New Staff Training 2018

 

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood
Upheld, protected, gathered up

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength

We will feast in the house of Zion
We will sing with our hearts restored
He has done great things, we will say together
We will feast and weep no more

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom

 

 

As I stepped into my first training event, we opened with this song.  It was one I had never heard and it took awhile to be able to embrace and sing.  In fact, it took two months to grasp the deepness of these words and proclaim them.  Yet as we closed up our training time together and sang this chorus once again, the last line resonated deeply.  Bind us together.  Bring shalom.  Those are two things that God did over the last eight weeks of training.  We came in not knowing anyone.  A scattered bunch, many just signing contracts the week before.  We were trying to move, learn about our new partnerships, find housing, finish up jobs and prior commitments.  Saying that we were all in transition was an understatement.  But for two months we had to stop.  Almost everything.  And begin at the beginning.  New Staff Training.

We were put together in apartments, had class together 8 hours a day, fixed meals together, worked on support raising together, slept together, planned together.  And we got up the next day and did it over and over again.  Yet that experience did just as this song pleads – “Bind us together”.  Coming from a coach, it was a team building exercise that produced stamina.

Shalom.  Peace.  For most of the group shalom was not the first word to come to mind as we embarked on this journey.  There was something new for all of us and many changes.  But as we passed through the weeks we went from a place of Shalom shattered to Shalom restored.  For me personally I can claim “I will sing with my heart restored”.  Which was my hope.  As we head into this new year of ministry, I anticipated God would bring about growth, refreshment and connection during this time of training.  If I were honest, I would say that I was hesitant in going into this time because the rest of my life would have to stop as I dove into this intense period of learning.  It isn’t easy for me to put things on hold.  But as I come out of the bunker and look around, I am grateful for the opportunity to network with so many other staff that are across the country.  Staff that I didn’t know two months ago.  Staff that I can reach out to now with questions.  Staff that will encourage me when times are tough.  And staff that are whole heartedly dedicated to transforming students.  I can see the Team that God put together and I am grateful.

 He has done great things we will say together….. we will feast and weep no more.

And so as my mind heads towards the next academic year, I trust in God’s leading.  He has brought me to this place.  He has brought me to this organization.  He has restored Shalom.  And I am excited to see what is behind the next door.

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