This past weekend I spent a few days in Lawrenceville, GA (not to be confused with Atlanta). MTW had a Vision Retreat for three days that I attended to learn more about short and long term options. The weekend at MTW headquarters was wonderful. I had the opportunity to interact with many of the staff members and recruiters from the organization. Different departments shared what they do, their interactions with missionaries, and why so many of them have been there 10+ years. I think what I loved most about this experience was seeing how much the MTW staff cares for, loves, and prays for their missionaries. While there I also got to hear from five different missionary families. I had some really valuable time learning about the missionaries, sharing my story with them and getting really great feedback. We also spent time in prayer with each other which was wonderful. I met missionaries from Australia, Australia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Peru. All of them in different stages of time in the field. I appreciated the honesty of the missionaries as they shared their experiences, their struggles and God's faithfulness through it all. They talked about God's sovereignty, his perfect plan, and our own pride.
I think my favorite part of the trip was that I had time for great one on one conversations with many of the missionaries to learn more about them and their experiences. They were interested in hearing about me and my call. Dr. Kooistra, the head of MTW talked with us about support raising and what it means to be called.
My prayer is that the Lord would continue to make my next steps clear. That he would continue to give me clarity as I move forward in my final year at CTS. That he would give me a burden for a people group whether it is stateside or abroad and that my heart would be open to his direction and call on my life.
To those that are considering the Vision Retreat (you know who you are), I highly recommend it. Even if the area of the world you are interested in serving is not present MTW will arrange a time for you to speak with someone from the Resource Team to learn more about opportunities. The time with staff and missionaries was very encouraging. They were able to answer questions and concerns. I still do not know what my next steps will be but feel at peace and encouraged knowing that I can't make a wrong decision about it.