These are some of the typical questions we are asked about serving with SIM.
We provide short-term ministry opportunities, but always with the intent that they meet strategic needs in a given location, and that they never take away from work that could be done by people in the local economy. Except for extenuating circumstances, our shortest short-term assignments for individuals/families are for two months.
On average, it takes about three months to go from completed application to placement (Short Term) or to invitation to our evaluation weekend, called SIMStart (Midterm and Long Term).
Yes, people are allowed to return to the U.S. for personal reasons during a term, but it has to be planned with team leadership and with the understanding that the trip is at personal expense.
But there’s a bigger issue to this question. We believe that God leads a couple into ministry together. That’s not to say that both spouses are doing the same thing all the time, but both spouses need to be united – on the same page – when it comes to serving overseas.
Home schooling, public schooling, and boarding school are all good educational options, so we do not mandate which option must be followed; we want families to make choices that work best for them! As part of the prefield screening process, all SIM personnel undergo background checks and training in child safety issues. As part of the prefield orientation process, we provide age-appropriate training for the kids to prepare them for the transitions they will face.
We begin with an informal conversation, not a job interview, but an opportunity for us to listen to your story and to share some of ours, and through the conversation to dream together where God might be leading. If you and we both sense God leading to the next step, we’ll ask you to complete a preapplication to gather some basic, static information (address, birth dates, etc.). This information becomes the core of the formal application, so you won’t have to input it again. The preapplication also asks you to confirm agreement with SIM’s Statement of Faith and to share briefly why you sense that God is leading you to serve. After you’ve completed it we’ll provide another opportunity for conversation to further assess whether or not to move forward. If all seems right, the next step is the formal application.
Once you’ve submitted the application, your Recruitment Coordinator will hand you off to a Selection Coordinator who will walk the next leg of the journey with you. At this time we’ll check out your references and ask you to complete various forms, depending on which ministry track you’re on. It’s at this point that the placement dialogue becomes more specific.