Brigada Today: Mission workers of today are different
“A quarter of a century ago, workers would sometimes commit to a particular field sight unseen. Remember your missions history lessons? In William Carey’s time, it wasn’t uncommon that workers would pack extra clothes in their own coffins when they sailed to their newly embraced far-flung fields. Nowadays, I’m not sure some ever even *leave* our homelands. Because of the immediacy of instant messaging and cell phones (not to mention satellite phones), some are able to stay in close touch with relatives and friends back home (oh — and supporters too 🙂 ). As a result, they never experience a true ‘leave-taking’ … nor the accompanying adaptation.
“At the same time, some want more connectivity with home. Some are much more homesick than ‘E.T.’ (‘E.T. phone home.’) Many want to see their field in advance, before they commit. And *sooo* many are unwilling to make more than a one- or two-year commitment. Sometimes it feels as if this generation of workers is less prepared in Greek and exegesis, less knowledgeable in the history of missions and cultural anthropology, and less likely to *want* to learn any of those subjects. Instead, they seem to want to ‘dive in’ much more quickly into deep-seated relationships and ministry. This can be both a positive and a negative, depending on the circumstances.”
They want to dive in. And don’t know how deep the water is. Nor that “deep-seated relationships” take time.