Mission Trip Benefits
DATE POSTED: 01/01/2016  |     |   Category: Friend to Friend, Missions, Outreach

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What are your goals and dreams for 2016? Our Missions Team and I would like to recomend participating on a mission trip be put at the top of the list. These 1-2 week adventures have been known to change the trajectory in individual lives. According to the 2015 ACP, over 11,000 people in Denton Baptist Association were involved in these kingdom projects.

This past year I traveled to France with members from The Ridge Church, Carrollton and First Baptist Church, Ponder to participate in missions. We partnered with Stephen and Sabrina Marshall who are planting churches in and around Lyon, France. We also worked with several French pastors and leaders who are reaching a country that is becoming more spiritually dark. Having participated in several mission trips through the years, I have discovered six benefits of being involved in these trips:

  1. Greater dependence on the Lord – Going to a new place provides an opportunity for the participant to depend more on the Lord. As one comes in contact with new surroundings, they are forced to step out of their comfort zones. New foods, different languages and different cultures have helped people to recognize that they must depend upon God to survive and be effective. Many times one’s prayer life is strengthened as that dependence increases. The individual cannot rely upon their wits and experience in these situations. They must depend upon the Lord.
  2. Priorities shift – Mission trips help to restructure ones priorities. A few years ago, my daughter Jeffri, who works with students in a local church, took a group of kids on a mission trip to South America. While there, many of these girls who had manicures on a regular basis, realized the money spent on their nails could be used to help buy food for a family for a week. When they returned home they were more cautious about spending their money on luxuries, and began to think about ways to save and give to help alleviate the poverty they had witnessed.
  3. Growth in Patience – Mission trips provide opportunities for growth in the area of patience. Rarely have those who have gone on these adventures not had to change their plans. For some they have had to deal with people who work differently and at a slower pace due to a lack of modern equipment or technology. Four years ago, I took a group to Central Asia to work on an unwed mother’s home. In preparation for the trip, we were told that the footings for a walled brick fence would be done before we made it to the area. Heavy equipment wasn’t available, so picks and shovels were used for digging. Upon our arrival, we realized that only a third of the digging had been done. Therefore, we patiently changed our plans and set about accomplishing the task at hand.
  4. Flexibility – Mission trips enable the individual to become more flexible. In 2001 our church went on a mission trip to Rapid City, South Dakota. The first Sunday we were there, the call was offered for individuals to go and pass out flyers. While I would have preferred to rest on the only afternoon we had off, God impressed upon me the need to go door-to-door and hand out brochures about the upcoming Vacation Bible School. When we left the church I was less than excited. My mood quickly changed, and I was bursting with joy over having participated, for I had been given the opportunity to share Christ with a family.
  5. Relationships Strengthened Among Team – Relationships between believers on the trip are strengthened. During pre-meetings, I have found that relationships between the team members begin to develop due to a common goal. Relationships continue to grow as participants on the trip share meals, work side-by-side, pray together and encourage each other.
  6. New Friendships Developed Around the Globe – Mission trips create a bond of lasting friendships among the team and individuals at the mission site. This past summer I went to France with several pastors who had previously taken groups to this region. They looked forward to seeing people that they had gotten to know from earlier trips. Upon leaving France, there were tears shed among the French and Americans due to the deep relationships developed among believers. On another trip, our group was dispatched to a small village that had only one family of believers in it. For this family our presence became a significant encouragement to a lonely life without Christian fellowship.

 

Truly there are more benefits that could be listed. Let me encourage you and your church to consider participating in a mission project this year. If you are in search of a project in which to participate, please plan to attend SEND North America. Dates and information on these luncheons can be found here. There is also a list of local church mission trips for the summer found here. Each of these churches would welcome others to partner with them on these trips. Take the plunge and reap the benefits of participating in a mission trip in 2016!

 

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