Yesterday was a pretty cool day in Basel. I will need to make this two posts just so this will not be super long. Plus, I only have a few minutes before we go out the door for day three. Part of our day is in the classroom where we meet at a local church for debriefing on our mapping time, some teaching elements which are pretty cool. Yesterday morning we were given a map of the city. The leaders gave us a section of the city to walk around. Our instructions were to walk around the boundary of our section of the city; to pray, to observe and to connect where possible. We were sent out in twos. We talked about Luke 10 as we prepared to go in our section of the city.
As we walked around our boundary I thought about what we were doing. There are several things that we wanted to accomplish:
1. We want to pray a blessing on the people we encounter.
2. We want to learn by observation such as locating types of churches, main passage ways in and out of our area, gathering places, people groups or people group segments who live in the city, etc..
3. As possible we wanted to interact and talk to people to learn about the area. This is part of what we would call narrative mapping.
Looking back this first step in mapping our area is so important. I do some training and helping groups prepare to come overseas and minister in cross cultural situations. In these first hours in our area it was also important to acclimate. This may not be as important for some people but for me it is huge. Some people are able to enter into a new area and process all of the newness however I have found over the years that I need time when I enter into a new area to adjust to my surroundings. When everything is brand new around me I need a little time to soak it in and try to start interpreting it from a missional perspective.
I found these first hours to be vitally important for me to acclimate to my surroundings, to get my bearings. I found that as I spent time on this first day praying and observing that I became more and more comfortable with my area and thus able to interact with people as time went on.
This proved to be very beneficial later in the day.