Tag Archives: missions trips

Video

Exciting Missions Training and Trips for Creative Types!

Ooo la la, do you want to go on a missions trip to Italy? Europe: A needy mission field. Italy especially. The church is in decline in Europe and people like you can go and use your skills and talents to reach people with the message of hope through Jesus! Watch the video for more information and be inspired! Then pray about your next step!

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10 Tips on How to become a Missionary.

  1. Have a sense of calling to a place, people group, or ministry activity.
  2. Understand yourself and the kind of ministry that best uses your skills, gifts, and talents.
  3. Have a flexible written ministry vision statement.
  4. Form a strong sending support team around you.
  5. Serve alongside a team on the mission field.
  6. Encourage and maintain a supportive attitude of those who are in leadership.
  7. Look for opportunities to make a difference.
  8. Work with others to create a plan for personal growth and continued learning.
  9. Work with a mission organization like Adventures in Missions that provides good administrative support.
  10. Find a mentor willing to invest in you.

Most of all, have a dynamic relationship with Jesus who is your solid ground on which everything else is built!

A Young Woman’s Journey to Africa.

It feels like just yesterday that I heard direction from the Lord telling me to pursue go to Madagascar as a missionary. I had never heard of Antananarivo (Tana), the capitol of Madagascar, and now I will be living there in just a few short days. Preparing for this trip has been exciting and nerve-racking all at once—exciting because I was preparing to go to a new land and nerve-racking because I will be apart from everything and everyone with whom I am comfortable. However, the Lord made it clear to me that this was His plan. I obtained my new passport, visa to Madagascar, and all my vaccinations with no problems. Yet as I said goodbye to my family in Texas and boarded my plane, I wondered if I was making a huge mistake or embarking on one of my life’s greatest adventures.

I can feel the Lord reassuring me every day that He is in control. He will complete in me the good work which He began; part of that completion might be bringing me here, to Africa.

Before I left the USA, my mother encouraged me with these words from 1 Chronicles 28:20, ‘…Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished’ (ESV).

People have asked me if I feel as though I’m wasting a semester of college, or have told me how great I am for sacrificing my time in college to go to Africa. In those times, I’m reminded of a quote by the missionary David Livingstone: ‘If a commission by an earthly king is considered a honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?”

I feel so honored and blessed beyond words to be chosen by God for this task. I’m looking forward to arriving in Madagascar!

When I was a little girl, I learned a song called “Jesus Loves Me”. As many times as I’ve heard this simple song, I’ve never realized the profundity of the phrase “they are weak but He is strong”. There’s nothing like experiencing a new culture to make you realize how weak humankind is. We’re all vulnerable, broken and completely dependent on the grace of God. Some countries in our world are more developed—they’re cleaner, maybe even safer, yet the people in our world are all the same: weak.

This probably sounds like a very negative thing to say. But the reality is that none of us has anything valuable to offer this broken world apart from the strength of Jesus. His strength is what runs in our veins, fills our lungs, and gives us the ability to live and love effectively.

One new friend here in Madagascar said, ‘Just your being here gives me strength to carry on in ministry, because I know that someone across the world cares.’

I’ve been in Antananarivo, Madagascar, for only one week, and several times already I’ve been approached by fellow believers telling me that my presence here has encouraged them. One new friend here in Madagascar said, “Just your being here gives me strength to carry on in ministry, because I know that someone across the world cares.”

I’m humbled that in the same way Jesus encouraged me to come to Madagascar, my presence here has also encouraged someone to do what is difficult—carry the name of Jesus to the unreached.

All this is to say that I am weak, but He is strong. We often pray for God to raise up workers to go into the mission field; I would urge you today to be willing to be the answer to that prayer. God is ready to use weak vessels, with lots of cracks and holes, so that His strength will shine through to the nations.

The first glimpse I caught of Sainte Marie, a small island off the east coast of Madagascar, was so beautiful it almost took my breath away. Even through the tropical rain, I could see the numerous palm trees and small wooden canoes floating about.

It looked like a deserted island from a Hollywood film, but fortunately I wasn’t deserted. In fact, I was one in a group that included people from Nigeria, Netherlands, UK, Madagascar, Brazil, El Salvador and South Africa.

After traveling for more than 15 hours by bus through the jungle and two hours by boat, we all breathed a sigh of relief when we arrived at our destination.

It’s not up to me how many people accept the good news; it’s only within my power to offer them hope.

Witchcraft has a stronghold on Sainte Marie, like it does in much of Madagascar. Some parents even dedicate their children to Satan after birth. We knew we needed to be very diligent in prayer.

We woke up every day at 5:00am to praise the Lord and pray for the day’s activities. Some days included children’s ministry, street and door-to-door evangelism or youth outreaches. The harvest was truly ripe, and at least 100 people accepted Christ as their Savior!

I’ll never forget one particular moment, sitting on the floor of a grass hut sharing the gospel with a woman who had never heard the name of Jesus. Just moments later she joined the family of believers and was saved for eternity. It’s a privilege being part of this ministry.

Madagascar is a stunning and exotic country, with souls ready to hear the good news. I have been challenged to take this passion home with me and be more proactive in sharing about God wherever I am.

Jesus said, “…go and make disciples of all nations…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20; NIV). It’s not up to me how many people accept the good news; it’s only within my power to offer them hope.

Please, join with me in thanking the Lord for how many He rescued in Sainte Marie.

The moment I set my foot on the bike pedal the rain started falling. It’s going to be a long 10 kilometers, I thought to myself. It was during a recent outreach to Manakara, a city in southeast Madagascar, that I visited Maroala, a truly rural village of about 200 people that can only be reached on foot or by bicycle. After carrying the bike through a steep mudslide in the tropical rain, I started to doubt my decision that riding was a better alternative to walking. Nevertheless, 10 kilometers later I stood in the village of Maroala covered in mud and sand.

Though I had tried to mentally prepare myself, I was still shocked at the poverty in front of me. As I looked at the children with swollen bellies and mothers with hopeless looks in their eyes, I wanted to shut them out and cause my heart not to feel for them. The team had brought clothes for these people, which we passed out after a gospel presentation. Still, I was distressed that I had no food to offer, no immediate relief.

But I heard Jesus remind me: “I am the Bread of Life and Living Water; whoever comes to me will never be unsatisfied.” He’s our great provider and ultimate satisfaction. Please pray with me that His name will be made great in the village of Maroala.

Since being in Madagascar, I’ve experienced things I never imagined I would—like riding a bike through the jungle. Most of these experiences have made for hilarious stories that I’ll never forget, but some have broken my heart.

For instance, I never thought I would hear a little girl say she wanted to grow up to be a prostitute. But the dark reality is that prostitutes on the small island of Sainte Marie, off the northeast coast of Madagascar, appear to be the wealthiest and most satisfied individuals. They have the nicest clothes and the most customers. This little girl doesn’t realize that these women are used, abused and hurting. She doesn’t realize that she’s been created with value. She hasn’t been taught to dream beyond her small island home.

I felt so saddened by this little girl’s answer, thinking that if she only had more love and support, perhaps she would dream beyond prostitution.

Then it hit me: maybe the Lord looks upon us, His Church, and feels the same emotion. He has provided unfailing love and the unending support of a Father, yet what do our dreams look like? Can we see beyond our circumstances? Do we believe anything is possible with Christ, that He can really change a nation? Let us pray for this nation, interceding on their behalf for God to do miraculous and marvelous things among them.

For more information about international missions, look up the following organizations:

Operation Mobilization

Adventures in Missions

Pioneers

Youth With A Mission

10 Resons Why Short-term Missions Trips are Effective.

In recent years there have been a surge in short-term Christian Missions trips that often seem more like an adventure vacation than an actual missions trip. Raising thousands of dollars to go and do Christian missions to the Bahamas or Fiji certainly sounds like a donor sponsored vacation. What a scam! Or is it? Years ago missionaries went to beautiful places only to be buried a few months after they arrived. Knowing that suffering and death were a real possibility, the had to weigh their desire for adventure, beautiful scenery, their commitment to Christ and sharing the Gospel, and the cost in terms of their lives.

Short-term missions is hard work!

In today’s short-term missions activities, laying down one’s life for the Gospel is highly unlikely, and yes the surroundings can be beautiful, but the missions work can be exhausting and hard. Have you ever been to Africa? Have you seen the plains and valleys of Kenya? Phenomenal scenery, gorgeous landscape, and old cemeteries filled with missionaries. Some went to Africa for a few weeks, others for a lifetime.

Mixed motives can always get in the way of Christian service. Whether in your home country or overseas, missionaries can sometimes feel guilty that their desire to share the Gospel is also mixed with their craving for adventure. Every missionary is guilty of it. If they weren’t filled with some sense of adventure, they wouldn’t be a foreign missionary! God can use the mixed motives of man to accomplish His purposes. It is not for us to judge for God knows the heart. And through short-term missions trips, God will work not only through a person but also in their own life. Many missionaries today can testify that they may have had some desire to escape from their current job, had a desire for adventure, sought to be stretched spiritually, or went into missions due to outside pressures.

If it takes a “missionary vacation” or an “adventure missions trip” to get Christians away from their televisions, computers, cell phones and other distractions of the modern age, then great! They will see and experience things that they never would have otherwise and their lives will be altered in some way. Will they make a big impact? Probably not. But that is why it is short-term. It has a minimal impact for yes, a lot of money, but do you know that most modern day missionaries did some kind of short-term missions trip before they committed to career missions? It is a new thing that God is doing and let’s work with Him and not against Him. Encourage short-term missions regardless of the motives. Leave that up to the Lord to sort through.

10 reasons why short-term missions trips are effective:

1. The person who is going will have an impact upon the place where they are going. Some kind of positive impact.
2. Donors will learn something new about the destination location as well as the person going.
3. Some prayer support will follow the person to the foreign country. Prayer always has an impact.
4. If a person is acting in obedience to God, He will be pleased.
5. Blessings abound for those who not only go, but also send.
6. The money given to send someone probably would have been spent on frivolous other things.
7. Short-term missions experiences can lead to long-term service in missions.
8. Going to a foreign country makes you more appreciative as a whole.
9. It gets people out of their comfort zones. Are you in yours?
10. Short-term missionaries can reinvigorate long-term missionaries by bringing in new enthusiasm for the work resulting in new inspiration and vision.

Short-term missions information

Adventures in Missions

Legless Man Encounters Messenger of Hope.

What do you do when you are confronted with a fellow human being who has no legs and who has been reduced to begging on the streets in order to supplement the small disability pension he receives from the government? As a Christ-follower, what do you do?

Hillary from the UK has lived in India and knows that some beggars are owned by a syndicate and others purposely maim their own children to profit from begging. So how can you know who is genuine? Well, for Hillary, she doesn’t think it is for her to decide. She feels it is simply being compelled to show the love of Christ without making any judgement of why or how the beggar came to the decision to beg. God knows his heart and Hillary’s purpose was to be the hands and feet of Jesus, whether she thinks beggars deserve a handout or not. After all, didn’t God shown His mercy and love to us, when we least deserved it?

Hillary got to know Gregory’s story because she took the time to show interest and reach out with God’s love. He lost both of his legs in a train accident as a child, 40 years ago. He isn’t married, has no children but lives with his 78 year-old mother in Split, Croatia. He takes the bus home at the end of the day. The proceeds of his begging on the streets of Split help supplement his small disability pension. He wears leather pads on his stumps and walks with the aid of two very short sticks. Kneeling beside him they were eye to eye. In his broken English, he told Hillary that he believes in the Bible, but not in “the Church”.  Like most Catholics, his faith is based on doing good works and hoping it is enough. As Hillary spoke of her faith in Jesus, she tried to explain that we can have assurance of forgiveness and eternal life because of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  She asked if she could pray with him and his eyes teared up – Hillary’s overflowed. Hillary prayed that God would bless him, that her Heavenly Father would lift up Gregory’s spirit and provide a job for him so that he could hold his head up high. They spoke some more and Hillary asked if she could fetch him some water as it was hot and he had found only a small patch of shade. He said it was OK and pointed to the money in his bowl, but Hillary declined and soon returned carrying a bag with water and the makings of a sandwich. She also returned with one of the local believers. They gave Gregory a book about Isus (Jesus). Hillary asked him for permission to take a photograph of the two together explaining that she knew many people who would pray for him. Hillary asked him for his address so that she could send a copy of the photo to him, to remind him that she would continue to pray for him. Hillary gave him her address and asked him to send me a postcard now and again, to keep in touch. He was happy with the idea!

So, don’t just glance at this photo in passing – stop and pray for Gregory.  And next time you see someone on the street begging, remember they are only people like you, with dreams and struggles who would be blessed by a specific prayer for them. So dare to ask, “If you could ask God for one thing for you personally today, what would that be?” Take time to listen to their heart and then pray with them. You will both be blessed and who knows what God will do with this act of kindness?

Some Realistic Expectations for Your Mission Trip.

1. God is interested in the small and medium details of life, and not just the big picture.

2. God is more interested in having a relationship with you, than you being busy for Jesus.

3. God can work in every and any situation to achieve his glory.

4. God doesn’t shield us from pain, but walks with us through it, even though at times we can or can’t tell if He is there or not.

5. God has a unique path tailored for each individual believer.  Be yourself with God and others, and give God the freedom to do whatever He wants in your life.

6. The Holy Spirit can really get His message across regardless of language barriers.

7. You might learn how to cook for 30 people. (even if you don’t like cooking!)

You can do a lot on a missions trip. Find out more about how to use your skills at the following international mission agencies.

Operation Mobilization

Adventures in Missions

Pioneers

Frontiers

 

International Short Term Missions Trips for Artists!

Operation Mobilization has short-term missions trips designed especially for visual, technical and performing artists. Using artistic skills, one is able to work with a team to bring the Gospel message to those who don’t know Jesus. Consider going on one of these trips or referring them to someone you know.

Transform North Africa:  July 4th-26th 2011
Come for the Transform conference in Rome, Italy, then fly to North Africa to form relationships with the local arts community, experience life in an Arab nation, and encourage long-term workers to reach out to others with the Gospel through art. Will include studio and gallery work, culminating in an exhibition.

Baja, Hungary:  July 9th-26th, 2011
Prepare to let Hungary inspire you! Lead art workshops at the English art camp and reach out to the local community by creating relevant artwork and seeking God’s heart for the area.

Germany:  July 25th- Aug. 7th 2011
Serve teenagers and encourage them by facilitating the Artzone at TeenStreet, OM’s international youth congress. Artzone is a place where teens can express themselves through art, learn new skills, and worship God.

Christmas Outreach in Belgium:   December 2011
If you have a couple of weeks free in December, why not pray about joining us to experience the Belgium culture and create some inspired artwork to exhibit at a Christmas market.

Further details about all of these outreaches and application information should be posted soon at: OM ArtsLink.  Please note that your portfolio and artist statement will be required as part of the application process. Any questions, email: portfolios@omartslink.org

More information about arts in missions at: www.arts.om.org