I [Chris] just returned from 7 weeks in Texas. It was 7 busy weeks of class, 7 weeks of missing my family, but 7 wonderful weeks of being with my arts colleagues.
I was at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics, where many Wycliffe and other missionaries are trained before heading to the field. This is the same place that we lived during 2012, before heading overseas.
My purpose this time was to take a couple of classes that will give me more tools to use when we return to Cameroon in July. The first class was four and a half weeks and was entitled Scripture Engagement Strategies. I would have liked to have taken this class before going to Cameroon the first time, but we didn’t have the time to fit it in. I especially enjoyed this class because the lead instructor was the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject – one of them anyway. Dr. Dye has a ton of experience and has been the leader in this field worldwide for decades. It was great to learn straight from the horse’s mouth, as they say.
|Loved seeing beautiful Texas sunsets over the nearby lake|
The second class was a two-week intensive entitled Arts & Trauma Healing. The course was designed to give us the training for conducting trauma healing seminars that our mission has done for years, but with the twist of using the arts as therapeutic intervention. It was a lot to do within two weeks and I was glad to finish the class and the accompanying projects. This course will have application in Africa with the many trauma healing workshops that happen in our area. I don’t know how soon I’ll start with facilitating trauma healing in our area, but I’m now equipped and ready.
One other retooling that happened while I was in Dallas was completely by accident. I learned a lot about the practice of Bible storytelling. Bible teaching through orality is becoming a big deal and I was fortunate to meet a couple of the key people that are masters of this technique within our mission. I was fortunate enough to get some basic training so that I can start to experiment with storying in our area and hopefully generate some momentum so that more folks can hear the gospel. It was an accidental meeting and I’m so glad to have learned what I did.