11 September 2011

training - week one

Last Monday I arrived in the thriving metropolis very small town of Union Mills, NC to CIT (Center for Intercultural Training). CIT will be my home for the next 9 weeks until mid-Nov! This week has been full of learning, meeting new people, gushing emotions, and so much fun. First highlight of the week was that I got to meet my partner going with me to Thailand, Kristen Foster! We've been talking on the phone for a couple months so it was exciting to finally meet my roomie for the next 2 years.

One of the best things about CIT is the other amazing people here. Everyone stays on the grounds in an apartment so it is like living in a little community and I absolutely love it. Kristin and I share an apt. that leads out to a patio where everyone congregates and hangs out. The community aspect of CIT is so special. I have never felt at home with so many people I don't know. We make up 7 countries and 4 continents, praise the Lord! It is so exciting knowing that Christ's love will be spread literally all over the world because of these people. It has been the biggest blessing getting to share and open up with people who have been on the same road as you and have the same heart as you. I have learned and grown more in my spiritual walk in this past week than I have in some years of my life and this is just week one. I know the Lord is going to do more amazing things throughout the weeks to come.

This week in class we took both a personality and mind style test and evaluated the way we were and how we think. It was really interesting to really understand the way I am and the way I process thoughts in comparison to my team. It has been a blessing to understand where I am strong and to see the areas in which I am weak and need growth, and also the importance of understanding how I operate and where I would work best in a team setting.

On the weekends we don't have class so we were able to head out of town and do some exploring nearby. Our first stop was a county fair which brought back sweet memories of the SE Texas State Fair. I got great joy out of drinking a cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade and eating funnel cake - my staple fair foods. Saturday we went to Pisgah Forest to the Sliding Rocks. Basically it is a small slide-type waterfall which you can slide down into a pool of water below. Little did I know that it would be the coldest water I would ever feel in my life! It was bone-chilling. The slide was super fun but then you plunged completely into the water below and.....wow, it was freezing. It took me awhile to catch my breath once I came up for air. On Sunday we were encouraged to try out a church that was different then what we were used to in order to prepare us for what was to come in our culture. To our excitement, right down the road was an African Methodist Episcopal church. It was an extremely small church and you could definitely spot the visitors but nonetheless it was a great experience. It was really interesting to get out of my normal routine and see how others worship. I loved it!

So far week 1 has been amazing and I can't wait for week 2. I feel so blessed by the Lord for bringing me to this place and I am confident that this is exactly where he wants me.

snapshots of the week, enjoy....

my partner Kristin and me.

county fair.

part of the training group.

sliding rocks.

yes, i'm screaming because i'm about to experience the coldest water ever.

this guy got really creative.

amy & kristen.


union hill africa methodist episcopal zion church.

on the way to training...

Last week I said goodbye to Texas and headed to Cleveland, TN on route to my training in NC. It was so fun to spend the weekend with two of my best friends from Beaumont, Katherine & Brittany. I don't get to see them often so we had some good quality time catching up before I left! We took a day trip out to the Smoky Mountains, which were beautiful. Unfortunately it was raining most of the time but it was still great to see. Afterwards we headed to downtown Knoxville for Boomsday - apparently the biggest firework show in the US, or so I've been told. Seriously it was the most amazing fireworks all set to music and over a bridge in downtown. I loved it and did sequel several times out of excitement! Here are a few pics from the weekend....

Kafrin. Me. Brittany. Amanda.

seriously it looks like outer space.

waterfall fireworks from bridge.

love it.

smoky mountains.


really glad i wasn't riding a bike. scary.