Friday, 29 May 2015

End of the beginning

This line from a song by my Dad’s favourite band (find out which here) aptly sums up ‘where I am at’ at the moment.  Nine months of training at BMS’s International Mission Centre (IMC) are completed and I’ve got the certificate to prove it!  I’ve looked at more theology and cross-cultural issues than I’ve ever done in my life.  I’ve learnt lots, questioned lots, broadened my horizons and made good friends.  I’ve learnt what it’s like to live in community (see last blog entry post) and it’s been great.

Looking studious in class at IMC!

There’s nothing like life and study at IMC to prepare you for long term mission work.  You get the time and space to study new concepts, work through theories and generally get a broader view of mission.  Integral mission at that.

I think getting my head around integral mission as a concept is the biggest thing I’ve taken on board since being here.  Healthcare work – to use my own field as an example, there are many others – is mission work in and of itself and in its own right.  Realising this has been liberating.  I am looking forward to getting to Guinebor II Hospital in Chad and helping to provide that healthcare service.

As the title of this blog says, finishing IMC is just the end of the beginning of my overseas life.  It feels like there are a lot of steps, and rightly so, until I eventually get to Chad in January 2016. 

My next step is to go to language school in France in an attempt to improve my French.  I’ve been having lessons since January to help keep me ticking over with mon français. Forming friendships with colleagues and neighbours in Chad is something that I’ve realised time and time again whilst at IMC is integral to integral mission work.  And I can’t do that without a good grasp of French (to start with, there are many other languages I can learn that are widely used in Chad!).  One thing I remember distinctly from when I was in Chad last time was the frustration at not being able to express myself verbally because I only had a basic knowledge of French.  Going to Les Cèdres in Massy near Paris will hopefully move my level of French up a notch.  That’s the idea anyway!  I will be at Les Cèdres until just before Christmas.

Thanks for reading my blog, keep following for more updates!

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