How My Career in Healthcare Took Its Show on the Road–Overseas

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career veterinary fieldworker

In Go. Serve. Love’s passion to help you navigate a path overseas, we believe marketplace missions has 4.13 billion beautiful reasons for you to consider doing your career (yes, that one) overseas. So we’re psyched to welcome Sarah Galloway, nurse practitioner, wife, and mom, who’s recently moved her job overseas with the help of Scatter Global.

catter helps you find a job and live on mission where Jesus is not known. (See? Isn’t that cool?)  read more

Excellence in Missions: 7 Standards [INFOGRAPHIC]

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We’re all about bringing you tools you can use to truly go there, serve Him, and love them well. So we’ve partnered with Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission to bring you today’s (totally printable) infographic: 7 Standards of Excellence in Missions.

Then why do standards like these matter?

You might feel frustrated, too, by patronizing “help” that actually hurts. Or by work that makes us feel better but makes them worse. Or by global work that continues cycles of poverty. Maybe you’re angered by missions trips cannibalizing local employment, or blind to cultural norms so people are turned off to the Gospel. read more

My Big Dream (that Starts Small)

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big dream

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on Rebecca Hopkins’ blog, Borneo Wife, when she and her husband served in Indonesia. She now blogs from her new American home at rebeccahopkins.org .

A window in my kitchen faces our backyard. Much of my days are spent cooking and watching, washing dishes and listening, making granola and checking. The kids are often dangling or running or whooping outside, playing on our mini-playground with the zipline. read more

Make Local Friends Overseas: 6 Ways

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make local friends

We had been living in Cairo about a year and a half when friends visited from Uganda. We ate at the mall food court when they asked how it has been meeting and making friends with Egyptians. I told them it’s been hard: Where do you meet people you can make friends with?

I mean, you don’t just make friends in the food court. read more

Unshakable Truth as You Head Overseas (PRINTABLE)

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We get it. The journey to overseas missions can feel like you’re trying to build a plane midair. With a root beer can, scotch tape, and a plastic flower. On the hard days, it’s possible you need some unshakable truth as you head overseas.

So today we’ve cobbled together a free printable infographic with some truths to hang your hat on, even if some days it feels like an overlarge sombrero. Post this in a cupboard, on a bathroom mirror, or tucked in all those books you’re reading for your training.

And chew on God’s promises for you in this journey.

TRUTH AS YOU HEAD OVERSEAS: PRINT IT HERE.

truth as you head overseas

Lord, all this–the endless to-do’s, the appointments, the support raising, the goodbyes, the questions, the applications, the wondering–every bit of the mundane and marvelous are for you.

Let my sacrifice be sweet to you. Sink my trust of you deeper into my soul, and prepare the way for you inside of me, around me, the place I’m headed, and everywhere in between.

My eyes are on you. My hope is in you. And my future is yours.

Be glorified.

TELL US: What truths have refreshed you in your path overseas?

Share the goodies with the rest of us in the comment section!

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Arriving Well Overseas: Tips for a Great Start

Reading Time: 5 minutes

arriving well overseas

In our efforts at Go. Serve. Love to help you in arriving well overseas, we’re posting from one of our partners, the all-new Mission App–which allows you to search and apply to 30 agencies with one app, and one application. 

Check out their thoughts below on how set yourself up for a smashing start overseas.

Is this home now?

Your footprints in the cement of your new host country haven’t even had a chance to dry and the question pops into your mind, “How do I do this well?”  

Everything is so new, so unfamiliar, and so important.

Take a deep breath. God has brought you here and will walk with you. Here are a few practical tips to keep in mind.

In arriving well overseas, Relationships are key.

So keep your relationship with the Lord fluid & fresh and He will make your path clear.  As you feast on His presence, His life will overflow from you while you dive into your new life and community.

Being genuinely interested, asking tons of questions, and sharing time and simple resources with your neighbors will go a long way in building trust and friendships.

Grab more ideas here to build community overseas.

Communicate with family and supporters from your home country as needed. but don’t spend all your time on the phone/computer.

Arriving well overseas means making yourself available so your neighbors and community know you are there to serve and are interested in their lives.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. keep the big picture in mind.

You cannot possibly totally adapt in a few days or even weeks or months.

Most often it takes years to really understand and learn another culture–to come alongside and live in someone else’s shoes (or bare feet). But you’ll learn new things every day.

Keep your heart, spirit, and mind open to see the similarities and differences around you, recognizing positives and using strengths and weaknesses to encourage yourself and those around you.

Do the practical things to dive in with and understand your neighbors and surroundings.

Learn their heart language and about their culture, both formally and informally. (See Why to Learn Their Heart-Language, Even if They Speak Yours.)

We’re all different in our ways of navigating newness. So there’s no right or wrong way to approach this. But the important thing is to be available, showing interest and care. 

Classroom learning is great and helpful, though likely the best times will be over a cup of tea, or a shared meal, the local market shopping experience or as you walk through your neighborhood or village.

Remember your kids are experiencing a big learning curve as well. 

Take time to talk about your kids’ concerns, what excites them, what makes them nervous. (It’s important your kids are arriving well overseas, too.)

Encourage them to talk about what’s important to them. Gently share Scriptures that will help them recognize God’s sovereign power, keeping each of you in His loving care (see verse list below).

Share your own experiences and feelings about inadequacy and fears as well.  Make a list of strengths and weaknesses and pray through them for each other.

Soak in the truth of God’s Word.

Read and write down or memorize the Scriptures that speak to your own situation as God leads you.

ARRIVING WELL OVERSEAS: A FEW verses TO GET YOU STARTED

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

  • Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

  • Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You!”

  • Psalm 73:23Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.”

  • Psalm 91 —The entire Psalm. A favorite is “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

  • Matthew 28: 19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • Romans 8:26-27 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God!”

  • Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

Reach out to someone local, or to a family, to show you the ropes.

Ask them basic questions like:

  1. Where should I do my shopping (if there are choices?!!)– or the proper way to cook/prepare a local food item.

  2. What do you believe about life after death?

  3. How do you dispose of garbage/waste?

  4. What traditions do you have as a family?

  5. Tell me about your family history.

  6. How do you connect or hang out with others in the community?

  7. Where to you go for medical assistance?

  8. How do I locate school supplies or toys for children?

  9. Where do I find garden tools?

  10. Are there things I should avoid or be sure to do when I am out and about in the community?

Often it is the others we serve with that may be the most challenging.

Even though we have the same goals and purpose, we can have very different ways in mind to achieve them and/or our lifestyles and backgrounds prove to be very different.

The Evil One would like nothing better than to get us distracted by our differences and ‘majoring on the minors’ – we must resist this trap of our number-one opposition.  Remember, we are in a spiritual battle and the evil one will use all manner of evil against us – but we are overcomers through the Lord Jesus Christ!

Grab 10 Ways to Make Sure Conflict Pulls You off the Field.

cultivate and enjoy community even if you tend to be a loner or simply fearful of doing things wrong.

We are not meant to be alone (see 1 Corinthians 12:23). To be Christ-like in a broken world, we need each other. We are the Body of Christ here on earth to show the world who He is.

So we can be vulnerable, because in our weakness, He’s strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-12).  In our confusion, He is order.  In our uncertainty, He is hope.

 

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Does Christianity destroy culture?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

christianity destroy culture

Photo credit: IMB.org

Editor’s note: We’re pulling this post from the archives to answer a key recurring question: Does Christianity destroy culture? Are you importing Western culture when you bring the Gospel? We weigh in. 

If you’ve ever stood in the middle of African worship, it’s…well, it’s pretty hard to stand still.

Gotta admit. At a refugee-center staff retreat, I started as a mild observer. I marveled at the literal full-bodied movement and vocalization: music that took over my heart, my body. I was, um, really dancing (don’t necessarily try to picture it…) to worship for the first time. Moisture leaked from the corners of my eyes.

Perhaps you can see what I’m talking about:

After a rousing snippet of this kind of worship in staff devotions the week before, I’d told the teachers, this is just a sliver of what the African church offers the world. Every culture has its own strengths, its own vibrant display of the image of God.

And when Jesus comes, I will have watched so many cultures become the truest version of themselves.

Do You Really Need Training to be a Missionary?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

training to be a missionary

Maybe you’ve wondered about the level of importance you should place on training to be a missionary. Is “training” more of a modern or even Western invention? Isn’t the Great Commission something to do whether you’re formally trained or not?

Yes and no. Yes, you can share Jesus without taking a class first. But remember–even Jesus’ disciples had spent three years being disciples. The concept of equipping and being trained isn’t foreign to the Bible. 

Unfortunately, a lack of comprehensive training to be a missionary can result in the lack of skills empowering that global worker to stay. It could also mean that in a lack of cross-cultural knowledge, the missionary actually does damage to the Church’s work overseas–driving people away from the Gospel rather than toward it.

(Yes, it’s possible to bungle missions.)

Today, we let Global Frontier Missions take the mic to make their case for intentional preparation for the mission field. 

Did you know most missionaries only last about two years on the field?

Statistics show that proper cross-cultural training to be a missionary greatly increases your chances of being more effective–and staying on the mission field longer.

We are passionate about equipping healthy, long-term disciple-makers–and not just in theology. We feel acutely the need for head knowledge, character qualities, and hands-on skills. It’s critical our missionaries have a sustainable and impactful ministry among the least-reached peoples.

So take a minute to check out the following videos. And catch the vision for why training can prepare you for the mission field to which God’s calling you!

TRAINING TO BE A MISSIONARY: THE PRACTICAL ANGLE

Almost every profession requires classroom and on-the-job training. Why not cross-cultural ministry?

 

Mission Prep: Holistic

Yes, here in the West, we often emphasize head knowledge as the all-important piece in education. But how effective is that actually in preparing someone to be a missionary?

 

MISSIONS PREp: THE BIBLICAL ANGLE

If we take a look at the Bible, we see many examples of God’s people going through seasons of preparation and waiting. It’s not an optional appendix in the story of God’s people. Preparation and waiting are a necessary chapter we all walk through.

 

training to be a missionary: the Strategic side of things

We may be quick to applaud the individuals full of passion and energy that head to the mission field, but what’s really needed are faithful, steady, consistent laborers that are in it for the long haul.

 

Wondering where to go from here?

Editor’s note: So maybe we’ve sold you on the need for thoughtful, strategic training before you head overseas. Wondering what to do with that conviction?

As you search for missions agencies, evaluate your potential agency’s priority and methods for training. How holistic does that training appear? (See Choosing an Emotionally Healthy Missions Organization.) Some agencies use outside organizations, like Mission Training International or Studio. Some conduct their own training (or a hybrid of both) to address the onfield needs they anticipate.

Or you might consider experiences that offer fully interactive training to be a missionary while helping you discern God’s direction. We’ve got a healthy handful on our Hands-On Training tab here on Go. Serve. Love.

The field awaits. Are you ready?

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