South American New Developments

God's New Opportunities Through Prayer

Amakusa
AM I READY FOR MISSIONS? WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER?
1. Serve with an agency that is knowledgeable of the culture and social morés of the country.

JEMS South America Missions Department provides extensive training to its ministry candidates to avoid the “ugly American” label and to equip its workers to be effective ministers of Jesus Christ. Training is mandatory and requires over seventy hours of cultural adaptation, language, spiritual orientation and ministry training over a period of four months.

Please Note: JEMS’ area of service is currently the Greater Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area (CA) and Seattle (WA) regions. We are not presently able to provide training or otherwise service those living outside of these three geographic regions.

2. Go with the support of your local church and the administrative and spiritual headship of a mission agency.

The “Lone Ranger” method of ministry is discouraged. Those who imagine that missions is the ultimate expression of individualism and self-reliance overlook the principle of interdependence found in scripture. As a part of the body of Christ we need one another for spiritual development, maturity and accountability.

All missions applicants should secure the affirmation of their local churches. Church Information Page.
All missions applicants seeking parental support or who are under financial obligations to their parents. Parents Information Page

3. Know when you are ready or ‘called’ to serve in missions.

Ministry - whether at home or overseas - is an expression of God’s grace in us and his love through us. Experience shows us that the calling of God to the task of cross-cultural ministry is affirmed within the context of ministry done here at home.

Baptism is an important indicator of your Christian commitment. In the cultures where we are serving, it may seem a great contradiction to serve as a short term worker without having made the most obvious and visible commitment commanded by Jesus Christ himself. Please be aware that the question of baptism will be a factor in your application process.

4. Understand that missions is people.

Practically speaking, you can know the Bible backward and forward, but if you don't have the heart for people, missions may not be the place for you! Ingredients for a short term summer mission project include the ability to hang out with people, to laugh, talk story and to have fun - all in the process of building bridges to bring these dear people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

5. Go with a commitment to work hard.

Many churches see the presence of the JEMS worker as an opportunity to build connections to their communities. You may find yourself serving as an English teacher, a basketball coach, a culinary expert, a USA trivia resource, all in the span of five hours!

In a very real way, the JEMS worker serves as a bridge between the church and the community. As such the worker must be available for the variety of church activities and commitments. Time must be spent not only in presentation, but in preparation. Your days may go from 9am to 10pm!

6. Be prepared to be more flexible than you have ever been in your life!

The mission field is a place where schedules, responsibilities and commitments can change at the last moment. The biblical injunction to “be ready in season and out of season” has a real application to the South American culture. Workers have visited churches where in the twinkling of an eye, they have been invited to come forward to pray, share, preach and even sing! Flexibility is key!