Coptic Mission Guide for Missionaries
“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him... God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him.” Hudson Taylor
“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” Mother Teresa
“The more obstacles you have, the more opportunities there are for God to do something.” Clarence W. Jones
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
WHAT DO YOU DO IN AFRICA?
Mission in YOU: The first goal is to grow your relationship with God through spiritual activities in the mission
Mission to Others: The second goal is to serve the African communities through preaching, teaching in the orphan schools, churches, market preaching. To be an instrument for God’s work.
WHAT YOU NEED?
Heart for Prayer
”I will praise You, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.” Psalm. 9:1
Taste for God’s Word
“When Your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear Your name, O LORD God Almighty.” Jeremiah. 15:6
Eyes of Compassion
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” Colossians. 3:12
Feet to Preach
“And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.” Mark. 13:10
Hands to Work
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.” Psalm. 90:17
Mind of Reflection
“Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.” Psalm. 17:3
Holy Spirit to Lead
“When He, the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” John 16:13
WHAT TO DO?
If you want to hear and see God, your attitude will make all the difference in the world. If you don’t believe it, look what St. Paul said: “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or laboured in vain.” Phil. 2:14-16
Have you ever heard of prayer hurting anybody? Always overwhelm your tasks, your preparation and your meetings, with prayer. Prayer is meant to remind you that you are nothing but a tool in the hands of God. Prayer for your mission trip will teach you to surrender yourself to God so He can lead the way. “Pray in the Spirit in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God's people.” Eph 6:18
Ever gone through a day without any plans? Probably not, but…well, get used to it! On almost every day of your trip you will wake up not knowing what you’ll be doing or where God will be leading you. You will come to discover that God will only use those who have surrendered to His plan, and are not stuck to a plan of their own. This may be a tough thing to swallow, but you must always remind yourself that this mission is not about you, but all about God. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Prov. 16:9
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND
Chosen with failures and all
Let’s face it, you’re not perfect. You know that there are things you regret in your life. Maybe there are major, life-shattering failures in all your years that make you feel unstable in God’s purpose. Maybe you can’t get past how God could use someone like you. But as you get ready to serve on your mission you need to remember one thing: God cares more about your future than He does about your past! “I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.” Jer. 29:11
In every mission there is always an adversary, someone fighting against you. On this mission trip your enemy is the devil. Fortunately, the devil cannot come near you when doing God’s work. True, he could try to throw things your way to distract you, but he can’t touch you. Knowing how diverse each mission team is, the devil tries to use the differences between people in your group to break the trip. The easiest and surest way for the devil to fight God’s work is by setting up God’s people against each other. So “Be alert. Be firm in the Christian faith. Be courageous and strong. Do everything with love.” 1 Cor. 16:13-14
All things are possible
Fear is a normal part of life. There is fear of the unknown, the future, and even fear of sin that corrupts good habits. Fear, however, is sometimes a good thing. If we were to live our lives with no fears whatsoever, our relationship with God would be incomplete. Fear is what brings us to our knees; fear is what humbles us before God, and drives us to surrender to God, because “what is impossible with men is possible with God.” Lk. 18:27
Wondering what to do during the day when you are not actively serving? This is the free time that God has to feed you. With your undivided attention, God can reveal to you many things about himself and about you. So take this opportunity to sit and spend some quality quiet time with Him. Make sure you have your pen and journal ready to write down His revelations to you. “Be still and know that I am God” Ps. 46:10
The 3 Cs of Expectations for Missionaries
Character - has integrity in all areas of his life (humble and honest)
In his speech to others - never causing division with body of Christ
In the way he lives the gospel out in all areas of his life (family, work, etc.)
Life of holiness and repentance (confession every two months)
Growing in his spiritual life (daily quiet time, weekly liturgies, deacon meetings)
Competence - has the capacity to do the service with excellence (faithfulness)
Never late and absent, but always faithful to his service and meetings.
Always striving to grow his skills and capacity (education, leadership, preaching, creativity)
Communicates clearly when unable to fulfill his service.
Submits weekly work plan of service (visitation report, events)
Chemistry - is a team player and works well in the team (unity)
Listens well and very obedient to leaders
Encourages his teammates
Participates and supports others in a daily life with God
The above needs a quarterly evaluation by the Spiritual father to see if he is meeting the expectation of the church. (proverbs - wise counsel)
The Lord expects us to be faithful with the talents He gives us. (Matthew 25)
The church should not be given the leftovers, but our best. (Malachi 1)
God is not settling for less to take care of His children. The church will not compromise and accept anything less than the 3 C's above.
As quiet time will be an essential part of your day, we suggest that you use the following guidelines to make the most out of your time with God.
QUIET TIME PLAN
Be still and quiet! Slow down! Prepare your heart. Take deep breaths and ask God to:
Meet with you
Set aside distractions
Reveal to you His Word for today
Bring comfort and clarification to your life
2. READ A PASSAGE
Read and re-read a passage slowly, perhaps repeating a verse several times, expecting God to make it come alive with relevance for your situation. Read until you feel God has told you something.
3. REFLECT ON THE VERSE
Here are 5 ways to help you meditate on a verse:
Picture it! Visualize the scene in your mind
Pronounce it! Say the verse aloud, emphasizing a different word
Paraphrase it! Rewrite the verse in your own words
Personalize it! Replace pronouns in the verse with your own name
Pray it! Turn the verse into a prayer and say it back to God
4. RECORD WHAT GOD DID
In your journal, write out the verse that spoke to you most personally. Then write out a personal application statement that is practical and measurable.
What does the passage say generally (what is it teaching me)?
What does the passage say to me personally (what should I do specifically)?
Refer back to your verse and application throughout the day. Try to memorize the verse and meditate upon the application all throughout your day.
Conclude your quiet time by talking to God about what He has shown you and making requests from your prayer list.
EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR MISSION TRIP
After a lot of prayer and experiences from many mission trips throughout Africa, we have compiled a list of guidelines and expectations of your mission trip. Where you are geographically affects where you are spiritually: Change of Place + Change of Pace = Change of Perspective. Retreats and mission trips are powerful catalysts to get out of our routine. New places open us up to new experiences. They help us see God with a new perspective and new eyes. Therefore, we have set some expectations to help you in gaining this new perspective.
Because our number one priority is your spiritual growth, there will not be Internet access via laptops and/or smartphones, iPhones, etc. Therefore, please do not bring laptops and other items that will be a distraction for you. If you have any typing work, the Church will provide a laptop for your use. Internet can be used for minimal time to communicate with family only (available through the priest).
If you have to leave the mission campus for any reason, please notify the priest before doing so to obtain permission.
It is unsafe to walk anywhere out of the mission campus during the day alone or after dark with anyone else.
As a courtesy, boys are not allowed in the girl’s mission house and rooms. Girls are not allowed in the boy’s guesthouse and rooms (unless there is a community-wide event in the guesthouse).
We should observe quiet times, sleeping and waking times, and meeting times (i.e., services, liturgies, meetings) as a group together. Communal living encourages one another to grow closer to God. Therefore it is important to practice less social mingling and more fellowship, which includes group Bible sharing and prayer times. Also, during evening times, it is important to maintain a sense of silence and reading and reflection times. We request that you maintain “lights out” times because others will be sleeping and do not need to be disturbed; also, the later you stay up, then the morning program with quiet times are harder to follow.
Further, please maintain cleanliness in your homes and rooms, which will positively contribute to the communal way of life.
Use your free time wisely in reading spiritual books. Also, bring Bible, journal and spiritual books with you.
Every evening there will also be time for preparation for the next day. All groups should come prepared to preach in the market, share verses from Bible in peoples houses, Sunday school lessons, Skits, Songs, and be flexible to do other mission activities. (PLEASE PREPARE SOME BEFORE COMING)
We expect that you have a spirit of obedience to the Bishop, Priests, Deacons, and Missionaries living in the country you are serving in. We are here to serve you as you serve in the Mission; therefore, we ask that you obey the rules and schedules. Be willing to be flexible when the schedule changes.
Please remember that you are coming to serve poor and simple people. Therefore, as missionaries we shouldn’t offend them either in our dress, our food, or in our behavior.
For proper dress code the girls should wear skirts and boys wear pants (trousers). Girls can also wear bandana on hair when visiting the people in the neighborhoods.
In this day and age of technology and communication, we encourage you to keep in touch in a positive way with the people that you meet here. Therefore, if your Facebook page is inappropriate with any pictures of drinking, clubbing, etc., then we kindly request that you do not become friends with any local Church members because you will be sending a wrong impression to our members. You represent the church and they know you as missionaries coming to share the Word of God and His love therefore if your life does not reflect it then you will be sending a wrong and confusing impression of Christian life to our local members. We pray that your time here can encourage you to live a full Christian life glorifying Him.
Please never give money to any verbal requests or send money to any email or Facebook requests, etc. sent to you by our members. If you would like to help anyone and we encourage you do, please do so through the priest. We want the church body to help the people, not just individuals. If asked for clothes, food, or any other items just tell the people no problem we can work with priest of church to help you.
Consequence to any disobedience to the rules may result in you being sent back home at your own expense. The mission is responsible for you, therefore, we ask that you cooperate and work as a team with the leaders on the ground in Africa. We are happy that you are here to serve, however, please obey the expectations and guidelines set before you in this guide and in the orientation upon your arrival.