Aurora Primary School Lighting the Way to a Brighter Future Through Christ Centred Education

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Spiritual Readiness

In order to talk about Jesus, you need to demonstrate Jesus. We suggest you do three things in preparation (this list is not exhaustive – it is the minimum):

Spend time with God – seek God in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and through Bible-study (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

  • Ensure you can give your testimony – this means being able to talk about your life ‘before-Christ’, ‘at-conversion’ and ‘with-Christ’ – write it down, don’t try and wing it. Use it as an opportunity to share Bible verses and theological truth.
  • Learn how to present the gospel – the gospel has several essential elements in order for it to remain ‘the gospel’ – GOD, MAN, SIN, CHRIST, RESPONSE. A simple sharing tool can be accessed at: Navigators


1 Thessalonians 5:17 states: ‘pray without ceasing’ (also access Matthew 6 and John 17).


There are three areas to apply this injunction:

  • Before you arrive, begin to pray daily – for yourself, the school, the teacher you will be working with, the students you will be seeking to reach, and the people you will be leaving at home. Use this as an opportunity to grow deeper in your relationship with God and to grow deeper in your concern and commitment to the people you are coming to serve.
  • When you are here, continue to pray consistently and earnestly. You will experience spiritual lethargy, but it is important to continue to push through by making prayer central to your mission. A fantastic tool is to start a prayer journal in which you can list your confessions and observations (which will be useful for your report back to your home church). You might also want to make ‘prayer walking’ a habitual activity to remain focused.
  • While you are here, ensure you have enlisted the commitment of several individuals who will pray for you on a consistent basis. See Ephesians 6:10-24, with particular emphasis on verse 18. The enemy doesn’t like the fact that you’ve committed yourself to the Lord’s work – he will try trip you up, and prayer is a mighty weapon.

 

Culture – the article mentioned in section 2 (rule 9) should be accessed. Some potential problems and possible treatments are also provided below:

  • Awareness. The following list contains several areas which will result in culture shock, and will require time to adjust to:
  • Language differences – in South Africa, we have 11 official languages, and varying accents.
  • Privacy – the level of privacy which you are likely accustomed to will be far lower.
  • Time – time to yourself will become a luxury, and time with others will become a norm.
  • Mobility – you won’t be able to just do what you want to do when you want to do it.
  • Convenience – shops and toilet facilities (for example) will be less available and less extensive.
  • Choice – the many alternatives which you have access to will not be available here.
  • Cleanliness – you will be leaving your comfort zone so you may be required to endure without many of the luxuries to which you have become accustomed.
  • Health – you are going to have to adjust to new germs, new bacteria and a tough environment.
  • Worship – it will be done differently to what you are used to.

Treatments. Here are some things to remember to help you cope with the above issues:
  • You are not alone – Aurora has had many missionaries come through these difficulties.
  • Maintain a healthy perspective – don’t get bogged down with blinker-vision. Rather, see the bigger picture and try to filter your experience through a wide-lens.
  • Use it as an opportunity to learn – some of your critiques of the new culture may be true, however try to understand the culture instead of trying to change the culture. This will require you to dig deep so as to appreciate that your culture is not “right” and the new culture not “wrong” – you are not here to impose your culture (that should be a liberating thought).
  • Look for the silver lining – you can focus on the negatives, or you can focus on the positives. Focusing on the negatives will make you negative and visa versa. Therefore, try and make every effort to remain optimistic.
  • Avoid bad influences – you will be tempted when you are here in many ways (to sin, to be lazy, to be self-centered) – make your mind up before you come on what you will and will not do, bearing the rules in mind.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself – laughter is a very helpful ‘medication’ – you will need to have a sense of humour, so as not to play the ‘victim’.
  • Be a friend. Oftentimes, in order to get people to love you, you need to first love them. However, be keenly aware that you are not coming here to be ‘liked’ – you are coming here to be obedient in service to the Lord.
  • Stay busy. Idleness is the hot-bed of irritation, temptation and separation. Remain busy and take the initiative as much as you can.
  • Build up your immune system early – See if there are some vitamins, minerals, supplements or herbal medicines that may help you build your immune system up prior to coming, and while you are here.
  • Understand the difference between empathy and sympathy – ‘feeling sorry’ for the children is not the right emotion to have. It will lead to your being manipulated and abused – be careful not to allow the children, or anyone for that matter to maneuver your emotions to their advantage, and your disadvantage.

Seek the Lord and His Kingdom first – Matthew 6:33 (read the whole of Matthew 6 – it is a good basis from which to live when you come here).

 

Here are several suggestions to help you prepare for the best:


  • Try and get fit before you come – the experience will tax your body and the fitter you are, the more you will be able to endure, and the quicker you will adjust.
  • De-stress before you come – take it slow, eat well and exercise. If you spend your time overdoing it before you arrive, you will be burnt out and get sick before you even begin.
  • Be aware and alert, don’t try and be a hero and don’t be reckless. However, also avoid being paranoid (e.g. not drinking the tap water out of fear) – this will affect your witness. Try to be safe and cautious without being obsessively worried.
  • Stay hydrated and energized – drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit, vegetables.
  • Ensure you purchase medical insurance geared for overseas travel before you come – you should get something that will cover you in the unlikely event of hospital stays and accidents.
  • Don’t be ostentatious – avoid wearing:

Expensive Jewelry
Extensive Make-up
Attention-grabbing clothing
Expensive cologne/perfume



Try not to stick out like a sore thumb – do as the locals do (within the bounds of Christ-like morality) – if drinking coca cola and chewing gum is a major luxury, then don’t do that – it will ensure you don’t remain an outsider.
  • Check your body for cuts, then wash and cover your wounds.
  • Ensure you touch others in ways that it is appropriate and not be offended by touching that doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in your culture – in some cultures, for men to hold hands is not a homosexual act. In other cultures, it is inappropriate to show affection in public. Be aware and take your cue from the locals. However, don’t reinforce the cultures bad-habits – i.e. feel free to hug aids victims – they need to be touched and feel loved; or, feel free to hold hands with your wife if it can be used to witness to the locals (a husband who loves and serves his wife is a fantastic witness).
  • Inform your leaders upfront when you experience health problems – runny tummy, constipation, headaches etc… Don’t be embarrassed, rather be transparent so that you can be attended to timeously, and be as effective as possible.
  • Be willing to seek help and go for counseling during – often, it is on the mission field that the Lord brings to the surface many of our fears, anxieties and even failures. Being willing to work through these issues through accountability-partnerships, counselors, and/or mentors will be of outmost value.

 

In sum, you cannot prepare for everything or get ready for all possibilities. Rather, much of your experience will be a matter of learning on the job. However, coming with the right expectations and attitudes while making the suggested standard preparations will ensure that your experience and Aurora’s experience will be both be the best possible experiences.

 

Questions for Missionaries


In order to establish your readiness, please answer the following questions providing us with as much detail as possible:


QUESTION 1 – MOTIVES
Why do you want to come to Aurora Primary School?

QUESTION 2 – TESTIMONY
Please describe your conversion, and tell me about your relationship with God.

QUESTION 3 – PURPOSE
You need to know that our school is at its core “Evangelical” (see Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). What does that mean to you?

QUESTION 4 – THE GOSPEL
Please explain what you understand as the “good news”, using Scripture to support your answer.

QUESTION 5 – PERSONAL ISSUES/POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Is there anything that I should know that could pose a hindrance to your mission activity (e.g. health issues, phobias, previous/current addictions, anger issues, past incidents etc…)?

QUESTION 6 – EXPECTATIONS
Please list and elaborate on the expectations that you have in terms of what you think your mission trip will entail relating to both service (what you will do) and personal (how you will grow).

QUESTION 7 – PERSONAL PROFILE
Please write a description of yourself focusing on what your gifts are (spiritual and other) and where you see yourself being able to add the most value.

QUESTION 8 – COMMITMENT AREAS
At our school, we are committed to the following:

1. Maintaining a standard of Christian witness, which means exemplary conduct in the following areas:

1. Language
2. Behaviour
3. Attitude
4. Appearance



1.Living out a Biblical model of missions, which means committed involvement in the following areas:

1. Daily devotions
2.Evangelism
3.Teaching
4.Social Work



Are you able to commit to these areas? If so, please describe the four-conduct areas and the four-involvement areas as you think they might apply during your term here (e.g. exemplary conduct in language means…).

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WILLINGNESS TO SERVE OUR LORD!

 

Ground Rules



Before you come to Aurora, you need to agree the following rules, which apply at all times while you are in the service of Aurora even on your off-days! Please also access the given Scripture – these are not proof texts for each rule, but guides to bolster meaning:


RULE 1 – BE AN EXAMPLE
You may not drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco. We believe that complete avoidance of these substances is the safest route to ensure a consistent witness without offending anyone or causing anyone else to stumble – see 1 Corinthians 8:9-13.

RULE 2 – BE SAFE
You may not travel alone into any areas without prior approval and a briefing from your leaders – this is for safety reasons – see Luke 10:1 (‘two-by-two’).

RULE 3 – SUBMIT TO AUTHORITY
You must respect those in authority at all times, submitting obediently to their rule, without being insubordinate or serving miserably – see Hebrews 13:7. This rule also encapsulates taking direction and advice from your team leader – when you are here there will be many voices clamoring for your attention, and varying opinions, therefore you are to seek council with your team leader and submit to their expertise.

RULE 4 – WORK HARD
You must work hard in all the tasks assigned to you, doing your best at all times, as part of your witness for the Lord – see Colossians 3:23.

RULE 5 – LIVE HEALTHY
You must sleep and eat well. This is important to maintain a healthy body and mind, ensuring high energy levels and clarity of thought – see 1 Corinthians 10:31.

RULE 6 – BE CONSTRUCTIVE
You must love your fellow missionaries and Aurora staff by assisting, helping and supporting them at all times bearing in mind the definitions of love in 1 Corinthians 13.

RULE 7 – BE OPTIMISTIC
You may not be grumpy. This links into rule 3 and 4 and it does not deny that people have off-days, neither does it promote fakeness. Rather, this rule exists to foster energy and joy in obedience and activity – see Philippians 4:4.

RULE 8 – WITNESS
You may not miss opportunities to witness. Your mission is to be a witness for Jesus Christ by consistently being on the lookout for ways in which to be an ambassador for Christ in word and deed – Ephesians 6:19-20.

RULE 9 – CROSS CULTURAL SENSITIVITY
You must be sensitive to the foreign culture. You will experience culture shock – access Mark Tittley’s article here to assist you in preparing for this culture shock, and to provide you with tools to cope. Your goal is not to be counter-cultural, unless it is a Christian moral issue – see 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

RULE 10 – GIFT GIVING AND COMMUNICATION
Giving gifts (monetary and other) directly to scholars and staff is strictly forbidden. All gift-giving is to take place anonymously through the school Principal, and only if she so consents to the gifts. The same applies to communication – all interaction is to take place via teachers@auroraprimaryschool.com. Telephone numbers, addresses and email addresses are to be kept strictly confidential.

RULE 11 – IT’S ALL ABOUT THE STORY OF HIS GLORY
You must glorify God in everything. All of your words and deeds are to magnify God’s good reputation bearing in mind that “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him” (John Piper) – see Psalm 67.

Romans 12 encompasses the spirit of these rules – it should be read and used to bolster and guide your behaviour at Aurora.

REMEMBER: A MISSIONS TRIP IS NOT A CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY!

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