I have to admit there is not much to write tonight. The week has been completely jammed to the top, but not with things that make fun news articles 🙂 We have been having class from 8-5 monday – thursday this week, and still keeping up with life as normal when we are normally in class from noon. We had a group in teaching a course for a couple days which required all day classes because of their limited availability. The class was great and we really appreciate those guys.
Which brings me to what I’m going to barely touch on tonight. Who trains us missionaries at the Missionary Training Center? The answer is two-fold. For most classes we have a group of trainers who live here full-time with the full responsibility of preparing us for the mission field. The other answer is on occasion professional help is sought from outside of New Tribes. We have many former overseas missionaries who live here with us at the Missionary Training Center. They come from Asia, Africa, South America, and even North America (some former Greenland missionaries). They all have what we don’t: experience. They have seen first-hand what it is like to be overseas doing the ministry that New Tribes does. With that experience they know what things they are glad they knew when they were overseas, and they also know that which they wish they knew when they first went overseas. That experience helps the training center be shaped into what it is, a training center that really prepares us for the great unknown. We are very appreciative of the literally HUNDREDS of years experience these missionaries collectively have.
On occasion however, a subject comes up that not all missionaries are prepared to teach, for which professional help is sought. These subjects involve things like a Medical Class, a Legal Class, or an overseas safety class. We have had classes such as these from professionals in these fields (although most have a new tribes background, they just aren’t with New Tribes anymore) to come and teach us.
We are privileged for the next couple of weeks to have such a man with us named George Walker. George taught us last semester a class on Worldviews, and this round he is teaching us on the religion of Animism. A short definition of animism is the practice of manipulation and appeasement of both good and bad spirits that control everything in life. This happens to be the religion (whether blatantly or subtly) of most of the world, and definitely in the situations that New Tribes finds itself in. George has served over 30 years with the Bisorio people of Papua New Guinea with New Tribes Mission, and has seen the power that this religion has over people’s lives, and without a proper understanding of it as a system can never be addressed correctly to fully bring down that power.
While this "news update" doesn’t have alot of material, we look forward to sharing next week some of the issues we are working through in the class.