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Training camp is off to a rousing start

There is something magical that can happen in a missions training camp. In the case of the one we have currently going on, a combination of factors give it special potential:   -the participants have been selected from a pool of many hundreds. They are committing close to a ye…
By Seth Barnes

There is something magical that can happen in a missions
training camp. In the case of the one we have currently going on, a
combination of factors give it special potential:

 

-the participants have been selected from a pool of many hundreds. They
are committing close to a year of their lives to minister to the poorest of the
poor around the world. They really want to be challenged.

-a number of us have been fasting in advance of the camp. We’re expecting great stuff from God.

-we’ve got a fantastic slate of trainers and leaders who have been praying
about what God would have them teach about.

-we’ve got a bunch of counselors standing by to help them
work thru any issues that would impede their ability to minister on the field.

-we’ve got a creative bunch led by Ben Messner who have designed the camp
format to replicate the kinds of issues you deal with on the field: uncertainty, risk, cross-cultural stress, and the
need for flexibility.

Last night we did a quick orientation and showed them the
movie “Invisible Children” which documents the horrific abductions of young
boys in northern Uganda.

Today we got up for prayer at 5:30 a.m. in the big
tent. The presence of God was tangible
in the pre-dawn hours under the full moon.
Then at 6:25, the camp was suddently and unexpectedly invaded by a marauding group of soldiers
dressed in camouflage who barked orders and gave the participants five minutes to get their
clothes on. They shoved the participants
into buses and made them put their heads down.

After driving around, next stop was a “border crossing”
where they were made to wait in line.
They had been put in families the night before and given identities
based on real refugees.

They were made to march to the refugee camp, located in a clearing
in the woods. Once there, they were subjected
to a lot of ill treatment. Their cell phones
and backpacks were “stolen.” They got
one slice of bread for lunch. A group of
the guards are going to get some pizza and share it with the men only. There’s a lot of waiting around. Currently, it just began to rain , which fits into the scheme perfectly – we’ll leave them unsheltered. We are far too preoccupied with comfort in America to be able to truly empathize with the pain of refugees. The plan is to go late into the night before
we let them sleep.

We’ve asked them to pray that God would break their hearts
with the things that break His heart.
We’re hoping that a day living the life of a refugee will start them
down that road. The debrief tomorrow
will show us what they’ve learned.

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