We've been in Singapore for about two weeks now and are well into our Orientation Course (OC) at OMF's International Headquarters. We are here together with other new OMF missionaries (and their children) from a variety of countries - USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Philipines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, etc. There are about 40 adults and 16 kids. Fortunately, there are some kind grandmas from UK and Australia are helping with childcare so that Sun and I can attend the lectures and not have to watch Joshua all the time.
The content of the lectures have covered medical issues (insurance, malaria, dengue fever, where to get medical advice and care on the field), finances (how OMF financial system works), the vision and mission of OMF International, times of Bible study, prayer, and worship, and meetings with the International Directors and Intl Medical Advisor. Joshua was able to get his six month shots right here at OMF HQ so we didn't have to go look for some place around town or wait.
The OMF HQ is right across the street from the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens, to which we have gone several times already. We went as a family a few times (of which I hope to post pictures soon) and I have also gone jogging in the gardens in the morning. There is no admission fee and they open at 5 am so 6:30 or 7am is an ideal time to go for a run before it gets really hot in the middle of the day. Of course, anytime of day is HOT in the tropics and the heat and humidity of this part of the world are dominant feature of the environment here. We are adjusting the the hot, humid weather well but I would be lying if I said that I don't enjoy the air conditioning in the training room where we have lectures.
One of the best things about OC is the wonderful fellowship with the other new missionaries from around the world. It is encouraging and inspiring to here their testimonies of conversion and leading into missions as well as to learn about their home countries and churches. The other day after a meal, I sat with a couple of brothers from Scotland and Australia and we took turns trying to fake each other's accents while reading an article from a Singapore newspaper. We all did a miserably poor job but had fun doing it. As one who is fascinated in theology and history, I've been fascinated to learn more about the church in Scotland and Switzerland and the various problems associated with having a State sponsor church. I praise God for how he has established his church in many lands and continues to work their and call our workers for the harvest despite our weakness, failing, and sin. How God is the God we adore!