Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
There is a lot of discussion about Worldview these days, determining just what that means is a key to the task. The principles, that we have been studying here are biblical, sound methodologies with a focus on missions. However, the ideas and principles behind Worldview Teaching (and understanding) are pertinent and applicable to everyday life and evangelism on a personal level.
It's a great start to training, the bar has been set high to be sure. We're both looking forward to whatever comes next.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Each trainee is assigned a mentor, Liz and I met with ours yesterday, a couple from Southern California who work with a mission in Northern British Columbia. We will have meetings with them over the next eight weeks as they share their experiences with us.
After lunch we met in the P.A.T.H. classroom for an orientation class. In the evening was the 'family fun bash' which was several ice breakers and get to know you games. We had a casual meeting in the dorm with the other trainees to discuss some of the 'housekeeping' issues. It is a part of the P.A.T.H. leadership training program that the trainees are responsible to organize dish crew and cleaning in the dorm.
Today will be our first day of classes, should be interesting!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
We spent the day today picking up some necessities before we head off to Nipawin to begin our training!
Friday, April 23, 2010
We have just found out that there are still some difficulties with P.A.T.H. and accommodations for about 7 days of the training. It seems that the Bible School will be unavailable for these times and we will need to vacate the property for both classes and living. This is a discouragement, and we are hopeful that there will soon be some clarity and completion of plans for these meetings.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Don't Step on the Rope
Walter C. Wright
As I began to read this book, I found myself wondering why it had been so very difficult to acquire. It was easy to read, seemed to be well written and had a clear intent and focus. As I read through the model of teamwork presented by the author, I found why perhaps this book was not available at my local library.
I did find that the book was heavily bogged down by the metaphor presented in the title. For someone, like myself, who knows very little of the subculture that exists in the hiking and mountain climbing community, it took a long time for me to break through all of that cultural nuance before I began to feel the beat of the metaphor. The author drops a lot of names and uses a lot of rather specialized examples to convey his teamwork model, this served somewhat to illustrate his point, but ultimately muddled it (at least for me, the uninitiated). The focus becomes the concept and metaphor and not the methodology.
As books on leadership and teamwork go, this one wasn't too bad. The principles and practices presented through the metaphor of mountain climbing were relatively sensible and seemed to hold a practical wisdom that could certainly be applied. This model of leadership and teamwork will only work if the team is dedicated to the task at hand. In a ministry application it is quite likely that this would be an effective model, however in an organization where the objective of the employee is a paycheck and the objective of the owner is savings and profits it would be a difficult model to implement. Many organizations do their very best to engender a pride in their staff that will translate into an objective more in line with the company objective (profits and savings). Sometimes this is even done through profit sharing or stock options, sometimes simply by trying to draw a correlation, for the benefit of the staff, between company profits and their paychecks. This can be effective for a time, but I can see this model of 'team' and leadership being only moderately successful in that sort of environment (to quote one of my favourite movies, "that'll only make someone work hard enough not to get fired"). An example of this can be seen, somewhat broadly in the so-called 'pyramid schemes'. The leadership and teamwork is an ever expanding pyramid of invested team members focused on the goal of expanding their 'net'.This book would certainly be highly enjoyed by someone immersed in the mountain climbing culture. I didn't find it un-enjoyable, but would recommend that you not become overly burdened with the illustrations, and focus on the leadership model being presented. And keep in mind that it is just a model being presented in a sterile environment. Working with people (especially in a leadership role) is never textbook and never clinical, it requires wisdom and discernment and although leadership books can offer a guiding principle or concept. You will ultimately need to step up.
Monday, April 19, 2010
White Man's Gospel
by Craig Stephen Smith
This book was not what I expected. I was under the impression it would examine the relationship of the Gospel to Native American Spirituality and Animism. It broached this topic only briefly.
A brief synopsis of the subject matter would clearly reveal a healthy understanding of a need for good Worldview Training and a clear and biblically grounded presentation of the Gospel. A presentation of the gospel, untainted by the prejudices and legalisms (and liberalisms) of the modern church. With this there is no argument that can be made, it is a widely acknowledged fact that there is dysfunction in the church and the way it seeks to fulfill it's mandate to GO and preach the gospel. Further to that, there is a growing understanding among mission organizations of just how to go about this (or at least the necessity of examining it). A studied, practical and culturally appropriate method is certainly what is called for biblically. However, to come to this conclusion from reading this book requires a fine tooth comb and a grain (or kilo) of salt.
Throughout the book Smith attempts a level of humor and what would seem to be tried cuteness that comes across rather poorly. At one point he shares a rather racist poem, although intended cutely, it took away dramatically from his credibility as an author. The purpose of sharing this poem was to correlate the sense of funny among Australian Aborigines and Native Americans. I failed to see the value. From page one to the end scene the author uses broad generalizations and sweeping indictments, these serve only to steal from his credibility and lend to an overall tone of bitterness and resentment. Although his point is good and sound, and his conclusions accurate, his presentation is poor and highly self-contradictory.
It is vital to be sensitive to the needs, history, culture and traditional values of Native Peoples. I feel strongly that discipleship, mentoring and a clear presentation of the gospel with an ultimate goal of building self sustaining Native churches is what the great commission is calling us to (and indeed what is presented in this book) without question. However, there are books available that present this method more clearly and under a much less questionable tone. I would recommend one of those be read long before this.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
The training had initially been slated to be held at the Minahik Wasau Center in Timber Bay, Saskatchewan. On Friday we received a phone call from Dan Woodard, the director of P.A.T.H. training. He was calling to inform us that the venue had changed from Minahik Wasau to the Nipawin Bible College in Nipawin Saskatchewan. There were some concerns with the dining facility that prevented P.A.T.H. leadership from operating efficiently at the original venue.
Our travel plans are not impacted as we will still be flying into Saskatoon on Thursday. The kind folks at NCEM headquarters are sending the mission van and a trailer to meet us at the "Toon" airport. We will spend Friday at mission headquarters and doing some shopping for necessities in Prince Albert. Since we will be there for eight weeks, we are going to pick up toiletries, snacks and other necessities after we get there. This will reduce our luggage compliment. Pat Elford, the candidate coordinator at NCEM headquarters has arranged for us to borrow sheets, towels and facecloths as well, which is a huge help with respect to packing and travel!
Today, our field directors, Len and Lorrayne Breen are arriving. They will be holding down the fort for the majority of time we're away. We are excited to see them! We're all going to the Strout's for a BBQ tonight! It'll be fun to spend the week with them before we go.
Monday, April 12, 2010
We've received an update on our upcoming P.A.T.H. training, and are quite concerned about one complication that seems to have arisen. It is sounding quite likely that there will not be internet access at the Center where the training is held. If that is the case it will make our camp prep work and communications (not to mention paying bills etc.) impossible, or at best very complicated. So, as an item of prayer, please keep this in mind.
This past Saturday was full of fun. The Strout's have been involved in a missions conference in Sussex and have been there the past four days or so. Liz went with Marcia to a Ladies brunch on Saturday morning. They enjoyed some wonderful fellowship with some of the ladies from Sussex.
Last week while Kevin and I were traveling back and forth to the meetings in Fredericton, we noticed a sign out front of an auction warehouse. The sign advertised an upcoming auction of office furniture. We stopped in to find the owner very friendly and accommodating. The auction was for NB Power office equipment and vehicles. We decided we'd return and see what we might acquire for our new office building. Kevin was busy with the missions conference, so he couldn't go, but Roger Hill came along to help me out. I haven't been to an auction in a while, so it was fun to be there. We got some great deals on furniture for the office. We loaded the truck up with; 12 ft sectional executive table; 3 padded chairs; 3 quality adjustable office chairs; a 2 drawer file cabinet; a solid 5 ft bookshelf; and an illuminated glass display board. And after buyers fees and taxes we spent less than $90. Awesome! Roger and I loaded it all up and unloaded at home. We then went to retrieve a stove for the ANBC apartment. Roger had it, thought we might be able to use it and wanted to donate it to ANBC! Thanks Roger!
On Sunday morning Liz and I were on the road bright and early. We arrived at Jacksontown Baptist Church in time for Sunday school where we shared about the ministry at Arrowhead and all of the exciting things the Lord is doing here! During the morning service I had been asked to speak as well, and shared about just what it means to "stand in the Gap." We felt very welcome and enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with some friends. After the service we were invited to dinner in the home of Dorothy Rosevear. We were truly blessed to meet and fellowship with this amazing lady. Over a wonderful home cooked Sunday dinner, she shared with us about her life. She and her husband were foster parents and fostered over 700 children during the past 50 years, some of whom have gone on to be pastors and ministers. In 2008 she received the Order of New Brunswick in recognition of her service. It was a true blessing and encouragement to meet Mrs. Rosevear yesterday!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Tuesday evening Kevin and I enjoyed fellowship with some of the believers at the St. Mary's Bible Study.
On Wednesday Kevin and I headed to Shediac. My mother has donated some furniture to Arrowhead for the new office and directors quarters so we took the truck to bring the items back to camp. It was a whirlwind trip in the rain, but we had no problems and nothing got wet. It is a big help to have some new shelves, a bed and chair, dresser and tables.
Thursday brought my friend Ben Lawson for a visit. Ben works as a teacher in Akulevik, Quebec and is home for a weeks break. He worked with us as a cabin leader last year during camp and his ministry has been much appreciated. We're hopeful he'll be able to minister with us again this year! It was great to be able to spend a couple of days catching up with him!
Liz has gone to NS for a couple of days to visit with her folks before we head out West for training. It will be her last real opportunity to see them until after Eastern Field conference in the Fall.