This last week I spent 5 days at All Nations Christian College near Ware in Hertfordshire on their Express En Route course. I can't really claim it was a hardship staying and studying in such beautiful surroundings. I chose to go to All Nations as I knew they had good mission specific courses and it is near my parents' house. This worked out very well for me as when I first arrived I realised I had forgotten both my tablet which was to be my bible and notebook for the week and also my phone charger. Cue an hour's round trip back to my parents' to collect them...
That aside I had a very good week and I learnt a lot, not just about mission but also about myself and how I may act and cope in these new situations. If anyone is thinking on going on short term mission or just mission in general then I highly recommend it!
It's hard to sum up in a short blog post what I learnt and gained from a very intensive course but I wanted to share some highlights of the week. Firstly it made me really aware of other parts of the world and where else God is working. It is very easy for me to become Slovenia focussed but this week I was hearing about situations in South America, Asia and also about Nepalis in London! God is in charge of the whole world and is working everywhere. It's only when we grasp this that we can start to realise how big God is and how small we are. This is not to belittle the work in Slovenia or even Europe but God is bigger than that and is working on a grander scale. I feel privileged to even play a small part in this plan.
Secondly I realised that of all places in the world, Slovenia one of the nicest situations I could go into. Again I'm not being naive, I realise there is a lot of problems and work that needs to be done in Slovenia but in terms of practicalities I have it quite easy. I was told I have something like survivors guilt. When I heard about the countries and situations some of the other people are going into it's hard not to compare. I know I have been called to Slovenia and this is the work God has called me to but when we did risk assessments for the countries the worst thing I have to contend with is the possibility of road accidents or avalanches... I think it has been hard for me to put my own challenges into perspective when I have heard what other people will be facing.
At the end of the course we had to write a sentence to describe how the week had been for us. My sentence was that it challenged some of my preconceptions and helped me to think biblically and practically about some of the challenges I will face as I prepare to serve in Slovenia. It definitely gave me a lot to think about and some of it was difficult to hear. There are going to be tough times ahead, spiritually, emotionally and practically but as I wrote above, God is bigger than all of this. When I face the trials and hardships that will come I know that He is there to lean upon.
So what's next? I'm still fundraising and praying for support to come in. I can't go until I have the majority of my support raised (about €1500 per month). This is a difficult situation for me as it makes it hard to prepare what I'm doing when. If you are able to help me financially, even if you think it's only a small amount then I would be very grateful. Please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a donation form. If you can't help in this way then I would be grateful for any prayers. I can't do this alone and I am grateful for all of you who are taking an interest in this journey!