Long before embarking on a short-term trip, a church must start by asking, “Why would we want to send a team in the first place?” Your answer to that question speaks volumes about the kind of ministry your team will do and the attitude you will have.
Some common responses include, “we want our people to get out of their comfort zones, to share the gospel, to grow in Christ, to see the world, etc.” For some churches, a short-term trip is just “what we do” each summer in the line-up of ministry activities.
But if a short-term trip is simply another to-do on your church checklist, may we challenge you to rethink your vision? It may be too small.
Your motivation matters. The purpose for even a one-week trip must be shaped and carried by the highest level of leadership and cannot be taken lightly. WHY you go drastically impacts HOW you go.
Following are three shifts for churches to consider as they reimagine their purpose in...
Jesus wept (John 11:35).
Hardly any Christian would dispute this historical fact. Yet what if Jesus’ weeping is not just a historical fact, but also an ongoing act? If Jesus grieved over sin and wept over the death of Lazarus, he is still weeping today. When children are abandoned, when the naked are forgotten, and when the sick are ignored, his heart grieves.
Jesus’ mourning encompasses all of humanity’s suffering. Those who are attentive to God’s weeping are attentive to the world’s suffering. Our indifference to the world’s pain, on the other hand, only proves our indifference towards God. As Bonhoeffer once wrote in his Letters and Papers from Prison:
“Christians stand by God in his hour of grieving.” That is what distinguishes Christians from pagans … Man is summoned to share in God’s sufferings at the hands of a godless world … It is not the religious act that makes the Christian, but...
You are about to embark on an incredible adventure! You have accepted the challenge of helping reach the world for Christ by deciding to join other people on a mission trip. This could very well be one of the most exciting times of your life! That is how it all started for me in 2011 with a group of strangers headed to Honduras.
Project 58 wants to be a part of long-term impact in other contexts in the world. Obviously, we are not going to be able to go into another setting and make a huge difference in a week or two, so our goal should always be to connect relationally with a long-term plan. More often than not, Jesus likened the Kingdom of God to the seedtime harvest system that most in an agrarian society would have been overly familiar with. It’s not coincidence that the first description the Apostle Paul gives about love is that it is patient - willing to suffer long. Ralph Waldo Emerson has a very fitting quote for the posture we take before embarking on...
Take about a minute to study the illustration above. Move your eyes back and forth between the child with the iPad and the child eating off the ground. What do you feel?
This hit me like a punch in the stomach.
How can I do more?
It says what I haven’t been able to find the words to say for a while now. Here in Central America I live in the tension that you feel when you look at this image. It’s an uncomfortable place, I admit.
I’m much more comfortable in my middle class home in Alabama, watching House Hunters on TV, surrounded by all my iThings and justifying the couple hundred dollars of recent purchases I just made on frivolous stuff for myself. I mean, I’m not rich and wasteful like thosepeople, right?
We play the comparison game. The truth is that in the U.S. I feel borderline poor and almost convinced that I deserve more: more convenience and comfort, better service, newer gadgets, faster technology, the latest styles....
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (ESV). - Mark 12:31
Our cities are filling with more immigrants today than ever before.
Violent events and ease of travel have combined to increase migration around the world. Migration angers many. They don’t want to be exposed to new customs and cultures, and the inconveniences immigrants can bring to our nations.
For Christians, however, this is a remarkable opportunity. Not only does the church receive new chances to reveal God’s heart of love for the foreigner, but we are able to extend the hope of the gospel message in fresh ways to otherwise hard-to-reach peoples.
Migration is part of the biblical story. It’s a major theme in Scripture from the beginning to the end. And God uses migration to bring the nations to himself.
Fight For the One in Front of You
Just about one month from today, the international community will stand together and focus its attention on the importance of water. Mark your calendars, World Water Day is March 22.
For Project 58 and our partner's at Wine To Water, we’ll spend our time working on more ways we can resolve the World Water Crisis. Currently hundreds of millions of people are living without access to clean water. The number is staggering. For many of us, it’s a statistic that is hard to fully comprehend. But what if we focused on something more specific? Or in this case, on someone?
That person is the one right in front of you. We are traveling to communities around the world and building relationships that change the lives of people through clean water solutions—well repairs and installations, home filters, and sanitation and hygiene education to name a few. We believe there is a single meaningful step you can take towards...
I've been on several mission trips around the world with Project 58 and just the thought of being out of your comfort zone can be intimidating. Being in a place where you are the minority, don’t speak the language, view the landscape as unfamiliar, and worry that your ability to sense what is safe or appropriate is not always accurate is challenging. It makes you feel vulnerable and rely on others around you to help you navigate your surroundings.
It is also exhilarating to experience something new and different. The food is different, the smells, the shops, the people — all allow for experiences I would never have tucked safely in my home. It stretches me, and that’s okay. There are several reasons why I’ve realized everyone should go on a missions trip:
If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.” ~Buddha
Why are you here on this earth? What is your purpose? What are you supposed to be doing with your life? These deep questions burn in all of us. Our souls’ desire is to lead fulfilling lives that have meaning.
My life’s journey has always been linked to helping other people; I just never saw it as serving them. As I have grown to know myself, I have discovered that I have this huge heart that wants the best for myself and for others. I now live to serve, and this brings me great fulfillment.
The Difference Between Seeking Validation and Serving
It wasn’t always easy for me. I spent a great deal of my life questioning why I was here and what my life was all about. I had been through so much pain and had suffered at the hands of others. I couldn’t understand it all until I took a stand. Enough was enough. I needed to be different.
Little did I know that being different meant...
Wherever they are, people need water to survive. Not only is the human body 60 percent water, the resource is also essential for producing food, clothing, and computers, moving our waste stream, and keeping us and the environment healthy. Water is life. Without it, life can't and won't exist.
According to the United Nations, water use has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. By 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change.
That is a scary thought. 1.8 BILLION people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity. We can't continue down this path and expect the nations of the world to be okay or to survive. When you couple those facts with terrifying facts like, every 21 seconds a child dies of a water-related illness, or ... the average American shower uses as much water as the...
Be the change. What does that mean to you? At Project 58, it means everything. We recently returned from another mission trip to Zambrano, Honduras, and the surrounding communities. We had a trip there earlier this year and on that trip the leadership of the ministry, Love Without Boundaries (Amor Sin Fronteras), asked if we could come back and equip their leaders. We normally don't go back to the same place two times in the same year, but with much prayer the Holy Spirit directed us to put another trip together. We took a team of ten, five men and five women. The number five means grace so we knew going in that God had given us double grace for this adventure. The team was a mix of leaders from Word Alive International Outreach's Freedom Ministry Alliance and our partners from Breakfree Worship Center in Tennessee. Also, this was the first time three people had ever been out of the country and that always makes for a fun trip.
We landed in Zambrano on Thursday evening...