by Charles Piepgrass
I. ARRIVAL 1. Clear baggage/freight from customs and unpack. 2. Register with embassy, local police, department of immigration, or other local government departments as required. 3. Acquire necessary furnishings for home; care for renovations, repairs, painting, etc. 4. Get settled in home/apartment/rooms.
1. Clear baggage/freight from customs and unpack.
2. Register with embassy, local police, department of immigration, or other local government departments as required.
3. Acquire necessary furnishings for home; care for renovations, repairs, painting, etc.
4. Get settled in home/apartment/rooms.
II. INITIATION FOR FIRST MONTH
Visit and spend time on variety of stations. (Work funds could be drawn upon for travel, if this were defined by the field council as a definite part of the field orientation program) This will:
1. Impress the new missionary with the amount of work to be done on the field – not a problem about what to do, but which to do.
2. Enlarge his vision regarding the variety of ministries possible to him in months/years ahead.
3. Increase his appreciation for the work/gifts of fellow missionaries.
4. Emphasize the necessity of learning language well in order to effectively minister.
5. Instruct him re: the various departments of the field, their relation to the goals/strategy of the field.
III. IDENTIFICATION WITH THE PEOPLE
Arrange for the new missionary to live a week (or more) in the home of a national family (where possible; perhaps after two to three months of language study in order to be able to communicate with members of the family) in order to:
1. Acquaint himself with the customs and culture of the people.
2. Acquire information re: the country and the people's pride in it.
3. Appreciate the problems, progress, needs, desires, etc., of the people.
4. Make friends and enjoy ways of fellowship with the nationals.
1. Language learning (where applicable). Specify and clarify: (a) The program – curriculum and timetable of the language course; (b) The purpose – communication of the message; (c) The practice conversation in the language; (d) During language study/ orientation period, arrange immediate ministries – opportunities of witness, testimony, teaching, preaching, music, etc.; (e) Include diversion, fellowship, recreation.
2. Recommended Reading. (a) Newspaper locally published (English at first if available; then national language); (b) Books on history, culture, religion, arts, geography, etc. The field office might develop a lending library of these. (c) Require the missionary to continue a personal Bible study program/family devotions.
Classes, informal sessions, discussions with resource people on following subjects:
1. Goals, strategy, and methods of the field.
2. Do's and don't's of writing letters from the field, both to family and to donors.
3. History, culture, politics, government, etc., of the country.
4. Organization of the field, the station, the institutions.
5. The national church: relationships, responsibilities.
6. Health: preventative measures, facilities available, emergency procedures.
7. Recreation, vacation, travel, photography: opportunities and limitations.
8. Field financial principles and practices: personal salary, deductions, use of work funds, disbursement of cash, bookkeeping requirements, regular financial accounting.
9. Hospitality to nationals, fellow missionaries, visitors, tour groups – opportunities, problems, blessings (received and given), board charges, etc.
10. Field trips to museums, historical sites, stores/shops/markets, factories, villages, etc.
11. Children's schooling programs) and options: academies, correspondence courses, overseas American schools, etc.
12. Wife's opportunities in specific ministries; responsibilities to the home, husband, children; relationships to maids; local marketing, foods, cuisine; dress code.
13. How to get along with fellow missionaries: role of prayer, fellowship, social occasions, recognition of differences in personality, appreciation of diversity of gifts, elimination of small problems building up to serious ones, possibilities of mutual help to each other because of differences, frank appraisal of self, etc.
VI. ORIENTATION TO MINISTRY
1. Field leader should arrange a series of personal interviews during language study/ orientation period regarding place and type of ministry desired by the church and by the individual missionary.
2. There should be a frank examination of the interests, gifts, training, and ability of the missionary.
3. Consultation with national church leaders/ executive committee should be included in preparation for placement in the work.
4. The new missionary should acquaint himself with the organization, aspirations, limitations, opportunities, problems, etc., of the national church with/under which he will be working.
5. Where the church does not yet assign personnel to the field, there should be consultation with the field council. Where are the missionary's gifts likely to be best employed?
6. The field leader/church executive committee should prepare a job description in consultation with the missionary and his department or superior in order to furnish guidelines for ministry.
7. Supervise follow-through of a period of continuing orientation by others involved in his ministry.
VII. PERSONAL COUNSEL
1. Encourage the missionary to: (a) Write down first impressions, interesting/amusing/illustrative incidents. (b) Ask questions, request information, seek explanation before offering criticism. (c) Attend cultural and sporting events, concerts, lectures, patriotic celebrations (where there would be no conflict of convictions).
2. Require the missionary to: (a) Regularly attend church and Sunday school even before the language is well understood; station prayer meeting; mission or church day of prayer. (b) Initiate contacts with nationals for language practice, witnessing opportunities, and fellowship. (c) Render monthly reports (for first year) of progress in language, integration into ministry, witnessing occasions and decisions for salvation, suggestions concerning field orientation, etc.
1. The field should create an orientation committee with responsibility to work with the field leader on adapting and using the suggested program for first-term missionaries arriving on the field.
2. The committee chairman or field leader should meet with the new missionary(ies) and establish a calendar schedule for visits to other stations, classes, field trips, language exams, lectures, etc. Where necessary, he should designate the person who will accompany the missionary or discuss a particular area of information with him.
3 . Station personnel should consciously look for opportunities to invite the new missionary to give his testimony, use his music, preach, or otherwise have an outlet for ministry as regularly as possible during language study/ orientation months.
4. Designate an hour each week for personal interview of new missionary by field or station leader in order to keep lines of communication open and to give opportunity for counsel on any subject or need, and to build confidence in the mission's program and its leadership.
5. If any need or problem in some particular area of the missionary's life becomes known, spend time with him to help in meeting the frustration, problem, lack of know-how, discouragement, or critical attitude; eg., management of finances, questions regarding the mission's goal, understanding the national thinking, feeling of spiritual defeat, marital or family problems, lack of discipline in use of time, etc.
6. Involve national church leaders in the orientation program as much and as often as possible.
I remember years ago when I went to work as a missionary in Rwanda… that a dear man of God had died a few months before, a man who had done a great work. It was at a time when we thought the work was just beginning. He was full of zeal and full of the Holy Spirit. He died so quickly and God called me to go and take his place. As I prepared to go my thoughts were full as I thought of what I was going to do. I was keen to go. I wanted to see souls saved, but deep down in me there was the feeling that I wanted to be a wonderful missionary. I wanted to do something greater than what that man had done. I was preparing myself with that spirit. "I'm going to become somebody; I'm going to be a great evangelist; people are going to talk about me." That was the spirit. You could say that it was ambition, but deep down in me was pride. I was looking for my own glory. There is such a thing as walking and tearing one's clothes every day, but really it is done so that we may become better known and more popular. There are times when we think we are suffering for the Lord, but really deep down we are trying to build up our own name and become a great man.—William Nagenda, Urbana, 1954.
Copyright © 1972 Evangelism and Missions Information Service (EMIS). All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or copied in any form without written permission from EMIS.