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Are there any Missionaries out there on MN?

(19 Posts)
PositiveAttitude Mon 29-Aug-11 11:19:59

Hi,

We have applied for some overseas missionary work and was wondering if there is anyone on MN who is doing this already?

If anyone reads this and "knows" me, either in RL or on here, please dont out me. I have not name changed as I have never had to before and I feel anonymous enough.

WIthin the next couple of days we will be talking to our DCs about this. They are all aged between 20 and 14. Some will come along, some will stay here, but they are all welcome to come with us if they chose to.

I'd just like to hear any advice anyone might have. Any experience?

Thanks very much.

thanksamillion Mon 29-Aug-11 20:51:18

Yes me! Hello!
We're in E Europe, been here nearly 4 years. I've got 3 DCs but they're all much smaller than yours (6, 4 and 18m). Can you say where you might be going/what you'd be doing?

We're independent in the sense that we're not with a big organisation, but we work with a couple of different charities that were already working in the country, and we're supported (financially and prayfully) mainly by friends and a couple of churches (including our home church).

We have quite a holistic approach in that we use a lot of our time setting up/running community projects either to help people in their immediate needs or to help raise them out of poverty.

We spent two years at college before we came which we found really helpful, I think especially because we don't have an organisation to fall back on. You might find this website helpful.

Err what else? Feel free to ask me any questions, if you want to see our website I can PM you the link.

PositiveAttitude Mon 29-Aug-11 21:49:41

Brill!!! Hellllooooo!! grin

We are looking at a particular charity working in Indonesia and surrounding areas - sorry, I am being deliberately vague at the moment.

We have been having contact with the charity for the past few months and have an interview with them in a couple of weeks. Once that has happened I will feel more comfortable being open about it all.

I'd love to have a peek at your website, if that's ok!

Thanks for the website address, I will go and browse.

We are not concerned about the financial position, as we have faith that if its right, we will be provided for. We have gone a bit round in circles about what to do with our house while we are away, but now are thinking that we will keep it and "rent" it to our older DCs who are staying here, at a very reduced rate for them, but also give us a little regular income to cover the mortgage payments.

DO you have any basic advise? Maybe I should have started this thread after our interview, but I am just so excited about it all I wanted to know if there was anyone else on here - forgive me for jumping the gun a bit!!!

If you are not connected with a larger charity as such, I suppose you didnt go through the interview process? Is there anything I should swot up on before the interview? Dh and I would like to work together. He has been in management, but is very willing to just do whatever needs doing. I am working in accounts and administration at the moment. Our ideal would be to work with children or young families. We are practical people and feel very called to helping people in whatever circumstance they are in. We also both feel we are hospitable people and love to have guests and often have had people staying with us during crises in the past for anything from a few nights to a year!

Did your parents react ok when you said what you would be doing? My biggest concern with all this is my parents. They are both in their 80's and my mum has alzheimers. I know that when I say goodbye to them it could well be last time I see them alive, BUT they have always said to us to never let them hold us back from doing what we want to do. They would want us to go!
Are your children at an International school, or what do you do for their education? How are they with you being out there? I suppose if they are younger they may not know any different....

If its ok with you, I'd love to get back on here once the interview is done (and maybe if I think of anything beforehand) and then i will be able to share more about our hopes and plans and probe you with questions, I am sure! grin

Thanks for answering. Good to know that I am not alone on MN! I will be back in a few weeks if not before.....dont go anywhere!!! grin

thanksamillion Fri 02-Sep-11 17:42:20

Hi PA don't worry I'm not going anywhere!
Wow, it all sounds very exciting! As you guessed, we didn't really have an interview - we had a meeting with the director of one of the charities that we work with, as DH had initially visited here with the, and most of their work was based here so we were kind of here with them. In time we've made other connections and our ministry has kind of grown outside of just what they do. But in short no interview!

We had lots of friends at college who were with organisations though and I think it depends on which one it is! Some (eg OMF) have VERY extensive interview procedures which go on forever and others it's more of an informal chat. I think in general they probably want to know that your theological position is in line with theirs, that you are flexible in what you are prepared to do, and that you've at least thought through any issues that you have here (family problems etc) so that they know you're not trying to run away from issues here. From what you've said it sounds like you'd be well suited and have thought things through!

Both DHs and my parents have generally been supportive although it helped that they had time to get used to the idea, and when we were at college saw other people with young children going to even more challenging places than us! They've all been out and visited too which has helped but doesn't sound like something that you'd be able to do. I know they'd love to see the grandchildren more and they worry about them missing out on stuff but in general they're very supportive.

DD1 started yesterday at the village school. It's not fantastic but I'm trying to top up with some homeschooling. Unfortunately DS is only 4 and they don't start here until the year after they're 5 so he's got another year to wait (to start kindergarten) so again home schooling. I set up a mums and babies/toddler group last year to increase his (and my!) social life and I'm looking to get that up and running again once people have finished with the harvest.

Let us know how you're getting on!

PositiveAttitude Sat 10-Sep-11 14:49:41

Hi Thanksamillion

We have told all the Dcs about our plans this week. DS and DD4, who would be coming with us are wildly excited and have spent hours looking up things on the internet. I am so pleased that they have taken it all so well and they both have said that they want to be involved and work alongside us, not just be there as our children, IYSWIM. Its exactly what I had hoped would happen without me saying a thing to them.

DD1,2 & 3 were really shocked. They will stay here, have a massive house to themselves and can live as independent adults, but without the financial worry of having their own place. When I was that age I would have thought that would have been the best thing in the world!! They are more reluctant than I thought they would be, but have been asking lots of questions and seem to be getting their head round it all a bit more. Already they have planned to convert one bedroom into a walk in wardrobe and one into a gym! hmm

We are leaving home at 4am on Thursday to travel for the interview, then will be arriving home again at about 11pm that night - a very long day, probably for about an hour interview!! I have been sorting out a load of questions that we will need to think about for the interview.

I will get back to you after Thursday!!

I had a look at your website, thanks. Looks really exciting! Your children look really happy, too.

Will return later in the week. smile

fanjolina Fri 16-Sep-11 18:55:19

How did your interview go?

PositiveAttitude Fri 16-Sep-11 19:11:37

It didn't!! Thanks for asking, though. smile

Dh had to work, it was all a mess up and i was furious with him, but hey ho!! Anyway it has been re-arranged for 27th, so we will try again then!!

fanjolina Fri 16-Sep-11 20:13:25

Oh, how frustrating! Good luck for the 27th.

PositiveAttitude Fri 16-Sep-11 21:45:25

Thanks. Will update after that. smile

thanksamillion Sat 17-Sep-11 13:30:39

Do! I was thinking about you on Thursday but obviously in vain!

PositiveAttitude Wed 28-Sep-11 07:06:35

Hi there.

grin grin grin

Yesterday was totally exhausting, but it went really well.

We were out of the house for 18 hours and 12 hours of that was spent in the car.

The interview went well and we covered a lot of ground. Lots of questions and answers to clear up a lot of things and we all seemed to be feeling that a specific project in Cambodia would be a good one for us. This was exactly what we had felt drawn to for quite some time, but wanted the charity to feel that too, before we asked to be considered for it. We now have another round of forms to fill in and a long way to go yet, but we are confident that things are looking very positive and encouraging. There is a question about DD4s medical issues, but we have already spoken with her consultant who we told what we had planned and she was very helpful about everything and did not seem to think that it would be a problem as long as some things were in place for her.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. smile

PositiveAttitude Sun 09-Oct-11 19:12:13

Just bumping for Thanksamillion and fanjo.

thanksamillion Mon 10-Oct-11 17:18:16

Hi PA I was thinking about you today! Sorry I hadn't replied - I did read your news but didn't reply straight away and then didn't quite get round to it... But wow! How exciting. How are the DCs feeling about it all now?

It's great when someone else confirms what you'd already been thinking - that's kind of what happened with us here. Do you know how long you'd be signing up for? and will you need to learn a language? So many questions!!

You are definitely in my prayers even if I've not posted so keep us updated!

PositiveAttitude Tue 11-Oct-11 06:22:02

Oh Thanks a million Thanksamillion grin

The 2 DCs who will be coming with us are very excited. The 3 we are leaving behind are more apprehensive and I am beginning to grasp how hard it is going to be to leave them here.

We are signing up for 2 years initially. We were supposed to be going out in August/September next year, but they have asked if we would be prepared to go a bit earlier as the school year starts at the beginning of August there, so we will now be heading to Cambodia in July. We have a conference to prepare us arranged for 2 weeks in January.

Both me and DH were absolutely rubbish at languages at school, but we have to learn Khmer. shock <<eeeek>> We have sent off for a course which should arrive this week and we will do our best!!

I have found a small Youtube piece if you are interested. Seeing this has made it all seem very real and incredibly scary!! This is the project that we will be working on. I feel so terribly inadequate!!!!!

catwithflowers Tue 11-Oct-11 07:03:28

Wow PA! That clip is very emotional. I especially love the bit right at the end where the leader says that even if they only change the life of one child, it better than none at all.

Hope this goes well for you - amazing that you have been led in this direction smile

ps on a small note, near the end of the video, some children are seen with their families opening shoe boxes with litle gifts in them. Many people have said that the Christmas shoebox appeal is a pointless exercise, that it is 'tokenist', but to see the delight on the kids' faces as they take out the little cheapie gifts that we would regards as tat has convinced me that I will be doing this again this year.

catwithflowers Tue 11-Oct-11 07:03:49

[I was oxocube BTW]

PositiveAttitude Tue 11-Oct-11 07:51:34

Thanks Oxo. grin How are things with you? Long time no-"speak".

catwithflowers Tue 11-Oct-11 07:59:59

Getting there thanks. Will PM you later today smile

thanksamillion Wed 12-Oct-11 12:50:06

Wow again PA! Just watched some of the video and it looks incredible.

Don't worry about the language - you'll get by and it is totally different learning something in context than in a classroom at school <disclaimer - my language still isn't great by DH's is!>

cat the shoeboxes are definitely worth doing - we distribute about 7000 each year for Link Romania and they are talked about all year by the people who receive them!

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