I loved Interface! This past weekend, I traveled to Pennsylvania for the first-ever offical ITF reunion. I left encouraged, challenged, and renewed with a passion for mission here and abroad, but especially for the unreached people of the world. Last week, just before I left for the reunion, my representative at NTM asked me what I learned and valued from my time at Interface. For those of you read this blog back when I was at Interface, much of this will seem over-simplified. It is. If you have not read about my experiences at Interface, the “Interface” category of posts includes the real-time posts from PNG in 2010 and everything PNG-related from the past two years. That being said, here was my response:
For me, Interface was the confirmation of a “maybe.” A friend had been influencing me to develop an interest in teaching overseas; when I was at ITF, I was able to visit Numonohi and said “yes.” The other major thing that ITF did for me was give me a deeper understanding of tribal missions. Many of the day-to-day experiences and lessons that I learned while there are chronicled on my blog. If I had to choose just two things that I learned while there to transition into my prospective service at NCA (the school in PNG that I will be teaching at), it would be to focus on the Lord, not just the work at hand, and to pray desperately. Specifically, I remember Clayton Brown’s closing message the day before we flew back to the U.S. He exhorted us to focus on the Lord because anything else will put you out of balance. Because missionaries have to leave the field for various reasons, if their focus is not on the Lord, there will be issues. As such, I aim to throw off everything that hinders, throw off the sin that so easily entangles, and fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith. Why? Simply for the sake of Christ, for the sake of those who have yet to hear, and because the time is short. Clayton also urged us to begin now to make choices that will prepare us for future service. I have to admit I have not always done that, but when I have, have seen the overwhelming benefits of following that advice. The second thing, prayer, was not something I necessarily “learned” at ITF, but is something that was addressed during our training. Perhaps it stands out now because I have just been doing an informal study on prayer, reading Paul Miller’s A Praying Life, attempting to prioritize prayer in my life, and watching Francis Chan’s “Basics: Prayer” message with my volleyball Bible study group. I certainly believe that prayer is vital anywhere, but especially in times of increased stress or weakness.