Exile is an intensive, residential ministry training program that equips men and women to serve in the Muslim World. We draw students from this region and beyond to gather as a community, dedicating ourselves to a transformed way of living so that we can impact the world around us. Drawing inspiration from the historic monastic communities in this part of the world, we live out a commitment to God and to one another as we cultivate an environment for our students to grow in knowledge, experience, and character.
To contact and to apply, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can join?
We only receive students who are sent and recommended by their churches, unless they are coming from a place where there isn’t a local church.
- Candidates must be fluent in English before they arrive.
- Candidates must be at least 18 years old.
- Candidates must have completed high school or have an equivalent qualification.
- Candidates are expected to have a sufficient level of spiritual maturity and character to be able to benefit from an intensive program like this one.
- Candidates must be able to affirm the Lausanne Covenant as a statement of faith.
Our community is located in North Cyprus in the heart of the Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea. The training takes place at an eco-tourism hotel and garden where students live together in a facility near the coast. It is an ideal location for communal living, where our lives are shared with one another in a rhythm of prayer, work, and study. The village is close enough to bigger towns to stay connected, and remote enough to be a genuine exit from the world around us. Classes take place in a sprawling cave on the property and work responsibilities take place in the garden, in our nearby vineyard, or in our coffee roasting and winemaking areas. The setting is beautiful and there is a swimming pool and beach nearby, however, the focus of our program is not the amenities we provide, but the growth we achieve through our commitment to God and to one another.
Exile Ministry Training isn’t a school. In a school, the goal is to impart information to the student in a primarily individualistic way. We think of the commitment we make to one another as the context and the content of the most important part of equipping that we do. It is in the context of community that character is grown. By living together we learn the disciplines of generosity, humility, forgiveness, reconciliation, vulnerability, sacrifice, and service. We are also confronted with our own inadequacies in an environment where we can address them in a healthy way. Community isn’t just a bonus or a by-product of what we do. It is the substance of our work.
The ministry training is an intensive three-month program with an optional three month internship placement in one of more than a dozen ministry locations in the Muslim world, serving alongside existing teams and ministries.
This is the daily weekday schedule at Exile:
8:30 – 9:15 Student-directed meditation, worship, and prayer
9:30 – 12:30 Classes (see curriculum below)
1:00 – 2:00 Mid-day prayer and lunch
2:30 – 5:30 Work Projects, Community Ministry, Business ( Training (see below))
6:00 – 7:00 Evening prayer and dinner
Saturdays are free until the evenings when we gather with our local fellowship for a student-oriented Bible Study.
On Sundays, we gather in the morning for worship and the afternoon is given for rest.
On Thursdays, we fast as a community during breakfast and lunch.
This program cost can be paid up front or in three monthly installments.
Students are responsible to provide their own toiletries. Other expenses not covered include cell phone plans and admission to museums or local attractions.
Students are also expected to have their own international health insurance. Medical care is generally affordable and accessible in Cyprus, and students are responsible to cover their own health care expenses.
We also try to make scholarships available to students when funds are available. Feel free to ask us about that if finances are an obstacle.
All costs are for the entire 12 week training
Housing for 12 weeks (including utilities and internet) $1300
Food (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee) $1000
Transportation and local travel $250
Educational Materials and Supplies $400
Administrative Expenses $200
TOTAL PROGRAM COST $3,100
Moral and Professional Standards
We take seriously our responsibility to set an example in our personal and ministry lives. And we take grace seriously as a crucial principle for our development. There are a few standards of conduct that we insist upon:
- Students agree not to start a romantic relationship during their training period. If they are in an existing relationship, they agree not to get engaged or married during this time.
- Students agree not to smoke anywhere on the property, or in any of our ministry locations, or with any staff or other students.
- Alcohol is only permitted on occasions where express permission has been given. Drunkenness and the use of any other drugs will not be tolerated.
- Students agree to dress modestly by the standards of our host culture.
- Living together and learning to be a faithfully committed community is an important part of our program. Students who show themselves unwilling or unable to make reasonable progress in this area may be asked to leave.
- Participation in all training program activities is required to continue as a student with us.
- We recognize that everyone struggles and experiences setbacks and occasional emotional difficulties. Where there is an emotional struggle or a moral issue, we will take each case individually and determine an appropriate course of action.
Exile Coffee and Wine
We live out a rhythm of prayer, work, and study. And all of our trainees learn about coffee roasting and brewing and about wine and winemaking. We have our own coffee roaster and a growing winemaking operation. Our business exists to give business training and experience to our students, to give them employment opportunities so that they can sustain themselves in ministry, and to bring tangible benefit to North Cyprus.
Exile Coffee roasts high quality specialty coffee and supplies to local consumers and businesses in North Cyprus. Unlike Turkey and its other Middle Eastern neighbors, Cyprus doesn’t drink very much tea. Instead, Cyprus is famous for its Turkish coffee, although a growing number of espresso cafes have opened around the island. We produce coffee for Turkish coffee, espresso, and filter coffee.
Students in our training program will receive an in-depth education in the world of coffee, including basic coffee knowledge, the origins of coffee, brewing methods, espresso, filter coffee, Turkish coffee, and coffee roasting. Students will get to know Nebuchadnezzar, our custom-built, hand crank coffee roaster.
Exile Wine focuses on producing natural wine using native grape varieties. Much of our wine is made in clay jars, often called “amphora” in the wine world, and “pithos” in Greek. We line our locally made jars with beeswax from our neighborhood beekeeper and crush the grapes by hand for fermentation and aging. Cyprus has been producing wine for more than 6,000 years and we hope to encourage a revival of this industry for North Cyprus as a way of benefitting the region through a product which is genuinely Cypriot. We partner with three local farmers for our grapes and this year we are planning to plant vines of our own in a rural area of the Karpaz peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean sea on both sides. Winemaking also gives us an opportunity to give our students training and experience in agriculture, winemaking, design, sales, and service.
Students who complete the ministry training at Exile can go on to do a three month internship placement in one of the fields where we have teams or partnering ministries. We work with ministries all over Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. There are opportunities to partner with art as mission projects, church planting, evangelism, refugee ministries, coffee roasting and serving, agriculture, sports and adventure ministries, teaching, administration, ministries to victims of trafficking, medical and physical therapy work, and student ministry.
For some, this kind of ministry training is a step toward full-time ministry. For others, this is an opportunity to explore the possibilities for the next steps and to make a meaningful contribution to fruitful ministries over a few months only.
About Motives for Joining Us
The motives we have in deciding to serve God in cross-cultural ministry are important, and they should match our ministry priorities. With that in mind, we have three priorities for your time in Cyprus:
This is the first reason for you to be with us. We wouldn’t invite you to come if we didn’t believe that you could make a real contribution to the long term fruitfulness in Cyprus and in the nations. We have many ministry opportunties that need your help now, and you have a unique contribution to make to the cause of God’s glory in the region. As we get to know you we hope to be able to find the unique ways that you can be serving with us during your time here.
Part of becoming a fruitful minister includes dedicating ourselves to learning and growing. Some of the learning you will do will happen from classes that we have described, and some will happen “along the way” as we live and work together.
We want you to be able to take deep strides in understanding what God is doing in your own heart and to be able to hear from God about your identity, your gifts, and calling. We recognize that most people do this kind of training at least in part to consider what the next season of their life will be like.
As we seek to accomplish these goals, There are three personal characteristics that will determine with absolute certainty whether you have a fruitful time in Cyprus: Participation, Initiative and Thankfulness. If you decide to enthusiastically participate in whatever is happening at the time you will be taking advantage of all of the opportunities that God presents to you. If you take initiative to learn and serve, finding needs around you and meeting them, you will be making a real contribution. And if you truly internalize the truth that it is a privilege to be serving God in the nations and remember to thank God regularly for every opportunity, you will have the right heart to serve in a way that brings him glory. For our part, we thank God that he is sending people to work with us.
Some Practical Stuff
There are some practical things that you should know before you arrive, in case you are coming from outside Cyprus.
DRESS AND HYGIENE
Cyprus is very hot in the summer and cool in the winter.
In our experience, people tend to seriously under-dress when they go overseas, as if the country they are visiting isn’t worthy of their best attire. Turks generally dress nicely, even just to hang out with friends. Guys should bring at least a couple shirts with collars. And there will be plenty of opportunities for shorts, jeans, and t-shirts. We shower every day. Women should also dress nicely, although there are plenty of opportunities to be casual. Cyprus is a beach culture, so shorts and t-shirts are often acceptable, but not always. There will almost definitely be opportunities to go to the beach, and whatever beach attire is acceptable in your home culture is also fine for Cyprus. At least one set of work clothes and sturdy shoes or boots will also be a good idea.
You should arrive at Ercan International Airport (ECN) in Lefkosa. There is an airport on the Greek side in Larnaca, but since you will be staying in the North, you should fly into Ercan. Some flight search engines don’t list Ercan as an option, so you might want to search with Turkish Airlines (www.thy.com.tr) or Pegasus (www.flypgs.com). We will arrange for you to be picked up at the airport and you should count on contributing gas money or covering the cost of the taxi/airport transfer.
Cyprus will normally allow you to use your cell phone for several weeks without registering it here, but if you are going to stay for more than 3 months you will need to pay a fee to have your phone registered or it will get blocked. We will also need you to get a local SIM card, even if your carrier at home allows you to make and receive calls. We want to be able to reach you by phone without making an international call and it will be important for you to be reachable by other people here as well.
As cross-cultural ministers we live our lives as guests in someone else’s house. Think about how you act when you are a guest in the house of a new friend. You aren’t likely to put your feet on the coffee table, slouch on the sofa, and burp in front of your host, especially if you have just met them. You are more aware of how your actions are being perceived. That’s the kind of care and awareness you want to cultivate during your time here. You will also have opportunities to be guests in local homes. Here are just a few basic hospitality guidelines:
- Take off your shoes before you enter a home.
- Politely refuse the first time you are offered something; then graciously accept if they insist.
- Don’t give the impression that you don’t like something served to you. Watch your body language.
- Don’t flush toilet paper. Ever.
- Insist on helping with serving and cleanup.
- Communicate. Even without knowing Turkish you will be able to have meaningful conversations.
OTHER PACKING TIPS
If you don’t want to bring toiletries (soap, shampoo, hair stuff, etc.), you can buy them here.
Bring some of your favorite drugs: anti-diarrheal, pain and fever reducer, anti-histamine, etc. Cyprus uses UK plugs and outlets, so you may want to find a UK plug adapter before you arrive.
Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean that is divided into two nations. The Republic of Cyprus in the south is Greek speaking and is a member of the European Union. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a Turkish speaking, predominantly Muslim country. Because of the circumstances around the Turkish invasion of Cyprus that created TRNC in 1974, only Turkey recognizes it as an independent nation diplomatically. The rest of the world considers Northern Cyprus to be occupied territory. Still, Northern Cyprus has its own borders, for which you need a passport to cross. It has its own elected government with a president, prime minister, and parliament, and its own police and military force. Northern Cyprus is still dependent on Turkey in many ways, but Turkey is determined to recognize it as an independent country. Northern Cyprus uses the Turkish lira. The official population of Northern Cyprus is approximately 400,000, but that figure doesn’t take into account the large numbers of tourists that come and go throughout the year.
Historically, the first evidence of civilization in Cyprus comes from the 9th millenium BC. There were early settlements by the Phoenicians and Canaanites. It became part of the Assyrian and Hittite empires beginning in the 8th century BC and was then conquered by the Persian empire. In around 300 BC Cyprus was conquered by Alexander the Great, which initiated a long and continuing Greek presence on the island. Christianity spread in Cyprus in the first century, while Cyprus was a Roman province, and became part of the Byzantine empire along with so much of the Mediterranean region in the 4th century. In 1571 Cyprus became part of the Muslim Ottoman Empire after centuries of Islamic influence and expansion in the Middle East and Asia Minor (modern Turkey). In 1878 Cyprus was given by the Ottoman to the United Kingdom as part of a broader negotiation, and in 1960 Cyprus was made an independent nation as the U.K. was leaving behind its colonial history. By that time there were already two major ethnic and religious groups in Cyprus. Greek Christians made up the majority and Turkish Muslims were a significant minority. After years of tension and conflict, in 1974 Greece overthrew the president of Cyprus in order to take measures to annex the island. Turkey responded immediately with a military invasion, occupying 1/3 of the territory and establishing a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The capital, Lefkosa, remains divided and reunification talks have failed over and over since that time.
There are only three or four Turkish speaking congregations on the island. We work with one of them and we are committed to see it grow.
There are also thousands of international students and migrant workers from Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa in Northern Cyprus, and this has opened up new doors of ministry and opportunities to reach the nations here.
Contact us, and to apply to join, write to email@example.com.