In the five years since the inception of MOVE, life has truly moved—fast! Now at the beginning of the seventh generation of students, this unique vehicle for training missionaries, has grown tremendously within a short time. What began as a dream has become a reality, and land that was once a huge untamed wilderness, has now been transformed into a flourishing complex consisting of approximately fifteen buildings—and counting! The complex provides housing for students, staff, and families, who themselves, are either students or staff, and sometimes even both, classrooms, workshops, a cafeteria, library, and office. This place is a hive of constant activity.
A typical day in the life of MOVE spans so many areas. However, there is no such thing as a “typical“ day at MOVE! The day begins with personal worship, then races on in top gear. Watering plants at around 5:30 a.m., optional corporate worship in the prayer dome at 6 a.m., classes beginning at 8 a.m., then electives (there are five from which students choose—Agriculture, Construction, Education, Health and Mechanics) generally from 9–11 a.m., Monday to Wednesday, and three hours on Friday. This allows for a thorough grasp of the subject being taught, with sound on-the-job theory teaching , coupled with the hands-on training which compounds the learning process, providing ample practical application as students put their knowledge into everyday living. In these electives students learn anything from how to plant vegetables, exotic fruit trees, and ornamental flowers; how to construct a building from the foundation up to a complete building; the true Biblical meaning of education and its application; fixing brakes, and servicing a vehicle, including buses; to natural remedies, and massaging the tired shoulders of fellow students (yes, please!) Solid practical skills with a sound spiritual foundation… for life and for eternity!
Presently, the fifteen students now resident at MOVE, represent a diversity of backgrounds. Some are from Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, USA, and England; each one is actively involved in one of three local churches—Carmelita, Chan Pine Ridge, and Santa Marta. In less than a month, these students, coupled with students from Weimar, here on a mission trip, and MOVE staff members, all combined to complete a number of work projects, ranging from installing a suspended ceiling in one building, building a porch on another, painting other buildings, cutting the grass, plowing the land with the tractor, and planting fruit and vegetables, to name but a few things.
These activities are not limited to the grounds of MOVE only, but mission drives everything that is done. Consequently, concerted efforts are made in outreach and evangelism, as local Churches are supported by students and staff alike. An example of this is the health expo hosted by Weimar, and supported by MOVE, held on Sunday, the 25th of February. A good response to the door-to-door invitation was revealed in the attendance of members of the community, who had their blood pressure checked, were educated concerning the use of water, good dental hygiene, the dangers of fats and sugars, as well as being treated to a relaxing massage, and left with a print-out of their personal health profile. Another outreach project is a house being erected by MOVE staff and students in the Santa Marta community.
One fascinating aspect of being at MOVE, is the fact that English and Spanish are spoken interchangeably. All lessons are taught in both languages. In fact, both languages are taught as part of the programme, and all worship sessions are taken in one language, and interpreted in the other. and each week is dedicated to one or other. The week just gone was English week, so everything was presented in English—the message and the hymns. This week will then be Spanish. One thing I find fascinating, is the fact that the majority of the staff are bilingual, and switch easily from one language to the other, and back again. There is also a camaraderie amongst them that oozes of joy and an infectious laughter that seems to characterise their interaction. There seems to be a unique bi-lingual humour that is MOVE-flavoured…?
This bi-linguistic characteristic spills over into the community, as some people speak both languages, while others only speak one or other tongue. This is where students can use their acquisition of either Spanish or English, possibly learned,or perfected at MOVE to communicate with those to whom they witness in their small group ministries, preaching on Sabbath mornings, or giving Bible studies to contacts.
In all, the pace in the last few weeks has been fast-moving and unstoppable. There is a drive that characterises the ethos of this mechanism called MOVE… the determination to ‘Inspire. Equip. Mobilize.’ That’s MOVE. . . So let’s get MOVE-ing!