Tuesday, October 30, 2007

We are HOM less...

Every week, we have had small group meetings for our HOM (Heart of the Missionary) class. Today was our last meeting for HOM. Let me give you a little understanding of what HOM was about.

In HOM, we discussed the basic core Gospel and how it affects each person down deep within them. Many Christians probably believe that the Gospel is the life changing message that allows a person to accept Christ as their Savior. While this is completely true, the Gospel is so much more. The Gospel is our life story that we need to live on a daily basis throughout our entire life.

The Gospel can be described by the following...

"You are more sinful and flawed than you ever dared believe, yet you can be more loved than you ever dared hoped, at the same time, because Jesus lived and died in your place."

The Gospel helps us see our sin and helps us understand our need for His mercy. When we give more value and importance to things in our lives other than the Gospel, it becomes an idol. Anything can become an idol. However, the Holy Spirit shows us our sin (John 16:8) and guides us in our daily living (John 16:13, Romans 8:13)

We are children of the living God. We have been adopted by Him. Are you able to see the Almighty God as Daddy? This is a hard concept for me, but that is exactly what He is.

When Jesus needed to talk to His Dad, He would go away in solitude to talk to Him. After this time of solitude, He would then take care of the His disciples and then handle ministry needs. Our lives should be modeled from His example. When was the last time you spent 2 hours in solitude with God? You may be thinking that life is just too busy to take out 2 whole hours. Well, guess what... you were given 168 hours of time this week (and every week) and 744 hours just this month. When looking at the big picture, 2 hours is not that much time to devote to talking to God (especially when we consider how much time we spend online, talking on the phone, or watching TV).

With all this, I want you to know that God loves you. He loves you no matter what. He doesn't love you any more or less than He did when you were first saved (and if you have not received Christ as your Savior, Jesus loves you too). There is nothing you can do that can separate you from His love!

My HOMmies

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What do teamwork, dorm dinner, obstacle courses, rain, and chicken have in common???

Answer: They have all been the topic of conversations here for the past 2 days.

Yes, our new course has started. This class, Effective Teams & Team Leaders, is designed to teach us teamwork and how to have effective teams as well as how to be effective leaders within the teams we are on. This course will go for the next 2 weeks. Our primary instructor for this course is highly energetic and likes to talk. This course should be interesting.

Dorm dinner- This is something that we have been doing since week 1. Each week, a person in our dorm building takes turns cooking for all of us. Each of us, when it is our turn to cook, gets to choose the menu for the evening and cooks the entire meal for the dorm. For each week, the person cooking has cooked food from the country in which they are moving to.
  • Week 1- Mexico
  • Week 2- Uganda
  • Week 3- Sadly, no dorm dinner
  • Week 4- Venezuela (Guess who cooked this week!)
  • Week 5- Cameroon
  • Week 6- Tajikistan
  • Week 7- This was yesterday.

Dwayne was cooking for us, but he wasn't going to be able to cook food from the country he is going to (sorry, can't tell you where). So instead, he decided to do good 'ole American food- STEAK!! We had steaks, grilled chicken, baked potatoes, salad, and bread. It tasted great!

Today, a group of people came from Georgia to do a team building workshop with us. This group is from an organization called The Winshape Wilderness. They do different physical and mental activities in order to help build team relations and allow us to think through and discuss different things we learned from the activities. They ran us through different obstacle courses and activities. This was supposed to be done outside today, but due to the fact that something was scheduled for outdoors, it rained all day long (keep in mind, it has only rained 4 times now since I have been here, and I came here on Labor Day). This was quite an interesting day as we split into groups and worked through various activities including the following:

  • Insania- the object of this activity was to get all the balls from the center hoop into your hoop. Sounds easy, but there were 4 different groups trying to do the same thing. You were only allowed to move one ball at a time. Once all of the balls were out of the center hoop, you were allowed to steal from other groups hoops and you were not allowed to guard your own hoop. After several minutes of worthless trying, the groups decided to work together and put all of the balls into all of the hoops by overlapping the hoops. (We are such geniuses).
  • OUT- The goal of this activity was to have everyone start inside a box and get out of the box by having one person go Over the top, one go Under the middle wire, and one go Through the middle, all without touching any part of the box or wire. This proved more difficult than it sounds and required a lot of teamwork.

  • The mute leading the blind- This activity took us outdoors (after the rain stopped for a bit) where we were grouped in pairs. One person was blindfolded and was lead around by the other person who was not allowed to talk. This was a trust building exercise. If you couldn't trust the person leading you to not let you fall in a ditch, then you weren't going to get very far.

  • Hear no, speak no, see no evil- This activity had us paired in 3s. One person was the director and they could see everything but could not talk. One person was the speaker. They could see only the director but were the voice for the director. The third person was the retriever. This person was blind folded and had to find an object based on the directions from the director, which were spoken by the speaker. This was an activity in improving communication. When communication was not good, it was really hard to complete a task, like finding the stuffed monkey.

  • Magic stones- For this activity, our group was stranded on an "island" in which we needed to cross over to shore on "magic stones" which could float on the water. However, we needed to have one foot on the stones at all time or they would float away. We had to get all 9 people to shore 30 feet away with only 8 stones. This was definitely a teamwork activity. We did make it to shore and didn't lose anyone to the "killer hippos" that were floating in the "water" around us.

We also did some other activities which involved building team skills, leadership, communication, patience, encouragement, mental reasoning, and trust. It was good to get out of the classroom for a day and have some fun.

This organization was founded and is sponsored by Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A is actually Christian owned and 10% of the profits made from the restaurants goes to supporting Christian organizations. With this in mind, a group of us decided to go support them and went to dinner at Chick-fil-A tonight. :-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

2 down, 4 to go!

Today was the last day of our second class- Second Language Acquisition. So far, we have completed 2 classes. The next class- Teams & Team building- starts on Monday. We lost some of our classmates today :-( but we will be gaining new classmates on Sunday. To celebrate the end of the class (or just for fun), our HOM group (Heart of the Missionary small group) had a barbecue tonight. It was nice to get off campus and go have fun at someone's house tonight.

There are only 4 weeks left of classes and 4 classes more to go. Teams will last for the next 2 weeks. Then I have a 2 day class on Teaching English as a Second Language, and two 1 week courses- Interpersonal Skills & Church Planting. Boy is time flying here!

Bible passage for the week:
Ephesians 5:1-2

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

If you have any insight or commentary about the Bible passage, I would love to hear it. Leave a comment or two!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel?

Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so. Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so.

When the love of Jesus gets to your heart like it did to me tonight, I just want to tell Jesus how much I love Him. This was the song for tonight. A simple chorus that is repeated over and over again, just telling Jesus that you love Him.

Jesus, Jesus, Can I tell you how I feel? You have given me your Spirit. I love you so.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How do you say.....?


Pronounced {privyet}, this was one of the new words I learned in language class yesterday. We have begun to begin learning a new language using language helpers from the community in order to practice the strategies we are learning in class for language learning. привет means "hi" in Russian. After about an hour and a half of practice time with a language helper, I have a 25 word vocabulary in Russian.

It is amazing to see the differences between English, Spanish, and Russian. They are so different, but yet they were created by the same Creator. Isn't it amazing to know that God understands a person praying in Russian, Spanish, English, or any language around the world because He made all of the languages.

Take time today to thank God for language.

до свидания {do svidanya} = Goodbye

Monday, October 8, 2007

The root of missions and language learning

My new class began today- Second Language Acquisition. This class is designed to teach strategies to begin to learn your new language for the country you are moving to. The class teaches how to begin a language using visual and active motion techniques. This would be very useful if I was just learning Spanish. However, I am not sure how useful it will be with more advanced learning. I hope they do teach strategies for more advanced learning.

I also found out that my pastor here in North Carolina will be coming to class, along with 2 other people from our church, to do some activities with the class this week and next. Unfortunately, I will not be in their groups since I already have a background in Spanish.

When we got the schedule for clases for the next two weeks, I noticed that we were not going to have our morning worship times. I was a little disappointed about that. However, the first thing they taught us today was that the root of missions and the root of language learning was worship and we began today with worship. The instructor told us that we will be having spontaneous times of worship throughout this course because worship is the heart of it all.

Think about this.... Who are the best language learners? Children of course. And we, as children of God, should be the best at learning our second language because we are children of the One who created language in the beginning. It was comforting to think that God will give us the power to learn these difficult languages that we need in order to do His work throughout the world.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Equipping class

I have been attending the Center for Intercultural training (CIT) in Union Mills, North Carolina for a month. Yesterday, I just finished my first course here, Equipping for cross cultural life and ministry. This was a course designed to make people aware of cultural differences and how to prepare to enter a new culture. The class itself was not that hard, but there was a lot of homework every night. Some of the topics that were covered in class were:
· Individual personalities and learning styles
· Times of transition between cultures
· Ethnocentrism- This is believing that your culture is better than any other culture
· Spiritual Warfare
· Cultural Analysis
· Culture Shock
· What is truth?
· Expectations
· Risk Management & Medical issues
· Contextualization- This is adapting to the culture you are entering without trying to change them to your culture
· Cross-Cultural Communication
· Dynamics of Religion

During this class, I attended a service at a Catholic Mass and visited an Islamic Mosque. These were very good visits for learning about these religions. If you would like to know about these religions, please ask me.

Monday starts our new class, Second Language Acquisition. This class will not teach us the new language we will be learning; it will teach us strategies to learning a new language. I will let you know how it goes.

Welcome to my blog...

Hola! Welcome to my blog site. I have a confession... this is my first time having a blog. I am going to try to keep it up. If I slack off, yell at me. I want to keep everyone updated on the adventures that God is sending me. I also want to make known my new email address- jyllschenault@yahoo.com (shouldn't be too hard to remember).

Bible passage of the week:

Psalm 117-

Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.
For great is his love toward us, and faithfulness of hte Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!