The whole point of our three years here is to learn ... not just Mark in the hangar but all of us.
Whether it be to learn more ...
- about each other as a family
- from the mission community around us who have years of experience between them
- from living and adapting to a new culture (we have established that it is very different from the UK, here in Ohio!)
- from friendships we have made here and from our supporters at home
- from apprentices and their families who have gone before us
- from God and the lessons he is teaching us on our missionary journey
- ... or many other things!!!!!
I have a good friend who takes every situation that she finds herself in, from the daily mundane stuff to the big things as an opportunity to be teachable. She makes it a priority to look for lessons to be learned, in everything ... and over the years that I have known her, she has grown so much as a result. I have a lot that I can learn from her, I know that I am not always as quick to look to for ways to grow through the situations that I find myself in as she can be.
On the flip side I have other friends, who are so quick to jump to conclusions about situations, that they don't stop to take in all the information, or are willing enough to be teachable, they just bowl straight in and have often offended in the process. While that sounds extreme, it can be a reality and when viewed in contrast with my other friend, seems incredibly arrogant, rather than dealing with situations with the humility we should ideally display.
We're all prone to do it though, as alas we're only human. I've come to appreciate that I just need to work on making the most of every learning opportunity that comes my way and when it's not obvious, take a moment to look for it because it will inevitably be there ... somewhere! I still have a long way to go!
This pile of books has been Mark's nemesis for the last three years. This has been his main learning assignment (and a more traditional one) since we've been in the States ... the whole reason we're here. From the chapter tests he took during the first year or two (of which there were 46, one taken every 10 days), to the three FAA written exams at the end of his apprenticeship, the third of which he passed with flying colours (as he did with the other two!) this morning. Now he only has the oral and practical elements left and these books won't be quite so intimidating anymore!
Both at All Nations and here at MMS we've had the opportunity to learn and grow more as individuals and as a family. To make our relationships with each other stronger, the foundations of our faith deeper and the ability to be effective as missionaries greater. Once we get to Tanzania, we will just continue to learn ... and attempt to be as teachable as possible. That will have to be a conscious decision and one we will probably find ourselves recommitting to on a daily basis ... but consciously trying to learn through all circumstances is the only way we will be the most valuable in our roles.