We are David and Robin Watters. We have been serving with Ethnos360 in Papua New Guinea since 2003. We have truly been amazed and humbled at how God has chosen to use us through the years as vessels to do whatever he asks of us. Although our goal when we left for the mission field years ago was to be out in a remote location doing Bible Teaching or Translating and planting a church, through the years we have seen that there is so much more to missions and church planting than just the upfront roles of teaching and translating. Just like a church, you have the pastor and the music minister who are up front, but you also have those nursery works and the janitor who are just as important in making your church a place where people can fellowship and worship.
Through the years we have had the privilege of blessing our coworkers and friends by serving them through administration and book keeping. We have had the honor of being the ones to buy their supplies, groceries and anything they needed in order to enable them to just continue on uninterrupted in their church planting efforts. Robin has had the privilege of using her gifts as a teacher to minister to the children of our coworkers and fellow missionaries through education at Numonohi Christian Academy. It was also an amazing honor to mentor and disciple new missionaries into life on the mission field upon their arrival.
Through the ministry of orientation God allowed us to orientate 23 families. Of those families, 9 were short term volunteers who came for 6 months to 2 years. Each of them were a blessing to work with. Each of them came and helped in the areas of finance, IT, nursing, school teachers etc. We couldn’t function without them. Maybe you could come and give 6 months or a year to provide help, doing the same thing you do every day, but on the mission field.
Of those 23 families, 14 came as “career missionaries.” These families had committed to coming to the mission field for life. But, sadly, 7 of those 14 have left the field already! This is consistent with what we see in missions worldwide. 47% of missionaries are leaving the field before they finish their first term of service. Statistics also tell us that 71% of these losses are preventable! In our own experience, some were not preventable, such as health, but some of these, I believe were preventable.
On average, it takes
- $43,500 in one-time costs for training and relocation a missionary to the field.
- $52,000 in yearly support
- Over 5 years . . . $303,500
The Lord has given us a tremendous burden to be involved in helping to prevent some of these losses. Through the role of Coordinating Shepherding and Member Care. Our goal is to:
- Develop a strategy to provide an environment of care
- Provide training and equipping to increase prevention.
- Encourage and develop an environment of Discipleship and accountability among our members.
- Encourage missionaries to walk faithfully with God and cultivate Godly relationships.
Will you prayerfully consider partnering with us? Through partnering with us, you will be helping to preserve the huge investment individuals and churches have made to equip and send these missionaries to the field.
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