Starting or growing FamilyLife in countries around the world is often a huge challenge, but the best way to help ensure success is to equip godly, passionate couples who have been called by God to help families. That’s why FamilyLife Global developed a STINT (Short-Term International) program to train staff to have an impact on marriages and families globally.
Drew Coons, who helped develop the program, describes it as “a program designed for an international FamilyLife staff couple to spend one to three years at FamilyLife in Little Rock learning how to conduct a FamilyLife ministry. The program of instruction, observation, and hands-on experience will enable them to return to their home country to launch or strengthen FamilyLife.”
The STINT program includes a collection of ministry skills and tasks for the couples to learn, practice, and demonstrate. These tasks include learning Cru and FamilyLife’s core doctrines, investing in their own marriages, learning how to build teams and recruit couples, leading small groups, training small group leaders, organizing and promoting live and video events, speaking, developing finances, and learning how to minister to couples with major marriage challenges.
Patrick and Estella Low are currently beginning their third year of STINT with FamilyLife, and they plan to stay in Little Rock to continue receiving training for three more years. When their STINT is over, they will return to Singapore to launch FamilyLife.
The Lows are taking advantage of their time in the US to learn about virtually every aspect of FamilyLife ministry: events, content development, websites, radio, etc. “We’ve learned that there’s a much bigger scope of ministry beyond the Weekend to Remember® and HomeBuilders®,” Patrick says. “The STINT has helped me to see a bigger vision. We don’t want to limit what God can do.”
The Lows are already laying the groundwork for their future ministry in Singapore. They’re taking note not only of what has worked for FamilyLife in the US, but also what hasn’t worked. They plan to start their ministry small and develop it over time, and they’ve been grateful for the chance to see the various tools FamilyLife offers as they consider what will fit their country’s needs.
Daniel and Rebecca Pack are also currently doing a STINT at the FamilyLife headquarters. They will stay a couple years before returning to Korea, where they’ll take what they’ve learned to develop FamilyLife in their country. By attending several major FamilyLife events while in the US, Daniel says he’s learned what an important role volunteers play in having an effective FamilyLife ministry.
The Packs have also realized how important it is for them, as leaders, to live what they teach. Daniel acknowledges that for FamilyLife leaders to have an effective ministry, their own marriage must be strong and mature. “Otherwise, it has no power to transform,” he says. They’ve been grateful to see the examples of FamilyLife leaders who are truly living their faith and prioritizing their families while doing ministry.
One challenge the Packs have faced is seeing the differences between FamilyLife in the US and Korea, both culturally and in scale. “I need to study and find how to apply the principles of ministry in Korean society effectively,” says Daniel. But he and Rebecca are optimistic about the future of FamilyLife Korea and are trusting God for guidance.
The STINT program is a valuable experience for anyone who wants to build confidence through hands-on training and be used by God to change the legacy of families everywhere.