19th November 2018

All Nations alumni Steve and Katie Machell and Head of Communications Martin Hickey feature in an article in the current edition of the UK Anglican weekly newspaper the Church Times.

 

The article is entitled ‘Overseas missionaries: not doing their homework’ and discusses why Christians should get training before setting off in cross-cultural mission work.

 

All Nations in Church Times Article Of his time at All Nations, Steve Machell says: “In my head, I understood that my particular understanding of Christianity as a middle-class British Anglican is not normative; but, in my heart, I believed it was. Living and studying with 30 different nationalities, who all had their own idea of what’s normal, going to tutor groups every week, and discussing topical issues and case studies, really helped me to understand that I haven’t got all the answers — and, in fact, I’m just discovering the questions. You can’t really get that out of a book, or online, you’ve got to live it. In a sense, those two years of training were like going through the wilderness and coming out on the other side and being able to say: ‘Yes, we have been set apart, we have been prepared, and now we’re ready to go.’” Katie Machell adds: “I don’t think we have come across anything on the field that we hadn’t thought and talked about in some way at college.”

 

“What All Nations offers is training for the whole person,” says Martin Hickey. “It’s not just about the intellect, it’s about spiritual disciplines; the development of interpersonal skills; teamwork; the understanding of emotional, personal, and relational functioning. Our students all take part in the life of a local church, or some kind of community project, and they’re also expected to muck in with chores and maintenance jobs around the college. This is often a chapter in people’s lives where they learn a lot about themselves. Many of our graduates say that they feel a bit like they’ve been taken to pieces and then put back together. It’s very important to be prepared in that way. People talk about ‘culture shock’ for a reason: it’s not an easy thing to go overseas and operate in a place where things are done very differently. Often, things can look the same, but under the surface they’re not the same at all. You can be under a lot of pressure that you may not even be aware of.”

 

Click here to see the full article on the Church Times web site:

www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2018/16-november/features

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