CBU Teams Prepare During Intensive Training Weekend
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Feb. 3, 2015) --Suitcases, sleeping bags, passports and their owners covered the floor and tables in the Chick-fil-A and Wanda's dining area on Jan. 30.
"It looks like this Chick-fil-A is at an airport," a student passing by said.
Outside, recorded sounds of airplanes taking off filled the Great Commission Plaza. Adjacent to the Kugel, a make-shift terminal greeted about 400 students and team leaders to Intensive Training Weekend.
The three-day training is geared to prepare volunteers for their summer's service projects, whether overseas or in the U.S. This year 42 teams will be serving in 18 countries.
The weekend is a tradition for the International and U.S. Service Project teams, and each year the Office of Mobilization (MOB) works to better equip and better prepare their volunteers, including some students who have never left the country or even flown before.
Friday began with the elaborate arrival simulation, where sights and sounds of the airport terminal, customs, health screening and security were created by the MOB staff and other volunteers.
After the simulation, the teams went to the opening sessions of prayer, worship and time with their teams. That evening, they set up beds for the weekend-- sleeping bags on the floors of classrooms and lecture halls.
Saturday included training sessions and team bonding exercises. A disaster simulation ended the evening, where the teams used the disaster response training they had received earlier that day.
Jamie Jillson, sophomore psychology major, said she was thankful for that training.
"It makes you more aware," Jillson said.
"All this training has prepared us for the right and wrong (ways to act)," said Valerie Spezzaferri, sophomore criminal justice major.
Sunday brought even more training, bonding time and team photos. Participants wore gray shirts with the theme for this year, "Resolve."
Kristen White, director of the Office of Mobilization, said Intensive Training Weekend is only part of the training volunteers receive during the year. From the time they learn their assignments in December, students and leaders participate in a variety of workshops and exercises during the spring semester.
"CBU provides extensive ministry and cross-cultural training for students serving in the U.S. and overseas," she said. "We are not just a ‘sending' program; we are a discipleship program with a goal of investing in lives to develop followers of Christ."