Question about Missionary Training for missionaries:
"I am in my late teens. Should I do some missionary training now before I go to university?"
Take advantage of ministry opportunities both now and throughout any training you receive. I taught English to an Indonesian student a few hours a week while I was in university. Our college offered short-term mission trips during spring and summer breaks.
Learn a variety of things you're interested in. One friend used cosmetology to pay for college and will probably use it overseas. I taught piano to help pay for college and now find that teaching opens opportunities for ministry.
Christian campus groups at secular universities are a great place to pick up evangelism training and practice.
Also, if you're narrowing down what agency you want to work with, check their education preferences. Don't lose time just because you failed to ask their requirements.
Now that I have finished my two years of missionary service and have been in university, I have found that I am not a misfit after all. I actually feel better prepared to disciple and encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ because of my experiences, and I find myself recruiting my friends into missions. Everyone, whether Christian or not, enjoys hearing my missionary stories. The fact that I am a few years older than my classmates has actually turned out to be a blessing.
There is a place and a time for university, but a year or two off will undoubtedly teach you more about who you are, who God is, and how you can actively serve in God's kingdom.
Excerpted from the book Scaling the Wall: Overcoming Obstacles to Missions Involvement, by Kathy Hicks.
However, after my experience overseas I realized I was really unprepared to go overseas long-term. I could have stayed with my YWAM base and get prepared that way, but instead I decided to come home, finish my four-year degree, and work overseas through a career. That way I can have a profession that is contributing to society and reach out to people by living and working with them and building relationships over time.
This year I'm taking a one-year hiatus from university studies to serve aboard a Mercy Ship in West Africa. I think taking missionary training before going to school is important, if you already know you want to be a missionary. If you can, take some mission trips to a few different places to make sure God has led you into missions and to get an idea of where you would want to be in the world.
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