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A Missionary Responds to Cross Training

(Anora, Trey, Ereina, Zoe, & Dave Totman)

Hopefully, by now, you have read about Cross Training and also about Dean Corbett and Caleb Padgett’s recent Mission Trip.  Dean and Caleb went to help Faith’s 100 Missionaries Dave & Anora Totman.  They serve at Sahel Academy in Niger, West Africa.  Today, we are going to share some of Dave’s thoughts regarding the Cross Training program.

First of all, Dave, tell us a little about what Dean and Caleb were able to accomplish during their trip.

Dean and Caleb were incredible helps to us during their stay in Niger. We tackled a huge list of projects at Sahel Academy (the international school where we serve), and they pitched in without complaining each and every day.

We are in the process of moving the school’s shop/maintenance area to a new part of campus, we are building a new administration and classroom building, and we are trying to upgrade the school’s security infrastructure. Dean and Caleb were able to help with parts of all of these projects (They helped move and sort shop equipment; they helped install new electrical, communication and water lines; they helped install outlets; they mowed lawns; they helped install security lights and speed bumps.). They also were able to help with installing cabinets at another building project on the other side of Niamey (with Chris & Diane Marine).

The thing that impressed me the most was their quick response to any request I had. “Would you be willing to carry this 300 pound light pole over there?” The response to any request such as this was always, “Anyway we can help you!” They were exactly that—great helps! Thank you for sending them; they were a fantastic testimony to their families, Faith Baptist, and to our God!

When were you first contacted about Dean and Caleb coming for a mission trip?

Pastor Bobby first wrote me about Dean and Caleb visiting on Feb. 28, 2011.

What is your opinion of the Cross-Training program?

It was a huge blessing to have the guys here. They couldn’t have expressed better work ethics or servant’s hearts. I don’t know how much of that was Pastor Bobby or Cross-Training or good parenting, but they were appreciated.

What do you see as the benefits of the Cross-Training program?

I think a longer-term discipleship program such as Cross-Training has many benefits. Discipleship takes time and takes rubbing shoulders in a variety of circumstances. So, a major benefit to a program like this is Pastor Bobby having the opportunity to spend time with his disciples over several years. Another benefit is taking a longer missions trip such as the one Caleb and Dean took to Niger. That is a different look at missions than a 5 day trip. Shorter trips have benefits too, but they had an opportunity to see a variety of things and process the cross-cultural experience over a longer period of time. I think that in and of itself has a lot of rewards.

Learn more about the Totmans at their website http://totmansinafrica.wordpress.com/.

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