So, we’re almost done with week 1 of 4 of MTI (our training before heading out to Kenya). It’s been an adventure already. We’ve stared at pretty mountains, met some pretty cool people, and spent a lot of time both spiritually and mentally preparing.
The mental preparation has mostly been the basics of language learning: exercises on how to make non-English sounds, phonetics, how to proactively pick up language once immersed in it, etc. Let’s just say it’s educational, but definitely not everyone’s natural talent, learning to say “GHKKEE-AHHHH” at the back of your throat, or “NNNGGG-AY-EEE”, and so on. Tomorrow we start practicing the skills we’ve learned on different languages: Ryan’s in a group working on Russian, I’ll be working on Mandarin. Pray for me.
The spiritual preparation has been more discussion led by people who have done international evangelism, and their input on how to keep our focus on the gospel when under culture-shock stress, how to represent the gospel well in another culture, and how to keep ourselves spiritually healthy. It’s been wonderful to have some scheduled time for prayer and reflection. Something I really need to formally schedule for myself from now on, it’s too often an afterthought.
Anyhoo, it’s going well, it’s interesting and challenging, and Mandarin is scary. Keep us in your prayers.