“Creative Access Countries” …yeah, what’s that?
“Creative access countries” is a missions term to describe a country in which a missionary is not able to obtain a missionary visa to enter a specific country, generally, because the government or people of that country are hostile against the spreading of the Gospel. These countries, usually, have laws against any type of Christian proselytism or church-planting efforts.
Therefore, a missionary must find a creative way to access that country. Since his primary reason on paper can not be that of anything missions related, he must create a new reason as his primary reason to enter the country. Once a missionary chooses an approve way to enter the country, he genuinely enters the country under that reason, carrying out it’s purpose, but also having a second agenda of which is missions related.
Such countries in which this process must be done is deemed a “Creative Access Country.”
Creative Ways to Enter
Creative ways to enter a “Creative Access Country” have been boiled down to a few categories, but with several options within. I will present a few general ways below that I have noticed here in China and in other countries. Keep in mind that when considering which to do, you not only need to consider “how do I get in” but also “why does this fit my goals,” …meaning this option might sound good but will it conflict with your ultimate mission. With each option below I will present pros, cons, and results as I see them.
Teacher – In many of these countries there are job opportunities for teachers to enter the country and teach on a specific subject. These opportunities include kindergarden to college level positions. One of the more populars options, especially in China, is that of Teaching English as a Second Language.
pros to this option is that you get a long-term visa, salary, housing (sometimes), and are contracted for a certain period of time.
cons to this is that is it generally requires a lot of your time, you are not your own boss, and the importance of the position can precede the importance of the mission.
result of this has been good because of the large amount of people who choose this route, collectively there has been a good amount of fruit. The downside is that most who choose this option on are involved in Christian proselytism and not in a church-planting effort.
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