This includes making decisions about where to assign them, and with whom. Hopefully, that works out well...
Every six weeks, those finishing their two-year assignment, or 18-months in the case of the Sisters, gather for a final dinner with us and head home.Meanwhile, a new group comes in the next day, uneasy and breathing hard from the altitude, fresh from two to six weeks of instruction at the Mission Training Center in Lima. They come from every country in South and Central America, and about a third are from the U.S.
About a third of the young missionaries are women.
Health problems arise, most often from contaminated food and drink, with brief gastrointestinal problems being the bane of the missionaries' existence. Many suffer briefly from the altitude when they arise, but most adapt quickly. Luckily, serious illness has been uncommon.
We are responsible for the interaction of the Mission with the excellent and faithful local Church leaders, many of whom are relatively recent converts themselves.
We are also here to help those with problems of homesickness, anxiety, etc., which are also fortunately uncommon.
We are helped immensely by the young leaders assigned from the missionaries themselves who watch out for and help each other.
And yes, we take time occasionally to do fun things.
We are also blessed to have a great office staff of young missionaries who serve for three to six months, as well as two outstanding young men who serve as my Assistants. We couldn't do this without these young men.
At present, we also have a senior couple serving in the office for two years, handling the finances of the Mission and helping with reports.
Our assignment is to last three years, starting last July 1st and ending in 2016, during which time we are not to leave the Mission. We are provided with a place to live, food and transportation (see previous entries where we could be accused of abusing the latter).
We are honored to serve, and although the work is sometimes difficult, and usually busy and tiring, it is fulfilling. So far, we're glad to be here.
Dave & Paula