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Training Tracks August 2017

It's been a busy summer of SEND U around the world! In this month's Training Tracks we highlight the Ethnography Conference, The Coaching Workshop and our most recent Member Orientation Program (MOP). In addition, we want to draw your attention to Dr. Gary Ridley's most recent writing on Insider Movements.

Why Ethnography?

Ethnography: \eth-ˈnä-grə-fē\ The study and systematic recording of human culture.

This past June, 33 workers from Europe and Eurasia gathered together in Germany to attend an Ethnography Conference led by Don and Margaret Grigorenko, professors from Cedarville University. The Grigorenko's passion for doing ethnographic research comes from a desire to reach the lost with best practices. As missionaries, we want to live incarnationally and desire to present the truths of the gospel in ways that are culturally sensitive and relevant. Learning how to conduct an ethnography is an important step in this process. The focus of this workshop was to help the missionaries know what they were going to DO to present the gospel with relevancy and sensitivity when they returned to their field of service. So, for the participants, it was an incredibly practical topic.

One example of an application of this learning comes from Macedonia. Philip Jackson and Andy Spradley will be interviewing first generation Macedonian believers about their faith stories. They want to discern what common factors might be discovered regarding how each believer came to Christ. Philip says, "Our hope and prayer is that this might inform our evangelistic methods in the future." 

What ideas does this stir up for you regarding training you might need to be more effective in your current ministry? We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic or ways you are using ethnography practices in your ministry. Send us a note through Beth at

Member Orientation Program (MOP)

Is there anything more exciting to a field worker than knowing more workers are on the way? SEND U staff, along with others from the International Office, spend a portion of each year preparing new co-workers for cross-cultural living. Our most recent MOP took place July 9-22 on the Farmington campus. This MOP was comprised of 22 adults and 11 children from 5 countries going to 8 different fields. This July also marked our first MOP that was translated into Russian, making it the third language, along with Chinese and Spanish, that MOP has been translated into. It has been exciting to see how the material is helpful to people from different cultural backgrounds and provides a common SEND training experience for all our members.

If you've been following Training Tracks, you will remember that the MOP Puzzle has become a fixture of the training week. Each group attempts to finish the puzzle a little faster than the previous group. Our February MOP finished the puzzle in record time (Tuesday evening of the first week); not to be outdone, this MOP set another record by completing the puzzle in just a little over 24 hours. Not to mention they obviously had a lot of fun doing it! What does team bonding & problem solving look like in your context?

The Coaching Workshop

Sanderhof Retreat Center proved to be the idyllic setting for SEND U's most recent Coaching Workshop for Christian Leaders. 17 people from 4 passport countries serving across Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Croatia came together to learn and practice coaching skills. Each individual left with practical ways they could apply the training in their church planting, mobilization, discipleship and education contexts. Highlights included feeling more confident to engage in personal relationships, confidence to lead ministries and new ideas for evangelism, discipleship, church planting and theological education. If your team or field is interested in this training event, please contact Beth Eckstein at

Insider Movements: Other Religions

As SEND continues to expand its efforts to engage Muslim UPGs, Gary Ridley helps us unpack and understand some of the issues and terminology at the heart of Insider Movements. Click through to the SEND U blog to read more about religion and how it impacts theological thinking. 

Keep Learning,


Ken Guenther
SEND U Director based in Kiev, Ukraine