The Appointee’s Journey To Becoming A Full-time Missionary

What does it take to become a full-time missionary? What does the preparation process look like? Is it difficult? It can be hard to fully comprehend the complexities of this journey; an appointee commonly goes through a whirlwind of experiences, including a wide range of emotions and a furthering of their dependency on God. Willing to share their own personal journeys of becoming full-time missionaries, are GEM Canada’s Katarina Colegrove, now in her first year overseas, and Joel Kennedy, a current appointee.

Appointed to serve with Greater Europe Mission in 2018, Katarina Colegrove and her family spent five years support raising, planning, and preparing for their move to Germany, where they now reside. “Support raising was different [and harder] than I had expected… but this process has shaped us,” Katarina explains. “We wouldn’t have been [spiritually] ready to be immediately sent to Germany. It helped us to be more faithful over a period of time.”

Much of the time between getting appointed and arriving in the serving country is spent contacting and meeting with churches, friends, family, and even strangers. It’s a time of sharing one’s vision and extending an invitation to support one’s cause financially and prayerfully. “Remaining excited all the time was more difficult than I had thought. When you’re on your 100th appointment and you’ve said your thing 100 times, remembering that the other person doesn’t know your whole story is so important,” Katarina says.

Joel Kennedy and his family of four have recently been appointed with GEM and are now eager to make disciples in France. Although they knew in their hearts, for the past 14 years, that God wanted them in France, they’ve just recently felt God’s go-ahead to pursue it, and are now raising support to make it happen. “There’s been a lot of things that God has had to teach us,” Joel reflects. “A lot of things that we didn’t know that we needed to know, including the idea of surrendering to and worshipping God through the process.”

An important distinction all appointees need to discern is when God wants them to begin ministry. He knows what growth or equipping they may need before becoming a missionary. For those who are in the midst of support-raising: “Try to remember that putting in more hours of time and work does not necessarily mean you will be supported faster,” Katarina remarks. “Yes, you have to put in the effort, but it’s when God wants you to be there, and that’s how it’s going to be.”

Raising financial support isn’t the only item on an appointee’s agenda. There are books to be read, resources to be accessed, and leaders to meet with – all for the sake of ensuring appointees are well equipped for the road ahead. Events like Mission Prep are important for further preparing the person for the massive life change they’re embarking on.

“[Mission Prep] was two-weeks of training,” Katarina explains. “At the time, I don’t think I realized how helpful it was. [Now that we’re in Germany], it’s really nice to be able to go back [to what we had learned] when feeling confused, or [when] there’s a lot of things happening.” “We were stretched and challenged in many meaningful ways… it was truly vital in the process of preparing our family for our future on the field,” Joel added.

Whether a person is an appointee for only a few months before reaching missionary status, or a few years, it’s a busy and productive time! Between raising financial and prayer support, taking any necessary classes, and meeting all other requirements for moving into a new land, it’s an exciting, and often exhausting time. If you know an appointee, we encourage you to reach out and offer your support. A word of encouragement goes a long way and knowing they are being prayed for is often the fuel they need to continue in their journey! If you do not know an appointee, but are looking to offer your support, please contact our office today and we’ll connect you with someone! You can email [email protected] or call our toll-free number: (866) 241-3579