Here’s what I wrote in my very first newsletter, sent from the Missionary Learning Center in rural Virginia:
MLC Is Preparing Me for a New Place of Service
Wow! I didn’t realize how much there is to learn on assisting other missionaries and planting churches in an unreached people group! So what are we doing for 7 weeks at Missionary Learning Center?
We are beginning each day corporately with worship that has been some of the most meaningful ever for me! Then it is classes and reading and activities until bedtime! We are organized into teams and the whole place functions by the work of our teams as it does on the mission field.
Who Are We?
We are 121 adults and 53 children, all soon to go overseas to every continent as Southern Baptist missionaries. There are many going as “career” missionaries, which means the beginning of a lifetime of mission service. The rest of us are going for 2 or 3 years in the International Service Corp, Masters Program (over age 50), or the Journeyman program (just graduated from college).
We are mixed in each house of four apartments so that there are all ages and stages of life to make up a big extended family like Africans. My “quad” has two couples with empty nests, one couple with three children ages 2-8, and three of us single guys, 22, 46, and 59. Quite a family! And we are all going to Africa!
Already we have dealt with fitness, travel, insurance, security, personal growth, witnessing, prayer, philosophy, strategy, cultural anthropology, chronological Bible storying, animism, folk Islam, cross cultural communication, worldviews, and lots of homework! Still to come are more on health, single living, a field trip to other religious groups in Washington, DC, spiritual warfare, church planting, team building, and utilizing you guys as short term volunteers when you come over (and I hope you do!).
My Greatest Need: Prayer Partners
The only way to introduce Jola people to Christ is for God to prepare their hearts ahead of me and that happens when God’s people pray. What can you do?
1) Pray that God will work in the hearts of the Jola people in the Banjul area where I will witness.
2) Pray that I learn the language quickly.
3) Invite others to be prayer partners.
4) That my house sell soon!
will be in The Gambia for me and the Hutchison family has already invited me over for Christmas dinner.
Dec 10-11: Fly to Dakar for orientation
Dec 19: In my new home in a Banjul suburb
My Journal: 1999 MLC & Travel to The Gambia
Missionary Learning Center Scrapbook Photos
Or look at individual photos larger by clicking in gallery:
And now photos of each page of my 1999-2000 Scrapbook The Gambia are in a gallery which includes both the Matching Conference and the above Missionary Learning Center. And of course the story is continued in the 2001-2002 Scrapbook The Gambia along with all of the other pages under my Gambia Missionary web page.