PD Series: Pre-field Training LIVE – Q&A

Thank you to our partners, whose generosity through prayer and financial giving has allowed us to grow in our love for G and preparation for overseas service!

Here are some Q & As about the trip and training:

Where was training located?

Pre-field Training LIVE took place on the campus of the University of Northwestern – St. Paul in Roseville, Minnesota.

University of Northwestern - St. Paul, July 2016
University of Northwestern – St. Paul, July 2016

Where did you stay?

We stayed on campus in the dormitory, took us back to the good ol’ days of college 🙂

Dorm Room, July 2016
Dorm Room, July 2016

What was that like?

We loved it! The campus was beautiful this time of year. We had a ten minute walk each day from the dorms to the commons where we had meals and the nearby building where our classes took place.

How were your travels?

Great! We drove this time around, and each way went smoothly. There was a larger presence of police around St. Paul due to recent protests, but we were able to travel where we needed to just fine.

How many people were there?

There were around 50 new M staff, 21 new M kids and nearly 50 RG training staff. We had a nice time meeting new friends and reuniting with five families we had met previously in either ‘interviews’ or ‘REV week’.

Reunited with our friends who will be heading to Europe - July 2016
Reunited with our friends who will be heading to Europe – July 2016

Any going to Asia?

Yes! We met a family of five and a young single man who will be serving long-term in Asia, as well as a handful of women and men serving short-term in central Asia. All very wonderful people who we hope to see again!

Who were your speakers/trainers?

We had numerous speakers including a professor from TEDS, M’s who recently retired or were on home assignment, and ReachGlobal staff of various positions.

What did the typical day look like?

We woke up at 6:30am each morning and grabbed breakfast in the cafeteria around 7:30am. Then from 8:30-10:00am everyone would gather for two sessions in Riley Hall.

Riley Hall, July 2016
Riley Hall, July 2016

We were very impressed with how different learning styles were incorporated through each class and enjoyed getting assigned to different tables each day so we could meet other students and learn from one another through group discussions/activities. Even the children had their own training sessions and field trips throughout the week!

10:00-10:30am was our morning break, which typically consisted of getting some fresh air. 🙂 I loved walking past this long row of sweet smelling hydrangeas to visit a nearby lake during those times. I’m pretty sure we’ve now been to three out of the ten-thousand lakes in Minnesota. 🙂

Hydrangea Path, July 2016
Hydrangea Path, July 2016

Between 10:30 and noon we had two or three more sessions, then a two-hour lunch break where we could attend special lunches in the cafeteria if we were interested. We enjoyed an Asia group lunch, catching up with the ENGAGE team (who help us through this pre-deployment phase), a Women’s Lunch, and a Men’s Lunch. A coffee run to Dave’s beloved Caribou Coffee was also in order around this time of the day. 😉

2:00-3:30pm consisted of two more sessions, and another half-hour afternoon break. From 4:00-5:30pm we typically had two sessions, or one session and some reflection time. Sometimes we reflected alone and sometimes we prayed together at our tables.

Class in session, July 2016
Class in session, July 2016

5:30pm was dinner at the cafeteria, and again a few speakers would offer this time to talk further about certain topics, including Dinner with the Doc and Theology Dinner.

Afterwards the evening was ours. As you can imagine, we were typically spent by then. We’d usually take a walk or come back to the dorm to rest and process the day. No homework this time around 🙂

What sort of topics did you cover?

We covered so many engaging and helpful topics:

Why Culture Matters, Culture & Worldview, Spiritual Warfare…Communication, Values, Expectations…Team Dynamics, Third-Culture Kids, Generations…Role Deprivation, Grieving Well, Sabbath Rest…Evangelism, Pride/Humility, Confronting Well…Culture, Theology and Church, Entitlement, Compassion Fatigue…Living Cross-Culturally, Saying Good-Bye/Entering Well, Self-Knowledge & Entry Posture…and more!

What were a few of your favorites?

Sarah: I enjoyed every single session, but if I had to narrow it down I’d choose these two- “Power of the Gospel” by Greg S and “Entitlement” by Howard P. Both were very humbling sessions for me, and I hope to share more about them and others in future blog posts.

Dave: I enjoyed the concepts presented in “Power of the Gospel” and “Contextualization” but also loved the practical nature of “Resilience” and “Team Dynamics” and many, many more! Every session was so applicable and helpful.

What was hard about training?

Sarah: As an introvert, I had to quickly find a balance between socializing and resting so I could have energy to participate in each session but not forsake building relationships. G gave me a lot of grace during the week to find those moments of rest so I could continue to have space to learn and engage with others. The last day was also hard for me because we covered emotional topics like ‘grief/helping others grieve’ and ‘saying good-bye’, then in the evening had to say good-bye to our new friends.

Dave: It was hard getting so close to a great group of people and then have to say our good-byes at the end of the week. It also felt like we were drinking from a firehose, so we will certainly take time over the next few months to go back through the material and read additional resources.

What did you learn about G’s character?

Sarah: James P took us through my favorite Psalm (139), for a series of morning devotionals. I absolutely loved looking at the magnificence of G and how personal He is. Another Psalm- 103, was highlighted frequently throughout the week. It kept me in awe of G’s grace and goodness towards us. If I had to choose a life verse right now, it would be this one from Psalm 103 –

“For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust”. Verse 14.

Dave: I also very much enjoyed our study in Psalm 139. I marvel that our G is sovereign, omnipresent, omniscient, and yet so deeply personal. He knows and attends to every detail of our lives. I continue to grow in understanding and appreciation of JC’s humility, and how He is the perfect model for cross-cultural ministry.

Overall do you feel more equipped from your week of training?

Sarah: Yes! I feel more in love with G and more equipped for our future in cross-cultural service, both through the learning sessions and time spent with fellow M’s in the same season of life.

Dave: Absolutely! I would consider this one of the most influential weeks in my life. I am continually impressed with the intentionality and care shown by RG in preparing their staff for overseas service. I feel significantly more equipped now!