All year One Challenge’s Personnel Department talks a lot about summer. The chatter is not about the anticipated warmer days, the backyard BBQs, or the fun in the sun. Rather, the department is abuzz with planning, prep, and execution of three critical programs – Core (training), Transition Orientation (sending), and PEP (renewal).
Face-to-face connection is a major bonus of an OC summer. Dennis, Director of Pre-field Ministries, says: “To be able to journey in person one more time with our appointees as they prepare for ministry overseas is a highlight of an OC summer.”
These programs are one of the only times that OC mission workers gather together, which makes it special and impactful. “For me, connecting with OC people on a deep level is critical. Summer is about listening and caring for people from our OC world,” says Deänne, Director of MemberCare.
Life Transformation in Training
Summer 2018 kicks off with Core, the OC training program, in early June. One Challenge believes training is a critical aspect to preparing people for overseas work. One thing OC has learned in its 60-plus years is training for specific situations is difficult, as things in missions don’t go according to plan.
Rather, OC focuses training in a two-fold approach. First, helping new workers become familiar with OC and the strategies the organization uses to begin ministry and discern God’s plan. Second, helping workers understand themselves and how they work as individuals and on a team.
“Training helps new workers learn and begin to understand what it will be like transitioning to living overseas, and or, working in a mission community,” Deänne says. “Participants learn about themselves and how they might enter into a new culture. Also, pre-field training helps new workers understand OC: our ministries, philosophy, purpose, and core values.”
Many organizations don’t train workers in house but rather recommend training organizations, which are valuable resources for training. OC decided that as an organization, we wanted to develop deep relationship with our mission workers, beginning with understanding who they are through training. Also, it helps the mission worker understand the ethos of OC.
“The primary reason for training in house is a deep relationship with our workers. It is our heart’s desire to walk with our people from the beginning. Giving our workers a foundation with OC to build on from the beginning is important to their connection with us,” Deänne says.
Core training happens early in the journey into full-time ministry. Right before workers move overseas, they participate in Transition Orientation.
“Transition Orientation is important in normalizing our experiences while in transition,” Deänne says. “It helps to understand the feeling of loss, chaos, loss of identity, and significance. Cultural mapping and navigation is also presented in TO in order to help minimize cultural mistakes.”
Transition Orientation can happen any time of year, as people leave at various times, but one typically takes place in the summer.
Many OC staff help during TO; from administration duties, to presenting information, to participating on mission worker panel.
Help with transition doesn’t end with TO. Each field has a HART program, meaning Helping Affect Relevant Transition, that is unique to the dynamics of the team and country of ministry.
Building Sustainability in Mission Workers
Missions burnout is a reality. Often workers are stretched too hard and too thin. One way OC tries to combat this reality is through PEP, Personnel Enrichment Program. PEP is essentially required rest and renewal for OC mission workers.
“As an organization we value giving our workers a voice,” Deänne says. “We have an organization debrief conducted by senior leadership which allows workers to share what has happened on the field with ministry. It gives workers a voice straight to leadership.”
Organizational debriefs are one part of the process, personal debriefs round out the PEP experience.
“We also have debriefing in groups, families and individual. We believe there is healing in being heard and valued. For our company, this is a high priority,” Deänne says.
PEP also is a break. A lot of free time is worked in to promote much needed rest for the workers.
Truthfully not all organizations have a program like PEP, but it’s become a staple of OC. For One Challenge member care is an ethos of the organization. OC takes the philosophy that member care is not a department, it’s an attitude.
Pray with One Challenge
Will you join us in prayer for the OC summer? These programs truly honor the Lord and put Him at the center.
- Pray the Spirit would meet with us in all programs.
- Pray for unity in the staff and participants.
- Pray the Lord of the Harvest will be glorified and the Enemy will not have a place in our lives or in these programs.
- Pray for wisdom and insight in how to move forward well with workers and families.
- Pray for stamina, health, and safety for all staff and participants.
One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. One Challenge wants to encourage a high level of care for global workers, providing the opportunity for them to thrive in their countries of service, bringing the best of who they are to the kingdom growth effort. We pursue genuine relationships and accountability in family, friendship, team, ministry, and local communities of faith.