Working as an Interpreter on a Mission Trip To Russia

Welcome to the Family

If you are considering serving as an interpreter with Russian Christian Missions, Inc., then let me express my gratitude to you for considering expressing your love for Jesus, by working along side of us in our ministry. We value our interpreters more than as just interpreters. By that I mean for most, if not all of the Americans, you will be like family by the end of the 13 day trip.

One of the ideas expressed on the December 2005 trip, by one of our interpreters, was this very thing. He said that with our group he felt like he was with family and that the feeling he had with us was rarely felt at home. This means, that I and the Americans with me, did our job in making you our interpreters feel like equal team members and even more importantly we made you feel like family.

I personally regard you as more valuable than my American friends. Why is this? Even if I could not get one American to come and work with me in Russia, we could still get the job done, by hiring interpreters to both interpret and do the jobs we have to do. I do value my American friends and I want them to come, I practically beg them to come, but I say all of this to let you know that I value you and your work very highly.

Requirements To Serve as an Interpreter

  • You must have been a Christian for at least one year from the beginning of the mission trip. If you are not a Christian, then please do not apply for a job with us. You do not understand the concepts of Christianity and you will not be able to express Christian theological concepts and doctrine with the correct vocabulary. Even more importantly, you do not believe what we will be teaching and this will come across in your speech. So then the very people we are attempting to teach will not believe us, because they will not believe you.
  • You must be fluent in both Russian and English.
  • You must be a Russian. Why? Because our ministry is all about blessing Russians and the pay we give among other things is truly a blessing to our interpreters.
  • You must be willing to work and live with us in whatever housing we live in unless you live in the city where we are working.
  • You must be willing to share cleaning and cooking responsibilities with the entire team (American and Russian).
  • You must be willing to have fun, because we always have fun.
  • You must be willing to tell your testimony about how you came to know Jesus Christ.
  • You must love children, because most of our interpreters will be speaking to children for most of the time we need your skills.
  • You must be willing to eat the same foods we eat.

Note: Please read the above very carefully. All team members both Russian and Americans will participate in the cooking and cleaning. That is what being a team member and a family member is all about.

Job Duties

  • Interpret accurately all that is said with your complete loyalty dedicated to the team.
  • Cook meals (all team members do this) it is simple cooking, nothing difficult about it.
  • Clean up after meals including washing the dishes (all team members do this).
  • Play games with other members of the team and in general socialize with us. You may not go off and be by yourself.
  • Participate in our Secret Pal game. We give small gifts (candy, gum etc.) and a note of encouragement to our secret pal each and every day.
  • Go shopping with the team for souvenirs and sometimes food.
  • Go to Moscow and visit Red Square and the Pushkin Museum or other museum.

Note: I repeat. Please read the above very carefully. All team members both Russian and Americans will participate in the cooking and cleaning. That is what being a team member and a family member is all about.

Compensation

Let me start by saying that after reading about our compensation policy if you think that we are not paying enough then please let me know. I don't want to pay more than everyone else, but I don't want to be the cheapest either. As I said, I value you and your work and I try to let that show through our pay.

We will pay for your transportation by bus or train to and from your home, anywhere in Russia, to our destination city where we will be working.

We will pay $30/day for your services as interpreter as defined above. This rate may go up if the exchange rate for the dollar versus the rouble changes.

We will not pay for any medical problems you may encounter while working with us. We do however share ALL of our snacks with our interpreters. I am told that this is rarely done with other teams. Well it ought not to be RARE, but that just makes me feel better about how we treat you, our interpreters.

Note: Again, if you feel that our compensation is not fair or less than good pay then let me know and I will consider changing our compensation. Saying something to me about this will in no way affect your opportunities to serve with us, now or in the future.

Cautions

Until 2007, I never had a problem in the area of romance on our trips, and then there it was raising its ugly head. Ugly, because it can ruin a mission trip and soil the reputation of a mission trip leader.  Russian Christian Missions, Inc.is NOT a dating service. If that is what you want there are plenty online just for the asking.  Our purposes are to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Russia.

So here are my thoughts and yes my rules ( I hate rules).  If you sense that you would like to pursue a relationship with an American who is on the trip and both of you are single, then wait until the trip is over.  If there is a real possibility of a relationship, it will have to stand the test of time and separation whether or not you start the relationship on the trip or wait until afterwards.

  • Do NOT flirt with or cause Americans to want to pursue a relationship with you by offering to hold hands or anything like that. 
  • Do NOT go into a room with a closed door with someone of the opposite gender.
  • Do NOT discuss marriage or even make jokes about marriage or getting married.

If you break these rules I will pay you for your time worked and send you home that day. I don't mean to seem like I am a harsh person, I am not, but I can not risk our ministry's reputation by allowing this kind of thing to happen on our trips. If there is one thing the Americans and other interpreters will tell you is that I love the Russian people and I will do anything to help you. If your goal is come work with us and work hard at presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then this will not be a problem and we have a place for you on our team. By the way, the Americans receive a book to read that is nearly 50 pages long and they get the same warnings I have given you and more.

Conclusion

I want and need good Christian interpreters who want to work for a leader who is fair, just and loving.  I demand a lot, but I give a lot, and in the end we will be good friends and partners in the faith.

If you would like to speak with or write to interpreters that have worked with us in the past, please write and ask us for a reference. We will gladly put you in contact with some of them.

So, if after reading this, you still want to serve with us on our next trip, please contact me at the email address on our Contacts page.

Your brother and sister in Christ,

Andy & Stephanie Nelms