What Do These People Have in Common? by Art McCleary
Lloyd and Naomi left Central California and lived in Turkey for two years in order to be surrogate grandparents to children of missionaries. Because they are retired school teachers, they also taught the children in their home part of the time. Their visitor visas required them to leave the country every 90 days; so, they were forced to tour various spots around the Mediterranean.
Barney and Esther, Conservative Baptists from Portland, OR served as Guest House Managers for the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society in the Philippines for two years until their health forced them to return home. When Barney was 72, they came to the USCWM and served for three more years. Barney managed the Mobilization division, instilling good work habits in the young staff under his direction. Esther was our gracious receptionist and hostess.
For three years Gorden and Joanie of La Crescenta, California have spent their vacations as volunteers for mission agencies. Last year, Gorden, a CPA, audited the financial accounts of HCJB World Radio in Quito, Ecuador and Joanie helped in various other ways. Warren and Marie, members of Crystal Evangelical Free Church in New Hope, Minnesota, managed the EFC mission guest house in the Philippines on their first trip abroad. With years of experience in both accounting and computers, Warren set up the financial records for the field missionaries and then computerized the record-keeping function. While they were there, they became acquainted with an orphanage run by another mission. On subsequent trips they volunteered at the orphanage and have since helped organize fund- raising banquets for its operation. In addition, every Wednesday they join with other friends preparing mailings for International
Christian Literature Distributors in Minneapolis. At home in his spare time, Warren programs the software for Senior Ambassadors for Christ and trains our field staff in the use of our database.
Walt and Millie of Everett, Washington are members of Wycliffe Associates, folks who help with construction and other projects for Wycliffe Bible Translators both in North America and around the world. They spend part of the year with their children and grandchildren, but really look forward to their mission projects. They have even taken friends with them to experience the joy and satisfaction of helping the work of missions and of living among peoples of other cultures.
Ed and Joyce, Dick and Lil, Oscar and Helen, and Roland and Cleona are just a few of the couples who volunteer with Mobile Missionary Assistance Program, a ministry of retired Christians who own RVs and travel to other ministries throughout North America to build or maintain facilities.
So, what do these folks have in common? They have all volunteered in missions. They have all used skills and abilities gained in other settings. They are all Christian seniors. Gorden and Joanie are not retired; Warren and Marie retired at 55; Barney obtained a masters degree after he retired and before he and Esther started volunteering. If you are nearing retirement, start praying about and planning for the ministry God has for you when your schedule becomes more flexible. If you are already retired, ask God what you should be doing with the time, talents and health He has given you.
Senior Ambassadors for Christ, one of the organizations affiliated with the USCWM, is a computer matching service with over 5000 volunteer opportunities from 185 mission agencies. We can help you find opportunities which fit your theological, geographical, and time preferences from a list of over 160 different kinds of activities. Leah, who had volunteered in missions in nine different countries after she retired, called a couple of years ago when she was 88 and said, "I'm getting too old to volunteer. I'm hard of hearing and people are tired of me saying, 'What did you say?' So, I'd like to recruit younger folks - you know - folks in their 70s."
Senior Ambassadors for Christ (SAC) is looking for folks who will recruit their friends to volunteer with mission agencies. If you are willing to mobilize Christian seniors you know, SAC will provide you with materials and instructions.
If your church has a number of folks in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, a poster on the bulletin board may catch their attention.
Now it's your turn! To get going for the Lord, just call 1-800-638- 2854 (in southern CA, 1-626-398-2373). If you want to learn about opportunities for yourself, ask for a Volunteer Profile.
If you are willing to mobilize others, ask for a Recruiter's Packet and/or a Church Poster.