People often ask us what a typical week looks like for us in this consulting/orienting ministry. It’s a hard question to answer, since there really is not such a thing as a “typical” week. Most years our lives more or less follow a 4-month cycle as we get new families every 4 months and step them through the process of orientation and their first stage of language study. At the same time, we’re also continuing to provide oversight for 2 other groups of families who have arrived 4 or 8 months before our newest group and are still in their second stage of language and culture study.
Add to the mix that sometimes we have families staying for longer than one year and needing oversight in stage 3 or 4 of culture and language study. And which jobs we are covering all depends on which ones of our coworkers are currently on home assignment. You can see that it gets complicated. And this year it’s different again, because we have a lull in new missionaries coming to the field (this is the first time that’s happened since we’ve been in this ministry.) So we’re working on more long-term projects.
All that to say, I figured I’d attempt a summary of what a week might look like for us. Here’s the first installment (from last week, Feb. 27-Mar.5):
Mon, Feb 27
DJ–teach a weekly chronological Bible lesson to 5 guys who have asked to study the Bible. Check on the housing/maintenance workers he oversees.
Jennifer–secretary and consultant “office” work to get ready for the week. Collect agenda items for our team meeting, sort and answer work-related e-mails, set up appointments, touch base with students, etc.
kids–off to school to begin a new week at the Christian school they attend.
DJ & Jennifer–weekly team meeting at Bill & Rosie (coworkers’) house
Tues., Feb. 28
DJ–checking on the workers he supervises (this is pretty much daily), “office” work (taxes, e-mails, etc.)
Jennifer–to a language & culture student’s house to give a stage 2 language evaluation. Amy has been here for almost a year now, and will be moving on to another island soon to continue language and culture study and then go into a tribal ministry.
DJ–more office work, chauffeuring Areli and Galilee to a class event, and running errands downtown.
Jennifer–write a report of Amy’s evaluation results, including her current language level and direction for how to continue to make progress. Meet with Amy to give her the report of her progress and explain in person our recommendations for her continuing language study. Then after that we hung out in the evening to celebrate her completion of stage 2. 🙂
Wed, Mar. 1
DJ–to the airport 1 1/2 hours away to pick up coworkers who are coming back to take care of their household and say goodbye to their friends here before relocating to a ministry in the USA. Their heart is still to be here, but ongoing health problems mean that they can’t live here anymore.
Jennifer–to another family’s house to give a stage 2 evaluation along with Greg, my coworker in the language consultant ministry. During an evaluation, the language student/s (Jae and Enoch, in this case, each taking a turn) interacts with a native speaker and we observe and take notes. The student is given a number of things to talk about based on their current language stage.
DJ–more office work, and checking on the workers
Jennifer–Rosie, our coworker, and I are doing a Bible study on the book of James. This was our first week.
Thurs, Mar. 2
DJ–to the big city again (1 1/2 hours away) for a skin doctor appointment.
Jennifer–write a report of Enoch’s language evaluation, explaining her current level and giving recommendations for her continued studies. (Greg wrote Jae’s report.) Other consultant and secretary office work too. Lunch with Amy to celebrate Texas Independence Day (she humors me, even though she isn’t from Texas.)
DJ–back from the city, more office work and checking on the workers.
Jennifer—along with Greg, met back with Jae & Enoch to give them their evaluation results and direction for future studies. They’ll be moving to another island soon too. Then we also spent some time just visiting and finding out how they are doing. 🙂
Fri, Mar. 3
DJ–trip into town with our coworker, Bill, to take care of some team needs.
Jennifer–along with Greg, teach a “kick-off” class for Jae, Enoch, and Amy to help them get started in stage 3 of their culture and language acquisition (CLA for short. 🙂 ) We teach kick-offs at each stage or sub-stage of CLA, to explain the focus/purpose as well as technical directions for what to do in language study sessions, etc.
DJ–end-of-work-week visit with the workers, watching Tyndale at the school while Areli and Galilee had a swim meet.
Jennifer–This introvert experiences some serious brain-fog by the end of a week like this, so I don’t actually remember for sure what I did. I think I worked on my James Bible study, and probably answered some e-mails, and hung out with the kids when they got home from school.
So, there you go. I won’t bore you with details about our weekend since this is already long, but we got to have some good family time and feel rested up for the start of a new week. 🙂