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A study of the perceptions of career American missionaries in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania relating to their overseas field-based orientation experiences
The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experience of 12 missionaries living in the Countries of Kenya and Tanzania who had participated in various field based orientation programs in order to determine their perceptions of personal success and make recommendations for future field based orientation programs for missionary personnel. This study was driven by the question of how a select segment of missionaries described their initial orientation in relation to their perceived effectiveness on the field. Four major themes emerged from the data relative to field based orientation and at least two very important concepts relative to these individual missionaries.^ Every year thousands of new missionaries relocate overseas with the intent of serving God in a new culture. Almost all experience cultural shock and problems; some so severely they return home. Others remain but maintain feelings of inadequacy and ineffectiveness. Others see their lives differently and move forward in their ministry with a positive attitude regardless of their personal circumstances.^ This qualitative study took a phenomenological approach to examine orientation experiences. The data were collected during a series of interviews and discussions that were developed into strong narratives. This approach allowed the participants to reflect deeply on their experiences and for their voices to be heard.^ Four major themes emerged through the interviews. Relationships, communications, language and culture, and calling and personal discipleship were found to be of extreme importance to all participants. Interestingly, only one (calling and personal discipleship) had any connection to any of the participants’ definitions of personal success.^ Regardless of personal feelings related to their orientation, the data revealed that calling and personal discipleship appeared to have more influence than orientation and field experiences in determining whether a family “might” leave the field early to return home permanently.^
Education, Administration|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare|Education, Higher
Basham, John S, "A study of the perceptions of career American missionaries in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania relating to their overseas field-based orientation experiences" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3388952.