SHORT TERM OPPORTUNITIES
If you’re looking to see how God can use you in the world, AIM’s short-term program is a great place to start. Short term offers the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and invest in something bigger than yourself; to discover a world where God is at work in wonderful ways, and to be a part of it. With a flexible attitude and a servant’s heart, you’ll be a blessing to many, and you’ll come away blessed as well. AIM offers assignments of a year or less in a wide range of ministry types.
What do Short Termers do?
Short-Term assignments vary widely. We try to match your gifts and abilities to an assignment that will suit you well. Sometimes our units request short term personnel to meet specific goals, which can include a wide range of tasks. There are opportunities in teaching, medicine, engineering and construction, office and administrative work, agriculture and community development, technical support and more. Some assignments are fairly open, and you simply go to lend a hand in ways that are helpful.
It is good to keep in mind; however, the ‘big picture’ of what AIM is aiming for – that of making disciples. Our mission statement is: Christ centred churches among all African peoples. Everything we do keeps this end in mind. The way our short-term personnel can most effectively make disciples is within placements that are an integral part of Regional or Unit strategy goals.
Who can be a Short Termer?
Vibrant, growing Christians who are 19 and older (even retirees!) or have finished one year of tertiary education. We are looking for people with:
- A heart for God’s Kingdom
- Servant attitude, to meet the ministry needs within the purpose of AIM
- Ability to move people closer to Christ by proclamation of the Gospel in life and word
- Integration of character and competence
- Effective cross-cultural ministry experience
- View for long-term impact
Can I go for two weeks?
The short answer to that is ‘No’. Or to be more precise, ‘very rarely’. If we do place people for a couple of weeks, it is at the request of the ministry, and not the short termer who wants a quick ‘experience’. We believe that assignments of three months or more is a far better stewardship of time, money and effort invested for the placement to be worthwhile. Teams usually go for 4-6 weeks.
How are Short Termers financed?
AIM Short Termers raise financial support from one or more churches, their family and friends, or they pay for their outreach themselves. Short Termers are responsible to raise the full amount needed for their trip. The amount you’ll need varies depending on the length and location of your assignment, and once an assignment is worked out, we will give you a budget for the assignment. AIM is a faith mission, and as with our full term missionaries, we stand by the principle of ‘full information, no solicitation’ when it comes to raising support. Write to us if you want to know more about this.
What is the estimated cost?
Costs vary based on ministry location. The basic costs include: pre-field orientation, visa fees, round-trip airfare to your destination (or the cost of road transport), debriefing on your return, room and board while on the field, administrative costs in your country of service, medical insurance (if you are currently not covered internationally), and personal needs.
A rough guide is to calculate the airfare plus approx. R7000 per month per person. (Please note that the Rand/Dollar exchange rate often greatly affects this amount. Transport within the country of service would be extra, as well as pocket money.
What are the administration fees for?
As the Short Term program is self financing, the purpose of the fees are to cover the costs of researching and setting up placements, as well as regular administration and member care costs during the placement. The goal is to keep these costs as minimal as possible while ensuring an excellent program
What about teams?
AIM sends a number of teams to a variety of locations in Africa. These teams usually serve from four to eight weeks. Being part of a mission team is an excellent opportunity to serve while establishing quality interpersonal relationships with other team members and nationals. You’ll need to be willing to give up personal rights and be vulnerable and accountable to the team. Together, you’ll make a difference in each other’s lives and in the lives of those you serve in ministry. Short term coordinators in each unit (country) regularly send the mobilising offices a list of opportunities for teams to come and serve in their area, and the general dates of possibilities. We try to keep our teams as ‘ministry-driven’ (for example X country would like a team of 6-8 people to come and do ministry with children during June-August for a month; or Y country would like a team of 4 to come and help build a community centre). In this way the team input has long-term value and meets a real need. Vital to any team is a good team leader.
How long does it take to organize?
We try to do things as quickly as possible, but bear in mind that any mission experience (short term or not) is not a casual business that we do on the spur of the moment. We always check out references with your pastor/church leader, interview you and liaise with the country you will be serving in.
We also commit ourselves to ensuring you are well-prepared, have good orientation and an understanding of what is involved. It is wise to allow some months for this. Occasionally things dove-tail smoothly, but most often it takes some time. It is very helpful to us if we have time to interact properly with you, with your church, and with the receiving country. We also pray about your time in mission, and, like you want to be assured that the Lord will be honoured in this experience.
Are there risks involved?
Naturally, we aim to minimize risk and make sure your assignment is, as far as possible, a safe and secure option. Fact is there is risk in crossing the road! None of us can guarantee that you will not get sick, or that some civil unrest will not put you at risk. In order to minimize unnecessary risk, we:
- Require all short termers to have emergency medical insurance,
- Try to prepare you as much as possible for the risks you might be facing by giving you the information we feel you may need for this placement. For this reason, we require all our Short Termers to undergo orientation.
- Make sure that you know who you can contact if the need arises.
- Being under the Short term department of AIM in the country you are serving is a responsible way of placing you. We ask all our Short Termers to respect the authority and decisions of those over them.
In spite of all our best efforts to both prevent crises, and also deal with them as they come up, ‘stuff happens’. We cannot guarantee your safety and security. However, please be assured that we take your well-being seriously.