Ever since I returned to Madison from Zambia in July 2009, I have been working full-time for the University of Wisconsin. I took a position in the same research lab that I had worked at while I was a student and I continued to live with my college buddies in a house near campus. My position was basically that of a lab technician and I built experiments for grad students, professors, and independent research contracts as part of the Department of Engineering Physics. It was a great job where I could fabricate things, work with really smart people, and help progress the really cool research that the UW is well known for. August 6, 2010, was my last day there.
For several months, I had been bouncing around in my head an idea about how to work with Overland Missions again because I really liked what I had done with them during my trips to Zambia and Brazil. This spring and early summer, I began seriously looking into my options and opportunities and I had some really good conversations with people in Overland's leadership as well as with people from my church community in Madison. The result of these discussions turned out to be a really good plan for leaving my job and working with Overland on a more long-term basis.
I will be flying out of Madison on August 30 to be a student in Overland's Advanced Missions Training (AMT) course located at the Rapid 14 Base near Livingstone, Zambia. This is a 12-week long course that covers a wide variety of skills and knowledge essential to working in missions, especially in remote third-world environments. I had seen (and taught) some of the engineering-related units of the course while I was volunteering on the base last summer but I will be enrolled in the course this time. I will be in AMT because I will be going on full-time staff with Overland Missions next year and I will be working out of the Zambia base. I'll have more details to share about that later.
For now, I'll be getting to know a new group of friends with whom I will be in the course and I'll be reconnecting with my buddies who are on staff at the base. I'm sure it will be a great time to learn and grow and I'll have a whole new set of adventures, friendships, and amazing stories to show for it.
p.s. for more info about Overland Missions, visit their website here