Dear Jack, What is a ...

Matt asked:

Dear Jack, What is a missionary sending agency supposed to provide for the missionaries? My wife and I are missionary candidates and our agency hasn't really done anything for us and I can't seem to find out what they're going to do FOR us once we're on field. They take 13% of our raised support and we're not really sure what for. What is a reasonable percentage to take?Thanks!

Jack Answered:

Thanks, Matt, for your question.

Some suggestions: I think a missionary sending agency should help you with the following:

" Orientation - to the agency, to the field where you plan to serve, and even accompanying you in your first visit. " Guidance - with issues like the education of your children, documents, furlough, what kind of work you could be doing. " Financial - receipt donations sent to you, send you a monthly check, and teach you about income tax filing. " Member care – when you are on the field, help you with special needs – spiritually, emotionally, and physically you may one day have, prepare you for your return to the U.S., guide you in long term plans such as continuing education, retirement, etc., etc. " Prayer support – many mission agencies publish prayer requests for their missionaries and send them to supporters. " Publicity – many mission agencies publish illustrated magazines which feature the work of their missionaries, and include articles which inform the public of the situation in the countries where the missionaries are working.

I am surprised that they haven’t done anything for you. Maybe they have done more than you realize. I would encourage you to talk with the person in charge of personnel and ask them what you can expect of them. They should spell things out for you.

13% is a common figure for assessment. Agencies have difficulties paying their office staff, rent, computers, etc. At one time, many missionary agencies asked their office personnel to raise their own support, but this is becoming increasingly difficult, and so they depend on the assessment for this “overhead” charge.

After you have talked with the personnel department, I’d love to get your report. You don’t need to tell me the name of the organization.

It’s better to get things out in the open at this stage rather than have personal expectations and find that the agency’s expectations are different from yours.

Jack

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