Skip to content

Fresh Perspective on Overseas Opportunities

  • DME

Disciple-Making Employees (DME) is an innovative approach to sharing the good news through the workplace and educational environments. Unlike Business as Mission (BAM) entrepreneurs who establish businesses in underserved communities, DME members opt for job transfers or enroll in educational programs overseas, leveraging their unique positions and skill sets to engage with unreached communities.

DME members integrate faith and work to establish authentic connections with local employees or fellow students. This incarnational approach fosters trust and opens doors for deeper conversations about the good news.

Alex and Sofia* have recently returned from a six-year stint in Asia. They agreed to share their experience as DME members with MDE.

*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Describe your experiences in Asia.

Alex: The first portion of my time in Asia was as a student, enrolled in an English-language MBA program. I was on a scholarship from the government that covered tuition, room, and board. The students in my program were nationals and those from countries around the world. Through teachers, there were some cool connections with other students outside my program of study.

After three or four years, I joined a BAM company, having met the owner through an international group we attended. 

Sofia: I went to Asia after receiving a four-year scholarship** to learn the predominant language. I was invited to the international group, and then to a book study. I saw the love among believers, and I wanted to be like them. The Father saved me and everything changed. 

After graduation, I worked for a few months and then became a full-time volunteer for the international group. Those years were rich in opportunities and contact with people. It worked well that one person was working outside the home and one person was with the international group. Life in a megacity can be stressful because of all the people and the noise. But the Father was at work. It was amazing to see him work miracles in people’s lives with our own eyes.

Alex: There were abundant opportunities to encourage and learn from local friends and the like-minded. People go to Asia from many unreached places, such as Afghanistan, North Korea, and India.

Because of the press of time and responsibilities, we have learned the importance of teams. Some people in our business were focused on moving the business forward, while others were focused on serving the international group in teaching and training roles. This division of responsibility allowed the business to thrive without overwhelming any single individual.

Sofia: People were encouraged to serve in many ways, even in small things, like watching children. It all made a difference in each person’s ability to focus on their responsibilities. I miss being part of this international group that was like-minded in focus and activity. There were many international students that attended, and those in leadership positions realized that our time with them was short – the maximum was six years. 

How did MDE help you while you lived in Asia?

Alex:  I had been thinking about going overseas for a while. A friend introduced me to MDE, which was a better option for me compared to other organizations with more stringent requirements, longer preparation periods, and higher costs. My plan was to study and then work full-time, and MDE was able to accommodate my needs, making the entire process more manageable and accessible.

I recall that it involved a rigorous process, including psychological evaluation, developing a multiplication strategy, and undergoing security training. There were many useful resources available to help me think through various aspects of the situation.

The most valuable support I received was from my mentor, Dan. He guided me through many challenges, even walking me through the death of my father while I was far away from home. If I ever needed additional resources, there was a network Dan could access to connect me with the help I required. This was particularly important as I arrived in Asia without knowing anyone. Later on, teams formed through my work and within the international group.

Sofia: Alex’s mentor was a big help to me, as were my mentors. We have felt really connected to MDE. I love the idea of people having a normal job and bringing the good news. You don’t need to choose vocational service; bring whatever you have – your skills and experience – the Father can use that.

It is helpful for people to see that we are normal—at least, that is important to people from my home country. Our jobs provide the context for sharing our lives and good news.

Alex: Since returning to the States, I have spoken several times at a local college outreach. There are those who feel a call to go overseas, but they also feel responsible for using the degree they have just earned. The student model addresses their concern. You can go overseas for a couple of years, get a job, and find out if you are cut out for life in a different country.

**Many universities in many countries offer scholarships to international students, including those from the United States, in order to boost their school’s rating and student diversity. If you are interested in learning more, please fill out an information query to learn more.

MDE, as an organization, is dedicated to supporting Disciple Making Employee members through various resources, including:

  • Volunteer mentors who provide encouragement, spiritual accountability, and guidance in developing outreach strategies.
  • Security recommendations to ensure the safety of DME members as they navigate new environments.
  • Cultural and language coaching to facilitate effective communication and understanding of local customs.
  • Resources and guidance on nurturing relationships with supporting individuals and fellowships.
  • Legal and financial guidance tailored to the specific needs of DME members.
  • Logistical support to help navigate the challenges of living and working overseas.
  • A Funding platform for raising money for certain DME travel and living expenses
  • A community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for making disciples in the workplace and educational settings.

DME members benefit from the close support of MDE staff who proactively engage with members to understand their needs and connect them with the appropriate resources. Through this collaborative approach, DME members are equipped and empowered to effectively fulfill their unique calling in sharing the good news through their professional and academic pursuits.