Learning the Hard Way
It was 1970. The chairman of NTM Colombia, Macon Hare, Jr., was seeing firsthand the struggles missionaries faced as they tried to make the gospel message clear to the people groups with whom they worked. He recognized that missionaries were learning the hard way. By themselves. By trial and error. And there was a definite lack of guidance. There had to be a better way.
A Consultant Program Is Born
He wasn’t the only one who thought that. Others saw the need. It was becoming obvious that learning language alone was not enough. The culture and worldview of the people groups were also vital components. But direction was needed as to what to do with all those cultural tidbits once they collected them — and how best to use those tidbits to learn the language. A consultant program was about to be born.
At NTM’s headquarters in Sanford, Florida, Dick Sollis was busily setting up the Research and Planning department. Their objective? To develop a consultant program, figure out how it would work best and mobilize potential consultants. That was just the beginning.
But that was enough for Macon. He’s always been into recruitment and was quick to invite one of the first consultants to join the Colombian field. Gene and Judy Dolash, Wayne and Patsy Gibson and Paul and Pam Rasmussen were some of the first missionaries blessed by this new ministry.
No Longer Floundering
Fast forward to today. NTM has consultants who travel the world on a regular basis giving input, encouragement and direction to missionaries at every stage of the church planting effort. Whether they are in the early days of building relationships and learning culture and language, already preparing Bible lessons, teaching literacy or translating God’s Word into the people group’s mother tongue, missionaries are no longer left to their own devices to flounder.
Would you pray for the NTM’s consultants as they give encouragement, direction and vital tools to missionaries?