Woodlands Survival

A robin in the woodlands.

A few weeks ago we went on a four-day survival camp. If you are wondering why this is part of missions training, remember a few things. First, the people groups we want to work with are unreached because they are hard to reach. Many of them are only reachable by hiking there from the nearest village. Meaning that you may need to spend a night out in the jungle before you get there. And depending on how long you take before clearing out a landing area for a helicopter of aeroplane, you may need to do this several times.

Secondly, for some people that join the course, this may be their first experience out in direct nature. And by direct I mean, no shower, long-drop toilets, and waking up with bugs crawling right in front of your eyes.

Thirdly, it is a great team-building experience. Because wives are expected to care for the children during this week, we only had the seven men from our class join. Meaning that we had a nicely sized group for getting to know each other.

As for what we learned, I figured that a picture speaks a thousand words. So enjoy the following couple of thousand words, and I hope you get a feeling for what the experience was like.

Here I am making natural cordage out of reedmace. If you twist fibres together like this you can make a cord that is much stronger than just the plant by itself.
This cord we made out of brambles was able to hold a full-grown man!
Unfortunately my hands are in the way, but we carved a whistle out of wood. I wonder if the sound of the whistle had anything to do with the fact that we were only taught this on the last day?
We tried out many different ways of making fire. Here I am standing ready with my different sizes of kindling. Just behind me are two different mechanism we built for holding a pot over a fire.
FIRE! If I remember correctly, this picture was taken when we learned about friction fire. That is to say, we rubbed a stick into a plank and turned it into a bundle of smoke.
And when you have fire, what better use is there than to make tea?

Prayer topics

  • I am thankful for the woodlands experience we had, especially for the team-building aspect of it.
  • Please pray for the other teamwork lessons we’ll have during the year. We will soon have a module on this topic, and there will be many opportunities for this throughout the year.
  • Please pray for the other modules we have. They all contribute to our effectiveness as missionaries – all of which is done for God’s glory.
Author: Daniel

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