Today has been a good day, although I’m feeling a need to sit and process so many things! Once I’ve done that, I’ll try to share some of what I’m learning. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few things about MTI and SPLICE.
First of all, I’ve been calling it the Mission Training Institute for months now. It’s actually Mission Training International! This is a much more fitting name! First of all, the teaching style is anything but institutional. Today we had lectures, small group discussions, a game, and more!
The conference center is one big lodge with guest rooms, a cafeteria, meeting rooms, big common areas, and more. The food has been delicious, and the staff are all super helpful. Palmer Lake is in between Denver and Colorado Springs, and is at an elevation of around 7,200 feet. I went for a walk and brief run today, and could definitely tell the air is much thinner than at home!
The SPLICE program helps get missionaries ready to go out to serve cross-culturally. The letters in SPLICE stand for Spiritual, Personal, Lifestyles, Interpersonal, Cultural and Endurance/Enjoyment. I know I have so much growing to do in each of these areas! And, I'm sure I am going to learn so much about God, and about myself in the process!
As I’ve already mentioned, along with lectures we were split into small Growth Groups today. My group of seven combines both married and single women, ranging in age from 20 up to mid-50’s. We’re going to Ghana, Zambia, Haiti, Mexio, Zimbabwe, Ireland, and of course, the D.R.
The full SPLICE group is made up of 43 adults and 23 kids (ranging from 2 months up to 12 years old). They have a track for the kids, too, who will be experiencing their own struggles and growth through this process. It’s so fun to see all these little ones! It definitely adds to the family feeling of this little community!
We are being sent to 22 different countries by 23 different mission agencies. Interestingly, while there are several married couples, there are no single men here. There are lots of single women – 11 to be exact.
I know that the Holy Spirit is using single women throughout the world to carry out the Great Commission, but I have to admit, it saddens me that there are no single men here. Hmm… I just realized that sounds somewhat different than I intended it to!
Hopefully you get that I’m not looking for a date! Instead, I cannot accept the idea that God is not calling forth men who are presently unmarried to join in His work in the world. I’m sure there are lots of reasons why there are none here, but the work is not only for couples and women!
Okay, I’m going to jump off my soapbox in a second. Let me just say this… if there are any single men out there reading this, I pray you are intentionally seeking to find your part in having God’s glory proclaimed among every tongue, tribe, language and nation. Of course, I pray each one of you reading is doing so!
It can be a scary thing to be obedient! God does not call us to small, comfortable assignments we can fulfill in our own power. Yes, it is scary, but it is so amazing to hear the stories of others who are answering God’s call on their lives. They may feel anxious and even fearful, but they are also choosing to lean into Jesus - and it is a beautiful thing to see!
Until next time, may we all continue to seek God’s face, and may we never forget that He bought us with a price. All our lives are lived out in response to that free gift which cost our Savior everything. Any small thing I do is only because of His love! To Him alone be all glory!