Each situation may be different for each individual or family on whether or not to work with a sending agency. From Search Party’s perspective, the most important things are that you have people who can satisfy the requirements that we have set out within the Sending Agency Agreement and sign the agreement on your behalf.
That said, please keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements, not necessarily all that you need to thrive and prosper while you are living overseas.
There are several advantages to working with a sending agency, including:
- Receiving and disbursing your finances
- Managing financial reporting and FICA taxes
- Training and preparation to come to the field
- Group purchasing of insurance
- Ongoing advice and pastoral care
Here is an additional article that may be helpful in thinking through why you would want to work with a sending agency: https://bethanygu.edu/blog/missions-agencies/what-is-a-missions-agency-and-why-should-you-use-one/
Of course, each agency will vary in its capacity and efficacy in completing these and other tasks, so you will need to weigh each agency carefully. We suggest not only interviewing the people from the agency, but also request to speak with people in the field who have been with the agency for some time, or who have a similar situation for you or your family.
In short, although we do not require it, Search Party recommends having a mission sending agency. Here are some of the sending agencies that our teammates are working with currently: