By the time we reached the end of the course, I wrestled inwardly with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I felt so ready to be back home with my husband but at the same time I dreaded saying goodbye to these precious women I had bonded with. I had new sisters and mothers that I had met during the course and had influenced my life in such a special way. Now it was time to leave and entrust it to others. I had to put into practice what I had learnt.
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses,
entrust to faithful men and women who will be able to teach others also.
II Timothy 2:2
This was the theme verse for the course I attended a week ago in Zambia. This course, developed and presented by Entrust, was called, “Developing a Discerning Heart“. It attracted me because the main purpose of the course is to equip women to disciple other women.
The participants divided into two groups and each group had three facilitators. In my group, we were a total of nine participants; nine women of varying age, language and background. My group had three facilitators which were comprised of two Zambian women and one American. Our diversity gave us so much colour and flavour and I thoroughly enjoyed learning in this environment.
When Ramonda Lunsford, a fellow SIM missionary, invited me to take this course I was excited to learn more. It has always been my desire to work in women’s discipleship ministry, but I felt very ill equipped. I knew that this was my chance to be better prepared for getting right into it.
The training was long and intense. We started at 8:00 in the morning and continued till 18:30 with a lunch break and two tea breaks between. Most of the theoretical content wasn’t new to me. Surprisingly, I benefited the most practically and this was where I least expected it. I learnt so much from the facilitators on how to facilitate a mixed group well. They modelled humility and patience.
The course looks at the foundations of our being and what drives our “thirst”. God created us in his image and to be in relationship with Him and with others. In man’s rejection of God we started to try to satisfy our thirst in other things and find our identity in other things besides God. This leads us on a destructive path which can’t possibly satisfy. On this course we were led to see what we are actually thirsting for and discover some of the “false wells” that we turn to in trying to quench our thirst. We received a pink cup which was used as an object lesson to illustrate our thirst or longing which could only be quenched by God.
Equipped to Entrust it to Others
During the course we laughed and cried together as we shared stories from our past that has shaped us in some way. We learnt how our thinking, emotions, and choices can shape our lives and teach us things about ourselves and God. At the end we were encouraged to use what we have learnt about ourselves to encourage others.
I learnt a lot about the various Zambian cultures and way of life. The older women in our group of participants listened patiently as I asked questions. They gently explained the intricacies of their culture and way of life. I learnt to listen more and not be so quick to give my input.
On the final day we had a “graduation” ceremony where we received our certificates and could invite someone from our family or church to bear witness and celebrate with us. It was a bitter sweet moment when we said goodbye but I trust that these new friendships and lessons will remain for a long time to come.