Question about Missionary Training for missionaries:

"How do I find a mentor to help me prepare for missions?"

"You have more options than you might think."

Answer from PreparingToGo.

Some of the best encouragement, guidance, and preparation you can get for involvement in missions comes in the form of relationships. When it comes to finding someone to talk to, you have more options than you might think. Consider your mission pastor, mission committee members at your church, a campus ministry person at your university, a friend with missions experience or interest, or even your own parents.

The next time a missionary comes through your church or campus, take the initiative to talk to them or invite them over for a meal. Most of the time they are really nice people with all sorts of wisdom and insight. If missionaries don't come through your church all that often, keep your ears open for a missions conference in your area that may be hosted at a different church.

When you find a mentor, here are some things you might want to talk about:

- Tell about yourself (schooling, occupation, gifts/skill, missions experience).
- Tell about what God is doing in your life right now.
- Ask about obstacles (questions, unknowns, fears, finances, parents) you currently have about missions.
- Ask to hear the other person's story.
- How did they get involved in missions?
- What are the challenges they have run into?
- What have they found to be a help in keeping mission vision alive and growing?
- Ask for prayer.

Don't just sit there. Go talk to someone!

Finally... Don't forget missionary biographies. Just because someone is dead doesn't mean they can't still mentor you!

Adapted from Find a Mission Mentor, published on the website PreparingtoGo.

"Mission mentors available from OMF."

Answer from Robert, who has served for thirteen years with OMF International first in Thailand and then in the USA.

OMF International, founded by J. Hudson Taylor as the China Inland Mission, has numerous volunteer Mission Mentors around the USA. Contact info@omf.org to find out if there is a Mission Mentor in your area or if you would like to learn more about becoming a Mission Mentor.

"Connect with a mission coach through WorldVenture."

Answer from Audrey, who serves in the U.S. with WorldVenture.

WorldVenture, an established mission agency, highly values the mentoring process. Before moving anyone into the application process, the potential candidate is connected with a mission coach who helps them discern how best to move forward into missions. Once appointed, various staff members step in to help guide the new appointee as he/she prepares to serve overseas. If interested in connecting with a mission coach, go to the WorldVenture website to introduce yourself.

If your passion is to help encourage others to consider missions, we would enjoy talking with you more about how you might join one of our regional teams as a mission coach. Contact us at serve@worldventure.com.

"SEND International provides coaches; you can also find them right around you (or online)."

Answer from Elizabeth, who served SEND International in multiple Asian countries for thirty-seven years.

SEND International assigns a coach to every new appointee who is looking to head out in missions service. This coach works with you weekly to pray, listen, guide, and help you through the process of getting there.

Before a person even gets to the application process, SEND has mobilizers all over the country who meet with people who are interested in missions. They can help answer questions and move you to the next step, either with SEND or with an organization that better suits your gifts and calling.

But you may not be talking with a mission organization yet. Does your church have a mentoring program for those interested in missions? Ask your pastor, but remember that he may not be your best mentor. The best missions mentors are those who have served a long time in missions, not just those in ministry.

Are there retired missionaries in your circle of friends or your church? Look around for a man or woman you admire and with whom you feel you could connect. Then ask them if you can meet with them regularly and learn from them in a mentoring relationship.

Mentoring does not have to be face-to-face. You may have an experienced missionary in your life who would be willing to connect with you regularly on email or Skype or Facetime. You can each brew your OWN cup of coffee and plunge into the conversation.

What is going to work best for you?

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