In our Fundamentals for Cross-Cultural Missions training course we cover, well…the fundamentals. You will find sessions on Biblical Basis, Culture Shock, Worldview, Spiritual Preparation and Overseas Safety and Security. While I think these cover some general topics, what else might you need in your training?
In the next few EquipTips, I am going to cover some resources that may help you go deeper in your training. You can subscribe to have the EquipTips Newsletter delivered to your inbox here.
Are you providing Child Protection Training? I’ll admit this isn’t the most pleasant subject, but it is important. We all want to protect the children we are working with, protect our volunteers and protect our ministry/organization.
Are you doing your due diligence with background checks on your volunteers? Providing them with guidelines of acceptable behavior?
I was working with an organization that sends multiple teams to the same location throughout the year. Some of their people are return volunteers because they love serving Jesus and love the ministry so much. Once they realized this was a missing piece in their training, they made it mandatory for all teams. One volunteer was not happy about having to do it. I told you, it isn’t pleasant to think about! However, he had to do it in order to go. Once he got there, there was a young teenage girl who was showing him a little too much attention. Because he had been through the training, he recognized this and was able to apply the principles outlined in the training; protecting the child, himself and the ministry. He said, “I am now a believer!” We are not aware of the pains and past of those we work with. I have personally seen very young girls looking for love and acceptance in inappropriate ways because that is all they have known in their lives. It is better to have guidelines in place than to get caught off guard.
Here are a couple of resources you may want to check out.
The International Mission Board offers a Child Protection Training free video resource for short-term volunteers. You can also download Learner’s Guides and Discussion questions to help navigate this difficult subject. Find a full list of Child Protection resources to accompany the video at: http://www.imb.org/go/1953.aspx#.VQqoVGTF_Sa
Protect My Ministry is also a great resource for ministries, although not focused on international work. They advertise as a “one-stop-shop” for background checks, paperless solutions and child safety training. There is a cost to this resource but you can try it first with their 30-day free trial.