Thursday, October 21, 2010

A New York Summary from Mom

“Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord, but unto Your name give glory.”

“Wow! Wow! Wow!  What a gift the past 5 weeks in Elmhurst, Queens, New York City was to us.  Our stay at the Missions Training Center (MTC) has been a truly life-changing experience.  I can’t begin to tell here all the ways that our Perspective has changed (and you probably don’t want me to try), but I will attempt to give a small glimpse of our time in NYC in the next few days.   We had hoped to update more while actually in NYC, but we were VERY busy with classes, homework, and outreach. 
            The first aspect I’ll attempt to describe is the aspect of our hours spent in training at MTC/Life in Christ Menn. Church.  The highlight of every day was morning worship, and although it was not a “class,” it was here that I was impacted the most.  I believe the most important thing that God taught me (if you can actually narrow it down to that) is how to pray. Bros. Bob Miller and Henry Blank simply modeled for us by leading meaningful times of corporate worship and prayer, and then the guys each led occasionally, too, which made a nice variety.  Bro. Bob made the statement early on in our time at the MTC, “If Jesus called His house a ‘House of Prayer,’ why is so little time spent in corporate prayer in our regular worship services?” For me, that thought has really unsettled my idea of “church”. Our worship of 50 min daily was aimed at spending about half of our time in prayer. Life-giving, life-changing, humbling, God-seeking, people-caring prayer. Sometimes alone, more often in groups of 2-3, sometimes on our knees, sometimes praying only from the Word of God. Precious.  Along with that, was the truth woven throughout many classes that all great revivals are preceded by and accompanied by a serious movement of prayer. The bottom line—if God’s people wish to be involved in His work we must begun in His presence.                         
            What about the actual classes? Well, the core of the 5-wk program is Hawthorne’s Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. We used the study guide and the reader by the same name. In this study I learned that God’s desire from the beginning was to us His chosen people to draw all nations to worship Him (we Gentiles were not Plan B). I never realized how often in the OT there are references to “all nations” (“the world,” etc.), beginning with the promise to Abraham, and spoken in all the rest of Scripture (check it out sometime). My perspective was changed in that instead of seeing a “normal, growing” church as the goal, our goal should be to be reproducing churches. New thought! “The Supremacy of Christ,” “Witnessing,” Spiritual Gifts, “Team Relations and Conflict Resolution,” –each class challenged and equipped us!  Add to the great content, the fact that the teachers were former missionaries and pastors.  They have been in so many unique situations—just eating lunch with them was educational! 
            Yeah, we sure had our expectations met and surpassed.  I’m so thankful to those who had the vision to make a place where lay people can be trained to work in the place God has called them.  Another day I hope to share more about the Outreach times and the cross-cultural experience of living among 140 different languages and ethnicities.  Again, our thanks to those of you who sent us and prayed for us. 

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