Here at the Mission Department of Tabor Evangelical College (TEC), we value that the students get a practical understanding of mission in addition to the theoretical part. Therefore, each summer we send students who have finished 2nd year Degree Program and 2nd year Diploma Program, on a mission trip. The students will be sent two-and-two to different congregations in areas with few Christians or where the Christians are a minority group.
The mission trip lasts for 3 weeks but before leaving, the students as well as representatives from the congregations are attending Mission Course given at TEC. During their three weeks stay in the field the students will participate actively in the life and activities of the congregation they are visiting as well as engage in evangelism, when possible.
Upon their return and continuation of their studies, the students will give report during devotion time as well as hand in written reports and papers based on data collection carried out during the trip. While in the filed the students are requested to study the local culture and challenges that the Christians face and based on their theological and anthropological skills, they are to describe these challenges and come up with suggestions as to how these issues can be addressed.
When reading though some of these reports and papers, you discover that there are so really difficult challenges for the Christians in the above mentioned areas, and also really issues, that need to be addressed by the church locally. A few examples of this are the issue of ‘mingi’ children in South Omo. These children are seen a coursed by the society due to being born as twins, or getting teeth in upper part of the mouth first, and due to this and other things, they are regarded as impure and considered a threat to the rest of the community. As Christians and as the church, what is the message that we bring to these people, and how can we best preach the gospel into their cultural context?
In the Borana area drought has been sever the past few years and among the Borana people ritual sacrifices of animals has been a way of appealing to their traditional god for rain. As Christians and as the church, what is our message to a people group in crisis, struggling to survive due to drought?
In other areas we find the Christians as a small minority group in a Muslim dominated society, and even the smallest attempt to evangelism outside of the church compound may lead to imprisonment. The call that we have been given and the Great Commandment, what do we do with these if we are prohibited from doing evangelism?
These and many more issues the students have been struggling with during their Summer Mission Trip, and for the two years it is the aim of the TEC to teach and help the students grow in Christian maturity to become the ministers needed in the church, qualified also to address issues like these.