honesty, I have been struggling not to compare my new team to my old team. I know I should not be doing it, but the relationships are always so fresh and always growing. I continually pray about this. Some days it is easy to overcome it and other times it is a big struggle. But I know this is an area where I am going to be stretched and challenged so I am looking forward to that.
ITW is always an experience, and it is always different year-by-year which keeps all of the participants on our toes.
But here is the reason I am most grateful for ITW and why I am looking forward to this weekend:
It brings you closer to God and closer to your team in the process.
I am looking forward to everything God has in store over the weekend! Please continue to keep my team and I in your prayers. Like I said, ITW can either make or break a team. Being broken is not necessarily a bad thing; brokenness sometimes yields the most beauty, and we want to see beauty come from the work we do. But our team desires to grow closer and deeper relationships, and being tested will help us do that. Please pray we respond to the stressful situations with determination and an open heart. Please pray we come away stronger…and RESOLVED.
Also keep in prayer our fundraising goals. Every day brings us a little closer to our departure date which means our financial deadline is closer as well. Please pray if you are meant to help us get to our goals financially, and please know your prayers are ten times more valuable to us. Please be a part of our support team regardless of the type of support you bring.
Thank you and God bless!