With today’s technology the answer to many questions can be found by searching the internet. Therefore, you need to do your homework before taking the trip. You can use this information to better understand your country and can check it with those who you visit in the country.
Below is a list of ideas (adapted from Austin Gardner’s “Spy Out the Land“) that will get you started in your research:
The Geography of the Country
- What is the Climate?
- What crops are produced?
- What types of roads do they have?
The Politics and History of the Country
- What type of government do they have?
- How is their social development?
- What are some major conflicts?
- What are their notable Constitutions?
- What is their attitude towards the government (Communism, Socialism, Democracy)?
- What is their attitude towards North Americans?
- Do they have a respect for the law?
- Is there a history of unrest?
- How does the country functions?
- How did the country get to where it is?
The Economics and Development of the Country
- What is the salary of the people?
- What menu do the people have?
- What type of housing do they live in?
- How is their healthcare, hospitals, etc.?
- Banking, how will you get money?
- How stable is the economy?
- What is the main source of income?
The Demographics of the Country
- Where do the people live?
- How are the classes divided?
- How many people have cars, telephones, TVs, cell phones, etc.?
The Psychology of the Country
- What are they like?
- Are they organized?
- Are they open or closed?
- Are they warm or cold?
- Are they trusting or distrusting?
- What is the family situation like?
- What is their attitude towards missionaries?
- What have missionaries done that has caused hard feelings and problems?
The Spiritual Condition of the Country
- How many churches are there in the city? Baptist? Independent?
- What missionaries are working in the city, from what boards, what type of ministry do they have?
- What national missionaries are working in the city?
- Are there Christian bookstores and Christian radio or television?
- Other types of churches and ministries in the city or area
- What is the history of missions in the country?
- What is the church history in the country?
- What you will need to know to live there as comfortably as possible?