You might be interested in coming out to Taiwan on a short term team. But you want to be a help to your missionary, not a hindrance. And you're not sure, is the presence of your church members really helpful to the mission? Is is cost effective?
So here is an answer to some of those questions:
What would your budget be like and what would you do?
There are several issues related to the budget:
1. Do you want to go through MTW or arrange everything yourselves?
* Immunizations: for short term of a week or two, you do not need immunizations.
* Visa Fees: Free 30-day landing VISA keeps it simple -- you get it at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (formerly CKS Airport). For Taiwan government questions go to your friendly neighborhood Taiwan consulate a.k.a. the "Taipei Economic & Cultural Office". Find the TECO office for your region.
* On-field Food: $15 per day per person. This gives you leeway. For those who want to be free to eat out and meet with other people, this level is good. For short-term teams on a limited budget, you can prepare your own food for cheaper than this. Taiwan's food is surprisingly economical, partly, no doubt, due to the absence of high-minimum wage or excessive regulatory laws.
* On-field Lodging: This depends completely on the size of your team and duration of stay. If there are not too many people, and for not too long, you might be able to be hosted in people's homes and so not have any housing costs. You might add additional lodging expenses if there is a plan to go to another area of Taiwan for a few days. In that case, there could be arranged cheap housing. E.g. if you go to I-Lan County and you could stay at the Tsunah Foundation dorms, I don't think it is more than $30 per night. It might be less.
* Transportation: $4 per day. Depending on the trip plan, we might add train tickets to other areas of Taiwan. E.g. Round-trip tickets to I-Lan are about $10.
* Field Ministry: Cover the costs of buying supplies for ministry... e.g. food if you are doing an outreach event, Bibles for handing out, tracts, etc.
* Field Missionaries: You might add a line item in your budget to give some kind of support to the missionary hosting and arranging things for you. This is optional, not compulsory.
The goal of short-term teams is to be a catalyst to further develop ministries already in effect or to help expand ministries to new areas. (I never think the main goal of the short-term team is to introduce members to the idea of missions. That may be a secondary effect, but God can call people without having them travel half-way around the world.)
This goal is accomplished in several ways:
The very fact of your presence is an excuse to do outreach events or impetus to do extra things in ministry. Also, it is a chance for the missionary to try a new approach.
Areas of activity:
1. Aiding Existing Church plants.
- Evangelism/Discipleship contact. The short-termers will make personal connections with Taiwanese who then can be followed up by the church plants. Time will be allocated to going to areas, e.g. student campuses, or coffee shops, or business districts at the lunch hour, to make the contacts, and possibly share the Gospel.
- Broad spectrum event: More general/mass media outreach event. E.g. a big concert, etc. the Team could help with that all the logistics of that... and so people who come to the concert (which would include evangelistic message) would be connected with a local church for follow-up.
- Teaching -- The ST team coming could be an excuse for an internal event in the church... teaching or covering some topic that the church members and new Christians need to know.
- The team would take part in a visit and survey of potential area for
future church planting.
This is more of a catalyst for the missionary to visit the new area, as well as an excuse for the missionary to visit the Christians or churches in the area, and question them about the needs. And the survey trip could serve as an investigation for the ST-team to adopt a target area for future work. E.g. ST-team from a certain church would develop a specific prayer/target/relationship with the area, and come back every year or every other year... and help push the church planting work along in that specific region. As the church is planted, it could have a partnership relationship with your church in the U.S.
Outside energy on which the missionary can draw always helps. Your churches can help serve giving that energy supply.
And we'd probably want to introduce you to the three main cultural groups... Taiwanese, Hakka, and Mandarin speakers.
Part of this aspect, together with the other areas, is to develop your understanding and commitment to pray for the work in Taiwan.
Rev. Joel H. Linton
Missionary to Taiwan ---Team: Taiwan Church Planting Partners
Mission to the World
short term teams