Wednesday 12 July 2017

Intern Training 2017

After the joys and challenges of the Amazing Race we begin four full days of Intern Training at Malenovice. This is the group of people who were there - one hundred and five interns plus staff. 

Our conference centre at Malenovice is bursting at capacity - a very good problem to have! That means that during the day we met in our big marquee/tent for our sessions, and at night we squeezed into the meeting room inside the hotel.

One of our biggest goals for Intern Training was that interns would understand the five challenges Christ gives on the disciplemaking pathway (to come and see, repent and believe, follow me, follow me and fish for men, and I am sending you). As a ministry we want all we do to be based on the life and ministry of Christ and so we follow His model. And knowing this pathway well enables us to see where we are and how we can grow, and where others are and what they need in those spots to move to the next chair. So here is Aleisha interviewing Katka who is sharing what the process was like in her life.

As well as a lot of training on disciplemaking, personal growth, and team, we also train interns in all the practical parts of their internship - everything from teaching English, to working with translation, to the camp dance. I'm really thankful for the incredible people who taught and shared - in all we had over forty people involved in the conference! And some of those people were nationals sharing about their country in their second language! 

Each night the evening talks were on idols. Aleisha spoke on the first night, and then our president Dave spoke on the other three nights. Idols might seem like a funny topic to dive into but Aleisha shared the following quote from Chris Wright:

"Idolatry.. is the biggest obstacle to world mission" 

God is King and should be Lord over all my life - but sometimes we get caught up in worshipping other things. And we'd never say that we're worshipping other things but the truth is anything we're looking to for comfort, or security, or identity, that isn't Jesus is an idol. So some of the things that can become idols might be very good things! But we make them ultimate things, and that's where the problem is. 

So each night we looked at Jeremiah 17 and the symptoms of idols, and then we looked at idols were learn about the bible and asked the Holy Spirit to reveal anything in our lives we were worshipping that were not Him. Our hope was that in seeking freedom from all these idols we all would be freed up to serve Christ fully and bear much fruit for Him this summer.

It was a great privilege for me to speak a couple of times during Intern Training also. I facilitated a session on the gospel in Europe where everybody heard quick little talks, mostly from nationals, about different JV countries, what it looks like to follow Christ there, and what challenges there are to the gospel in that place. During that session I got to reveal our camp theme for the year, talk about the camp talks, and explain why they were written - to meet the exact needs and challenges people had just been sharing about.

I also got to lead a session on culture - with one hundred and five people, from eleven different countries, serving in thirteen countries for the summer, we had a lot different cultures in the room! And when we serve God with our culture, and cross-culturally, it can be a really beautiful picture of the gospel. But we need to learn to do those things well. So we did a fun, interactive task and then debriefed it and I gave some tips for serving well across cultures.

Speaking at and helping to lead this event was definitely challenging at times - and there were moments where we definitely experienced spiritual warfare. We went to deep and hard places, knowing that Christ wants us to be completely free. It was a battle but so rewarding to stand in faith with these interns for all that God has for them - both personally and as they serve Him in these nations this summer.

On the last night we commissioned each group of interns to their country by praying over them, and then they had communion in their teams. The next morning many got up early to head to their mission fields for the summer and it was a joy to send them out! And that's why we dug our heels in and stood in faith - because sending out one hundred and five interns (plus staff) to serve for three months in complete freedom in Christ? That could really change these nations as they reach out to, disciple, and equip this next generation.

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