I was executed yesterday – just a simulation!

This week I was executed in a simulation exercise.  The situation was simple.  A group of missionaries were taken hostage and before rescue the insurgents executed certain ones.   The real purpose of the exercise was to see how we would react, respond, make decisions and who would exercise leadership in a highly stressed situation.  I have to be clear – this was a very well done simulation and the emotions were real.  This went beyond play-acting.  The folk at MTI are extraordinarily skilled.  They have moved us beyond cliché and opinion into emotion and transparency.  Emotion and transparency are essential ingredients to community, especially on the mission field.

What then did it feel like?  Firstly, I was at my age “expendable.”  Secondly there was the confidence that as Jesus has gone before so can I, in faith, follow him.  Jesus trusted the Father.  Paul’s axiom “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain” makes sense because our faith is founded upon the resurrection. In other words, there was a calm sense of this–the simulation had become real.  When I did not die – it was after all a simulation – my sense was one of God’s grace.  I have another day to live.

What about Polly?  Interestingly she also was executed.  They had divided us into two groups.  Her feelings were not dissimilar to mine.  We have had a wonderful life.

Will we be put into this kind of situation as missionaries?  Who knows!  The point is that we can only live a day at a time.  We cannot live simply with clichés and opinions.  We have emotions that need to be expressed and, God willing, be redeemed.  We are called to a transparency that is also a purifying, where that which is not of Christ may be taken to the cross and there abandoned.  That transparency is the essential ingredient in true Christian community and fellowship.  This is true on the mission field or in the local church.

I love this group of young and energetic, vibrant and dedicated young people.  I am so looking forward to hearing their stories as God uses them in the years ahead.  We have, all of us, another day to live.  To live for Christ.  How will we use it?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “I was executed yesterday – just a simulation!

  1. lew

    Nice photos of your Colorado visit. Makes me just a little bit home sick. The Garden of the Gods does have a spirituality and you of course saw it. Lew

  2. frianm

    This is an amazing place and amazing course too.

  3. andrew osmun

    I have long known of the good work of MTI – and this just confirms the rightness of it. What a powerful and wonderful time! I am blessed by reading of your experiences and of the blessings you have had with the other trainees! Andrew

    • frianm

      You are correct Andy. We depart today and arrive back in VT tomorrow evening – then a week of getting packed etc., which will be fun but sort of stressful. I sincerely suggest that the board of SAMS might think of coming on an MTI and perhaps a DAR (a week for returning missionaries to deal with reentry). Maybe some! as this is not cheap. Having said that I am more and more aware of the need for “missionary care” as I know you are aware of the need for clergy care. I expect that after a few years of being a pastor to clergy I will have gained more insights. At this point I am even more sure of its need. Blessings my brother. Hope to see you before we depart.

  4. Sandy and Gloria Johnson

    How well I remember this simulation! I, too, was “executed” (something about our age!). It was very interesting the raw emotions this exercise brought out in people. MTI was an awesome experience for us, and we think it would definitely be worth it to go through DAR whenever we return. Blessings on you both as you make your final preparations to join us in Peru. The last few days can be rather hectic if I remember correctly 🙂 Love and peace, Gloria

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