Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Last week was crazy busy for two reasons, Launch being the first one.  Launch is a two-day orientation for new CMF missionary recruits, held at CMF's headquarters in Indianapolis.  I got there by Greyhound bus, which was quite the experience and one I hopefully won't have to repeat.  So I spent most of last Sunday traveling, and then had a little bit of down time at the hotel before Donna and I went to pick up Erica, girl I would be rooming with, from the airport.  Donna's official title is Associate in Affiliation, and we have been in contact through email and phone since last fall, when I started looking into serving with CMF.  She is extremely helpful and patient and when I finally met her I felt like I had known her forever.  I'm so thankful for the connection I feel with her, because she'll be keeping me on my toes and helping me along from now until the time I leave!  We picked up Erica at the airport and then went to get something to eat.  Turns out Erica had gone to Milligan for a few years so we had several mutual friends and experiences.  And not only were we roommates for Launch, but Erica is also going to be serving with Canvas!  She will be leaving in the fall of 2014 and will be serving for 3 years.  We had so much in common that we kept saying the exact same things at the same time, and the waitress noticed it and asked if we always did that.  She was surprised to find out that we had met less than an hour before!

When we arrived at the CMF office Monday we met the other two recruits at Launch, Megan and Michelle.  They're sisters are going to be leaving in October to serve in Tanzania for a year.  After introductions and getting excited about our legit magnetic name tags, we jumped right into things.  

We had a presentation about CMF, prayer time with all of the CMF staff, and then another presentation about support raising before lunch.  Lunch was really fun because half of the staff joined us and I sat at a table with a few of them.  It gave me a chance to start really getting to know the whole CMF team, not just the few I'll be in closest contact with.  After lunch we all had several one-on-one meetings with the key people that will be helping us through the process of getting on the field.  So we had meeting with our specific area directors, finance and support raising people, the communication and media team etc.  We also had our picture taken for our personal media materials and missionary page on the CMF website.  Then we had one last presentation for the day, about building relationships with churches.  Then the four of us recruits, plus Donna and Shannon, the Director of Mobilization, had dinner together at the office before we headed back to the hotel for the night.  Erica and I worked on our presentations for the next day, and then spent some time with Megan and Michelle before finally calling it a day.

The wall of CMF missionaries - I'll be up there soon!

The Cook Center - where we spent most of our time at Launch.

Tuesday morning we talked through some of the different personality and spiritual gifts tests we had taken before we came to Launch, and then it was on to the presentations.  We had had to create a 10-minute presentation, as if we were talking to church or organization about partnering with us in ministry.  We had to do it in front of the other recruits as well as small group of the staff.  They gave us feedback and advice, and the whole thing was video-taped so we could watch it later.  It was a little nerve-racking, but very helpful.  The other three girls did theirs before lunch, and I lucked out and got to go after.  And at lunch on Tuesday the other half of the staff came and ate with us.  After my presentation we each had another one-on-one meeting, and we also had to do these interviews where they asked us all sorts of questions about why we wanted to serving with CMF, when we felt called to missions, what we were most excited about, what skills we would be bringing to the table etc.  It was kind of intimidating, with the bright spotlights and camera, but they'll edit and piece it all together into one cohesive video clip, and it will eventually be on my missionary page.  After that we finished things up with a time of prayer, with the other girls and Shannon and Donna.  Then we went out to eat before I had to be dropped off back at the bus station.

Erica, Donna, me, Michelle, Shannon, and Megan

That little summary doesn't make it sound as busy and information-overload as it really was.  It was an exhausting two days!  But they were so good.  I left feeling encouraged, excited, and capable.  Whether I would be working closely with them or not, I sensed that the whole staff was excited about us, and "for us."  It made me want to go home, start support raising immediately, and get to England as soon as possible!

I noticed this on a huge calendar in the hall shortly before we left.

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