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March 1988


Editorial Comment

Short Terms: Factors Not Often Considered...

19 Good Summer Time Investments

Can the Great Commission be Fulfilled by the Year 2000?

Dale Kietzman--- Man of the Hour

Four Useful Short-Term Resources

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19 Good Summer Time Investments

by John Holzmann

Summer time. And the living is easy. Or so says the song.

For those who are intent on pursuing God’s will, summer time is much like the rest of the year: it’s time to be invested for God’s glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

So let’s say I’m a sophomore in college and I want to invest my summer wisely in preparation for a lifetime of service on the mission field. What should I do?

I asked that question of a number of people I thought would have some worthwhile opinions on the subject. Here’s what they said.

John Hannah, director of the Caleb Resources traveling mobilization teams, said the first question he’d ask a person who’s wondering what to do with his summer: “What’s your financial situation?” If they’re in debt, they should

1. “Stay home and work and earn money to get out of debt. If you graduate with a bunch of debt, chances are you won’t make it to the mission field.”

Annette North, administrative assistant to the general director of Caleb Resources, said she encourages people to

2. Take the Perspectives course (see p. 12)—“especially if (the person with whom I’m speaking has) had a short term experience.

“A short term exposes a person to cross-cultural realities, but Perspectives is a world-view transforming experience.

“A short term can give a burden for needs; it will challenge you to DO missions; Perspectives gives you the completing-the-task view—how to use your life strategically.

“With any program, you come back feeling, yes, someone should be involved, but with Perspectives, you sense, ‘Yes, I need to be involved.’”

John Hannah added, “Perspectives helped me see beyond the NEED of the lost people, to God’s glory. The motivation for missions is to glorify God. That’s more biblical and lasting than need alone.”

Carrie Kulp, director of personnel, U.S. Division, Wycliffe Bible Translators, said,

3. “Take some courses in Linguistics. They could (even) apply to your (academic) program.”

4. “Take Quest (the one-month Wycliffe orientation program). We’d rather not have people lower than about a Junior, but that’s a possibility. Some students have even gotten academic credit for it. At Biola, for instance . . . .”

5. “Any kind of short-term mission service.” Why? “Because they get away from home and family, and get into dire circumstances compared with Southern California. They live in the mud.

“If a person came to Wycliffe and said they’d had a summer missions experience, we’d ask for references. We’d find how they behaved as a team member.”

Another reason for getting involved in a short term: “Most short-termers have to be involved in raising their own money; we get an idea of whether they can hack that or not.”

Further, a short term “gives a lot of confidence. If they’ve been successful, they have a lot of self-confidence. They’re much more goal-oriented.”

Finally, “most people when they’re sophomores have a chance to change curricula”—a short term may help a person find out new (different) courses he can take to better prepare himself for the field.

For those who aren’t sure of what they want to do long-term:

6. “Get involved in inner-city missions. There are something like 130 languages in the Los Angeles area. If they’d work with minority groups in the inner city, it would be cheaper (than a short-term experience), and they could still develop cross-cultural skills.”

7. “Be a guest helper at a mission. Just come and work. Help in the art department. Go to chapel. You’ll meet missionaries coming through and get a flavor of who we are and what missions are all about. You can’t be here without getting to know a lot.”

Michael Pocock, former director of personnel with TEAM, now professor of missions at Dallas Seminary, said,

8. “I’d shy away from paint-up, fix-up, baby-sitting kinds of (short-term) experiences. You want to have an experience with a certain parallel with what you’re going to do in the future.

“If I don’t know the language, and I end up merely painting and fixing things up, maybe I’d find out far more about whether ministry is my calling by staying in the States and working in a summer camp.”

9. “Have a cross-cultural experience/ministry in this country.

A. “Get involved with International Students Incorporated (see p. 14).”

B. “Get a job (at home) in Los Angeles, New York, or wherever, but have a ministry among Muslims. Align yourself not so much with a mission, as with a local ethnic church.”

Richard Whitmire, director of Information Service, Wycliffe Bible Translators, said, “If you anticipate work in translation, literacy, or linguistics,

10. Take SIL (the Summer Institute of Linguistics sponsored by Wycliffe), and follow it up the subsequent two summers. That way, by the time you graduate, you’d have three semesters—what’s required to become prepared for translation/literacy work.”

11. “Work at home with your local church.”

12. “Get involved in support work. Visit a mission field. (Write directly to the field of your choice.)”

Warren Day, director of personnel for AIM International, recommended

13. “Make contact with internationals where you live.”

14. “Take a course.” He recommended Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, the Toronto Institute of Linguistics, and SIL (see pp. 12-14).

15. “Find a cross-cultural context and write a report about your feelings; what you observe; how comfortable you are after five visits as compared to when you first went.”

16. “Get into unfamiliar surroundings and minister there. Rescue missions, Christian servicemen’s centers: they need staff who can minister.”

17. “Be involved in ministry.”
“We get many people who have not actively shared their faith or actively sought to witness to other people. If they could do those things, especially with people of another culture, that would be best.”

18. “Be accountable to someone. We have area representatives—keep in contact with them.” If you’re uncomfortable being so closely tied to a particular agency, then “be in contact with Caleb Resources.”

Finally, Steve Hawthorne, executive director of Caleb Resources, said,

19. “Don’t limit your thinking about missions to summer. Summer is a weekend in the annual calendar. If that’s all you have for missions, you’re talking missions by convenience, missions ‘when I have the chance’—rather than giving up my chance at everything else in order to fulfill God’s purpose in my life.”

If we end up with that mentality, he said, we’ll become “like Buddhist monks in the rainy season”: “In Thailand, almost all the men check in to the Buddhist monastery at one time or another during their lives. It’s supposed to earn them merit or something. But when do they do it? During the rainy season—when they can’t do anything else anyway.”

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