Question about Professional Skills for missionaries:

"Can I serve in an NGO or the Peace Corps and still do lifestyle evangelism?"

"Yes. Also consider similar work with a missions agency."

Answer from Tricia, who has served for two years in Bolivia with Food for the Hungry.

I believe it's possible to serve in the Peace Corps and still do lifestyle evangelism, despite their policy of no proselytizing. I've heard several stories of folks around the world doing just that. We're called to be salt and light wherever we are, so whether you're a pastor or teacher in a public school, or work in a supermarket, or whatever, we're called to preach the gospel and be ready in season and out and to give a reason for the hope we have in Christ.

Also consider doing similar type work through other organizations. I seriously wrestled with joining the Peace Corps myself until I learned about Food for the Hungry. I am part of the "Hunger Corps," a program similar to the Peace Corps but with a solid Christian basis. I'd seriously encourage you to investigate the Hunger Corps program or similar programs with missions agencies or Christian organizations so that you'd have the freedom to share Christ as part of your job without having to worry about breaking rules.

"It could help prepare you for later service."

Answer from Ken, who serves with the World Christian Resource Directory.

It would be good to serve in the Peace Corps in the same country that God wants you to serve in the future. Perhaps you could learn the language God wants you to learn in that country. If the Peace Corps allowed you to witness and go to church in your free time, you would be a part-time missionary.

If money is the issue, it's probably better to get a job in your own country and pay off your loan and get it over with, unless you can get a good tentmaking job that will allow you to pay off the loan.

"NGOs can give you access to places more difficult for "missionaries" to reach."

Answer from Ric, who serves with Open Doors.

Tentmaking opportunities are available through organizations like USAID and other NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). Some are listed on the USAID website.

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to meet many expatriates working with a variety of aid agencies in Bangladesh. Such tentmaking opportunities allow people to move freely throughout the country as well as engage with established churches or mission agencies. The number of religious organizations operating in Bangladesh (and some other countries) is limited. It's very difficult to obtain a "missionary" visa because of the dominant religion and its influence on the government. NGO programs are allowed, but given a limited number of visa "slots" for their staffing needs.

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