“The most photogenic event was our camping trip last weekend, to an old quarry with deep water at its base – a popular spot in such a flat country. We carried alive with us our chicken dinner, caught our fish breakfast, and rappelled everyone down the quarry wall and into the lake.”
So runs a quote from the experience of the second iteration of the Pioneer Training Initiative. Pioneer 1 was based in Wales, UK during the pandemic and the team are now on assignment in South East Asia. Pioneer 2 has just commenced this month in Paraguay with ten participants in this intensive training for pioneer missions on the global frontier of the gospel.
Participants come from the USA, UK and South America. The program operates in a bilingual English/Spanish environment so everyone, regardless of background graduates the program bi-lingual with language learning skills that will help them anywhere they serve in the future. It has been our experience that this process helps immensely in preparing people for cross-cultural service in places where cultures and languages are very different.
The Pioneer Initiative has strong practical elements in addition to Biblical and Missiological preparation. Bricklaying will be taught this week, and the team has also been clearing land to plant a vegetable garden for a newly built church. The previous initiative included basic auto-mechanics, bush medicine, and foraging.
As the program proceeds the students will not only have classroom and practical time in Paraguay but will make journeys to visit churches in Brazil and take a wilderness expedition into Chile.
Here is a testimony from one of our Pioneer 2 trainees about their experience so far: “Seeing the working of the Lord in this small team over the past few weeks has been a blessing to me. I believe God has used these beginning weeks to prepare our hearts and minds for what lies ahead in the remainder of this long training in South America. From the teachers, we have already been shocked and inspired by their stories of faithfulness to share the gospel in places not yet reached. Regarding the more practical training that fills our team’s daily schedule, we’ve already been uncomfortable and have started this process of learning what it takes to Pioneer in the unknown. And from the Spiritual dimension, we have been challenged to rest our identity on the foundation of Christ and trust completely that he is our Lord. We believe that God is here, that he is working, and that he will use us wherever he desires!”