After spending a month in Belgium training new MTW missionaries, Erin is on the move again. On Saturday Erin departed from Belgium bound for the U.S., where she will has several medical appointments.
Erin and Mike greatly enjoyed helping to coach and mentor the 18 new missionaries. Mike returned to Central Africa last week to help kick off the Spring semester of our seminary.
Erin will be on the East Coast for two weeks. She will get a chance to see our daughter for the first time in six months. Erin will have three medical appointments, will do some ministry shopping, and will have a chance to visit one of our supporting churches.
Following three-weeks in Brussels, Belgium Mike is back in Central Africa. Mike and Erin have been helping to coach and mentor 18 new MTW missionaries at MTW’s Cross-Cultural Missions Internship in Belgium.
Erin will be in Belgium for another week to continue work with the missionaries, while Mike had to return to help with the start of the Spring semester of our seminary in Central Africa.
It was a huge pleasure to be able to train and coach the new missionaries and to help prepare them for life on the field. Coaching and mentoring missions is a passion for Mike and Erin. Mike had a long, but eventless 30 hour trip from Brussels to our home in Central Africa.
Please pray for Erin as she finishes up coaching the missionaries in Belgium and for Mike as he helps launch the new semester.
This week at MTW‘s Cross Cultural Missions Internship in Belgium the 18 new missionaries are working on language acquisition. The language training system is called Program in Language Acquisition Techniques (PILAT) and is taught by longtime missionary Nancy Craig.
The four days of PILAT training is hard, frustrating, and very useful. The raining on Monday and Tuesday centered around vocalization basics, language theory, and establishing a linguistic approach.
On Monday Erin was asked to give personal testimony regarding the impact of language learning on ministry. She shared with the new missionaries that even after 10-years language learning was hard, but that being able to communicate with people she was serving had built a connection with them that was irreplaceable.
On Tuesday Mike and Erin sat on a panel of experienced missionaries to discuss language acquisition and life on the field. The new missionaries asked questions about ministry during language learning, house help, family balance, social media, and much more.
Please pray Mike and Erin can help prepare these 18 missionaries to serve the Lord in the 12 countries they will serve.
On Sunday Erin accompanied a group of new MTW missionaries to worship at the St. Andrews Church of Scotland, Brussels. The church is a Presbyterian church in Brussels, Belgium offering traditional worship in English.
The pastor, Dr. Andrew Gardner, was born in Glasgow and preaches and teaches from a Reformed background. Erin and the MTW missionaries are attending this church each Sunday and getting involved in the ministry. They have been contributing during worship service via public prayer and reading. In addition they are leading small group studies.
The members of the church are mostly expatriates who come from English speaking countries or know English.
It takes about an hour to get to the church via train and bus. Erin, four missionaries, their kids, and two interns have been attending weekly and will continue to worship and minister with this congregation.
Pray they can be of service and glorify the Lord.
The second week of training new missionaries in Belgium has concluded. It was a busy week of classroom instruction, cross-cultural interaction, and lots of coaching meetings. Mike and Erin continued to aide in training 18 new MTW missionaries heading to 12 different countries.
Each morning this week the new missionaries attended courses on missions related topics. They were trained on church planting, self-care, prayer, culture shock, and MTW’s visions and values. In addition the missionaries participated in a silent retreat for half a day based on the book Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The courses were taught by MTW’s Bill Yarbrough, Bill Goodman, and Jeff Marlowe.
In the afternoons the missionaries went out into the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Brussels and interacted with people from different ethnic groups. They interviewed people from other cultures to learn about their views and perspectives.
Mike and Erin continued to meet with the new missionaries over lunch and dinner and help them learn about missions. They coached new missionaries individually and in small groups. Mike and Erin are using their 10-years of experience on the mission field to help better prepare the missionaries for success.
Please keep praying for Mike and Erin and their ability to train the new missionaries.