I am home from one week of orientation and training with TEAM, the organization that we've joined to go overseas. When you've had a week of all day, every day training and living with other trainees, there's too much to write to describe what I've experienced and learned. Here are a few things.
- These are good people. This was what I thought over and over again through the week. Isaac likened it to the military saying that you want the man in the foxhole next to you to be a good, reliable guy. Yeah. The people we trained with are just sweet people, humble, funny, gifted, full of love. They and the leaders that trained us so impressed me as exactly the kind of people that I want to work with and have on my team, and that is a gift.
- Chicago.... I still love you. We were out in Wheaton rather than downtown, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the Chicago summer weather. Warm in the day time, but perfectly beautiful in the evenings. I spent hours walking at twilight.
- This stage of life is so good. I'm nearly out of the 20's, and having the insecurity of those years behind is a great thing. Feeling comfortable in my own skin and with our dreams and plans and personalities... that is a gift! I still don't like being new and surrounded by strangers, but simply being comfortable with my own identity makes it ever so much easier than it used to be.
- TEAM, as an organization, is fantastic at training and on-boarding people. That, too, is a gift, and really reaffirms the reasons that we chose TEAM.
- Judah did so well. I was so worried about having him watched by a childcare program all week, but except for two days when he was sick, he did great. Having two kids near his age made it really fun to watch them play together, or at least play around each other! And since we did two days of road tripping on either end, we can still say that he's a trooper in the car. When we finally got home he was so wired with pent up energy that he spent three hours in constant, exhausting motion.
- Our history is strangely intertwined with TEAM. In Chicago we went to a church that was newly revitalized by a young pastor and congregation, but had its roots in a Swedish church plant from over 100 years ago. As it turns out, TEAM was also a Swedish immigrant initiative that broadened over time. It's quite likely that our Chicago church supported the beginning of the mission way back when. Also, the founder was trained by D.L. Moody, the founder of the school that Isaac and I were trained it. Who knew we had so many Swedish connections?!
- Can I just tell you how immensely relieving it is to feel as thought the lifestyle legalism that we've encountered in our pasts that can be present in evangelical organizations was nowhere to be found in our training? There were small things, like the annual refining of personal vision and purpose. After listening to a presentation on it I asked if this was to be submitted per couple or by each individual. They said of course, per individual, even if the mother was choosing to stay at home with the kids full time. There was no statement on prefering for women to be in or out of the home. It just speaks to the mindset that a woman's personal vision and work is of course just as valuable as her husband's. It's refreshing for my soul!