Thursday, July 31, 2008
And then there was Door # 4??
One door closed last night; another opened this morning.
I came to the fairly easy conclusion late last night that I should withdraw from the IMB ISC (International Service Corp) Process for the following reasons:
1) Lack of language training. Because the ISC assignments are for just 2 years, then the language that is offered to successful candidates is BARE MINIMUM...like one month of language training. I want more than that!
2) Although the overwhelming majority of ISC, Journeyman and Masters Candidates will hear about jobs and read about jobs at this conference that will hit them squarely in the heart; that wasn't the case with me. There are a number of jobs around the world that would be a good fit for me and my particular skilset and experiences. None of them however was what I feel like I want to do...have wanted to do...all along.
Just as I thought for sure that one of my options had been eliminated though I was offered yet another choice.
The Consultants here have suggested that I transfer my application to the Missionary Apprentice Program which is a Career Track program. Apprentices serve for 3 years with an option to continue as Career Missionaries. They receive the same language training as Career Missionaries (typically a full year) and may have more flexibility in selecting a "job".
I'm willing to pursue this path if I can be paired with a job that's very close to this:
Here's what I'd like to do: I want to go to Ukraine. I want to enroll in the SEND Language School for at least one academic school year. I would like to be a part of at least two churches while I'm in language school. One being a Ukrainian fellowship so I can not only meet Ukrainian Christians but so that I can be immersed in worship in the Russian language and the other being an English congregation so I can meet other English speaking missionaries and expats. My goal my first year would be to learn the language and make ministry contacts. In the summer I would like to work in a summer camp setting with one of the contacts I already have in Ukraine. Ultimately, I would like to develop ministries in Ukrainian Government Orphanages. I see myself becoming, essentially a volunteer Youth Minister for an orphanage. Within that context I could then develop programs and ministries to disciple those kids and prepare them for life after the orphanage; programs that could be replicated in other orphanages. I think I have strengths in planning for and coordinating teams, so I would like eventually to serve as a "Mission Base Director" of sorts to facilitate the work of short-term teams and individuals. Finally- I would want to be an "incidental church planter". That is- as I have opportunities to lead people to Christ and disciple them I would like to connect them with existing churches or move them to begin new churches wherever it is practical to do so.