Sometimes all you need is a cup of tea and someone to talk to. A listening ear, a voice to grant wisdom, guidance, words of encouragement, a story to make you laugh, or someone to confide in. Here at Ethnos Canada’s training centre, each student is paired with a staff member or couple, for what we call “One-on-One Discipleship”.
One-on-One is a part of the training program geared towards edifying missionary candidates and helping them qualify as Ethnos Missionaries- in doctrine and in walk. Students meet with their one-on-ones for weekly gatherings intended for fellowship, encouragement, and discipleship! The program helps kickstart the staff and students’ relationship in hopes of building a friendship throughout the training!
“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you”2 Corinthians 1:12(NKJV)
As Barry Richards, the head of the One-on-One program, explains:
“With simplicity and sincerity, not with our own wisdom, but by the grace of God, in good conscience, we seek more abundantly to live our lives among the missionary candidates, in order to be godly examples and help to equip them to qualify as Ethnos Missionaries. We highly value directing them to the Word of God to find their sufficiency in Christ Jesus. Romans 1:24 says, ‘Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.’ To be helpers of their joy as they learn about Cross-Cultural ministries, we try to do all things for their edification. Through One-on-One discussions about life and struggles and sharing from our own missionary life experiences, as well as giving affirmation about subjects taught by instructors, we seek to magnify our mutual standing in Christ Jesus by faith alone, to encourage them on in the ministry of reconciliation.”Barry Richards
Opening the door for students to have personal relationships with the staff is recognized as a valuable and worthwhile investment! It allows the students to ask questions, gain knowledge, discuss potential or present struggles or challenges. Extended support and guidance seep through the kind-hearted staff to the students. With every student and staff member desiring to serve the Lord by equipping or becoming equipped for ministry overseas, the opportunities to spur one another on is a beautiful picture of God’s tender loving care towards us! Through fellowship with him and one another.
“The best aspect of being a part of the One-on-One program is to dive deep into a friendship with a possible future co-worker within Ethnos. It is, of course, what both sides make of it. If openness and honesty are central, then growth and encouragement happen. It is also the opportunity to speak truth, challenge the student’s thinking, and also pray for one another.”Karen Whatley
As for myself, I look forward to my Tuesday evenings, as my husband and I enjoy spending time chatting with our one-on-ones. We feel cared for and have had many enjoyable conversations. We’ve shared meals together, discussed a variety of topics, and talked through difficulties as they’ve arisen. All this to say, we are thankful for a welcoming safe place to go! We always leave encouraged and grateful!