These days, a lot of jobs are so complex that no course can adequately prepare you, and you have to keep on learning if you’re going to do it well. That certainly applies to the task of establishing a church where there is none, among people with a unique worldview who speak a different language.
Laying the Groundwork
It’s not all academic at NTM Canada missionary training program, Emanate. There are classes in phonemics and linguistics, Bible translation and language acquisition, and also time to develop “practical skills.”
The 18-month course lays the groundwork for what lies ahead.
A Taste of What Is to Come
The next step is orientation. After arrival in the country where they will serve, missionaries learn the national language and get familiar with the country’s culture. They also get a closer look at the ministries there.
For Seth and Rochelle Callahan, new to Papua New Guinea, that meant, “We packed all of our gear, boxed up six weeks’ worth of groceries, loaded everything into the back of a pickup, and headed up into the mountains.”
“It’s such a privilege for our family to be able to be here, living alongside these two awesome missionary families as we continue our Tok Pisin
Even 18-months of training and up to a year of orientation can’t prepare missionaries for everything that can arise in just the beginning stages of their ministry: language learning, culture evaluation, literacy course development and Bible lesson preparation.
New Tribes Mission provides in-country workshops and seminars taught by consultants — experienced missionaries who have been trained in helping other missionaries. These consultants also travel to remote villages to provide evaluations for missionaries. These evaluations give church planters an objective look at their progress and a roadmap of where to go next.
Of course, once you’re an experienced missionary, trained to help others, you’ve arrived, right? Not so fast!
“In February 2015, a group of literacy consultants and consultants-in-training from all over Latin America will meet together in Colombia for an intense, three-week literacy workshop. This will sharpen the literacy workers’ skills through hands-on, practical work,” wrote Jerry and Joyce McDaniels, who are literacy consultants.
Please pray for encouragement, wisdom and strength for the trainers and consultants who are so vital to serving God with excellence.