A book called Outside In has been incredibly helpful in this process because it encourages us to look at our actions and requirements through the eyes of our customers. Are we aware of their circumstances, ministry challenges and realities in a country different from New Zealand? Do our policies and practices make it harder or easier for them to serve?
The field visits I’ve been able to do have helped with this evaluation. It’s one of the reasons I recommend to every sending church that they consider visiting their mission partners in the overseas location where they serve. It changes how you understand their ministry. It allows you to know the people, to understand the team they work with, and to see how challenging it can be just to do simple things we take for granted in NZ (such as opening a bank account, getting a visa or getting groceries). Our partners’ newsletters give glimpses into life on the other side. David Friend has shared about the varied situations he encounters in Zambia. You can read it here, and as you read, take time to imagine life on the other side.
Pray for our workers as they seek to make Christ known in living situations very different from what they know here in New Zealand. Pray them through the details – that these ‘differences’ would give them opportunities to join what God is doing wherever He has placed them!
— Rob Reynolds