Our short term opportunities for Associate Members are not for the faint of heart. If you’re just interested in some Christian adventure tourism or a one-off experience it’s probably best that you look elsewhere. We’re primarily interested in helping people grow in their understanding of mission and cross-cultural relationship skills. We believe a short term experience should add value to your overall long term purpose in mission.
Here is a selection of opportunities we know are likely to be available…
We have a number of ministries operating within the Pioneers Fiji team on the main Island. There is one particular opportunity near Nadi that is orientated towards teens and young adults. They seek to enrich the discipleship of short term visitors while getting them involved in a multi-faceted development project (aquaculture, horticulture, and agriculture), some children’s outreach, and construction/maintenance opportunities.
There is a Prison Ministry based in Suva that may have opportunities for more mature people. This would include prison visitation (men’s and women’s) and running various programs there alongside the main rehabilitation program. Men with practical training to offer and women with skills in all sorts of craftwork, Bible devotions, etc may find this a fertile place for them to produce long lasting spiritual fruit.
A couple of other ministries operate in Fiji too but the capacity to host short term visitors would depend on their circumstances at the time.
In Chiang Mai Thailand an Aussie couple with Pioneers run a very successful and highly regarded English language class that includes all sorts of fun activities with university aged Thai students. In addition to conversational English sessions, the students are invited to fun nights and more spiritually oriented Bible studies in ‘easy English’. No formal English language teaching qualification is required for short term visitors, but if you’d like to stay for longer than 1 month, a TESOL/TEFL qualification would be helpful.
We have other ministries operating in Thailand too, but we’d have to enquire about specifics closer to the time if you would like us to investigate those for you.
Various opportunities exist for experienced people to use their skills in a development context, potentially in South Sudan. The Pioneers team there is involved with sports education, teacher training, health care, slum visitation, children’s rehabilitation (orphans/slum children), and radio ministry in addition to Bible education and higher grade development project management.
Our key contacts in the area are Kiwis so if you’re interested in investigating something in this neck of the woods, let us know.
A Kiwi family live in a high altitude situation in El Alto, Bolivia – just above La Paz. There they operate a youth ministry which involves training young people to be mountain guides. It’s a real ‘fishbowl’ living situation where you’re totally immersed in the culture with the locals. If you’re looking for something ‘outdoorsy’ with an authentic community feel to it, then perhaps this is an opportunity worth looking into.
Another Kiwi family have a long history of ministry in Mexico and they’re now based in one of the poorer parts of Mexico City working with a local inner-city Baptist church. They operate a community outreach program from the small church facilities, training in vocational skills, offering all sorts of short term medical care, and running a city-kids outreach program.
They run a highly creative kids club July-August (the Mexican summer holidays) and it’s all hands on deck to manage the many children that turn up. In the past it has culminated in a musical production outreach that has attracted thousands of people, most of whom come to understand the gospel for the very first time.
We have many more short term opportunities arise from time to time but to list specifics here would be difficult because the situation changes so often. Your best strategy is to chat with us about your options.
For Associate Members we customise short term opportunities by trying to match your preferences with opportunities on our teams. Occasionally there are opportunities that would suit a larger team of visitors but too many people on a short term team can overwhelm our small field teams, so most of our opportunities would suit one or just a handful of people.
From time to time there are larger groups undertaking short term excursions from our Australia, USA, Canada or the UK bases that you could join. These are called “Edge” teams. If you would like to know more about those get in touch and we’ll find out what we can. The USA, Canada and UK short term opportunities are usually during the northern hemisphere summer period, June – September.
Let us know if you’d like to customize an opportunity with one of our teams.
You need to ‘get real’ with regard to what you hope to get out of/contribute on a short term trip. Short term engagement in mission is more about what will change in you than what you might contribute to the situation you experience.
What can make or break a short term encounter is whether or not your expectations match up with the reality of what you eventually experience. It is best if you align your expectations as closely to reality as early in your trip planning as possible. Here’s some things you might like to ponder as you consider stepping in to an ‘alternate reality’ for a short while:
A short term experience with us will probably:
- Enhance your relationship with God, stretch and strengthen your faith, and infuse in you a sense of long term Kingdom purpose for your life.
- Make different aspects of Scripture come alive in a fresh way.
- Introduce you to new friends and help you appreciate the positive differences between cultures.
- Help you assess your priorities and challenge you to change a few things.
- Be uncomfortable – it will push all your ‘buttons’ and challenge your ideas of right/wrong.
- Be tiring – if not plain exhausting.
- Make you sick – just a change of climate and diet can do that, let alone the different hygiene levels and food preparation methods.
- Be frustrating – you may not be able to communicate easily, you won’t know the appropriate things to do many situations, you may feel a little retarded in the context.
- Be disappointing if you hope to achieve something significant during the time you are there. You are likely to make a contribution and you may positively influence some lives, but nothing lasts forever (unless you have the privilege of helping someone to follow Jesus) and your contribution is likely to be short lived.
- Teach you some necessary life skills – mum & dad or your youth leader or whoever won’t be there to pick up the pieces, you will be ‘on your own’ and expected to carry your fair share of responsibility.
- Spoil you for the status quo back at home – you may return and find yourself outraged at the wealth, excess and waste back here.
- Either confirm your call to longer term cross-cultural service or your call to something else!
That may sound very bleak and discouraging but the pendulum needs to swing back that way to help you align with some of the harsh realities of visiting many of the countries we work in, and the living conditions of the people we work with.
Still feel you’d like to give it a crack?email us
To find out more about our set short term opportunities or something more in line with your interests, let us know…email us back