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! 🙂


Three Down, Two to Go…

We finished our “Effective Teams and Team Leaders” module this morning. This class literally flew by! We talked this morning about multi-cultural teams and how the dynamics are different, etc. It was quite enlightening. We tend to think that everybody in the world thinks, acts, and reacts like we in America do. That’s not quite true. Even how we deal with conflict is radically different in another culture. Sometimes even just following the model in Matthew 18 looks completely different in another culture – especially one where they are “shame-based.” Lots and lots to think about!

We said goodbye two three more people today. Everyone else is staying for next week’s module – “Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills.” We begin that module Sunday evening; ten new people will be joining us as well, making this class the largest yet for us – twenty people! They will also be providing us lunch next week since this class is a little more in-depth. Who’s going to complain about free food, I ask you??

Tomorrow begins our other module – “Teaching English as a Second Language.” This is actually going to be one of my jobs in Peru, so I’m anxious to have some kind of clue as to how to go about this! We found out a month ago that this class is actually free if you come for the “Core Five” – which is what we did. So, Brian will be joining me for the next two days! He figured it wouldn’t hurt. 🙂 We will be in class Friday and Saturday from 8:30-4, and then, of course, SYIS begins Sunday evening with a dinner. So, we shall be a tad busy!

We ask for your prayers right now for a couple things. First of all – a HUGE praise: We got our monthly report from BCM and found out that we have much more support than we realized and now, instead of only have 1/3 of our support, we have only 1/3 of our support LEFT to raise!! We are ecstatic! But, be praying for us because 2/3 of our support is not 100%, which is where we are required to be before we can go to Peru.

Be praying for us as we leave next week. We are going to be leaving some wonderful friends who we aren’t sure we’ll see again this side of eternity. That’s hard. Also, we’ll be leaving a quite relaxed, almost vacation-like setting (some days!) to enter back into “reality”: support raising. Transitions aren’t quite our favorite part of life.

Be praying for us as we plan the next few months. We are making a trip to South Dakota sometime in May, but we don’t know when yet. Brian needs to get ahold of a pastor out there to find out our speaking date, but THEN, we found out that our Peruvian director will be in PA sometime in May (looks like towards the end of May) and we would love to meet with him and our personnel director in person while he’s State-side. There are just lots of logistics to work out for the month of May and we don’t really even have a starting point yet.

My mom has requested that you all hear from Brian about his feelings about this training. I asked him to write something this weekend, so hopefully, he’ll stick to that and get something written out for you guys so you can see this training from his point of view as well.

Thank you for holding us up in prayer! We’re in the home stretch for this phase!!