We are just now completing our first home assignment and I must say it was scary to leave Ecuador and return to the states jobless, homeless, and carless. Oh, me of little faith! God provided above and beyond and I would love to share some resources that made our home assignment successful and wonderful.
Righteous Rides is an agency that provides vans for missionaries. They are already booking up through 2017 so reserve early! I can not sing the praises of this service enough. For $250 a month they provide everything necessary for us to travel to see family, friends, and supporters. This includes insurance and maintenance. They love missionaries at Righteous Rides and our van came chock-full of gift bags with all the things we would need for our first few weeks back. Their main hub is in St Louis, but they have added three more hubs. Check them out!
Kingdom Come Training Support raising, fundraising, Partner raising. No matter how we put it, IT always puts dread in our hearts. Kingdom Come training can take away that dread and replace it with excitement! I'm not kidding. My husband is shy and has never been able to speak in public. Kingdom Come training gave him the confidence he needed. They also helped us to understand our role in connecting Christians here with what was going on in our field of service. After we completed the training we continued on with a coach. Our coach is Gabi and each week she checks in with us. She prays for us and she keeps us on track.
Perspectives is a course we were required by our agency to take. When we heard of the requirement we grumbled. Because we are regular people and we grumble when we hear about having to do more work. For some of you who have studied missions, this course might be overkill. For us (laymen) it was AMAZING! In fact, we are encouraging every single one of our financial partners to take it. We have 3 years of mission experience and this course opened our eyes in a way we never could have imagined. If you have a chance to take it- DO!
Center for Intercultural Training: This was another requirement from our agency and we did everything within our power to get out of it. Why did we need intercultural training when we had already lived within our culture of service for 3 years? Our sending agency disagreed and we went grumbling and complaining to North Carolina to learn how to live successfully in another culture.
We spent the first two weeks learning that WE KNEW NOTHING. By the time we filled out our evaluations on the course we were begging for more time, for more information. They really prepared us to return to Ecuador better prepared as a family and better prepared as missionaries. Their children's program was incredible as well.
I hope you get a chance to check out these programs and resources.