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Learning through weakness

Tamsin* is a CMS worker serving in a small community. She shares how moving to a new city and learning new skills requires humility and vulnerability—both vital in forming new friendships. 

My colleagues and I are based at a centre for children with disabilities. It’s a locally run charity with a staff of about 15. The other two foreign women have been serving here for several years, and have such a good reputation, that I’ve been warmly welcomed as their friend. Being in a new town with a new job has made me feel like a beginner again, and I’ve been daily aware of my complete dependence on God. 

When expectations change 

To date, COVID restrictions have prevented us from starting the health lessons for women that I was expecting to teach at the centre, but hopefully we will be able to start something in coming months. 

Instead, I’ve been focused on learning to work with children who have autism. The local staff and one of the foreign women are patiently teaching me their skills. I’m really enjoying being in the classroom and getting to know four young boys who struggle with many daily interactions and activities.  

Working with children with disabilities is new to me, so I’m always learning-and making mistakes every day!  

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore. I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

The value of vulnerability 

During our CMS training at St Andrew’s Hall, we were taught the importance of being learners, rather than arrogant foreigners coming in with all the answers. Humility, vulnerability, and dependence on local help are valuable in forming good relationships with the community. I know all this in theory, and I experienced it in language learning, but experiencing it again now, after several years on location, is hard! I want to have the answers, I want to already be useful and good at what I’m doing. 

Please ask that I really would be humble and that as local people teach me, and as we grow together, that I will learn well and so be a light for people to see Jesus. 

* Name changed for privacy reasons. 

PRAY 

Pray for CMS workers as they learn language, culture and new skills on location. Pray for strong relationships to form as they demonstrate humility and vulnerability for the gospel. You can subscribe to regular prayer updates via the CMS branches or through the missionary page.