Question about Professional Skills for missionaries:

"I am a speech therapist and I want to serve overseas. How could I use this in missions?"

"Consider creative ways speech therapists are working overseas."

Answer from Crystal, who has served in India and the US.

I have my bachelor's in speech language pathology (SLP) and was able to use this degree in India doing accent reduction. I wasn't working as an SLP, but just used the skill I had learned to help develop the curriculum and teach call center employees how to minimize their accents. We used the accent course as a platform to be in the country on a business visa, taught classes in the morning, and used the rest of the time to invest in ministry and relationships.

There are some short-term options, such as Operation Smile which is an organization that does reconstructive surgery for children with cleft palate and cleft lip. They often need SLP help with feeding therapy following the surgery.

If you're looking for long-term options, you might need to be creative. It would be difficult to find a well-paid position overseas. If you're willing to go with a ministry organization and raise support, that broadens your options. Many missionary teams do work with children with disabilities, and speech therapy skills would definitely be useful for that. Christian international schools for the children of missionaries, diplomats, and other expats might also be able to use someone with those abilities.

"Help mute children learn to speak again."

Answer from Chris, who has served for four years in Cambodia.

We live in Cambodia and have come across a number of cases where children got sick at a young age and have not been able to speak ever since. I do not know the details of how this works, but it seems to me that with a trained specialist who speaks their language were to work with them and their families it would be a tremendous service.

This kind of ministry would be not only a way to improve the lives of these children, but also provides an opportunity for deep relationship with them and for teaching/living out the Gospel.

"Come work at a mission school which serves autistic learners."

Answer from Emily in South Africa, who has served with IAM Missions in South Africa for seven years.

Your training is in great demand. God has given you a gift that is necessary especially with young children.

I am an American missionary working in South Africa. I am currently running an inclusion school that is in desperate need of a speech therapist who can work with autistic children. I have been looking and praying for a speech teacher who could come and work in this mission field. Please contact us.

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