My new job began on August 23rd, with a week of UCCF staff worker orientation in rural Oxfordshire.
16 new staff from all over Britain gathered together to study the Bible, pray, get to know one another, and learn lots of practicalities of how to do our jobs.
It was wonderful week, even though I wasn’t sure that it would be before I arrived. Particularly because on the timetable that we had been sent before hand, the first afternoon was labeled with this terrifying phrase:
These words (along with ‘ice breakers’) will instantly cause my heart to sink. And when I read them before heading off to orientation my reaction was no different. And yet, it was actually very fun.
There was kayaking and obstacle courses and archery and other such delights, all of which took place after we had stood in a ten minute rainstorm which was less English-drizzle and more tropical-monsoon. And although that doesn’t sound like fun, it was honestly hilarious, and a really excellent way to speed up the getting-to-know-you part of the first day.
Other than that the week consisted of various other activities, including but not limited to: Bible studies in Hosea, practical tips and advice on work stuff, praying for students and mission and each other, talking about evangelism & church, drinking coffee, eating cake, walking to the pub on dark, country roads, watching the boys assassinate many, many wasps, and playing a very brief game of croquet in the rare sunshine, just before getting on a train home.
The week was intense, but great, and a really encouraging beginning to the work.
In summary: adding croquet to the list of games I can’t play.