Wednesday, June 08, 2011

New Missionary Training Program: BYOTP

I received a call from a couple going to Haiti yesterday. They belong to a small mission organization that has an orphanage in that country and know they need some training before going to the field. They have five kids, can’t afford to uproot their family and go to school, so they contacted me. My advice was for them to find at least five people who needed training and I would be willing to set up a training program. After the call my thoughts took on more definition and I came up with BYOT (Build Your Own Training Program – not Bring Your Own Toilet Paper).

People need flexible training options. I firmly believe that my instruction program in how to understand cultures can make any person at least 50% better if they have had some education or field experience and can 100% better missionaries if they have had no training at all. Give me 15 days and I can open a world of awareness that will stay with people for the rest of their lives. Sounds like an Info Commercial, but after 35 years in missions, training hundreds of missionaries in over 30 countries, yeah, I believe I can stand by that claim. Why? Because my training leads people to understanding culture and help people ask the right questions. I don’t give answers, but I lead people on how they can discover the answers by knowing the right questions AND, most importantly, not make assumptions.

The details of BYOTP is on the website. I will give more information on how it works to those who contact me through email. I prefer 15 days, but if a person only has one week, we can give them a crash course that is better than nothing. Build your own training program, but by all means do something. Going to the field without any preparation is harmful to the missionary, family and people they work with.