Sometimes it’s so difficult for me to tear myself away from the work to write something on my blog. OK, it’s almost always difficult to do so! I can’t understand missionaries who write lengthy weekly and monthly reports on their work. In at least one case, I’m pretty sure they spend as much time writing about their ministry as they do actually doing the ministry. Maybe it’s just a matter of priorities in most cases, and writing about what I’m doing is not always high on my priority list. But I know some people want to keep up with how things are going, so I try to get an update out once a week, if possible.
I’m still trying to get caught up from being overseas for a month, so that’s part of what keeps me from wanting to write updates. I still have a few more consultant reports to get through, which were submitted at the beginning of the year. These reports chart their personal development last year and project what goals they want for themselves in the upcoming year, so my timely input is important. We have 6 consultants-in-training, so I try to give them intensive input. It’s crucial that they be pointed in the right direction early in their development, so I want to make sure they aren’t missing anything. There are two consultants who look to me for direct guidance, and a third who needs me more and more since his mentor is suffering from cancer. The other 3 consultants have their own mentors, but they still appreciate my input. (Consultants in training also submit quarterly reports, which I work through carefully and give feedback.) I’m also trying to keep up with the development of two adjunct consultants-in-training. Thankfully, we had two others but they graduated a year or so ago.
I also need to read the Professional Development Reports of our consultants who have graduated from the Mentorship Program or who are senior consultants. We have 9 in this category. Most of them are quite good at submitting their reports in a timely way, but some are too busy in ministry to stop and write a report (!). Consequently, I have to spend extra time chasing them down until they submit something. I remember a consultant suggesting that we should go back to the old system of submitting monthly reports. After reflecting for 2 seconds on how much time I spend chasing down reports, I told him an emphatic NO to that idea!
At Bibles International we take professional development very seriously. We want to make sure our new consultants get proper training and experience, which usually means 4-5 years of on-the-job training before they can do independent consulting. And then after they graduate, we expect them to keep developing themselves. There are so many subject areas that touch upon consulting, and so we need to be constantly learning to improve our consulting abilities. In the end, we hope it results in better translations for God’s glory and for man’s good!
On a personal note, Oksana and I are thankful that Calvary Baptist Church in Findlay, OH, and some individuals joined our support team, bringing our support up to 90%. Praise God for His provision!