by Bev Brenneise
Have you ever thought about becoming a missionary? Have you considered dramatically changing your life — giving up your home and a comfortable lifestyle and not having access to the health care Americans enjoy? As a missionary, you would travel to a third world country and live under a government that might not be sympathetic to or supportive of mission work. You would live in poverty, have to adapt to a new culture, learn to speak a new language, and aid people who desperately need help.
The life of a missionary might sound intriguing, but could you really exchange living in a wealthy country for one that is poor and whose people seek care — and God’s love?
Do you want to find out if you could be effective as a missionary? Then read on.
Pioneer Missionary Training (PMT) and SHINE are two mission ministries of the General Conference that have been operating for many years: PMT 1 for eighteen years and SHINE for twelve.
Pioneer Mission Training offers opportunity for participants, ages 13-99, to attend a ten-day, hands-on outreach program in Mexico. There, team members learn how to share the gospel through impact evangelism, devotionals, visiting the poor and sick, and other activities. Daily morning workshops are followed by afternoon outreach opportunities. People who successfully graduate from PMT 1 training are eligible to apply for the next level of training.
SHINE teams conduct medical and dental missions annually in developing countries. In addition to sharing the gospel, doctors, dentists, nurses, and other trained volunteers provide free professional services and free medications to thousands of people attending the clinics. Other services offered include providing glasses, haircuts, health education, and counseling. In the evenings, team members visit local churches and participate in services. At the mission’s conclusion, team members, local church members, and those served during the week celebrate Sabbath services.
Despite PMT and SHINE providing valuable services and training, the effectiveness of their outreach could be improved by extending time spent in the mission country. Thus, collaboration between these two missions ministries began in order to develop a higher level of missionary training for interested individuals. It was determined that select missionaries would receive more extensive hands-on training, plus remain in countries (post missions) a longer period to work with leaders and membership of local congregations.
SHINE’s mission to Peru (November 2017) began launching the new program: PMT 2. This program is developing teams of six to eight individuals, from Mexico and US/Canada, who will complete three tours of three-month-long mission programs. Each tour (like to Peru this past November) plans to 1) include an initial two weeks of extensive training in Mexico City; 2) include travel to the country of the mission one week before it begins; 3) allow participants to attend and participate in the SHINE mission for its duration; 4) allow them to remain and live in the mission country for nine more weeks to guide and lead church people in follow-up work. PMT 2 team members will
- reinforce spiritual lessons learned through the mission;
- continue evangelism and God’s Great Commission;
- mentor individuals and help strengthen their spiritual depth;
- perform baptisms as needed, both during missions and post-missions;
- develop and guide organizational skills of the host congregation and community;
- identify people with medical backgrounds and other skills, and encourage them to become involved with future missions
To fulfill the requirements of PMT 2 training, members are expected to complete three tours (of three months each) following the schedule previously mentioned.
At least one tour will be in the Western hemisphere. One tour will be in Africa or Asia or elsewhere in the world.
An interested person must be a PMT 1 graduate, have a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish or a willingness to learn communication in a new language, and raise needed funds for the cost of participation in the tours.
Because the Peru mission was the first time PMT 2 and SHINE partnered for this new program, the pre-mission time in Peru needed alteration due to time constriction and preparation. As PMT 2 establishes itself in future SHINE missions, the original time schedules will be followed.
PMT 2 and SHINE are both individual ministries operating independently of each other and will not always be working together. SHINE, for example, usually conducts one or more medical/dental mini missions each year, in addition to its longer annual mission. PMT 2 conducts other independent evangelical missions.
Yet SHINE and PMT 2 will dovetail in planning for SHINE’s 2018 mission to Chile. Plans for this mission will begin developing once Peru’s mission and follow-up are completed. Both PMT 2 and SHINE will then be recruiting team members.
If you would like to find out more about the new PMT 2 mission program, please contact Pastor Monico Muffley (firstname.lastname@example.org; cell: 208-697-8398; office: 303-428-6000).
Please support these three missions with prayer and donations. Then prayerfully consider whether you might become a missionary.