Saturday, June 11, 2011

No Wasted Time With God

Hey look at this – we’re not doing so bad!

Ben downloaded a new chart from Helimission showing the anticipated training path/times. As a visual person I love this chart and am sure it will be really helpful for candidates who are just starting out. Six years ago there were no charts or suggested (or expected) training routes. We just took the experience requirements and tried our best to work backwards from there. At the time Helimission wasn’t really firm about the process either (lots of unknowns for them too) but we’ve all managed. So where are we you ask? Looks like pretty much right on track, although we do have some things a bit backwards. We’ve been training for 6.5 years and are moving into the flight experience phase with all the flight training aspects completed. Still may need to get a bit of extra maintenance experience on turbines, but it looks like we’ve actually ended up pretty much on the expected timeline. That’s quite encouraging!  (click the picture to open for a clearer view)

Missions Training Top 10 List

In training for missions work things sometimes don’t make sense and seem to move at an insanely frustrating slow pace. So I wanted to write, for my own sake and the sake of any others in training, a top 10 list for successful training. By successful I don’t mean get to the field as quick as possible.  Believe me when I say me I think about missions every day and would leave for the field tomorrow if I could. There’s just more to it than that. So here it goes… 

1. Eyes on Christ not on training. It can be so easy to shift your focus away from God and onto what  you must do to get to the field. Remember that life is not about missions it is about Jesus. Cultivate this relationship first and foremost. 

2. Prayer. Intercede for the ministry you will work for. Cover them with prayer for good relationships, wisdom, perseverance, safety, and supplies. Pray for the people you will one day serve. God will link your heart with theirs from thousands of miles away. With such a long term of training it often feels like you've disappeared into a black hole. Pray so you have God’s perspective not your own. 

3. Be humble. Remember missions is about service. Yes your heart is hooked and you can’t imagine living a normal life but that doesn’t make you a super spiritual better than the rest Christian. Serve the lost but also serve your brothers and sisters in Christ including the ministry you want to work with. Jesus served the hurting but he also served his disciples. 

4. Be thankful every day. Nothing fights off discouragement like thankfulness. Remember all the good things that God has done and how he’s leading you. 

5. No fear. If God called you then he will be faithful. 

6. Get lots of support. I’m not talking about financial support. You need transparent relationships with a few people who will pray for you, pray with you, challenge you and keep you accountable. 

7. Communicate. Let others know what you’re doing. It can be hard to blog  when it feels like you aren’t making progress but it is important to continue to let people know you are still going at it. 

8. Connect with other missionaries in training. These are people who know exactly what you are going through. It is so encouraging to make friendships and pray for others who are in training. It helps to know that you aren’t the only one in the world who is doing this! 

9. Do missions now.  Ask God to open your eyes to the needs right where you are. Missions isn’t something you’ll do one day in the future it’s a way of life. Start now. 

10. Don’t be afraid to make commitments just because you don’t know where you’ll be in the next twelve months. I can’t tell you how many events, classes and trips we’ve said no to because we weren’t sure where we’d be in the coming months.

To close I want to say that yes it can be hard to remain optimistic and focused on a life that seems to be ever distant and unattainable. But we can and will make it! We have a wonderful, faithful, and loving God who hasn’t led us this far just to leave us. Don’t give up and remember – Eyes on Christ!

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