Brian’s Thoughts.

            Many of you have been asking what my opinion of the classes has been.  Today was our last day, as Lisa had mentioned.  It was an amazing 10 weeks and we learned more even than we thought possible to learn on these subjects. Looking back, I can see that all of the subjects built on each other and I am glad that we were able to come to all of the classes.  We not only learned a lot in the classes, but also in the community that we were living in here at CIT.

            There were 4 of us that were here at school the whole time and we are grateful that we were able to get to know them.  With every new class we had many new people; it was great for us to be stretched in our relationships and to really bond simply on what we have in common in Christ.  These relationships are what makes leaving here a bittersweet process.  We are raring to go and put into practice all that we have learned, but are saying goodbye to some really close friends.

            There have been things that have stuck out in every class.  The first class that we went through was the equipping class and, along with that, a “Heart of the Missionary” course (HOM) which was a devotional time.  In the HOM course, I was a reminded of who I am in Christ and what all the Gospel entails. Realizing that I am accepted in Christ and that when I realize it, I don’t have to make myself acceptable to any one else.  I realized that things like my perfectionism stem from my wanting to be accepted and Jesus provided acceptance already.  (AMAZING)  The equipping course went right along with that and reminded us that we have to become like children again.  Being children will help keep us from being offensive in our way of doing things and just be willing to learn and do things their way. They are the people we are serving and vice versa. 

Those two courses have meant the most to me during our time here, but we also took a few other classes.  The next class we took was a Language Acquisition class.  We were taught a lot of tools for the “do-it-yourself language learner” and actually got to practice what tools we were given.  I was in a group learning Cabuano; I was amazed that learning language may take time, but that I can do it.  The following class was effective teams and team leaders.  Lisa has explained her side of what happened in her team already.  My team experience was totally different from Lisa’s, but was also really good.  Our team seemed to function really well and we accomplished the task, but it was also made clear how important it is to have a common purpose on a team.  Without that, the team will not function ever as a real team, but rather just a bunch of individuals.

Today we finished our last class, which was Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills.  It also was a great class and we learned a lot not only about ourselves, but also how the body can function.  We learned everything from good relational skills (listening, sharing, etc.), Biblical confrontation, managing conflict, taking care of stress, and encouraging.  It was great learning all of these skills in an Adult Learning environment, where you have lots of time to practice the tools you are being taught. 

We appreciate all your prayers and support getting and keeping us here. 

Thank You!



Today officially began our last module here at CIT. Hard to believe these nine weeks are coming to a close!! I can’t even think about leaving or I get all teary. These classes have been phenomenal and the friendships alone were well worth the time spent down here. It’s hard to imagine going back to PA and “reality” and all that entails. So, for now, I’ll just focus on the present!

Our TESL class this weekend was informative, but to be honest, we probably could have covered the same amount of material in a 2-hour evening session. It was definitely more beneficial for me than for Brian and I am glad for the new resources. But, our weekend was much busier than we had planned on and we were both exhausted by yesterday evening.

Yesterday morning, we decided to go to church and then head out to a place called Chimney Rock, about 45 miles from here. It’s a beautiful overlook that somebody gave us the money to go see. It’s a park and it’s quite pricey to get into, but we thought since it was a beautiful day, it would be worth the day trip together. The view WAS beautiful…but it was a long afternoon. No one told us that North Carolina’s idea of “hiking” is just “let’s put 5 million stairs into the side of the mountain and watch people hyperventilate as they climb up them in the higher elevation than they’re used to.” On the plus side, we saw the waterfall that is used during the filming of the last scene in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans.” If you’ve seen that movie (which I highly recommend), you’ll remember the absolutely gorgeous scenery at the end. That’s all filmed right there and it really is that breathtaking in person. I have posted those pictures so you can see what I mean.

When we got back last night, we had to dive right into our first session of SYIS, though, so we were pretty exhausted by the time we hit the sack…early! We feel much better today and Brian even had the energy to go hang out with some guys, so I’m home alone…which is probably why I’m writing so much! 🙂

Our class this week has a totally new format and there are many more people than the last modules. Since it’s all “interpersonal skills”, we are doing mostly interacting and very little lecture. We get to “role play” (although so far, all our scenarios have been real life) the different skills we’re learning about, which helps solidify how they work in our minds and what we need to work on. Today, we touched on listening skills (silence, questions, drawing people out, helping them solve their own problems). I’m really not sure what we’re doing tomorrow. I do know we are going to cover this week more conflict resolution tactics, receiving confrontation, and dealing with stress (to name just a few; we basically cover four different topics a day, to give you an idea of how much we’re working through this week). We are both loving this course (even though we’re not allowed to sit together 😦 ) and again, are anxious to put these skills into practice!

Here’s the link to the new photos! Oh, and I’m still trying to get Brian to sit down long enough to type something into this blog…before we leave here! 🙂