This fall will be one of my most exciting ones yet. I’ll begin classes at Global Frontier Missions on August third, and continue all the way through December twenty-second (For more information on what I’m doing in the fall refer to my last post). I haven’t exactly figured out every aspect of my time there – and I’m excited about the unexpected adventures that await me – but I do know a few details of my training. These aspects of the program are a big part of the reason I decided to pursue missionary training though GFM, and I hope they leave you with the same sense of excitement they’ve given me.
Overall, GFM’s missionary training program is a very hands-on and personal one. Really, it’s more of a ministry in itself. I’ll be living in Clarkston, Georgia, a subdivision of Atlanta nicknamed the “most diverse square mile in America” for its 65+ nationalities and over 110 dialects spoken largely by refugees settled in the area. I’ll stay in one of twenty-two multi-ethnic apartment complexes, with beautiful people from all over the world as my neighbors, many of whom may still have not heard the Gospel presented to them.
Speaking of where I’m staying, I won’t be staying in a lonely little one-room apartment by myself. There are typically 12-18 students per semester, and I’ll share a three-bedroom apartment with up to five of them. It’ll definitely be a community living situation! I don’t expect that to be an issue for me personally, as I’ve shared a room my entire life (I’m a twin) and don’t tend to need a whole lot of personal space (or physical space to put my stuff. I don’t own a ton).
Now I’m sure you’re curious about what my actual training will look like. It’s divided up into two major sections. Mornings will consist of classroom study and training for four hours. The academic side will also include about one book a week of reading, including much of the Bible as well as a bunch of other books to really help us understand God’s Word, missions strategy, and, importantly, cross-cultural communication.
While I do love reading and I’m excited to study the topics included in the course, that wasn’t the key factor in my choosing of GFM. Afternoons are gonna be fun. Students will have the opportunity to do some real, hands-on ministry with the people in Clarkston as part of our training. I’ll get to build relationships, talk with people, and do some lasting good in the community I’ll be living in for five months. I don’t want to go to a missionary training course just for me. Spending months learning may be helpful in the long run, but I’m excited to be able to combine that with direct ministry training that can impact the lives of the people in the community I’m studying in.
Overall, the missionary training course will take up about 45 hours each week. That’s the primary reason I’ve chosen to use fundraising and jobs now instead of finding a job during the fall. While I may be able to squeeze in a few hours of work here and there and earn some money, this fall is going to be about relationships (as my entire life and ministry should be). Yeah, I could sacrifice some late nights talking and lunch hours at coffee shops and weekends bowling, but those things are the reason I’m there. I don’t want to forfeit opportunities to change lives and foster growth just for a few extra bucks.
I’m looking forward to whatever this fall brings my way. I’ll continue to post more content discussing GFM, missions, my future, and probably a few more things. If you’d like to read more about GFM in particular, you can check out their website.