We’ve now been living and training at the International Mission Centre (IMC) in Birmingham for six weeks and it has absolutely flown by. There are nineteen Mission Trainees and six children living at IMC, and we’re all getting used to communal living: set meal times, plenty of consensus building and sharing all we have – especially skills and germs! The other trainees are great and have hugely varied skills (medical, graphic design, human rights law, environmental science…). Between us we are heading to nine different countries on four different continents.
We’re slowly getting our brains back in gear for studying. The modules are all very engaging, ranging from intercultural studies, deep faith, to community acts (we are both volunteering with Restore – a befriending service for asylum seekers and refugees in Birmingham). So far, most of the teaching has been classroom based, with some practical training, including First Aid with the Red Cross. At first, nine months seemed like a long time to be training, but now it feels like no time at all. There is just so much to learn and we’ve not even started learning the local language we’ll need! (Which is Ndebele, by the way).
For the first month we shared IMC with seventeen gap year students as they prepared to go overseas. They were great fun, and as they will be away from home for Christmas, we Mission Trainees gave them an early Christmas Day! Joe was Father Christmas and, after gifts and parlour games, we cooked up popcorn and watched It’s a Wonderful Life.
Preparing for Zimbabwe
The details of what we will be doing in Zimbabwe are still sparse, but it now appears possible that Lois may be able to do some Speech Therapy work. Andrew North (the team leader for Africa) is heading out to Zimbabwe in November, so hopefully we’ll have a better idea of how the opportunities are developing once he returns. Watch this space…
We are really enjoying our new life and hope to discover the joys of Birmingham. At the moment we are missing the Peaks and our friends and church in Sheffield, but this first half term has been a real confirmation that we are in the right place, doing the right thing.
Please pray for us by…
• Thanking God for such an easy transition into life at IMC;
• Thanking Him for providing for us financially and asking that He continues to do so;
• Asking for inspiration and motivation as we get back into studying;
• Asking for God’s provision as we apply for visas;
• Seeking guidance from God for the work he has in store for us.
With love and blessing,
Joe & Lois