When you head on a mission’s trip, it normally is with a team. This can be a really great thing or a difficult thing depending on who you are. Maybe you love getting to know new people and you are adaptable to a variety of different types. Or, maybe you prefer to be alone and do things your own way when it comes to life experiences.
Well, we at Missions Partner For Christ want to give you tips for creating unity among your team during your next mission’s trip!
We all have unique gifts given to us by God. Knowing what these gifts are will help you better understand yourself and if you can share them with the rest of your team, you will have a better understanding of how to work together. For example, if someone has the gift of evangelism but is assigned the task leading the team, he/she will probably not do as well as if he/she were sent out to spread the hope of Christ. Help your teammates thrive by getting to know what they are good at.
2. Meet Together Beforehand
If you are local, this can be as simple as scheduling a meeting at the nearest Starbucks. However, nowadays, teams are put together of people from all over the nation. If this is the case, you can use online forums like Google Hangout or Zoom to create an online meeting experience. After the initial introductions, have the leader come with guided questions to help your team get to know one another and share your expectations of what’s to come. This would also be a good time to share your spiritual gifts or strengths.
3. Participate In Team Building Games And Activities
Upon arrival on the mission’s field, spend time doing some team building games and activities. It’s worth taking this time before you dive into the busy week because a solid foundation for your team is key to a successful week. Here is a great list of great team building games to choose from!
4. Listen To One Another
There will be times when there are misunderstandings or dissatisfaction. Teams have to be open to hearing criticism or ways to solve problems. Be okay with disagreeing and ultimately choose to do what’s best for your team. Without listening, you will struggle with unity.
Your trip will be impacted by how close or distant your team is with one another. Help bring unity to your team by following these four tips, and then let us know how it goes!
The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States. This is a great time to acknowledge, however, that struggles with mental health are universal and there is little to no understanding in certain countries without the proper education.
From The World Health Organization: “One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.”
Just like we care about tending to people’s physical health, we want to create awareness of mental health issues as well. I remember visiting DR Congo and going around a roundabout in the city. On the roundabout was a woman who was running around and yelling hysterically. She was there daily and seemed out of control. After several days of watching this behavior and watching everyone around avoid this woman, I asked the taxi driver what was going on. He replied that she had a demon in her and that no one wanted to be around that. Though I don’t know what was truly wrong with this woman, I believe it goes back to mental health, and it was apparent no one who saw her had any understanding of what she was going through. She would never receive the help she needs. The cycle continues for many people in other countries who struggle with their mental health, and they never do receive help.
One of the biggest targets for mental health problems is the poor. The World Health Organization says, “The poor often bear the greater burden of mental disorders, both in terms of the risk in having a mental disorder and the lack of access to treatment. Constant exposure to severely stressful events, dangerous living conditions, exploitation, and poor health in general all contribute to the greater vulnerability of the poor. The lack of access to affordable treatment makes the course of the illness more severe and debilitating, leading to a vicious circle of poverty and mental health disorders that is rarely broken.”
The more knowledge people and countries overall have of mental health, the more they can provide support and proper care. But how can we spread awareness and education if we do not cross the borders and go where we are needed? This is why mission’s trips are so important. We can teach and attempt to treat mental health issues while we are on the ground and train others to pick up where we left off.
We believe mental health is just as important as physical health, so how can we work towards strengthening mental health in ourselves and those around us? The World Health Organization gives us seven physical things to focus on that are directly related to our mental health.
Thank you for your support as we work towards supporting healthier minds all around the world.
Though Malaria was eliminated from the United States in the early 1950’s, it still can affect half of the world’s population. 3.2 billion people live in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories. Because Malaria is one of the world’s deadliest diseases, one of the top killers of children, and keeps livelihoods and communities from thriving, we want to tackle Malaria head-on by sharing researched facts about this illness and explain what YOU can do to help!
What is Malaria?
“Malaria is a disease of the blood that is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, which can be transmitted from person to person by a particular type of mosquito.” To read a detailed description about Malaria transmission, go here.
What are the symptoms:
- Chills, fever, and sweating, usually occurring a few weeks after being bitten.
- Pain areas: in the abdomen or muscles
- Whole body: chills, fatigue, fever, night sweats, shivering, or sweating
- Gastrointestinal: diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Also common: fast heart rate, headache, mental confusion, or pallor
It’s important for someone who has contracted Malaria to receive treatment within 24 hours, though that is not always doable.
Here are a few economical reasons we should be fighting against Malaria:
Malaria-free countries have 5x greater economic growth than countries with malaria.
A 10% decrease in malaria has been associated with a .3% rise in GDP.3
Every $1 invested in malaria control in Africa returns $40 in economic growth, contributing to Africa’s prosperity and its prospects as a trading partner. (Resource
The Huffington Post wrote:
“About 3.3 million lives have been saved because of international malaria control interventions, the World Health Organization reports, and malaria mortality rates in African children have dropped by about 54 percent. Hopeful statistics like these help validate USAID’s declaration that the war on malaria is the “greatest success story in global health. But there’s still significant work to be done.”
This graphic does a great job covering all you need to know about Malaria:
So what can we do?
Mission Partners For Christ provides education in the communities we serve all about Malaria prevention, and we provide treatment during our outreaches. This treatment is costly but necessary. If you want to make a difference and help us beat malaria, please consider a donation to our organization to help support our efforts.
It’s important to be spending time in prayer leading up to a mission’s trip. Prayer is the most powerful tool we have and can completely transform our experience on the mission field. But with all that you have to prepare — fundraising, vaccinations, packing, etc. — it’s easy to put prayer on the back burner and be less intentional than you would like to be.
We want to make it easy and give you seven prayers to pray before your mission’s trip:
1. Pray that you will show up with open eyes.
You will be stepping outside of your comfort zone, so it may be easy to try to shield yourself from the difficult things you will see. Pray that God will open your eyes to see His people through a lens that He sees them.
2. Pray that you will develop a clear voice to speak the Gospel.
God can use us whether we speak well or struggle speaking at all. Spend time in prayer that the voice you use to spread the Gospel will be clear and unhindered. The Lord WILL speak through you when you are open and willing!
3. Pray that your ears are available to listen to the Lord’s leading and the needs of the people.
You will have conversations leading up to your trip and during your trip that you will need to have open ears to listen to. This could be encouragement or advice from those who have gone before you. Or the people you serve may express their needs to you, and, by listening, you can make a deeper impact!
4. Pray that you will learn to give love unconditionally.
Everywhere you go, there are people who are hard to love. You may be serving someone who is completely unwilling to listen to the Gospel or is ungrateful for the treatment you offer. This can be discouraging, but it’s also part of what to expect. Pray that you can love those people despite them keeping you at arm’s length and being ungrateful.
You may even struggle to connect with people on your team, but you must love them as well.
5. Pray for your spirit to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is always willing to take an active role in your life; all you have to do is ask! Begin praying before your trip that the Holy Spirit will fill you with its wisdom. Learn to recognize the Holy Spirit’s nudges and follow His lead! This will be great to practice before you are on the mission field.
6. Pray that you will develop a servant’s heart.
Since you signed-up to attend a mission’s trip, it can be assumed that you have a servant’s heart. But some sign-up for the experience or the volunteer hours/class credit and the serving doesn’t come naturally. That’s okay! You can pray beforehand that you will develop a servant’s heart, if you haven’t already, and watch the Lord grant you this desire!
7. Pray that your heart breaks for what breaks Christ’s.
The Lord loves those you are going to serve. His heart breaks for them! Pray for a lens that allows you to see what the Lord sees and for your heart to break for what breaks Christ’s heart. This will give you a deeper connection to the people AND to Christ.
For those who have gone on a mission’s trip and intentionally prayed beforehand, how do you believe that impacted your trip? Tell us in the comments!
Most of us are caught up on routine vaccinations, but before you go on a mission’s trip, you need to be sure you have the right vaccinations that go with the area you are traveling to.
We want to make it easy and walk through the possible vaccinations that you may need as well as educate you on each disease and virus you can contract if you don’t protect yourself.
Below is a detailed chart of the vaccinations each area around the world recommends before travel:
||Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Malaria*
|Mexico / Caribbean
||Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Malaria*
||Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Malaria*
||Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B
||Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis
||Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Malaria*
||Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Meningitis, Malaria*
Here’s the breakdown of each vaccination…
HEPATITIS B VACCINATION
Especially for those who attend medical mission’s trips, it’s important to get the Hepatitis B vaccine. The virus is contracted through blood or bodily fluids by an infected person. There are not systems in place to protect you from exposure in the hospitals of third world countries the way hospitals are set up in the U.S. The symptoms of Hep B can lead to lifelong health issues.
HEPATITIS A VACCINATION
Exposure to Hepatitis A affects the liver through food or water that has been poorly sanitized. As a result, Hep A leaves a person sick and nauseous for months. At home, you prepare your own food or order food from a restaurant that has preparation health guidelines to follow. But when you are overseas, food is usually prepared for you or is left sitting out without proper precautions. You aren’t always able to control the sanitization of the food you eat, so it’s important to protect yourself.
You’ve all heard of the bacteria Salmonella. It’s the reason we can’t enjoy raw cookie dough as frequently as we like. Well, Typhoid is a fever caused by Salmonella. The same symptoms as Hep A occur as a result of Typhoid exposure. If left untreated, the sickness and fever can be life-threatening.
Another disease that attacks the liver is the Yellow Fever virus. Mosquitos in tropical and subtropical areas of the world like South America and Africa spread the Yellow Fever virus. The symptoms vary but can potentially be dangerous.
You’ve probably heard of malaria, but there’s another disease that can be spread by mosquitos in parts of Australia and Asia. Mosquitos are not only outdoors, they can come inside as well so they are nearly impossible to avoid altogether. Japanese Encephalitis causes mild sickness but in some cases can produce inflammation of the brain and be life-threatening. Contracting this disease is rare, but it’s worth protecting yourself.
You will want to be sure to eliminate the threat of Meningitis. This disease is caused by bacteria that is passed through the saliva of someone carrying the disease. If you contract Meningitis, you can become very sick and even obtain an infection of the bloodstream.
One more thing
Be sure to also get a malaria preventative prescription.
So far, there is no vaccination for malaria, but there are a few preventative prescriptions for the disease that can be taken throughout your trip. Malaria is also contracted by mosquitos and can lead to severe health concerns if left untreated. Ask your doctor for a prescription and talk through the side effects of the medication. To prepare for any side effects, take pills before leaving and see how your body responds. Be sure you have enough pills and can get a different prescription before your trip if needed!
It’s important to take any potential fears out of your mission’s trip experience, and one way to do that is to be prepared with the right vaccinations you need to stay healthy.
Note: Talk with your doctor for more information on these recommended vaccines so you can make the right decision for you!
When you work in ministry, you begin to see the spiritual warfare that surrounds you. There is good and evil in the world and evil preys on the good. When Satan begins to see you and your ministry as a threat, then you become a target. This idea used to make me fearful, but it’s important to remember what God has to say about the battle:
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Rom. 8:37
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57
“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.” Deut. 28:7
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The best way to battle in the war is to identify the enemy.
Satan likes to stand back and go unnoticed when we are going through difficult times. When he meddles in our lives quietly, we don’t see him and then start blaming our circumstances or even God!
“Spiritual victory is directly connected to your ability to ‘undisguise’ the enemy. To uncover him. Unveil him. Unmask him. That’s half the battle. But it’s the half your enemy doesn’t want you to pay much attention to, because once you do, you automatically begin to threaten his tyranny in your life. The names of the enemy reveal his character, intention and activity.” — Priscilla Shirer [The Armor of God]
If you are considering going on a mission’s trip, we know Satan will do everything he can to convince you otherwise. He knows the good things that would result in this experience and will do everything he can to make you change your mind. But we want you to know that God already has a victory in mind for you. He already has a plan for you once you say “yes!” So though evil may try to enter and ruin God’s plan, it will not win! You will be victorious!
When you are facing confusion and don’t know where it’s coming from, name your enemy! Confusion, doubt, and fear are not from God. He is a God of peace, and He wants you to trust in Him and His word.
To help you recognize your enemy, here is a printable based on Priscilla Shirer’s book: The Armor of God.
Know who you are fighting against and remember that God is on your side ready for the enemy’s defeat!
Traveling abroad is often a brand new experience for people who attend our mission’s trips. We want to make the process simple to prepare you for what’s to come. So here is a list of 7 Things You Should Do On A Mission’s Trip:
1. Make a plan for how to get there.
Many people plan well for their arrival, but they forget an important detail…how to get there. Make sure you have a clear plan for arrival.
Plan for: Getting to the airport, what airline and flight number you are taking, who is picking you up at the airport upon arrival. Also, be sure to have the address (possibly translated) so that you can get to your destination as quickly and smoothly as possible.
2. Get to know your team.
You are going to be spending all day every day with your mission’s team once you arrive onsite. You want to be able to work together well and not have to begin introductions after you arrive. A team works best when they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can put together a plan for how to best use their time during the trip. Plan meetings together before the trip, or, if your team is not local, form a Facebook group or chatroom where you can get to know each other online!
3. Be productive with your time.
The days fly by on short-term mission’s trips. It’s important to make the most of your time there. Do your research before you arrive. What resources do they have? What are the living quarters and medical treatment facilities like? Make a plan and stick to it! What goals do you have? What do you want to accomplish? Be sure to have assignments ready to give to the team so that productivity can begin right away!
4. Accept the culture.
You are not traveling abroad to push YOUR culture onto the people there. You are stepping into a new culture that you must accept and respect! Learn what is okay and what’s not acceptable in the local culture. Dress, speak, and interact appropriately.
5. Learn important words in the local language.
You will likely have a translator, but to build trust and connection, it’s always important to learn a few words and key phrases in the local language of the area you are serving. Plus, you may not always have your translator by your side. There could be one translator per a handful of people! You don’t want your lack of communication to slow down your progress while you are there.
6. Plan ahead for sightseeing.
You are overseas in an area that you may not ever visit again, so, of course, you will want to experience some sightseeing! Make sure you plan ahead or else you may leave the country never having seen its beauty. Yes, you are there to serve, and that should be your number one priority, but if you are close to some areas that you want to explore, schedule time to do so! This may look like trading off with a few people on your team so you can take an adventure one day while they stay behind and then swap out the next day!
7. Continue connecting.
When you return home, you will be changed. You will want to continue supporting missions, but you may not know how. Here is a post about 3 Ways To Continue Supporting Mission Trips Upon Your Return. Continue connecting to those you worked alongside while on your mission’s trip. No one else will understand your experience quite like them, and this will bond you together forever.
Medical mission’s trips are a great opportunity to explore new cultures and serve people who are in desperate need of medical attention. Of course, medical mission’s trips always require some medical professionals on the team, but not everyone is required to have a medical background! In fact, many members of the team are students because they are able to get healthcare experience and — in some cases — receive class credit or volunteer hours they need for school.
Maybe you’re someone who is looking for some hands-on medical experience. Or, maybe you want to serve but need an organization to help you with the logistics. We would love to help!
Here are a few reasons why you should go on one of our trips:
- You will grow closer to Jesus.
- You will learn to see the world differently.
- You will have to step outside of your comfort zone.
- You will be following God’s command (Matthew 28:19-20)
We are confident that when you say “YES” to one of our trips, you are opening yourself up to the world-changing impact that God can give through you!
Are you looking for an opportunity to provide medical attention and education to communities in need? Go on a mission trip! Would you love the idea of shadowing local doctors and nurses and playing an essential role in someone’s care? Come on one of our trips! Do you want to plant the seed of the Gospel into the hearts of people who may have never heard of God’s saving love and grace? Join us on a mission’s trip!
Here on the blog, we have everything you need to know to prepare for your trip!
Click here for all the information on our upcoming trips!`
Click here for the answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Discipleship is the core of what we do on our mission’s trips. So, we created a two-part discipleship blog series. In the first part, we talked about the importance of meeting people where they are. Here is an excerpt from the post:
“We at Missions Partners know that we cannot show up in a region and plant a seed without tending the soil. For us, the “soil” is the physical condition of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s difficult for people to come to know Christ and care for themselves spiritually if they are hurting physically from things that WE can fix!
Sure, mature Christians should always put their spiritual health before the physical, but these people don’t know Christ. We can’t have the same spiritual expectations for them.
We are told to be God’s hands and feet, and that’s exactly what we do on our mission’s trips. We disciple by tending the “soil”– healing their bodies before planting the seeds.” Read more here.
Now, we are going to address the “how-to’s” of discipleship…
1. Recognize your need for a Savior
Before we can give others the hope of Christ, we have to recognize our human need for a Savior. Sometimes when we are on our own Christian walk for some time, we forget.
“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” –Romans 3:23
When we recognize our need, we see the importance of giving others the gift of salvation.
2. Follow the Holy-Spirit’s leading
There are so many times where we feel led to reach out to someone but we don’t because we lack confidence in our message.
“I don’t know enough.”
“What if they ask me a question I cannot answer?”
“Now is not a good time.”
These things are all problems if the delivery of the Gospel was solely OUR responsibility. But it’s not. It’s spirit-led! We need to confidently follow the Spirit’s call when we feel that nudge to share Christ.
3. Plant the seed.
When planting the seed, think quality instead of quantity. In Judges 7:1–22, God gave His servant Gideon the ability to win against the Midianites. He made the odds against Gideon by decreasing his army from 32,000 uncommitted men to 300 committed men. This is an example of how God cares about the quality of His people rather than numbers. You can trust that God has enough power to reveal Himself to someone in just a short amount of time. Rest in God’s assurance of quality when you follow His lead!
Tell us about a time when you stepped outside of your comfort zone and became a disciple of Christ!
Discipleship is an important part of what we do! A large part of discipleship is strategic.
Think about planting a garden. When you begin to plant, you don’t go out and buy heads of lettuce and carrots and stick them in the ground as if that’s where they came from. You actually don’t even start with the seed. You start with the preparation of the soil.
- What does my soil need to help nurture living plants?
- What are my long-term goals for this garden?
- What types of harm can come to my plants and how can I protect them?
You get the idea…it’s all about preparation and strategy for your garden to be successful.
Discipleship is similar:
- What is it that those you are disciplining need?
- What are your long-term goals for these new believers?
- What harm can you protect against?
We at Missions Partners know that we cannot show up in a region and plant a seed without tending the soil. For us, the “soil” is the physical condition of our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s difficult for people to come to know Christ and care for themselves spiritually if they are hurting physically from things that WE can fix!
Sure, mature Christians should always put their spiritual health before the physical, but these people don’t know Christ. We can’t have the same spiritual expectations for them.
We are told to be God’s hands and feet, and that’s exactly what we do on our mission’s trips. We disciple by tending the “soil”– healing their bodies before planting the seeds.
Here are the answers to our discipleship strategy:
- What is it that those you are disciplining need? We know that those we disciple on our mission’s trips need medical care first. We also know they need to find their hope in Christ!
- What are your long-term goals for these new believers? We have longterm goals that those we impact can pass on the Word of God, by becoming disciples themselves, and bearing fruit!
- What harm can you protect against? We want to protect against toxic views of Christianity and spiritual threats.
Let’s meet our brothers and sisters where they are and learn to be strategic in our discipleship! Will you join us?