Types of Missionaries – Teacher

Want a great chance to be a missionary while influencing the next generation? Become a missionary teacher! There are several ways that you can use your teaching skills in mission work:

1- Teach at a missionary school. There are missionary schools all over the world that need great teachers from K-12. Some of the schools are small enough that they combine grades, but others are large and you could teach a huge variety of things (depending on your training and gifts). Many schools ask for a one-year contract, but some schools will allow people to come for just one semester. Some schools are a boarding-type school, but others have teachers live off campus in an apartment or house. Check out these websites to find great openings:

https://ethnos360.org/go/teach-abroad

https://www.cru.org/opportunities/careers/international/teachers/international-schools.html

2- Teach at an international school. If you want a great opportunity to teach lots of kids that do not know about Jesus, try looking for a position at an international school. These schools can include lots of local kids, but also usually have a large number of international students whose parents are in business or government in a country that is not their passport country. This is a great way to teach kids from all over the world in one classroom! I had several teachers in my local Mexican school that taught everything from grade school to high school Math and Chemistry in English.

https://www.teachaway.com/international-schools

3- Become the homeschool teacher for a missionary. Many missionaries choose to homeschool their kids for a multitude of reasons. Maybe there are no local schools, maybe the local schools are not academically challenging, maybe it is not safe to send kids to school where they live, maybe their child has special needs, or maybe they just want their kids to learn things from a Christian worldview. Some missionary parents struggle with this decision because they know that teaching is not their gift. Some suffer from health concerns that keep them from teaching. Some need to spend more time in ministry. For many different reasons, a missionary may need a person to come homeschool their children for a short season. You can be the answer to this problem and the answer to their prayers.

4- Share your homeschooling knowledge with a homeschooling missionary. You may only have the experience of teaching your own children, but that means that you can be a huge resource to a homeschooling missionary mom. Offer to share resources (when legally possible) and send them links to resources you have found helpful. Keep in contact with them and offer any support or advice you feel they might want.

Is teaching something you think you could do? This can be a great way to see the world while being a great influence on kids in the next generation! Check into it!

 

Types of Missionaries – Hotel Worker/Manager/Tour Guide

Some cultures are not open to the gospel, and some countries do not allow Christian missionaries to come into their country. A type of missionary that is very useful in these situations is a hotel worker, manager or tour guide.

(Photo courtesy of Skitterphoto.com)

I know a missionary that serves in a predominantly Muslim country. They cannot openly go as missionaries, so instead they went as a manager and tour guide for a local hotel. They are there to do a job, but also to be salt and light in a dark culture. By working there and forming relationships they are able to share the hope of the gospel with some who might never have heard of it. People in these cultures are much more likely to trust in Jesus if they have a relationship with a Christian that they trust.

Do you like to travel and learn about other cultures? Do you enjoy spending time with people? Maybe you have thought you could never be a missionary because you haven’t gone to seminary or Bible School…but this is one job that you could do without that training!  Just think of the possibilities…you could be a hotel manager, tour guide, chef, nanny, tutor, personal shopper, etc.

Is this something you could do?

 

Types of Missionaries – Dentist or Orthodontist

As I was growing up, my family was richly blessed by a man named Dr. Schaffer. This man was a dentist/orthodontist based in Florida, and he decided to help missionary kids be able to have straight teeth.

Every three months, this man and his wife would load their supplies up and fly to southern Mexico where I lived. He would then spend 3-4 days doing orthodontics for missionary kids. His wife was his assistant on the trips. They would stay in a room at a local Bible seminary, and the local missionary community would organize whatever he needed. I lived in a large city where several missionary families were based, and we would sign up to provide lunches, dinners, and provide transportation to and from the airport and wherever he needed to go. A missionary mom organized the schedule of patients prior to his arrival and made calls to each family. He required no payment for his services.

This was a huge blessing to me! My family did not have enough support (like many missionaries), and braces would have likely been too expensive for us to afford. And my teeth were horribly crooked!

But, thanks to Dr. Schaffer and his generosity, I have straight teeth!

There are many ways that dentists and orthodontists can be missionaries.

  • They can travel and work alone, like Dr. Schaffer.
  • A group of dentists and/or orthodontists can plan to come together.
  • Sometimes they accompany a medical caravan. In addition to medical care, people can have their teeth checked and receive fillings and tooth extractions. This is a great way to help poor indigent people that cannot afford dental care or don’t have a dentist close. This is a great way to partner with a local missionary or church to reach out to their community and teach more people about Jesus.

Have you thought about becoming a dentist or orthodontist? Share this post with your own dentist or someone that you know that is planning to become one!

 

Types of Missionaries – Seminary Teacher

As you can imagine, there are not enough missionaries to care for and disciple all of the people that have newly trusted in Jesus as their Savior. Some of these new believers have a desire to continue to spread the good news about Jesus, and some even want to become pastors. But where do they get training to do this? Many are very poor and there are not enough seminaries or theological colleges close to them.

One kind of missionary that many people do not think of is a seminary teacher. There are some people that travel from the United States to another country to teach for a few weeks each year. Most of these missionaries go to another country and live in that culture and environment. They learn the language and cultural nuances by immersing themselves in the local culture. Instead of being a pastor of a local church, they spend their time teaching people how to become a pastor and how to study the Bible and explain it to others.

Some of the goals of a seminary teacher are:

  • Provide quality theological teaching
  • Equip local people to teach the Bible
  • Answer questions about difficult passages in the Bible
  • Train local pastors and teachers
  • Teach people to recognize false teaching
  • Provide scripturally founded local teachers for new believers in Jesus

One location that has seminary teachers is Harare Theological College in Zimbabwe, Africa. You can read more about it here.

There is also a seminary in Puebla, Mexico (where I grew up) called Seminario Biblico de Puebla. They have a boarding school and evening class options, and many local Mexican people have trained there.

 

Activities to do with your kids:

  • If you have young kids, let them set up a podium or desk and pretend to be a Bible professor.
  • Read more about Zimbabwe and being a Bible professor. Check your local library for great books on travelling to Zimbabwe.

 

 

(This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on a link and make a purchase, familiesformissions.com may receive a small compensation.)

Types of Missionaries – Printer

Many people live in parts of the world that are difficult to get to. And many people do not have money to buy books or literature. Some don’t even have any available for purchase due to their remote location or government controls. So, when they receive a Bible, book, or pamphlet, they treasure it and read it many times.

One type of missionary work that is near and dear to my heart is printing because this is what my dad did as a missionary. Although my dad did not have a seminary degree, he had a servant’s heart. When he heard that there was a ministry that needed someone fluent in Spanish that also knew how to design and layout documents for printing, he knew that he had to help. Eventually, he learned how to run the 2-ton printing press by himself. Printing Biblical tracts and parts of the Bible were not what he had gone to college to do, but he learned how and he spent many years of his life serving in this capacity. He always loved hearing the stories of how people had read the literature he printed and came to believe in Jesus as their Savior.

Some of the steps traditional printing might involve include:

  • Translation of a document into another language
  • Creating artwork
  • Layout of the document                                              
  • Making a negative or plate to use in printing     
  • Running the printing press
  • Checking printed papers to make sure they are being printed correctly
  • Cutting the large paper into smaller sections
  • Folding the document
  • Compiling the document with pages in order
  • Stapling, gluing or binding the document

Here are some finished tracts and the Gospel of John in Spanish:

There are many ministries that use printers and people that know about laying out documents. The Bible is constantly being translated into more and more languages. And someone needs to print those new Bibles! Maybe you could help with this someday! You might even be able to get an apprenticeship somewhere local to learn more about printing.

Another new exciting development in recent years is P.O.D. (Print-on-demand). This is revolutionizing the ability to get the printed Bible to people as fast as possible. They don’t have to wait months or years after the translation is finished to actually get a paper copy anymore! Programs like Wycliffe Associates are raising money to buy more P.O.D. systems around the world to facilitate this. A full-scale P.O.D. system costs around $15,000 USD, and there are smaller systems available for remote areas that are less expensive.

Want to find out more about printing ministries? Check out these links:

How can you get your family interested in this?

  • Watch a video about how a printing press works or this one
  • Talk about the first printing press: Gutenberg
  • Fold and staple some papers together and have your kids write their own book or tract to tell others about Jesus.  Make sure they include some artwork.  🙂

 

I’ll leave you with this interesting quote I found:

The Printed Page is a Missionary

The gospel in print is a “missionary”. It neither flinches nor shows cowardice. It is never tempted to compromise. It neither tires, nor grows discouraged. It travels cheaply and requires no hired hall. It works while others sleep. It never loses its temple. It continues to minister long after the present generation has passed on. The gospel in print is effective. It gains entrance to both the lowly hut and the lofty palace. It speaks to a man at the right time, only when he is reading it. It sticks to what it says and never answers back. It reaches those who otherwise might never be reached. It carries the only authoritative answers. It points the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ. The gospel in print is far-reaching. Through reading a tract, Russell H. Conwell was led to Christ. A pamphlet . . . fell into the hands of John Bunyan, and by this means he was converted. Pilgrim’s Progress came from his pen, and through that excellent work thousands were saved. This missionary – the gospel in print – should have the prayerful support of every Christian. Those who make it possible become Missionaries of the Printed Page.

– Author Unknown

 

Types of Missionaries – Medical Missionaries

Imagine… people lined up before dawn, waiting for their turn to see a doctor. Some of them standing in line for hours on end. By noon, those able to see the doctor that day have been signed up and the rest are sent away to try again tomorrow. Some have simple problems like a skin disease or ingrown toenail. Some have large hernias or female problems that require surgical correction.

I have participated in several short-term, medical mission trips, and I am always amazed at the amount of people that come for help. I also am amazed by how “simple” some of the “cures” are.

There are millions of people around the world that have medical needs that are not fixable in the area where they live. There may be a lack of doctors in their area or they may not have money or transportation to get to one. Many people suffer pain or disability with no relief in sight. Sometimes this interferes with their ability to make a living and work.

One important type of missionary that requires some training ahead of time is a medical missionary. All different kinds of people can do medical missions.  Some are full-time missionaries and some do short-term mission trips:

  • Doctors (surgeons, pediatricians, family doctors, ob/gyn, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, etc)
  • Physician’s Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Medical assistants
  • Pharmacists
  • Physical therapists

Many of these people have spent years in training to learn how to diagnose and treat patients well. Medical missions can also use people without training, though. Many people can be trained to weigh and measure a person and take a blood pressure. This can be vital for checking a patient in.

In my opinion, for a medical mission trip to be the most successful it can be, it needs to have two main components:

  • A team of people, some of whom are not medical. People are needed to manage people in line or waiting to see the doctor, entertain children, fix food for the medical team, clean the operating room, organize supplies, and count medications in the pharmacy.
  • A local missionary or local church as a partner. Healing and fixing medical problems is very rewarding, but unless it is combined with telling the people about how Jesus can be their Savior it is missing the most important part of missions.

There are many medical mission organizations, but not all of them have a goal of telling others about Jesus.  You can go to the following websites to read more about some that do:

Want ideas for how to get your kids involved?

  • Get out the toy medical kit and help them play doctor or nurse with their stuffed animals or dolls. Let them “doctor” you. Pretend you live somewhere where there are no doctors.
  • Read stories (age appropriate) from missionary blogs or websites about doctors and medical professionals overseas.
  • Find some books to read about medical missionaries.  Check out: Ida Scudder, David Livingstone, or On Call (for older kids).  Here are some images to help you as you search.  (This is not an exhaustive list…there are many more books available as well.)
  • On Call (Jaffray Collection of Missionary Portraits) by [Thompson M.D., David C.]    Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) by [Benge, Janet, Benge, Geoff]        David Livingstone: Africa's Trailblazer (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) by [Benge, Janet, Benge, Geoff]

 

(This post contains some affiliate links.  If you click on some links and make a purchase, familiesformissions may receive a small compensation.)

 

Types of Missionaries – Missionary Pilots

I was recently talking about different types of missionaries with my kids because I want them to know about all different types of mission work. I realized that there might be parents out there that are only familiar with a few types of missionaries. So, I have decided to write a series of posts that will help grownups and kids both learn more about the types of mission work being done around the world. I will try to include links to websites where you can find missionaries with these jobs. I will also try to include activities that families can do that tie into that type of work, when possible.

First up…

Missionary Pilots

(Photo from http://ntm-aviation.org/photos)

There are missionary pilots serving all over the world. They normally fly in countries where there are people groups that are difficult to get to (like Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Philippines, etc.). They usually live near a base, where the planes or helicopters are kept in a hangar, and they fly out to villages and remote areas when needed. Many times, they can do a flight in an hour or two that would otherwise take days. They help all kinds of people:

  • Doctors taking vaccines or medicines to remote locations
  • Local people who need emergency care or transportation to a hospital or clinic
  • Missionaries that are working to translate the Bible into local languages in villages
  • Local pastors that are traveling and preaching in different villages
  • Missionaries that need supplies

Here are just a few websites that include information about missionary pilots. Take some time to read about a few…some have their own blogs or newsletters that you can subscribe to.

(Photo from http://ntm-aviation.org/photos)

Want some activities for your little aspiring pilots?

  • Look up countries like Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Philippines on a map or puzzle of the world
  • Make paper airplanes and watch them fly. Have a competition to see which one goes farthest.
  • Look up take-off and landing videos on missions websites like the ones above. Imagine landing and taking off from the small, slanted, grass runways!

(Most of the links in this post are to direct you to another source of information.  There are, however, a couple of affiliate links and Families for Missions might receive a small commission if you click on those and make subsequent purchases.)