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Ready to Reach the World: CLAP 4 Completes Their Third Session
January 22, 2018
The third intensive session of the Communication and Leadership Advancement Program (CLAP) of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) was held November 13 to 29, 2017, with the purpose of encouraging, stimulating and motivating young church leaders to understand the importance of English and leadership skills in preparation for further responsibilities in the church.

The venue selected for this session was the Seventh-day Adventist Language Center, located in the Philippines, neighboring the 1000 Missionary Movement campus. The facilities and services provided were conducive to an increase in the participants’ communication and leadership skills. The 25 participants who attended the session expressed their overall satisfaction with the intensive training, the facilities and the experience. They were diligent and perseverant in their studies, visibly improving their confidence to speak in English and experiencing a greater bonding as a group and openness toward others.

The daily English classes in the morning and afternoon during this session continued to be a fundamental building block for learning the basics of English, such as grammar and vocabulary. Faithfully, the English instructors, Erica and Joy, did their best as usual, patiently and kindly guiding the participants in their daily focused learning of the English language through different methods with the latest materials available and suitable for them. 

The morning and afternoon leadership sessions involved a variety of presenters. People from different territories (the Northern and Southern Asia-Pacific Divisions and AIIAS), areas of expertise, nationalities, and ethnicity presented topics related to leadership. Various methods of presenting, such as group discussion, case studies, word banks, vocabulary practice, cooperative group structures, and short presentations were appreciated by participants as surveyed at the end of each week.

The leaders of the day did an excellent job in using their English skills to present the days’ activities, announcements and reminders, lead the worship services and team-building time, attend staff meetings and help with decision-making. 

The highlight of the session was the opportunity to practice and further develop their English-speaking skills. The Language Center provided tutors and teachers, who led them individually and in pairs during the daily hours of topic-based conversation time and who also enjoyed their daily meals together with the participants, largely adding to their speaking skills practice. Furthermore, participants were able to use their improved English-speaking skills with people on the streets, shopping malls, markets, field trips, outings and even in local church visits.

Field trips were also important to enhance the learning. They provided time for healthy and balanced recreation, group bonding, and at the same time a different venue and vocabulary to practice their English. The experience of new challenges, tastes, smells, sounds, and sights, and observing people, ways of doing things, ways of living and other interesting things were also important learning opportunities of leadership skills and positive attitudes, such as confidence, empathy, sympathy and kindness, cooperation, teamwork, decision making, self-improvement, humility and courage.

Sabbath worships served several purposes to the program: opportunities to measure their level of English comprehension and motivate them to continue their learning, a chance to mingle with people from other countries and their own, too, the possibility of making new friends or meeting people they knew, the privilege of contributing to the worship services in 13 local churches, practicing their English, gaining confidence in speaking in English, seeing different ways and avenues of worship, preaching in English, giving testimonies, and having special music among other opportunities.

In an effort to improve learning to an optimum level, consideration of overall health was encouraged. For example, morning exercise, though not enforced, was encouraged, and several participants kept a daily routine of exercise and even helped their roommates to stick to the healthy habit during the session. Evening exercise, as was seen through recreational soccer, helped to ease the stress of the day and provide for a good night’s rest contributing to an optimal condition for learning.

We are grateful to God for His guidance in this past session. Next session will be the last intensive session for this CLAP 4 run. We are looking forward to meeting again with our CLAP friends. We are looking forward to discussing the questions our participants have prepared for next session’s leadership topics, which will be led by NSD departmental directors, for a practical application of leadership concepts and a better understanding of how the church works in its goal of “Reaching the World.” We appreciate your prayers for God’s guidance in the completion of this program and also for the new group that will soon be part of CLAP run 5 (2018-2020).