Hostage Situations, Blizzards, and Bloody Fingers

Wow, this week was pretty intense…so glad it’s the weekend and we have a chance to catch our breath!

***** spoiler alert! If you are ever planning on attending the SPLICE training at Mission Training International, don’t read the following paragraph as it will ruin part of your experience.

On Wednesday, we had a crazy day here at Mission Training International. Our instructors had us in a simulation of a hostage situation to see how we reacted under extreme stress. It was so bizarre because we knew that it was a simulation, but the stress level was definitely high. They had us in the dark, in a storage container in the basement of the building. We were supposed to be hiding from rebel troops as we were missionaries trying to escape a country that was in political chaos. The tension escalated as they simulated kidnapping members of our team, as well as simulated executions of team members. All we could hear were the gunshots, which were blanks, of course. In Jon’s group, he was one of those executed and at one point he had his hands tied behind his back and a gun to his head. They made the whole situation seem very real and many of the people with me were crying by the end. I was shaking by the time the whole thing was over, even though I knew if was only a simulation! The experience really made me reflect on the situations that can arise when we leave our comfort zone and venture onto foreign ground. El Salvador has been politically stable, but things can change so quickly as we saw in Honduras this summer. El Salvador does have serious gang and crime problems in parts of the country. It also was very sobering because there were people in that situation with me who are going to places like Afghanistan, China, and the Sudan where there is a great chance they may find themselves in such a place.  But I also was reminded of how much greater God is than those who would seek to destroy His messengers, and how much safety we have when we are following Him. A phrase I heard this week from one of the instructors was, “the safest place in the whole world is in Gideon’s army, selected by God.” And that’s where we are and that’s what we need to trust.

We also had an incident with Tori this week. She slammed her finger in a door and ended up getting her nail stitched back on with three stitches. We had to drive her to the ER in a blizzard, with her screaming…again, more stress training I guess. We got about 20 inches here this week. We took some pictures and I’ll post them if I get a chance.

We are really coming down to the wire with our last minute details! This is our last week of training and I can’t believe it. Then we drive back to PA, then MD, then off to El Salvador on November 16th. Please keep us in prayer as we are in the process of trying to find a house to rent and we are also having some last minute issues with getting our container shipped to the country. We are trying to secure immunity to the taxes that the government wants to impose which could be up to $10-15,000. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement!!!!

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