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Getting Your Assignment
You Are Not Just Getting a Job
When it comes time to decide what exactly it is that you will do in Wycliffe, you have entered the assignment process stage. This process differs somewhat from what you experience when you take a job in IT industry:
- In Wycliffe, you do not apply for a specific job in a specific place; you prayerfully ponder the many opportunities, with the help of your advisor. You might consider a particular part of the world or have an interest in a particular type of work, and you might actually end up fulfilling that dream in the Wycliffe context. This will all be worked out through the assignment process.
- The decision about where you serve and what you do results from consultations with various Wycliffe entities, the IT Domain Coordinator, your sending Wycliffe Organization, and God, not necessarily in that order.
- When a married couple joins Wycliffe and takes an assignment, the general expectation, if there are no children, is that both members of the couple will participate in the work of Wycliffe. Sometimes both work full-time, and sometimes, particularly when there are family responsibilities, one may fill a part-time position or not even work formally in an assignment at all. The assignment decision will consider these factors, as well as the skills and preferences of both members of the couple.
The Assignment Process
- Either before or after your acceptance your Professional Evaluation provides one or more recommendations of job type to your advisor.
- Following these recommendations, your advisor will begin researching assignment options that fit you (and your spouse and family, if applicable). A handful of assignment options will be selected from among the greatest needs, in the area of your preference (if you have one).
- Your professional skill and membership information is sent to the entity directors of the three assignment options most likely to fit your skills and your expressed preferences.
- These directors make their own evaluations of how well you (and your family) would fit into their environments. These directors then extend invitations to the new member(s) via their advisor. The new members and their advisor, after prayer and any other consultation deemed necessary (IT Domain Coordinator, etc.) accept one of the invitations. That becomes the formal assignment.
- It occurs frequently enough to mention that the initial assignment can change before the new member actually starts working. The actual beginning of job duties may well be more than a year in the future, even after the assignment has been formalized. The situation of either the new member or the Wycliffe entity could change by then, necessitating a new assignment.
- Once a new member actually arrives at their assignment location, their advisor relinquishes supervisory oversight to the entity supervisor where the member will work.
- If a member stays in Wycliffe long enough, something eventually changes. Maybe the work itself in a given area finishes. Maybe the initial job was important or urgent but did not fit the member well. Maybe a health or child's education issues forces a re-evaluation. Maybe the member is simply ready for a change of duties or scenery or a new calling from God. Because there are so many options in so many places, making a job change is common for Wycliffe IT missionaries. Getting a new assignment is similar to getting the first one.
Once You Get Your Assignment…
As soon as you and your advisor have decided on your formal working assignment and location, the next step is to determine your ministry budget. Your ministry budget is the amount that would meet all your basic living and ministry expenses from the money the Wycliffe organization receives each month from your partners. This fairly involved calculation takes into consideration the ministry location, any regular costs incurred by the ministry itself (equipment, employee salaries, etc.), communications with partners, family needs, number of children, children's education, tax liabilities (if any), health insurance, retirement savings, medical expenses, and other factors which impact the cost of your IT ministry.
Understand that your ministry budget is not a complete statement of all the money you will ever need. It is just the regular amount you will need each month to be fully supported. In addition to regular support, you will also need what we call one-time support. Those are expenses required for ministry which occur once, or at irregular intervals, such as, travel expenses (typically, to and from the assignment location), housing set-up, vehicle acquisition, language/professional training and other costs required to get started in the actual work of Wycliffe IT ministry.
The ministry budget is not an upper limit on what you can receive from your financial partners. It is the lowest amount you can receive and still be considered fully supported by Wycliffe. Permission to actually proceed to your assignment will not be granted until you are assured of an adequate support amount, either in pledges or income.
Remember that the ministry budget does not guarantee the amount you will actually receive. It only establishes your declared 100% point for regular income. It is the responsibility of each Wycliffe member to communicate with partners about, and then trust God to work through them to fully support the work in which all of you are partnering together.
Press On Toward the High Calling…
Once you have your work assignment and ministry budget, you are finally ready to pass through another crucial stage of preparation for missionary life. Please continue the Tour to see what Wycliffe's "living by faith" means.
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