Sunday, January 26, 2014

Growth in self-efficacy as a multicultural team of professors

The summer of 2013 Christian Camping International, Latin America (CCI/LA) held a training event in Pittsburgh called: Leadership Summit, a two-week long event designed to share the results of a 30-year partnership between CCI/LA and Pittsburgh churches support of Lisa Anderson-Umana. 

One of my favorite words that I learned at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) is: self-efficacy (definition a la Wikipedia: Self-efficacy is the measure of the belief in one's own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.)

As the days went by, I noticed a growth in individuals’ self-efficacy that in turn led to growth in group-efficacy. As Christians we are aware of the fine line of “thinking too highly of ourselves” and pride so often in order not to get too close to the line, we err on the side of caution and “think too little about ourselves.” As I studied at school, I realized that I needed to be aware of my own thoughts, feelings, and reactions in order to invite the Lord to critically reflect on my inner world much like David did in Psalm 139:23-24: Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
So, when I heard our team members make comments like the following, I knew that one of the goals of this trip was being reached:
Manuel:  “Professor Jim couldn’t hear me speak in class, hmm, I wonder why I am not speaking up? Hmm, I prayed and realized I was intimidated because of my lack of schooling; well, God gave me the confidence to speak up and participate.”
Karina:  “Since I am new to the team, I was afraid I would fail and not fit into the community they had already formed. I took my fears to the Lord and as the days went on I realized I fit, my space and pace is respected.”

When the bus broke down, the team was extremely calm and
took things in stride. Chuck and Henri Doren were on top
of everything, getting the Crawford family to come rescue us!

We celebrated Thanksgiving in July, an idea Chuck and Henri Doren
blessing many who had never experienced this US event. 

Travel in the USA is a delight since you don't have to worry about donkeys crossing the roads (deer yes!),
there are excellent signs, visual lines on the roads, the rest stops which my kids still can't believe are built just for bathrooms! Bathroom stops in most of Latin America are unheard of!

Robert has a strong presence in public speaking and
is our "go-to-guy" for opening and closing comments. 

My own growth in self-awareness was tested during the Pittsburgh Leadership Summit:
“I (Lisa) felt the tension rise within me when, prior to the arrival of the Latin Americans, we were experiencing some major changes in our plans. When I confessed my struggle with control with a friend, she told me that God knew what was going on but was testing my character. I suddenly realized it wasn’t about everything going according to my plans, but about my reaction. I felt like God told me right then and there: ‘Trust me. Entrust this whole Summit to me, loosen your control and you will see the great things I will do in people’s lives.’
Throughout the two weeks, I did indeed see God doing great things. I wrote in my journal: ‘I feel so full I could burst. In each person God you are opening up new horizons and broadening perspectives.  I see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears the dreams (literally) you have given to Manuel, Alvaro and Carlos, and how they stay up late at night in the men’s cabin discussing their meaning. We even fasted and prayed during one meal for further discernment. These are holy moments we are living.”

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