We went to see two people in Street, Somerset today.
The first was yet another person I had already met in October, her name is Jo and she was all queued up to go to china on a 6 month mission trip right about now. unfortunately the arrangements for her to be accommodated and transported safely fell through and OMF have had to leave her dissappointed for now. Meeting her today was a post-mortem debrief on what went wrong and a sincere apology to her from OMF. this was all very unfortunate for Jo considering that she was all T’d up to go and was told that she would be going to China, she quit her Job and the her church was all ready to send her off. These situations are tough anyway, but when things like this don’t work out the emotional weight can make up for the missing stresses of paperwork and relocating into a new culture; it’s an invitation to unanticipated stress rather than expected stress.
Her pastor, Alwyn, was present to support her and to dialogue with OMF about what happened. Him representing Street Baptist Church, her leaders and congregation, I think his presence showed a lot about the level of care they have for Jo. I was expecting there to be some small amount of tension in the room as we met, after all it was evident that we hadn’t only let Jo down, but a lot of people around her too – I would have understood if they had been angry. we did fine however, we talked about this like a room full of mature adults, Andy was honest about what went wrong and Alwyn was able to make sure that his church’s trust in OMF was still worthwhile. I think that everything went as smoothly as it could have done in this situation.
After this discussion we used our opportunity to have a church leader in our presence to complete another one of our survey questionnaires. I think that this church had a good balance of contact between their mission links and the mission organisations supporting them. relationships between sending church and sendee people were kept valuable aswell as keeping in contact with the supporting organisation to be clued in as much as possible.
In the afternoon we went into the town centre of street to meet with Jenny who is a returned missionary from China, she has in the last 10 years started, run, and retired a charity to get disabled people to be more able in the workplace. she talked about lots of the highs and lows of being a missionary and it was all good learning for me!
I’ve been thinking more about Tuesday, because i’ll be giving a 15 minute talk about some things which influence a millennial into becoming a missionary. a few of my friends have given to me their stories on how they became mission minded so i have lots of things to talk about. i just need to string it all together in an insightful way. watch this space.
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