Pastor Austin Gardner and VBM Director Jeff Bush finish the discussion on Vision Missions’s policies and procedures. In this last episode, they answer questions from missionaries about working under a veteran and about making the most of furloughs.

  • Continuing on Policies and Procedures 
    • These are things that Pastor Gardner learned from being a missionary 
    • The goal of the mission board is to see the missionaries prosper and to give them tools to serve the Lord
  • What does the first year look like for the husband and for the wife?
    • Missionaries need experience just like for any other job
    • You need to learn as much has you can in the first year
    • Don’t learn the language before you go
    • Learn the language from a national
    • You need 2-3 months to get your house set up comfortably
    • The husband and wife should have separate classes
    • Having them together usually causes fight
    • The minimum amount of work is four hours a day for five days a week
    • You should be at the church every time the doors are open
    • Then you need twenty hours practicing what you learned and getting corrected
  • After language school, what should the husband and wife be doing?
    • Pastor Gardner usually had lunch with his family right after class
    • Then he would go out with a man in the church
    • He spent multiple hours with him each week
    • That man was his mentor who taught him more than even the language school did
    • Pastor Gardner’s wife stayed home with the baby sitter who taught her more
    • The pressure is much more on the man since he is going to be preaching soon
  • How do you avoid getting caught up in routine life?
    • Your wife should know how to drive in the country
    • The first week or two, it’s okay to go to the store together
    • Any time you spend with an English speaker, you aren’t learning the language
    • You do need a break from the language, but only have you put your hours in 
    • If the wife is going to the bank, the husband needs to go somewhere else
    • It’s better for the wife to be in a position to learn the language
    • In the long run, if the wife can’t speak, drive, and get out of the house, she’ll be miserable
    • The husband needs to help the wife
  • If I need to do homework, where should I go?
    • Be around native speakers
    • Any time you can spend with a native speaker will hep you
    • Stay around people all the time
    • You can’t do ministry alone
  • How much ministry should I be involved in?
    • You are not involved in starting anything
    • You are involved in the work that the veteran is doing
    • You should listen and be quiet 
    • You should go to meetings that you don’t even understand
    • You need to learn how to take!
    • You can’t tell the veteran what to do or how to do it 
    • Go to every meeting 
    • Be involved in every ministry
    • Pray as soon as you can in the church
    • Get your prayer approved by the missionary and notional pastor 
    • Maybe the Sunday school teacher will let you teach for 1-2 minutes
    • Get people who will correct the fire out of you
    • Just cause you’re in language school doesn’t mean you don’t go to church
  • How can I serve while I’m helping with my family in church?
    • Train your kids so you don’t have to chase them around
    • Discipline them so they’ll behave in church
    • Whatever the missionary has, you ought to be doing that
    • Don’t let your wife use the baby as a shield
    • That will hurt her in the long run
  • What if I don’t learn the language well enough to teach in a few years?
    • That shouldn’t even be a question
    • You need to be able to teach in the language
    • The only reason you don’t learn the language is because you don’t talk enough
    • Make language learning a social thing
    • Get around people and talk with them
    • You may not be able to read because of the characters, but you ought to be able to talk
    • The only reason you can’t talk is because you’re hiding in your house too much
    • If you aren’t comfortable to teach, get in a class and be a servant 
    • Stay around the people all the time, and you’ll pick it up
    • Do not make excuses!
    • If you make excuses, you won’t learn it
    • God wouldn’t send you there for you to not be able to learn the language
    • He has a plan and you can get it done
    • We are buying to the the devil’s lie when we think we can’t
  • What should the wife and husband have accomplished at the end of the first two years?
    • They should have learned the language well enough to be comfortable
    • You should read the LAMP book
    • You should be at least at a level 3+ which the book talks about
    • You should have practiced thousands of hours in the language during those two years
    • Watch the news in the language
    • Watch a tv program from the country so you can learn the language and culture
    • You need to learn the culture
    • Visit funerals 
    • Visit hospitals
    • Visit different sporting events
    • Go soul-winning
    • You need to et involved so you can get accustomed to the culture
    • You need to drive around and get comfortable with the city
    • You need to take your language across town, then to another city, and then to another state
    • Take a break and drive several hours to another part of the country
    • That will help you adjust to different accents
    • You need to be a language and culture student the rest of your life
    • You need to have learned everything you could from the veteran
    • You need to have lead someone to Christ and baptized them
    • You need to have done as much ministry as possible
    • If you do all of that for two years, you will be able to say that you really learned how to live in that other country
    • You’ll be ready for a brief furlough and be ready to go back to start your ministry
  • We ask our missionaries to take a brief furlough after the first two years
    • Six months is the most you need
    • Three to four months really is enough time
    • Pastor Gardner wants the missionaries to be around the church so he can help them
    • What was only theory as a student is now reality as a missionary
    • You need to be going for a full four years
    • If you spend two years learning the language out of the four years, you will only have two years to get a church started
    • You need that language and culture experience, but you also need full four years to start a church
    • VBM believes in starting churches and training leaders to take over the church
    • When you are back on for the short furlough, you need to be around all that you can
    • You need to ask all the questions that you can
    • Let your wife and family refuel
    • Find a good and stable place to live
    • Visit your families briefly
    • Now that you really now how to ask questions because of your experience, you need to ask as many of them as you can
    • Furloughs are not just for relaxing
    • Staying with your in-laws for a month is not a good idea
    • You need a base
    • A couple of weeks with your family is good enough
    • If your’e going to prepare for the next step, you need to be around where you can learn and grow and get ready
    • You need to got to your home church
    • Learning the language is the next easiest step after raising support
    • It’s not just easy-going from there
    • Ministry is uphill throughout your life
    • It’s hard work, and you need to be ready for it!
  • Closing Remarks
    • The World Evangelism Fellowship is in November 
    • We would love to have you come!
    • Find more info about it and about Vision Baptist Missions at visionmissions.com 
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