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Jeremy Benbrooks Painting is my least favorite chore—hands down! The preparation is tedious. Scraping, sanding, cleaning, taping, and stirring are not ways that I enjoy spending my day off. Preparing for a project can take hours, but a lesson I’ve learned is that thorough preparation is the key to a paint job well-done. Preparation cannot be overlooked; and if it is, the result is often failure. Every CAMP BIMI alumnus will remember the statement: “A call to go is a call to prepare.” These words are profoundly true. Just as preparation is an essential element to painting, preparation is also an indispensable element to our calling. The process can be tedious. Completing education, deputation, and language school add years to the process. But a well-prepared missionary will have a much better opportunity to succeed in the task to which God has called him. Consider the example of Moses, the great leader of the children of Israel during the exodus and journey towards the Promise Land. His preparation began when his mother placed him in a basket, and he was discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter. As a member of the ruling elite of Egypt, he was presumably afforded an advanced education and learned how to conduct himself in Pharaoh’s court. He also spent many years in self-exile after killing an Egyptian slave master. Each lesson he learned was part of his preparation that eventually allowed him to lead God’s chosen people out of slavery. Not every example in the Bible was quite so privileged. Not everyone used by God was highly educated, but each was well-prepared in his own right. We simply cannot overlook the importance of being well-prepared. Consider the following suggestions: • A missionary must be appropriately educated. For some this means a bachelor’s degree, while for others this could lead to technical training or advanced degrees. • A missionary must have sufficient financial support. Deputation can seem like a never- ending process, but without the necessary personal and ministry funds, the missionary will struggle to supply basic needs for his family and ministry. • A missionary must have the necessary language level. We all learn language at different rates; take whatever time is necessary to have a solid grasp on the language, and never compare yourself to others. While this list is by no means exhaustive, lacking education, financial support, or language level places the missionary in danger of failure. Unfortunately, my painting efforts have failed on numerous occasions. I failed to prepare and the results were disappointing. Our ministry preparation should be different. By patiently completing each step, we establish a solid foundation upon which the Lord can use us in His harvest. Jeremy (CB I ’04b, CB II ’05), and his wife, Mattie (CB I ’02, CB II ’03, SM ’04), are missionaries in French- speaking West Africa.