Table of Contents
Training Tracks March 2022
An anchor in times of crisis
As many of you know, Bertha and I have made Kyiv, Ukraine our home and base of ministry since 2009. In order to facilitate MOP 202V, we traveled to North America, planning to be here for about 10 weeks. But the day that I opened the online course to our MOP participants was also the day that Russia began its “special military operation” in Ukraine. One of the first residential buildings in our city to be hit in the conflict was about 200 meters from our apartment building. We pray daily for peace to be restored in Ukraine and for the safety and protection of friends that remain in Kyiv or in that country. We wonder if we will ever be able to return to our home and where we will live if we are not able to return. We are currently staying with Bertha's sister but know that this is not a long-term solution. You can read my reflections on our situation in a recent blog post on the SEND U blog. But my SEND U team has encouraged me to share what is not changing.
In the midst of all this upheaval and unsettledness, I have found my personal time in the Word each morning to be one of my most important anchors. So many of our routines have been disrupted and they may remain disrupted for a very long time. The future is filled with questions and uncertainties. But just as in Kyiv, I get up every morning, knowing that the first thing I am going to do after I make some coffee is to sit down and read the Word, reflect on what God is saying to me, and do some Bible journaling. This is a routine that has stayed the same. I am finding it absolutely essential to maintain my peace of mind and keep my soul happy in the Lord. As George Muller has said, “The first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for his inner man” and “the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord.”
It is deeply reassuring that God still speaks to me through his Word. I am finding it hard to concentrate while praying. Often, I do not have words to express what I am feeling as I am seeing the devastation in Ukraine and the scattering of my friends and colleagues throughout Europe and around the world. Prayers of lament from Scripture have been helpful here. Psalm 94 was particularly meaningful. I have also found the guided prayers on the Lectio Devina 365 app to be very helpful in centering my thoughts on God. God is never at a loss for words. I can just sit and listen to him. Familiar passages come alive with new applications as I connect what I am reading with our current situation. When I have something to say, God is there, ready to listen. But I don't have to come up with a new perspective on this crisis on my own. God's Word provides that new perspective each morning.
A longer version of this article can be found on the SEND U blog at this link.
Resources for fostering unity with SEND
One of our 2022 goals for SEND U is to gather resources for enhancing unity in our fields. One of our SEND values is “unity in diversity.” But in thinking about that value, I find that my mind immediately goes to the “diversity” part. I begin to think about all the different ways that SEND members are different from one another. Not only are we from many different cultures and countries, but we are increasingly seeing that we have differing opinions on biblical interpretation of particular passages, missiological strategy, and government policies.
But maybe we should start by talking more about what unites us. This is more than just asking what we as members of SEND International have in common. What are the things that draw us together, that build our unity? I think of things like:
• our commitment to believe and obey the Word of God
• our commitment to our SEND mission statement (MEE) and our passion for the unreached
• our commitment to one statement of faith
• our SEND Covenant which we have all signed
• the friendships we enjoy in SEND with people of many different ages, backgrounds and cultures
• times of corporate prayer for one another (as in the 40 Days of Prayer)
Three questions for all of you:
1. What would you add to that list above?
2. How can we as SEND members emphasize those things that unite us?
3. What resources (books, videos, websites, events) have you found to help you focus on the things that unite us?
Please send me or any member of the SEND U team your thoughts on these questions.
Resilience and Healing in Times of Crisis
We are so thankful for all the helpful resources that are being provided for our Eurasia people as they navigate this time of unprecedented upheaval in their region. The SEND U wiki has a couple of new pages that seek to collect and present some of these resources:
• Resilience - Books and articles on resilience, training on resilience, a resilience assessment tool.
• Healing from Trauma, Loss and Grief - many of the book recommendations come from the counselors that will be offering their services at the upcoming Eurasia conference in Turkey.
Additional resources will be added as we receive recommendations. We invite you to share other resources with us that you have found helpful in your time of crisis.
March rounds out the first quarter of the year—time to take an evaluative look at your Individual Growth Plan! Here are some questions which may be helpful to ask:
• Have I met the learning goals I set out for myself in these first 3 months?
• Are my learning goals still applicable given my current situation?
• How might my learning goals be amended to meet my current needs or desires?
• What might be helpful to add or remove in my IGP plan or process to help in accomplishing my goals?
• How have I implemented what I have learned in my current ministry or life experience?
• In what area might the Holy Spirit be directing me to grow in the next several months?
A lot can happen in one’s life in 3 months. There is no shame in adjusting plans accordingly! Through prayer, consider what God has for your growth path in this coming season. He will guide and equip you in your journey with Him and with others. May you look forward with anticipation to all that He will teach you in the days ahead.
Upcoming Training Events
- Apr 4-14 - Learning that LASTS Training - This 9-day virtual workshop by JAARS will equip participants with basic skills for effectively designing and conducting interactive training. The cost is $100.
- Apr 8 or Apr 14 or Apr 25 - 5 Voices Workshop - Discover your leadership voice and learn to communicate effectively with everyone you lead. This free 2-hour online training is offered by our Alliance partner, TEAM.
- Apr 11 - June 3, 2022 - TESOL Part 2 - An 8-week online training in TESOL. Gives the student the practice teaching component to put into practice what they have been learning. Students will be required to practice teaching 3 lessons on a group of 4-6 people (native or non-native speakers of English). Go to www.actesol.com for more information.
- April 17-24, 2022 - Sustainable Resilience - A two-week online course designed to raise awareness and develop perspectives and lifestyle choices that will increase resilience and keep cross-cultural workers true to their God-given calling. The course asks you to make an investment of 8-12 hours of learning time over the 15-day period.
- Apr 25 - Jun 5 - MOP 201 - A 5-week online course for all mid-term and long-term members of SEND. It looks at worldview, cultural values, cultural stress, incarnational ministry, and safety and security. Facilitated by Bethany Reedy. About 5-6 hours of work per week.
- May 2-9 - Learning Culture through Purposeful Observation - This is called MOP 301 in SEND. It is a one-week online course designed to help new cross-cultural workers begin to put into practice their culture-learning skills. Requires 4-6 hours of learning time.
- May 11-18 - Contextualization and Culture Study - An 8-day Grow2Serve online course that introduces foundational concepts of contextualization and its importance for effective ministry and underlines contextualization’s inseparable link to purposeful culture study.
All these can be found on the SEND U Training Events page on the SEND U wiki.