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Minister's Sabbaticals

If you are thinking of taking a sabbatical then why not use this time to gain some insight into the world church.

Many ministers who have taken this opportunity have found time spent overseas to be invaluable to their work in the UK church. It is possible, for example, to look at different ways of worshipping, new ways of evangelism or exciting development ideas.

Ministers have gone to places as far apart as Thailand, Albania and Peru and many other places. You will give and gain so much. Don’t just hear about world mission from a distance: experience it for yourself; see it first-hand.

You can go overseas for any length of time at any time of the year. Often it is not a case of going to “do” but to encourage, work alongside and share with Christians in a completely different setting. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your ministry in light of what you see and experience in other places.

Each individual placement is unique and made especially for you. BMS will provide training, arrange flights, insurance, and the details of your itinerary and accommodation. We will be here to support you at every stage.

There is a small bursary available from BMS to help with the cost of sabbaticals and, as the different Baptist Unions in the UK encourage ministers to take regular sabbaticals, this may be matched by your union.

Where could you go?

LATIN AMERICA

Peru

There are options for you to experience church planting and schools work in Cusco, community development projects in Cusco, Iquitos and Nauta, and environmental projects in Iquitos and Nauta, as well as opportunities to help with mission training in Iquitos and Nauta. Some understanding of Spanish would greatly help a placement here, but it is not essential!

Brazil

If you want to consider a sabbatical here you must speak fluent Portuguese as we have no mission personnel in Brazil. However, there would be the possibility for you to help with community development, after-school clubs and preschools.

Paraguay

Older persons’ ministry, teenagers’ ministry and preschool work are all options you could get involved with. You must competent in speaking Spanish due to there being no BMS mission personnel in Paraguay.

AFRICA

Guinea

You could observe local churches and development-related activities, and observe and learn about church planting. If you are experienced in any of these areas you could also help mission personnel in their reflection and learning. Speaking French to an intermediate level at least is essential.

Mozambique

Spending time in Beira and/or Maputo, you could visit the Association of Mozambican Christian Lawyers and other justice ministry projects, local churches and projects that the Baptist Convention of Mozambique is involved with. You could also observe preschool work in action and help mission personnel in their reflection and learning if you have experience in any of these areas. Speaking Portuguese at least to an intermediate level is essential.

Uganda

In Gulu and/or Kampala you could visit the Uganda Christian Lawyers’ Fraternity and other justice ministry projects, local churches and projects that the Baptist Associations in Uganda are involved with. You could also help mission personnel in their reflection and learning if you have experience in any of these areas. English is the working language in Uganda.

Zimbabwe

Here you will have the chance to observe a model agricultural college, local pastoral training and rehabilitation work with offenders. If you are theologically qualified, you could also help to teach at the Theological College of Zimbabwe. English is the working language here.

SOUTH ASIA

Nepal

You could spend up to one month with the Nepal Bible Baptist College in Kathmandu doing some short-term teaching.

Thailand

BMS is linked with a variety of projects in Thailand. You could spend some time with Hope Home, a foster care home for children with special needs, seeing first-hand how it operates and meeting with those involved. You could get alongside some of our Mission Personnel or partners involved in contextualised church planting, gaining some exposure to Thai Buddhism. There is also an opportunity to spend some time with the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT) enabling you to learn about this large church group and the work they are doing, which includes discipleship and HIV awareness.

India

You could spend some time in Kolkata visiting a whole variety of projects that BMS is working with, such as schools for street children, projects working with women rescued from prostitution and helping out at the Mother Teresa House. There is also the option to do a day or two of outreach into the Sundarbans.

EUROPE

Lebanon

You could stay at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary and make use of their library for private study, as well as meeting the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development staff to learn more about their ministries. You could also attend the annual Middle East Consultation which takes place in June each year.

Albania

You could stay in a Christian centre in Tirana and meet with BMS personnel and partners to observe, discuss and learn about church planting, education and development.

Kosovo

This placement would give you the opportunity to observe, discuss and participate in the preschool education projects and community development projects that are happening in Kosovo. You could also visit some of the young Albanian Christian churches.

Spain

BMS work with an organisation where you could have the chance to observe the process of making TV programmes for North African audiences. You could also lend a hand where appropriate with certain tasks.

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