In October 2008 I spent three weeks in Florida, and while down there, I was able to go to the NTM Home Office quite a few times. Our USA Home Office has close to 200 staff members serving 2,300 American missionaries! These home staff missionaries are extremely important! And these are the necessary jobs that they fill:
- Finance Department – making sure that support from churches & individuals reaches my bank account & they also make sure the other 2300 USA missionaries get their support! If you sent it to me in the mail while I’m in another country, it probably wouldn’t make it to my bank account!
- Tax Department – these missionaries file taxes for those of us that will be overseas & those of us who have a terrible time with the tax jargon, because the commute would be terrible from Africa or Indonesia! There are volunteers that come to help send out missionary tax forms.
- Member Services – there is so much done here: they help track missionaries home on furlough, help missionaries if they’ve lost a family member, encourage missionaries that have just completed the training (like me) before we get to our country of service. They are great with encouragement.
- Retirement Department – they help me with figuring out what I need to do for my retirement and Social Security. Which is something weird to think about at only 25 years old!
- Mobilization – sharing with others about the need for more missionaries. New Tribes looses 80 missionaries a year to retirement, health problems, and more; but there are only 100 missionaries making it to the field. So really we only gain 20 new missionaries a year! We need more help! They also organize trips to different countries for high schoolers & college students.
- Website Development & Control – you wouldn’t be reading this right, if not for the computer tech guys!
- IT Department – they help out missionaries at the Home Office with computer problems and also missionaries around the world.
- E-mail Maintenance – I wouldn’t be able to communicate with anyone! And that is not allowed!
- Distribution Center – they handle all online purchases from the NTM Online Bookstore site. I’ve had them ship me some things that I ordered. The ship to people and missionaries all around the world.
- Retirement Center – when I get old and gray, I can retire in Florida (if I ever grow to like it down there). There are missionaries that help with landscaping, and building more homes for retiring missionaries.
- Communications Department – these missionaries write the news articles on the website, the Daily Prayer Bulletins, and articles in NTM@work. They are the ones that help get the word out to churches and individuals about tribal church planting and prayer requests.
These are extremely important jobs and without these missionaries, then I would have a ton of work to do! Somehow I would need to make sure I got all my support every single month, take a week or two to get my taxes ready, spend time every month trying to get some more people to help us all around the world, write & call my co-workers to make sure things are going well for them while they are in the US, and more!
And what about those missionaries that help with training at the Bible Schools & Missionary Training Center? If there wouldn’t have been missionaries at the Bible School when I went through there four years ago, it would have taken about 70 years of attending two church services a week to gain the same amount of Bible Teaching! So theoretically I would be ready to be a missionary at 70 or 80 years old!! But I’ve not received training in how to plant a tribal church, learning an unwritten language, understanding their culture and the way they think, and so much more at any church. So where do I go if we don’t have a Missionary Training Center with staff that have been involved in church planting? I won’t be able to get that training at a church.
I just thought y’all might like to see another view of the missionaries that serve in the USA. I hope that you can see that they are missionaries too! It’s kind of like being a member of the body of Christ. Some are the mouth, some are the feet, and some are the big toe, left eyebrow or pinky finger. But we all need each other to get the job done!
1 Cor. 12:18-27 – But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.