Q: What is CRM?
A: CRM = Chin Refugee Ministry. FBC has partnered with CRM to help facilitate and organize ministry.
Q: I don’t speak any Chin. How will I communicate with them?
A: The families you are working with are all connected with CRM. If there is no one in your apartment that speaks any English, you will be given the name of a neighboring “translator” to help. But you will be amazed at how much you can communicate if you just try. Purchase a monolingual picture Oxford English dictionary at the book store and point out pictures to explain what you mean.
Q: What if I make a cultural mistake and offend them?
A: You will. But the Chin can tell when you are genuinely trying to get to know them, and they are a very forgiving people. The biggest mistake you can make is being judgmental with such attitudes as “they don’t watch their kids”; they don’t clean their apartments well enough, etc. The second biggest mistake you can make is thinking that their biggest need is financial. Their biggest needs are acceptance and encouragement.
Q: What if I don’t have the money to buy Christmas or financially provide for other activities?
A: CRM has money to help you with this ministry. Your financial condition should never be a reason for not working with the Chin; in fact, it will make you grateful for your blessings.
Q: I still have questions. How do I get them answered?
A: Each family dynamic is different, theirs and yours. Fill out the Family Profile and connect with Jimmy Bryan. Jimmy can address questions specific to your situation and ministry goals.
How do I get started?
Step 1: Click on this link to complete the“Family Profile”, it will be automatically sent to Jimmy Bryan – Missions Minister.
Step 2: Attend a “Meet the Family” time with a CRM representative.
Step 3: Meet your family to exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates and set up your weekly time to meet. Your CRM rep will be there to facilitate this first meeting. The Chin family will know you are coming: CRM does a “briefing” with the Chin before you come so that they will know why you are coming and what they can do to help you feel more comfortable.
Step 4: Go to your first family meeting time. You will be given a template of some “ice-breakers” that we have found helpful through this first few meetings.
Step 5: Continue meeting with your family weekly. Ask if they have papers for you to read or if they need your help. If they say no, then continue with your template activities which will include such activities as bring a map of the area and show them where you live and help them locate on the map where they live, show them pictures of your family and they will show you pictures of their family, etc. It may take a couple of meetings for them to open up to you about a need. Or it may not. It just depends on the family.
Step 6: Initiate and participate in the seasonal activities outlined above.
Those who have done family mentoring say after the initial excitement wears away, it takes about 6 months to feel like you are accomplishing anything. The Chin will be polite and kind to you always, but they are a low-trust culture, and it takes that long for you to really be accepted. When the wall comes down, you will know it because they will treat you differently. You will be treated more as a member of their extended family and that is when true community between you and them will begin.