Exploring mission with Mentac
Posted on: 19th November 2018
CMS missionary E serves in South Asia, but before she arrived at that destination she was involved for two years as an apprentice in the Mentac program supported by CMS. Checkpoint Online asked her some questions about her experience.
What did you do during the Mentac program?
The training in the program is a mix of theory and practical, with routine events and as well as less structured time for relationships. Each Monday we met as a group of about 15, praying for each other and discussing books we read on the topic. I also met with my mentor for a few hours each week. I helped run a playgroup one morning a week, and in my second year we started a women’s English class. The rest of my week was spent with new friends; visiting women in their homes or taking them places such as the park or an appointment (I became very good at installing car seats!).
What was good about your experience? What was difficult about it?
It was a fantastic way to get more experience in a supportive environment. I loved the combination of learning new things while having the chance to try them out in real life. The area we lived in felt like a village as many of the women didn’t drive and we’d bump into them at the shops. Being relatively new to Australia, they are eager for new friendships. Many are happy to hear a story from the Scriptures, because discussing faith is normal in their cultures.
One of the hard things was being confronted with struggles in peoples’ lives and feeling unable to help. Quite a few of our friends were experiencing domestic violence, many were in limbo waiting for visas, and nearly all found it difficult to understand English and the systems in Australia. But all these are opportunities to show love and care. It was also important to learn that I can’t save them, but I can listen and point them to the ultimate saviour.
Who should think about doing the Mentac program in future?
I did this program after Bible college, but it would also be great for someone pre-study as a way to explore ministry. All you need is a love for Jesus and a desire that all people have the opportunity to know him. When I started, I often felt nervous talking to people from other cultures but I soon started to feel more comfortable. I’m really thankful for this training, which stretched me and prepared me to share Jesus cross-culturally as I now head overseas.
If you are wanting to go into the Muslim world to share the good news of Jesus, preparation is essential. Contact your CMS Branch to find out more about Mentac and how to become part of the apprenticeship program.