A Look at Missionary Home Teams

A letter similar to this one was recently given to all EMC Administrative missionaries (Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay) who, in turn, have sent it to a list of their supporters whom they have invited to be on their Home Team. (This is the letter used by Dallas and Tara Wiebe, who serve in Guadalajara, Mexico.) We share this letter to inform you on how Home Teams will assist EMC missionaries as they serve with EMC Missions in their country of service.

Would you have interest in being on a Home Team? Please consider this opportunity to consider becoming part of a missionary’s home team.

Thank you.

Ken Zacharias, Director of Global Outreach

Greetings from Guadalajara!

From  Dallas and Tara Wiebe

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Hello,

Hope this email finds you well! We have greatly appreciated your support and interest in our lives over the years that we have been in Mexico, and we are writing you to invite you to consider an opportunity to be part of our own personal support team!

We realize that as members of the same Body that we need one another in order to stand together, and we value this interdependence that God has created in His family. We know that we as missionaries cannot do this alone and that we need other believers to surround us in prayer and stand with us even from afar.

For this reason, the EMC Board of Missions has taken the initiative to ask each missionary to form a Home Team, or a personal support team, in Canada.

What is a Home Team?

Our Home Team will be made up of six to eight members in Canada that will make a personal commitment to work closely with one another and with us to ensure that we are being supported well in each of the six areas outlined in this letter. Each person would be responsible for a specific role that would match their individual gifting, but all members would work together as a team.

We desire that the heart of the Home Team be a commitment to prayer, as all other areas will flow out of our dependence on God’s power. As missionaries, it can be difficult to continue having and retaining all of the support (spiritual, emotional, financial, etc) that we had before leaving Canada. We find that as we serve we are often the ones giving guidance and spiritual support to others and it is essential that we have this in place for ourselves in order to thrive long-term.

EMC Missions will provide a training session for you as a team and assist you in creating a plan as to how you can best lend your support to us. The team may be asked to meet together approximately once every three months and to communicate with us on a regular basis.

As the Home Team idea is new for all of us, it is difficult to say exactly what your role would be on the team. However, here is a general idea as to what you would be committing yourself. The team would serve in six practical areas of support, and as mentioned, you would be committed to your specific area of support.

Moral Support (Encouragement): The Home Team would desire to be a sounding board for us, encourage us, pray for us, and assist us in resolving our challenges if able to.  You would continue to check up on how we are doing emotionally, spiritually and physically and ensure that we are connecting with those who can encourage us in these areas.

Prayer Support: The Home Team would commit to praying regularly for us and to help us communicate prayer requests to our other supporters and churches. As you get to know us better you will know what to pray for as you listen and be a sounding board. Our desire would be to see a prayer group meet regularly for ourselves personally, and for our community and ministry.

Communication Support: We try to communicate regularly through social media and through personal contact with our supporters in Canada. The Home Team would give us ideas as to how to do this better. The Home Team would also be our mouth piece in churches and with individuals when we are in Mexico. The Home Team would communicate with our family to see if they are aware of any current needs that we have.

Financial Support: The EMC Conference has recently changed the way that EMC administered missionaries will need to raise financial support. Until this point we have received 100% of our financial support through the EM Conference, as they have received donations from our EMC churches and from individuals in Canada.

This has changed this year, however, and as missionaries we now have the responsibility to raise 40% of our financial support, which includes salary and ministry expenses. The implementation of this model does not begin to take effect until 2020; however, we already want to make our supporters aware of this as 2020 is coming up quickly. (If you would like more information as to the reasons for this change in policy please don’t hesitate to contact the EMC national office.)

Raising financial support may be difficult for us to do from a distance. This is where the Home Team comes in. We would ask you to assist us in raising the 40% that we are responsible for by helping us connect with potential supporters in Canada when we are out of the country.

Logistics Support: There are times while we are living outside of Canada that we need practical help with details that are difficult to do while we are away. This could include, for example, income tax filing or driver’s license renewals. Although our family in Canada has done these things for us until now, there may be times where we need this help from others.

For our home assignment in Canada, which is every two to three years, our home church (Kleefeld EMC) has the responsibility to help us with accommodations and vehicle expenses. The Home Team would connect with our home church and ensure that these details are not forgotten.

Re-entry: Sometime in the future, we may decide to return to live in Canada and no longer minister cross-culturally outside of Canada. The Home Team would assist us as we find jobs, find schools for our children and would give emotional support in making a big change such as this one.

As the Home Team is something new that EMC is working towards, it is something that is fluid and flexible. The needs of each missionary will be different. Each of these areas might end up looking quite different than we are initially thinking but hopefully this letter will give you a general idea as to what we are looking for.

Thank you for prayerfully considering whether you would be able to part of our Home Team! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if this is not something you can commit to, as we understand that life is busy for all of us. But know that we would love to have you join our team!

If you have any questions about the Home Team, feel free to talk to ourselves or with Ken Zacharias at the EMC national office (kzacharias@emconference.ca). look forward to being in contact with you in the next few weeks!

Thank you so much!

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