Getting ready to go
Here at Syzygy we come across many people who’ve just got up and gone. God called, so they went. While we admire the faith of those who do this, we don’t think it’s sensible, and we recommend thorough preparation before going. Many independents tell us that they thought they had prepared, only to find that when they arrived they were totally unprepared. They weren’t ready for the local living conditions, didn’t know what culture shock is, and had no connections to help them get established. And even if you have visited several times before you commit, life abroad looks totally different when you don’t have a return ticket. So we suggest that before you do anything else, you read our pages about going. We particularly recommend our page Do I Really Need to Join a Mission Organisation?
Key elements of going will include making sure your church is on board, developing a support base, finding out about the place you are going, and having a plan for what you’re going to do when you arrive. We’ve covered some of these issues in our Guide to Going, and the rest are detailed in the following pages.
We recommend that you take plenty of time to do this. People who have gone through Bible College and then joined a mission agency will have had plenty of time to pray through their calling, plan a strategy, and get to know how they are likely to react in different cross-cultural situations. And they still have problems settling in. So the more thorough you are in doing your preparations, the better it will work out in the long run.