Fifty-one missionary educators, representing 13 countries and a host of Latin America/ Caribbean ministries, gathered September 8-10 for the 2010 ACLAME Summit at the Lakeview Conference Center out of Waxahachie, TX. ACLAME (Association of Caribbean and Latin American Missionary Educators) exists to encourage and support AGWM missionaries in their involvement of ministries of teaching, training and discipleship.
“The Summit helped me to evaluate my own ministry and think about my priorities as I return to the field.”
“Bridge Building” was the theme of the 2010 Summit. The purpose of the Summit was to help missionary educators building bridges to resources, institutions, nationals and colleagues, especially the younger missionaries. The closing afternoon session was a synthesis of the various sub-themes discussed during the Summit. There were seven aspects of bridge building that were highlighted:
- Relationships and Friendships
- Changing Role of Missionaries
- Communication and Teaching Styles
- Generational Bridges
- Character and Competence
The Synthesis Chart provides the definition, importance and application of each of these expressions of bridge building. We were honored to have Earl Creps with us for two sessions. He reminded us that things are changing rapidly and the need to building bridges between generations because of intense differences and a rapidly changing world. He shared about the importance of mentoring and challenged with the concept of reverse mentoring—the need to receive from the following generation.
Several months ago the ACLAME leadership team worked through Earl’s book Reverse Mentoring. We recognize that there are not enough younger missionaries involved in teaching, training and discipling ministries. We intentionally reached out to younger missionaries, inviting them to the Summit.
Dave Godzwa and Ryan Jordan, two of these younger missionaries, shared the two morning devotionals. LA/C Regional Director Dick Nicholson challenged us with an excellent message. After enjoying s’mores around the closing bonfire, Caribbean Area Director Dale Coad encouraged us to trust God in the valleys of life.
“The Summit gave me a bigger spectrum to help me evaluate where I am and how I am relating to the next generation. It also made me more aware of the importance and necessity to transfer to others down the line those qualities that the Kingdom needs and the Church requires so that the Gospel remains revelant to each generation and can fulfill it’s Heavenly mandate.”
We received several evaluations that included different comments about the Summit. These comments are included in italics throughout this article. Several commented on the effective balance of teaching and inspiration in this year’s Summit. For me a special moment was listening to Kristi Northup sing You See Beauty, a song she wrote to contrast human and divine perspectives. Kristi and Tara Kenyon led worship in the two evening sessions. One line in the song says “I see Simon, You see Peter.” Perhaps the most important bridge we build is helping people realize their full potential in the Lord! We are truly privileged to be missionary educators. Thank you to all who attended and to the leadership team for all their work in making it possible.