From: Paula Wilson <paulawilson1@Juno.com>
...[T]he newer mission organizations (Frontiers, Pioneers, etc.) tend to be more compatible with today's "home movement." The older organizations, even those who have been around only 30 or 40 years, simply have different values where families are concerned. They are not trying to be hostile to families, and there is something to be said for the training you can receive without the children present... Training for those about to go to another culture is very important. Lack of preparation is a big reason missionaries return from the field... How to train families is definitely a growing issue in mission circles. What are the options? A woman could be trained while single, perhaps. Could the father be trained and then take his family through a training process on his own? What about distance-learning? One ministry we know has just put their extensive training on CD-ROM to make it more widely available. One man we know, whose primary job with Navigators is to counsel missionaries, just said in his latest newsletter that the number one reason missionaries are leaving the field today is children's issues. "What missionaries allowed their children to endure in decades past with some success, in many cases, is not working now." It is important, especially in certain cultures, that the nationals see a large, Christian family in action. Limiting the number of children they have and sending those off to boarding school simply isn't an option for many nationals. How can we teach them to train their families in God's ways if that is the example they see in us? A young lady who suspects God is calling her into missions should get whatever training she can while single. Training from YWAM's discipleship school (DTS) or Wycliffe's SIL program would still be valid years later if departure for the field was postponed for a time...