Why are we training? What are we training for?
After 8 years of learning language and culture at the worldview level, another church was born in Papua New Guinea about a month ago amongst the Menya people group.  Watch this 4 minute video called "Cross Day"...
This is why and what we are training for. Whether we function directly as church planters, or in direct support of them, our heart's desire is to be used by God to declare His glory. To know Him and to make Him known. We echo the purpose statement below.
Ethnos360's Purpose Statement: "Motivated by the love of Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Ethnos360 exists to assist the ministry of the local church through the mobilizing, equipping, and coordinating of believers to evangelize unreached people groups, translate the Scriptures, and see indigenous churches established that glorify God.”
We are now 2/3 complete with our training. (see our timeline below)
We are reminded not to trust in the training or methodology itself; instead we're trusting in God and His use of the training to work in us and through us. Our future tasks will be difficult, but doable through His enablement. 
And here's the "how". We just finished up our second semester at the Missionary Training Center (MTC), and here's a quick list (and brief commentary) of the classes we just completed:
  • Communicating Cross Culturally: we explored the complexities of cross-cultural communication, and we also each had the opportunity to give 15-min and 7-min speeches to our peers.
  • Phonetics 1: we learned about all the basic sounds produced by our "voice apparatus" and how to transcribe what we heard onto paper, using phonetic symbols. Fun class, until you start trying to make sounds that aren't part of the English language :-)
  • Animism: animism is sort of Satan's default belief system for many of the unreached people groups of the world. This fear-based belief system is very focused on manipulating and appeasing what the animist believes to be the spirits of dead ancestors and the spirits of animate and inanimate objects. The details are different from people group to people group, but the overarching premises are strikingly similar....perhaps a common author.
  • Grammar: this was a very detailed and analytical class wherein we sought to decipher the structure and patterns of a language at the word and clause level. 
  • Foundational Bible Teaching 2: opportunity to learn how to teach through the Bible from Creation to Christ in a way that is relevant to our audience.
  • Honor and Shame: our western thinking tends to focus more on guilt/innocence, but most other cultures that we will be working with tend to think more in terms of honor/shame. Both concepts are scriptural. 
  • Culture and Language Acquisition: how do you approach learning a language, 
  • Teamwork 2: growing in our understanding and appreciation of the likelihood of being members of a multicultural team; factors to consider in team formation; the importance of a team strategy; and effective brainstorming techniques (i.e. free-wheeling, round robin, and slip method).
  • Romans 5-8: key class that digs into what the Christian life should look like in terms of being dead to sin and alive to God; dead to the law; and free from condemnation (since He was condemned for us already). 
Encouragement (I think :-) from Phonetics class.
Only 5% of the 7,000 languages in the world have the "theta" sound, which is the "th" in the English word "thigh" or "thank you".
(Left photo above) Getting ready for an Easter egg hunt.
(Right photo above) These are the "Cool Cats", which is a boys group that meets periodically here on campus. They usually have a short lesson and do a fun activity together, like soccer. 
Grammar Class
Work Detail in the garage.
Prayer Requests:
  • To continue to come to know Him and the power of His resurrection, and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him. 
  • To take full advantage of our training, and to have teachable/moldable hearts and minds. 
  • We have quite a bit of travel planned for the beginning and end of this summer (Texas, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and back to Missouri)
  • For God's guidance and direction regarding field choice with Ethnos360. We were hoping to have that decided at this point, but it is starting to come together.
  • For the health of our marriage and the discipleship of our kids.
  • For laborers for the harvest (Luke 10:2)

Happy Summer!
Jonathan, Devon, Isaac, Jackson, Leah, Carter, and Selah
“It is well to keep in mind that effective communication is not easily achieved and miscommunication is not easy to avoid.”
– David Hesselgrave

Jonathan's cell is: 484-951-9662

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