Ready for a Mission Adventure?
Conversations around a barbeque can be life-changing. Just ask the Apostle Peter (see John 21:9; 15-19). In 2012, I was standing around a fire, grilling meat for a church picnic in Colchester, England, when a young English man in his late teens began telling me about his dreams of becoming a global missionary.
In God’s time, that initial conversation led to that young man, Isaac, joining All Nations, our NAMS (New Anglican Missionary Society) community in Bangkok, Thailand. Isaac came to us in 2014 for two years initially, but has been with us ever since.
Among other things he did in his first two years, Isaac did some Thai study, met his Thai wife, initiated outreach using sports and the teaching of English, made disciples of a number of young people, and went on missionary trips throughout the region. Isaac even battled rats that infested our Mission House…but that’s another story!
Today, Isaac leads the Global Apprenticeship Program (GAP) for NAMS that aims to host young people for a year or two at one of our NAMS bases around the world. The vision is that they get to learn and experience cross-cultural mission work and be helped to become disciple-making leaders, ready to serve God wherever He sends them.
We at NAMS are serving in 15 different countries, seeking to plant disciple-making churches wherever God opens doors. A key aspect of our work is establishing base communities, which are centers of our work in any place, where our GAP program can flourish.
During the GAP years, apprentices get to live and grow in community with us, be mentored, supported, and are given ample opportunity to experience and be involved in pioneering mission situations. Every six months, we gather for a retreat where there is additional teaching, reflection, prayer and fun to be had. Life is never dull in GAP!
This is Pankaj Neupane. He is the young pastor of New Creation church in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. He joined the NAMS GAP program in August 2017. We asked him some questions about his experience doing NAMS GAP.
What is a typical week like for you in the GAP program in Kathmandu, Nepal?
In Nepal, I am part of a team with two other GAs (Global Apprentices). Each Sunday, our team goes to Patan to build relationships and reach out to students there. We pray, make new friends, and invite them to the specific programs and activities we run for young people which include playing football (soccer), music classes, fellowship groups with other Christians from various churches, and ministry to orphans and street kids. Wednesday nights is when we have a bible study in the base community that is about raising up new disciples and strengthening them in the faith. Every Friday, the GAs spend time with Tek, the NAMS leader in Nepal. He exhorts and encourages us through the Scriptures, calling our attention to key lessons and to how God is using us and forming us as disciple-making leaders. We also spend time planning and growing in our ability to teach and preach in the English language!
What have you gained so far, from being in the GAP program?
Everything that happens in GAP is for the purpose of raising up disciple-making disciples through equipping, encouraging, motivating, and realising their potential to pursue God-given visions. I’ve learned and seen how spending quality time praying, caring for, and reaching out to people can ultimately help them become followers and disciples of Christ. I have learned to persevere in both good and bad times.
How do you think being a GA will prepare you for a lifetime of service?
Already I’m learning more and more to be completely dependent on God. Praying and spending time meditating on Scripture is now a very essential part of my life. As I am already serving in my church, it has helped me understand the importance of raising up disciples. As a result, I have started discipling others in my own church. I believe all this will continue long after I complete GAP.
We are seeking young people in their late teens, 20s, or 30s who can give a year or two of their lives to be part of an adventure of faith with us, whether in the States or abroad. If you would like more information about GAP or to explore joining, please go to our website and/or write to Isaac at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rev. Manik Corea is a Singaporean of Sri Lankan/Indian heritage. He is the Global Executive of NAMS and with his wife Maple and son Josiah, have served on the mission field in Thailand for the last 9 years. You can contact Manik here.