We are typically in a "drought" condition most of the time here in south Texas. It rarely rains and when it does the ground is so dry it just soaks it up quickly. However, last week it rained a ton and I mean....hard, flooding rains! We desperately needed it and we are thankful for it but it made for yucky weather for orientation week. Each day they had a "team building" activity in the afternoons. On Monday, they sent us outside to play frisbee golf. The catch was that we were going to be playing in knee-high grass, it had rained all morning, they didn't let us see a map of the course or show us our targets and we were going to be blindfolded when it was our turn to throw. We had to rely solely on our teammates to direct us which direction to throw, how hard to throw, how to find the frisbee after we threw it, etc. It was lots of fun and quite challenging. By the time we were done, we were all eat up with mosquito bites, soaking wet and yet all still smiling and laughing.
Tuesday afternoon, they sent us to the beach and we had a time of praise and worship and a discussion on Christian conduct. Then they gave us our team assignment which was to build a Mayan temple in the sand that was 2 feet at the base and had steps leading up to the top. The catch was....we had no sand tools or anything to use to design it with. We had to scavenge the beach to find items we could use to build it. Our team built a pretty good one considering our lack of tools and we even included a head that had rolled down the stairs from one of the sacrifices (we buried Wyatt in the sand so all you could see was his head....and he loved it!) We were pushing for all the creativity points we could get!
The entire day Wednesday was spent in financial training so there was no team activity that day. Thursday, they sent us on a scavenger hunt but the catch was that all our clues were written in coordinates so we had to use "geocaching" skills to figure out where to go. They sent us all over Los Fresnos and Brownsville to 6 different locations. Each stop had a task or tasks you had to complete in order to get your next clue. We had to act out a story from the Old Testament at the local park, figure out what 2 people were saying who were speaking nothing but the Flemish language at the zoo, find a pirate statue in the local tourist gift shop, come up with the most creative basketball shot at the sports park, complete 3 tasks in the local library and figure out how to negotiate and handle being extorted (which is a common issue in foreign countries) at a local gas station.
Our new calendar for this year's training is posted on the "Calendar" tab if you want to see some of the main courses we will be taking. We are excited about some new changes in the training this year. We will be in "Mentoring Groups" this year and we are looking forward to learning and growing from our mentor. They have also implemented 2 new things for women: a monthly missions practicum day designed specifically for ladies and things we may encounter on the field and the ladies will have a monthly Exposition in Missions class to learn the method of TNT Training (Training National Trainers). Our "Village M" team added a new family from Colorado and we have a new translator who is a single girl from Flordia. We are looking forward to getting to know these people better and serving in "Village M" together.
As you can see, we are very excited about this last year of training! We are still working to reach our need for 100% support. If you would like to partner with us, you may do so here. Simply choose our name (Johns, David & Gretta) in the Gift Designation box. Thank you for continuing to keep our family in your prayers and please continue to pray for the people in "Village M" as well.