Having completed New Candidate Orientation you will be fully equipped to begin the pre-field ministry of developing a support team. This process, from NCO to arrival on the field, typically takes 4-8 months.
It is not surprising that most Americans are intimidated by asking others to support them financially. What may be surprising is that the majority of missionaries find it to be a deeply enriching spiritual experience and truly a pre-field ministry. Our missionaries know that every community is called to support the work of missions and that by answering the call to go, they are allowing others to answer the call to send.
This process is about building partnerships. Our missionaries frequently report back to their supporters on the status of ‘our mission,’ and they enjoy the spiritual and emotional bonding and blessing of supporters that send personal letters, cards and daily prayers.
Our missionaries also discover during this process that they are not performing this task alone. The OCMC staff, Ambassadors, Board, your home parish, priest and others work hard to promote and support you. What starts as a slow moving train quickly gains speed and within a few months, takes on a life of its own. Quickly our missionaries are struggling not to set up presentations, but rather to choose which opportunities to say “No” to.
No wonder, then, that what begins for some as a rather intimidating task becomes a faith-building and enriching ministry. Our missionaries find this to be an added confirmation that God is indeed calling them and therefore will provide for them, as they do all they can with faith and humility. No doubt these are invaluable lessons which serve them well on the field!
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life...for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you?” (Matthew 6:25, 32).
Not surprisingly, when one of our candidates was asked, “Would you rather go the field today, or finish building your support team?” they responded, “I can’t wait to get to the field, but this has been so invaluable, I would rather finish building my support team.”
There are numerous tasks necessary to prepare for a successful deployment. Therefore, you will attend a three day Pre-Field Training which serves as the final briefing immediately before deployment. During this time, assignment details are finalized, details related to deployment are coordinated, including budget review, and further training in cross-cultural adjustment and communication amongst other things.