MTI: Missions Training International. Our home for the next month.
We’re currently in the COMPASS Program which is a pre-departure training program to help us prepare for the cultural change that’s about to take place. We’ve spent most of last week learning language acquisition techniques which has severely exhausted our brains. We’re gathering a ton of tools to put in our tool belt once we reach Kenya that should help us learn Swahili. Our ability to think and process is being stretched and our mouths are making noises they’ve never made before. Let’s just say we spend a lot of time slightly confused and laughing really hard with a bunch of new friends.
New friends. Another aspect of MTI that is life-changing. We find ourselves living in a lodge-type building with 33 adults and 29 children from 13 years to 6 weeks, and we’re loving it. We eat meals together, go to classes together, do homework together, and relax together. We stay up late talking, playing games, or on the Internet side by side since we can’t get wi-fi in our rooms. We worship together in the mornings, play outside with our kids in the afternoon, and say good-night to each other in the evenings. Yes, of course there are things that drive us nutty about each other, but I can honestly say that for the most part, we’re having a blast.
We’ve all been on journeys that are leading us overseas, and for the first time we’re surrounded by people that understand exactly what we’re going through. We feel free to share about our frustrations, and we get it. We understand what it’s like to raise support and how awkward that can be. We feel the weight of not having a home to go back to. And we cry with one another about the loneliness and confusion that we can find ourselves in.
Our children are loving it here as well. Caedmon understands that these kids are moving to other countries and had to “sale” most of their stuff, too. There’s another family who’s moving to Kenya, “just like us!” And he’s really bonded with a few “new best friends.” Malakai just enjoys having stairs to run up and down, and he’s actually eating food while he’s here!
While Robert and I are in classes, the boys go to their own class, which has gone over better than I thought. Their sweet teacher has seven 2-3 year old boys and she’s always smiling when I pick the them up. They have a specific curriculum that they learn which mirrors what we’re learning upstairs, but on a level they can comprehend. We’ve been so thankful for how our boys have coped with being here, and we’re continually praising the LORD for how He’s breathed His peace over them.
Our time at MTI has been so precious, and we feel extremely privileged to be here. We pray that God opens our eyes and hearts to more of Himself, while exposing us to knowledge about our coming transition and what it might look like. We miss our friends and families back home, and are getting a small taste of what overseas will look like. As difficult as it can be at times, our God is revealing His deep love for our little family, and we are hopeful for the days to come.