Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Local Internship with a Global Impact

QUESTION: What do Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iraq, Mali, South Sudan, and Thailand have in common?
ANSWER: Missionary Kids (MKs) from each of these countries have attended a debriefing program where I have been their teacher. 
Through my internship from August-December at Mission Training International (MTI) I’ve been part of a team which has ministered to 80 children, from families serving in 35 different countries. Cross-cultural missionaries from 53 different organizations have entrusted MTI with their debriefing during the last 4 months. Although located in Colorado, I’m having a global impact doing the ministry of developing and equipping cross-cultural messengers of the gospel for effectiveness, endurance and spiritual vitality.

Ministry in Japan
As a Converge Worldwide missionary in Japan from 1998-2000 and 2007-2016, I studied the Japanese language and worked to educate Japanese, international and missionary children in a private Christian school. Outside of the classroom I also had opportunities to mentor students, participate in a Japanese church and build relationships in my neighborhood. During my time in Japan I saw the impact that cross-cultural ministry had on missionary families and desired to learn more about how to care for missionary kids.
Time of Transition
In June 2015 I completed my educational ministry contract at Kansai Christian School.  During my home assignment, with the assistance of Converge Worldwide leadership, I pursued new opportunities in missionary kid care. Attending Missionary Kid Caregivers Consultation (MKCC) spring of 2016 introduced me to new opportunities in Asia, and around the world. Building on connections at MKCC and the pre-field training I had at Mission Training International in 2007, I pursued a fall internship at MTI in the area of missionary kid care. In July 2016 I returned to Japan for two weeks to pack my belongings and say good-byes to students, friends, and co-workers.
MTI Internship
Lori As a Converge missionary seconded to MTI for an internship August-December 2016, I am learning more about the needs of missionary kids in the orientation and debriefing process. Each month I have taught a new group of missionary kids (ages 4-12) who are transitioning from the mission field to North America, some are on home assignment/furlough, some are between assignments, some are returning permanently.  My primary role as a trainer is to provide a safe and understanding environment where MKs can process their story and connect with other MKs who have gone through similar situations. In October my role has expanded to include parent coaching, where I have the opportunity to meet with missionary parents as they debrief their experience as parents overseas and the impact on the hearts of family members.

During my internship I’ve found that working at MTI utilizes my spiritual gifts, reflects my passion for missionary kid care, utilizes my teaching abilities, allows my personality to show through and capitalizes on the experiences I’ve been given. I’m praying about how God would have me apply the learning and experience for future ministry. 
With your partnership during this internship, we are impacting the effectiveness, endurance, and personal vitality of missionary families around the globe.  Please continue to pray for this ministry and for me as I seek God’s guidance for next steps to take when this internship ends in December. 
Serving with joy,
Lori Harms
DAR CHIPs Trainers
MTI's Debriefing and Renewal Children's Intercultural Program trainers,
new friends who I've been blessed to work with for the last 3 months.

1. Pray for a moldable spirit in my MTI Internship, able to understand and apply the learning. 

2. Pray for the Debriefing and Renewal Team Nov. 6-11.  For connections among the staff, adults, and children, for a safe place to share their story and journey with God. 

3. Praise for my housing situation. Pray that I would be a blessing to my housemate

4. Pray for wisdom to discern God's vision for future ministry steps as the internship finishes in December. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ministry Update - October

Lessons I'm learning : 
1. Life in the states does not guarantee Internet access. But here I am posting a new blog post - with gratitude for the public library's free wifi. 
2. In Colorado the changing colors on the trees last longer than in Japan and the snow comes earlier.  And if you don't like the weather - wait 15 minutes.

Ministry Update:
August 15-December 15 I am interning at Mission Training International near Colorado Springs, CO.  I'm working with missionary families, and specifically missionary kids during their orientation and debriefing  process. MTI works together with mission boards, churches, and sending organizations to equip and develop cross-cultural messengers of the gospel through training and debriefing. During my internship I get to see how God works through trainers as they adapt cross-cultural learning for all age levels.  I'm learning more about how each individual family member's experience creates a family story and impacts the ministry. And how cross-cultural living impacts each family member in unique ways.  The internship has been a great fit and I'm excited to see how God uses this learning for my future. 

Prayer & Praises
1.Pray for a mold-able spirit as I enter a steep learning curve in my MTI Internship - learning how to prepare kids for the mission field and guiding them through transition during home assignment and relocation. 
2. Pray for the Debriefing and Renewal Team Nov. 6-11, and Dec. 4-9.  For connections among the staff, adults, and children, for a safe place to share their story and journey with God. 
3. Praise for my housing situation. Pray that I would be a blessing to my housemate. She is an energetic elderly Christian woman and is such a blessing to me.
4. Pray for wisdom to discern God's vision for future ministry steps as the internship finishes in December. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Prayer Update - March

1. Praise God for great visits with ministry partners in Illinois, Minnesota, and South Dakota over the last month. Continue to pray for mutually encouraging connections with ministry partners and for travel mercies through Midwestern states.
2. Pray for wisdom in regards to decisions for future ministry plans. 
3. Pray for Japan Field Council March 29-31. For understanding and unity on important  field discussions and decisions that will happen at that time. (As I'm on home assignment I will not be attending in person.)
4.  April 4-8, I will attend MK Consultation 2016 in Kansas City. Pray for ministry training on the topic of TCK Care, and God's guidance with conversations and networking at the conference.