Am I a beggar?

You are about to embark on the experience of a lifetime !  You’ve told all your friends, you’ve got your passport in hand and you realize that there is one tiny missing piece that will make this dream become a reality.  $$

HELP!

The thought of raising a few thousand dollars is a daunting one, especially if you have debts to pay.  All our images of those who ask for a handout are not positive ones.  We immediately think of the guy sleeping on the grate on Queen street in Toronto with his roughly scrawled “help me” on his cardboard sign.  You may ask yourself how is asking for money for missions any different?  Aren’t we just slick, dressed up beggars?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Your attitude is everything!  Try to approach fundraising this way:

1. When you ask people to help you serve overseas you are giving them an opportunity of a lifetime to invest in someone they love.

2. It’s a PRIVILEGE for people to give to you because they are filling their treasure box in heaven.

3.  You have a plan to do something powerful with your life and by doing so you are inspiring people to think beyond themselves.

4.  All investment in God’s kindgom reaps rewards larger than ANY other use  of money.

5.  People want to give to you.  Raise friends – you will have the funds.

6. You signed up to follow Jesus and for your life that means you live by faith. Faith is the evidence of things UNSEEN.  A pay check requires little to no faith.

 7.  People don’t know what they don’t know.  You get to inform them and let them wrap their arms around the world.

8.  God is for you!  His goodness, mercy and love are chasing you all the days of your life.

9.  Sales pitches are for used car salesmen. You are serving broken and hurting people.

10.  Jesus said “GO” –  He will take care of you.

You are FAT!

One of ISMs’ goals is to help YOU understand HOW to love and serve in another culture.  It probably will only take a few days of living in SEA before you start singing this song:

One of the first responses to a new culture is “everything is so weird”  Since weird is a little harsh, we recommend  you use the word “different”, because we all evaluate culture through our own cultural lens – The following cartoon illustrates this perfectly!

Different Lenses!

It doesn’t take very long before you feel like you don’t fit into your new surroundings.  Don’t worry!  ISM will teach you how learn to adapt, live and maybe even love your new culture.

ISM’s training is 4 short weeks but jammed packed with VERY practical, hands on training.  We want this internship to be an experience you are equipped to handle! We plan on making it informative, creative, challenging and fun!  All our instructors are booked, ready and waiting.

Week One – Culture Week

Your first week at ISM will give you an overview of what it means to work and live in another culture.  This includes understanding the specifics of the South East Asian Cultures and how to respond and embrace the differences.  You will learn how to call a cab, and it doesn’t include whistling, how to say hello, and which utensils to use when you eat, or not!   You will also learn how to recognize and deal with cultural stress and culture shock.   When you feel like going to bed at 2pm in the afternoon it may have nothing to do with staying up until 4 am the night before.  We will also help you learn how to not punch the guy who butts in front of you in the line  or not to cry when people look at you with a kind, sweet smile and say “YOU ARE FAT!” (this is important information!)

Culture Week also includes visiting the Grand Palace, eating in Thai, Indian and Japanese restaurants and getting a feel for what the city of Bangkok is all about.  You will discover things you’ve never even heard of before!

We have one of our favourite Thai teachers coming to give you one language class and then we will send you out on the streets to practice.  It will be entertaining at least for the Thai people you meet.

One of our Thai pastors will give you an up close and personal look on how Nationals view missionaries.  He will talk about the good, the bad and maybe the ugly.  We’ve asked him to be honest!  He said he’d love to, and was even happy to name names.  We told him thanks, but maybe he shouldn’t be that THAT honest.  We believe this will be an eye opening class.

You will also learn how to share your faith with Buddhists and Hindus.  This won’t include all the details of the religions, but knowing what to share and how it sounds to the listener.

One Global Worker will also come and share her insights about living among Thai people from her vast wealth of knowledge which includes over 30 years of experience.

So that’s a sneak peek to Culture week. We expect ISM  and your internship/service to be an experience of a lifetime!  By the time you are finished training we hope you will be ready to serve with your eyes open and your heart bursting with compassion & love.

Go!

Just in case you aren’t sure of the definition.

GO: (dictionary.com)
1. to move or proceed, especially to or from something.
2.to leave a place; depart
3. to keep or be in motion; function or perform as required.

Mark 16:15 The Message

Then he said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all.

 

Top 10 App Picks for Culture and Missions

If you are coming on a short term missions trip or just travelling it’s really helpful to have some tools to help you understand the customs, language and currency,  take pictures, play games and read your favourite books on those long plane, train & bus rides.  The following apps are our Top 10 Picks.

If you have favourites let us know!

Short term Missions or a Missions Trip – What’s the difference?

Usually when you start preparing for 2 months or more of volunteering/serving in another country you feel exhilarated about all the new things/people/food/culture you are about to experience. And you should! Serving overseas is no small task and it’s a step that I cheer about every time someone makes the gigantic leap from wanting to serve and actually starting the process, raising funds and getting on a plane. I say WAY to GO to everyone who actually does it. Amazing and beautiful!

Some of your initial thoughts may be, “I’ve been on a missions trip so this will be a piece of cake!“ But there is a big difference between a missions trip (a visit) and serving for a few months. One gives you a taste of the mission’s world and the other gives you the full meal deal. Your first inkling that what you are embarking on isn’t just a taste test is the time factor. After 10 days on a missions trip you are heading to an airport back to your family, mom’s cooking and your own soft bed! When you are staying in a foreign country for a few months after a few weeks the excitement can start to wear off and you start longing for pancakes and maple syrup! When you come to serve, you still have a return ticket, which lets you know the trip WILL come to an end, but as days turn into months, that return date can seem like an eternity away. A missions trip includes a translator; a team and you bringing lots of wonderful gifts and programs to those you came to serve. None of those things are part of the serving experience. You are alone or maybe with one other brave soul, you can’t communicate, and you’ve got “nothing” to offer as you usually are hanging on to every penny so you can make it to the end without running out of cash. You also feel very hindered by the inability to say any more than hello and thank you. At about day 10 you will probably ask yourself. “What have I done?”

What have I done?

Why serve short term instead of just coming on a missions trip? You can compare the missions trip to going to a great concert and loving the experience because it was so amazing to hear such a talented band. The euphoria wears off as quickly as singing the tunes does and within a couple of days you are over it and on to the next new hit. It was still a great time, but the high you received was very short lived. If however, you got on the bus and travelled with the artists for 2 months, listened to them practice 24/7, went from city to city, watched them write songs, set up and tear down, fight with other band members and deal with adoring fans you’d get a real taste of what it means to be a rock star. For some people it would be the icing on the cake that YES this is what they were born to do and others would rather just go buy a CD. The difference however on a short term trip is even if you don’t fully enjoy the experience you still may be compelled make it a life long decision. Serving others really isn’t about you or what you like. That can be a bitter pill to swallow, but it really can be the most incredible thing you learn while doing it. If you don’t feel the missions life is for you, you still can return home a different person by spending less, praying more and being an advocate for the those in the missions world.

A short-term trip means you really taste and see what it means to be a missionary; a missions trip means you get an adventure with memories that last a lifetime. Short term trips also give you and the Lord a chance to have some in depth discussions about The tower of Babel, death to self, His character, the showdown with the Prophets of Baal, heaven and hell, that nagging sin you had no idea lurked in the corners of your heart, your character and that’s only the beginning of the deep digging His Holy Spirit will do in your life, if you let Him. Coming to serve in another nation is not just about good memories that last a lifetime; it’s about a changed life that can last for eternity.

Katie in Kolkata