Question about Professional Skills for missionaries:
"How could I use an education degree in missions?"
An additional need is for missionary families who give birth or adopt children with intellectual disabilities. They need help in order to complete the service they are on the mission field to do. This is a constant need, and families greatly struggle to meet their own family's needs and do their missions work. We have seen a need for anything from educational support, to testing, tutoring, one-on-one help in a national school, and even a homeschooling break for hardworking parent. These have each been needs of friends of ours here in Lusaka.
As a trained teacher, you are incredibly well-suited to support any missions organization, and help them in an area where there is a gap. As a special education teacher you would be one of the only SPED teachers in an entire country. Your use for God's kingdom is potentially quite amazing, especially if you are willing to serve the neediest of the special needs population, those who are severely and profoundly disabled. We have enough work for three lifetimes, so your usefulness can be happily promised (at least by our limited experience here in Zambia)!
Glad you asked. Please do use your teaching expertise to serve God's kingdom!
Contact ACSI and inquire about the international schools that need teachers. Some agencies not only send teachers to such schools but also place teachers with missionary families, or hire traveling tutors. Wycliffe, SIM International, TEAM, and our mission, Latin America Mission, all send out teachers and can also find a place for you to work.
Be encouraged. Teaching is a great way to reach people because you are meeting their physical and emotional needs as well as their spiritual ones. My wife and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
You can provide invaluable assistance by being there to help educate these MKs. Wycliffe and other groups almost always need teachers. I know that Operation Mobilization has teachers on their traveling ministry ships. I have a friend who has taught MKs in Egypt (with students from more than one sending agency) and she regards her work as vital to their overall mission of spreading the gospel.
Realize that in addition to your teaching schedule, you can be sharing the gospel, through friendship evangelism or other means, in whatever county you serve. And your service goes far beyond teaching. You may be the only Bible that some people "read!"
Do many of these positions involve being part of a mission agency? No. In most cases you would also be doing a job a national Christian could do. Even if a mission were willing to have you do it, it might be difficult to persuade supporters you were doing something they would wish to finance. So be sure to look at other options.
Please don't discount teaching MKs (missionary kids), as this would not only give you a legitimate reason for being on the field and, in most cases, plenty of opportunity to minister to nationals in you free time, but would also possibly enable other families to stay on the field who would otherwise go home due to problems schooling their children.
But take time to prepare yourself ministerially, first. Too many people go unprepared. Finding a job is the easy part; being effective in ministry is the tough part.
Christian Orphanages has link to 150 such Christian facilities. The search engine can take you directly to countries or types of ministry in which you may be interested, or take advantage of the "Ask Us" service to obtain personalized assistance. Special thanks to the web folks at Mission Finder.
Serving at a school geared towards missionary kids helps many missionary families stay overseas and can also "release" existing missionaries from the temporary positions they needed to fill at the school. There are also a countless number of opening at schools that use education as an outreach to establish or develop the church in their region. Many of these schools are in limited-access countries where you'd have the opportunity to teach students who may have never met a believer.
In addition to the K-12 teaching opportunities, there are also needs for educators to be working with adults in theological education, teacher education, and EFL. It has been so exciting to see how God is using education in the work of foreign missions. Thus, if you are an educator and wondering if your degree/experience is needed in missions, I'd encourage you to take the next step of exploring the countless opportunities you'd have to make an impact for the sake of the Great Commission.
One option to serve in the Caribbean is Doulos Discovery School. It is a Christian school located in the mountainous area of the Dominican Republic where many people do not have the opportunity of a good education. The mission of the school is "educating and equipping servant leaders through Christian discipleship and expeditionary learning to impact the Dominican Republic."
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