I trust you and your family are okay. I am sorry to hear of the volcanic activity in your home state. I pray for the Lord’s mercy.
I agree. Part of the way the church loves our unbelieving neighbors is by engaging with their issues with Christianity. I’d like aspiring apologists to read more widely. Yes, certainly, read philosophy! But also read novels. Open up your imagination so you are better at opening up other people’s imagination (a la C. S. Lewis). Also, sociology is important, but often neglected by aspiring apologists. All apologetics makes contextualized arguments because you are never talking to a man or woman in the abstract–no "person in the abstract "exists. For this reason, we need to understand how culture works and the general trends in different contexts. One final note: theology and biblical studies is the basis for faithful apologists. I am in favor of getting a deep foundation in the scriptures and biblical theology as a basis for the apologetic enterprise.