Missionary Internship in Kwongland

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We are willing to open our home in Chageen to young men and women who are serious about becoming missionaries, but who want to experience firsthand some of what such a life would entail before committing themselves to a career of missionary work.  

The minimum practical time period is 4 weeks, and the maximum length is about 2 months. (If you know French, you can stay as long as you like). We ask that you make application and be accepted by the short term program of the Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM). We will correspond with TEAM to make sure this a good fit for you. Airfare being what it is, the typical cost of such a trip is over $6000. TEAM will work out a budget with you, but you will have to raise the funds for the trip yourself.

Due to the fact that no-one in Chageen speaks English, some knowledge of French is helpful. This is because a big part of your experience will be sitting with a Kwong language helper, and French will be your only common language. Even a couple years of High School French is better than nothing. 

Over the past several years, we have hosted several young people for such experiences and we have developed the following program of activities to give you a well rounded experience of missionary life and help you appreciate in a small way what a life-time of missionary service might be like. This program will be adapted as circumstances and your special interests require.

  • A missionary’s effectiveness is significantly dependant on your ability to communicate in the local language, so you will spend 2 hours, M-F working on learning Kwong. We will furnish you with a language helper, and will spend time with you ourselves. We realize that you will probably never use Kwong again, but in this exercise you will experience one of the most defining aspects of missionary life - learning a language and a culture outside a classroom.

  • A missionary life is one of learning to live in an extended community, so at least once each day, you will walk the length of the village, practice the Kwong you are learning, and build relationships.

  • A missionary is often called upon to eat native food, so depending on the length of your stay, you will “eat out” at least two or three times in Chadian homes – first with Mark, then by yourself.

  • A missionary is often called upon to live in native conditions, so near the end of your time with us, you will live on your own with a Kwong family 3 miles from our home for at least 36 hours.

  • A missionary swims in a cultural sea, so you will learn at least one uniquely Kwong cultural skill – playing Kwong checkers, weaving a grass seko, making rope, etc.

  • A missionary is often called upon to do brainless “non-ministry” kinds of things like painting walls, so you will help the Vanderkoois do these things and make their list of such tasks shorter.

  • The missionary enterprise is always conducted in collaboration with any and every true believer in the vicinity, so you will attend every church meeting.

  • Missionaries need to provision themselves in whatever way possible, so each Tuesday you will spend an hour or two at the Chageen market and make some purchases.

  • A missionary needs to be intentional about his ministry, so you will keep a daily journal of your observations of Kwong life and customs, as well as your observations of our ministry to them.

  • A short term missionary needs to maximize his exposure to missions, so you will restrict your reading material to missionary biographies and/or missionary theology. No movies or internet (other than basic email) will be available.

  • A missionary needs to have a spirit of enquiry, so you will therefore come to dinner each evening with at least one question for us about the Kwong people, and one question for us regarding our ministry to them.

  • A missionary life revolves around relationships, so you will build at least two good friendships during your time with us.

  • A missionary life is a life of prayer, so you will join us on MWF from 6:00 to 6:30 pm as we pray for the Kwong people during the radio broadcast.

  • We will do our best to ensure that you stay safe and healthy. We will expose you to our work as translators, the children’s ministry, the medical work, and the radio ministry.  

Send mail to The_Vanderkoois@yahoo.com with questions or comments about this web site.
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Last modified: August 12, 2014