Over the twenty-five years that we have been supporting mission workers overseas, we have developed many services to help them in spreading the good news about Jesus Christ. These range from the academic, (for example, researching for information) to the practical, (such as purchasing items not obtainable where they are). In this age, where information technology (IT) plays an essential part in communications, there are a number of ways we can help. We also have some funds available to fund small projects. Click on the tabs below for more details.
We use web forms to enable you to make direct requests online. These make the process much simpler, but please note that they don't work well with non-English accents. It is best to avoid these if possible. Thank you!
MissionAssist has produced a large number of adult literacy booklets in four of the world's most widely used languages (English, French, Spanish and Portuguese). They cover a range of subjects from health, animal husbandry and small-scale farming to practical issues like simple construction techniques.
More details at: www.shellbooks.org
Is there a document or article you can't understand because it is in a foreign language? Our team of translators may be able to help you. We can also help with translating documents from English into other European languages. We currently offer this service for French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
If you need access to a good university library or there are technical or professional articles that you would like to read, that would help you in your missionary work, we can help. We draw on the huge resources of the British Library, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) library, and other institutions, in the UK and USA, to get photocopies. There is a cost of about £3 per article (sometimes less) that covers the cost of up to fifty pages of copying.
Book searches and purchase
When you need your own copies of books that are hard to find or out of print, we can search in second-hand and antiquarian book shops, as well as in internet book stores. We have contacts with about one hundred second-hand book shops, including ones that specialise in such subjects as theology and African studies. You will be expected to pay for the books and for shipping.
English language editing
For those whose mother tongue is not English, but who need to produce documents in good English, this service exists to help you by checking, correcting and improving your English documents. Our work includes prayer letters, training materials, prayer manuals, and academic submissions.
If you need to travel to or from the major London airports and need transport to get to the airport, or someone to meet you there, contact our Airport Transport Service. We have a team of drivers in the London area - and now volunteers available for Bristol, Birmingham or Leeds & Bradford airports - who are ready to pick up and drop off people at these airports. We ask you to pay running costs and parking at the airport. Please note as well that it is sometimes possible to arrange overnight accommodation if you are leaving the UK on an early morning flight, or will be returning late at night.
MissionAssist acts as an intermediary in arranging this transport as a courtesy only and the drivers are all volunteers. While we take reasonable care to ensure that drivers and their vehicles are suitable for the task, we cannot accept responsibility for any injury, financial or otherwise, that passengers, their travelling companions, or the driver, may suffer during the course of, or in consequence of, the proposed journey.
MissionAssist has a network of people in Britain who are willing to let overseas mission workers stay for a short period with them whether just overnight or for a few days. We also have volunteers who have holiday accommodation and are willing to let mission workers use this either free or for a small charge. In order to safeguard our volunteers, we ask our guests to abide by a code of conduct and we also ask you to provide the name of a senior person in your mission agency who would act as a referee.
Do you like to relax and read a magazine in an evening? If there is no local TV, and little local information, you need to keep your brain cells ticking over. MissionAssist volunteers are able to send out magazines for you and comics for your children. We may not be able to supply all titles but we will do our best. There is no charge for this service, but please write and thank the person who sends you the magazine. If you need a professional journal which is unavailable where you are, we will order it and send it regularly at your expense.
As of February 2020, we have the following magazines available:
National Trust - RSPB (Nature's Home) - Idea (magazine of Evangelical Alliance) - Premier Christianity - Balance (the magazine of Diabetes UK) - Oxford Today - Oxford Physics Department newsletter - Practical Photography - The Spectator - BBC Sky at Night
If you know a mission worker who would like one of these magazines, please contact us.
Are you working abroad and living in a remote place? Perhaps there are items you need to buy that would be easy to find at home but that you can't find locally? Maybe you are looking for a special book, computer software or parts, things for your children, or even such items as a large-sized pair of shoes, or a bouquet of flowers for your mum's birthday. Or perhaps you need a spare part for some equipment or a diesel generator? Let us know if you would like us to go shopping for you! We will be glad to help. We do need to charge you for the items we buy for you and the shipping costs, but there is no charge made for our shopping around, here and there.
This is a service whereby mission workers around the world can order medicines for either personal use or for clinics. Medicines provided include anti-malarials, antibiotics, vitamins and so on. Orders can be sent directly abroad, or to an address in the United Kingdom for friends or relatives to take out later. To comply with UK legislation, we must have a copy of an individual's prescription before any medicine can be sent. This can be sent to us as a hard copy through the post, or you can scan it and send it as a computer file.
In order to place an order, please complete a request form to provide us with a list of medicines and the quantity required, a delivery address, and an organisation account number so that we can claim costs back. We also need to know the country of final destination if medicines are to be sent to an address in the UK. Please note that, due to the regulations concerning the handling of medicines, orders have to total at least £100. Orders can be shared with others in order to reach this total if necessary. A freight charge is also added by our supplier.
Do you have any materials that are vital to your work but which need putting on computer? We do a lot of this routine keyboarding work and there is no cost to you. We can also deal with audio recordings that you wish to have typed into text files.
If we accept your project, we can return it to you in Unicode and Paratext formats (for Scripture work) or, if you prefer or it is more appropriate, formatted Word files or ASCII text format (which can be read by any word processing program). For all Scripture texts we use the current version of the Unified Standard Format Markers (USFM) in our files.
In the past we have keyboarded many Bibles and New Testaments in European and non-European languages. We can tackle older published translations of Scriptures that need putting on computer for the first time or translations 'in progress' (manuscript or typescript) to give you an electronic draft from which you can revise and finalise. Other examples of our work include dictionaries; primers; texts of stories, theological teaching materials, Sunday school lessons; literacy aids; language learning books; reports; translation textbooks - in fact, just about any type of document.
We know that many overseas workers do not have the time or expertise to use this facility properly, nor yet the full internet access that is required. We have a team of information searchers who are skilled and experienced in searching on the internet and may be able to help you. We have responded to requests for information on everything from digital cameras to the phases of the moon! This service should be related in some way to your missionary work.
Please note that our IT support service is now restricted to our members as we are aware that many mission organisations now have their own support departments. However, if you have sought help elsewhere without any success and would appreciate the chance to correspond with someone about your particular problem, please feel free to contact our website coordinator who may be able to assist, or knows someone who can!
Alternatively, you may wish to try a new service, ITconnect, offered by SIL.
Unicode file conversion
Files created with older software, using customised fonts can be converted to Unicode. This is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. It is highly probable that Unicode is capable of displaying your old text files, and that they can be converted to use Unicode compliant fonts. We are able to process most types of text material, including non-Roman scripts and non Latin-based material if suitable.
Please contact Jackie Gray, the coordinator for this service.
Are you looking for a Bible in your own language, but can't find it, even on the internet? We can help you. Or if you are a pastor of a church, wanting to provide the Scriptures for a non-English speaking person in your congregation, we can help you too. The World Bibles website has the largest index of Bibles on the internet. We are constantly finding more new languages as translators make them available. You can also find where to buy or download Bibles in over 4,000 languages. We hope this will be a great resource for you. To visit the site, simply click on the link below.
File processing services
This service is one available to mission workers. We produce a Word document from a recording (mp3 only, please). Items such as reports, minutes of meetings, project reports, sermons, lectures, commentaries, interviews, material for radio broadcasts, guidelines, memoranda, or just about anything that has been recorded and is in need of typing up into a document, which can then be cut and pasted to suit your requirements.
Do you want help with formatting your documents? Many people can use a word processor to type all the right words, but making them look attractive, or even tidy, is much more difficult. And if your document has to go to someone, like a publisher, who requires a particular font, paragraph style or page layout, that can seem impossible. We can transform your writing into a professional-looking document, or present it in a style to suit the purpose. Illustrations can be handled, but if you want a more elaborate layout, we have limited facilities for desk-top publishing. If the document is in English, we normally also do general editing, such as making sure that the grammar and punctuation are correct. Or, if you need help first with your English we can also provide a service for that.
Do you have historical records, research or teaching material in an older format that you would like to be able to use in digital form? Our media digitization service provides conversion of sound and pictures to a contemporary, digital format. For example, we can handle audio tapes, on reel to reel or cassette, photographic slides or negatives, and VHS video tapes. Once a request has been agreed, the originals should be delivered by post or messenger to the home address of the volunteer nominated to carry out the conversion work. The turnaround time will depend on the amount of conversion work requested but is typically six to eight weeks. When the work is completed, the digitized audio or pictures are usually posted back to you on a CD or DVD.
Small projects grants
Each year we have a limited amount of money available to provide grants of up to £600 each to small projects that we believe deserve some encouragement and support. These projects have to fit within our objectives as defined in our Trust Deed but, to give you an idea of what that can encompass, recent applications have included requests for funding to print Old Testament books, to train Bible translation consultants, and to help Bible college construction.
You may find it easier to search through an alphabetical list of our services. If so, please click on the button below to see all our services listed in alphabetical order.
Are looking for help with something which seems outside our usual services? Please tell us about your own particular request, or tell us about your idea for a new service which could also help other mission workers.