We are enjoying our time at JAARS!
JAARS (Jungle Aviation And Radio Services) specializes in supporting Bible translation through taking care of transportation and communication.
“From pilot training and mission aviation services to remote technology and communications support, we provide off-the-grid logistical solutions that help make Bible translation possible.” – www.jaars.org
Here at JAARS, pilots and mechanics are trained to live and work in remote areas, including Papua New Guinea and all over Africa. But, it’s so much more than airplanes! There is also a maritime division that trains missionaries in water safety and transportation to areas best reached by boat. They also offer training in driving motorcycles, manual transmissions, and off-road vehicles (all things we will need!). JAARS is a strategic partner of Wycliffe Bible Translators, but they also offer their training to other missions organizations.
Which brings us to why WE are here! The course we are attending is called Intercultural Communications, and it is required for all Wycliffe USA missionaries headed to an overseas assignment, as well as multiple other mission organizations. We are learning alongside other translators, pilots, teachers, sign language specialists, HR facilitators, cartographers, church planters, IT specialists, and guest house managers… just to name a few! (There is truly a place for everyone in Kingdom Work!)
We are so impressed with the training we have received. We have learned so much already! One of our homework assignments leading up to the course was to read Cross-Cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer. I’d highly recommend it to anyone, even if you’re not headed overseas. One of my biggest take-aways was… that I have so much to learn. The Lord is opening my eyes to all that I don’t know, and I’m so thankful. Beginning this course with that mindset has been a gift. I am soaking it all up! (AND, we get to practice it in Ethiopia and Côte d’Ivoire so soon!)
We have had sessions on worldview, conflict resolution, and how missions has changed in the past few decades. We’re studying Ephesians in depth and memorizing Scripture together. We spend time developing self-awareness to recognize how we handle stress. We are developing tools that we can use in case we get stressed overseas. (HA!) We’re learning what our strengths are, how we can use them, and what barriers we will need to work to overcome. This time has been invaluable already, and I know we will be more effective in our ministry because of our time here.
We have even learned about how to use toilets around the world… things you need to know when you need to go!
One of my (Lindsay’s) favorite sessions has been “Language Acquisition”. We are learning skills, methods and tools that we can use to learn any language. We’re studying phonetics, or how sounds are made in our mouth. The method of language acquisition that we’re learning here at ICC mimics the way a child learns language, and it’s fascinating to me!
I’ve been asking for prayer that God would give me “divine language learning ability”, and I have already seen God change the way I view language learning! Even a month ago, I was so intimidated, but more and more I’m feeling so excited!
The kids have been learning about transitions, changes, how to leave well, and how to observe other cultures. I’ve been so impressed with the things Lucy comes home from class talking about (AND, how many songs in other languages she knows!) Their teachers are using object lessons about things that change, like caterpillars and dandelions.
Lucy and Titus have begun to ask the question, “What is his/her heart language?” when we encounter someone who speaks a different language. They are already thankful that they have Bibles in their heart language and are catching the vision of Bible translation! Praise God!
During our time here, we’ve all been assigned an international church to attend for four weeks. Our family is attending a local Indian church, where three languages are spoken. We have LOVED it! We’re building relationships, sharing meals, and studying Scripture together. What a blessing to worship with people from around the world!
This is the Body of Christ!
On top of all that we’re learning, we’re also developing deep and encouraging friendships with other (future) missionaries. There is something about a room full of like-minded people that is so powerful. We are not walking this journey alone in any way.
The Lord has been so faithful to our family during this time of training and transition.
So many friends have reached out to encourage us in the past few weeks, and we are SO THANKFUL for you all! We are feeling the Body of Christ coming around us in so many ways. What a gift!
That we would be able to keep up with the demanding schedule here at ICC
That God would continue to teach us and refine us in this training process
That our kids would maintain their excitement for the mission God has us on
For all the preparation for our Ethiopia/Côte d'Ivoire trip (Praise the Lord our visas are all set and passports are up-to-date! It will be a quick turn around after ICC, so pray for our packing and travel during that time. And pray for Jack as he prepares to speak 4 times while we're in Ethiopia.)
That God would lead more people (maybe you!) to partner financially with our Wycliffe ministry