We want to make the first step as easy as possible. You don't have to be sure about missions, sure about WEC, sure about anything to start talking to us. Helping people sort through their futures is part of what we do. Our goal is to help you get where God wants you to be, whether that's in missions or elsewhere, within WEC or elsewhere. Feel free to contact us just to explore possibilities, or to talk things through with someone who has years of firsthand missionary experience. If you are looking to do an internship, we might be able to help.
Contacting us starts a dialogue. We start to learn something about you, your background, your interests, and you learn more about us. It's understood that there is absolutely no commitment involved. You are in complete control of the process and can walk away at any time and never hear from us again. No pressure.
If, as we talk, you find a growing sense that going overseas with WEC is what God wants for you, then you'll want to begin the application process. You still won't have committed to anything, but it's an important step along the way. In filling out the forms you'll be telling us about your life experience, your beliefs, your gifts. And you'll need to give us references that we can contact about you.
Something should be said about timing. A short-term worker should contact us at least 6 months before the planned departure date. We need time on our side to process things and make arrangements. You'll need time to read the books we'll assign you to read, to get the necessary vaccinations, etc. The 6-month deadline is not written in stone, but reducing the lead-time increases the likelihood that something won't be in place in time for departure. Long-term workers should contact us by March if they wish to be part of the Fall orientation (starting in August each year), and by July if they wish to be in the Winter orientation (starting in January each year).
Nobody likes filling out forms, drumming up references, updating a CV, etc., but it really is important. We want your overseas experience to be a positive one, for you personally, for your team, and especially for those to whom you will be ministering. We need to make sure the foundations are there for successful service overseas. We are also looking to see what particular gifts, skills, or experience you have that might be of use. The more we know about you, the better we will be able to help you get to a place and a role that suits you, where you can blossom in ministry.
For short-term workers, passing the application process means you'll be invited to attend a brief orientation time at our headquarters. Then, if everything is in order, you'll leave for your destination.
For long-term workers, passing the application process means you are accepted as a candidate, and invited to attend Candidate Orientation. What this means is that you will live at our headquarters for 17 weeks of training and living in community. We know that 17 weeks seems like a crazy long length of time these days, but our experience has taught us the wisdom of an extensive orientation period. First, we have a rich program of instruction that covers all the important issues of life and ministry overseas. Most people find it very helpful. Just as important, there is time to bond with the organization, with our way of doing things, with our headquarters staff. We all went through such training, and know how it transmitted to us a powerful tradition of ministry. We finished our orientation with a strong sense of what it is to be a WEC missionary, an identity that is now part of us. Though we were thrown together with a group of strangers, we discovered after a while a deep sense of kinship, so much so that many of us find it natural to speak of our "WEC family".
Living, praying, and working together in community for that length of time, there is time to see how the adjustment to missionary life, and to WEC, is going. How do you get along with others? How do you deal with stress? Do you have a better sense of where God is leading you in the world? After seeing more of us from the inside, do you still want to join WEC? These questions are far from academic, for the moment of decision is not until the end of orientation. Then the headquarters staff will have a formal meeting with you, and, at the end, two things need to be clear. First, you must believe that God has called you to be a missionary with WEC; secondly, the staff must also believe the same thing. If that's the case, then you're in, and ready to move on to the next step.
Once accepted, you will likely spend some months in pre-field ministry, sharing about your future work, seeking to raise awareness of the needs overseas, and looking to rally together churches and individuals who will commit to pray for you. When God has brought together all that is needed, you'll head off overseas to join your team.
If God is moving your heart in the direction of service with WEC, talk to us. It only takes a few minutes to start a dialogue. Just go to our Contact page.