The Worldview campus felt like a relaxed European campsite when we arrived in January 2016, fresh from the cold of the Japanese winter. People sat around chatting while children danced barefoot under water sprinklers. But looks can be deceptive. Once Orientation Week kicked in, there was work to be done and a much more multicultural feel – training the new generation of mission workers for the billions of unreached people around the globe.
There are regular discussions and decisions made around how to best shape our curriculum in line with this goal. Our courses are now accredited through the Australian College of Theology and filled with opportunities for personal growth and teamwork.
We were personally blessed to step right into faculty roles, and begin teaching about culture, church planting and communication. In 2017, my husband Simon recommended that Worldview teach the academic units in seven-week blocks. This is easier for visiting lecturers than whole semesters, plus it gives students the chance to study for a shorter period; particularly those who come to Worldview for a break from the mission field and to upskill. This also means students study two subjects a term rather than four, which they had the previous year; much more manageable for them and more focused. It also means our lecturers can take our training overseas. So last June Christoph Ochs taught a unit on the Old Testament to potential mission workers in the Philippines. Christoph took a student with him, using the opportunity to strategically inspire and train another person in teaching for mission.
Despite these changes, some things will remain constant. Our residential community and cross-cultural missional training content are borne of Worldview’s rich heritage. They provide unique opportunities for enjoying and contemplating God, and for people to realign their lives to his call away from the urban rat race. Every day we are led into prayer for the nations after lunch, for unreached peoples, and for past graduates. Twice a week we have a longer time to pray for nations too.
When our family returns to the UK this summer to be closer to parents and grandparents for a season, we will leave with some degree of sadness. Yet we know that God does not let us down. We are looking forward to taking up new roles in the areas of mission research and outreach amongst migrant communities.