The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Training & Transitioning

The Transition Bridge: an illustration of the transition onto the mission field, beginning with the settled and unsettled phases and moving into complete chaos before one can feel somewhat resettled and then finally 60% settled once again.

One randomly selected "family" and two single individuals journeyed across the bridge made of chairs [settled stage], rocking chairs [unsettled stage], exercise bouncy balls [chaos stage], rocking chairs [resettling], and secure chairs [new settled stage]. The family, made up of a mom and dad and two children, was linked together quite closely with hiking gear and clips because a family is a close unit and communicates in a way unique from that of the singles. Mom travels backwards because she wants to make sure her children make it safely across, and Dad wants to help out more but he cannot because of his position on the bridge. He is bringing up the rear and helping his kids across while facing his wife to communicate more easily. Sometimes the kids bounce a little, in the midst of the chaos, because it can be exciting and sometimes even fun, which puts the family off balance even more and makes Mom and Dad wonder if anything else could possibly be added to the chaos. When one family member struggles and loses balance, the whole family struggles and comes together even more than before. And if one family member falls, the whole family "falls" and must return from the field.

The two single teammates are attached by a stretchy phone cord on each end of the family and must learn that, because the family is close and concerned with the safety of one another, it can be easy for the singles to feel somewhat left out. The singles also might have to work at a slower pace if the family is working at a slower pace to avoid the discomfort of the cord's tension.

And sometimes, in the middle of the chaos, Mom will get a message from someone: "Hey, we haven't gotten a newsletter in a while." "Hey, what are you doing with the money we are sending you? Could we get an update soon?" And Mom is thinking, Um, we are in the midst of serious chaos and we are just trying to make it, but she says, "We are really busy but we are doing okay."

The supporters on the outside help the family during the transition and lift them up in prayer from "home-base," supporting them and encouraging them from off the field. While the supporters are not attached to the traveling team by a cord, they are very much essential to the team's wellbeing. The family cannot make it across the chaos phase without support.

While all of the supporters and prayer warriors and encouragers are essential to our journey, the team must realize that it is God who holds the bridge in His unmoving hands and it is God who is our true hope and strength.

1 comment:

  1. What a great visual to understanding the transition and life ahead of you! Hope you guys are having a great last week! Praying!