As you start learning more about medical missions trip opportunities, you’ll notice the cost is somewhat high. One thing to remember about this and about life in general, though, is to do anything meaningful, there will be a cost associated with it–whether it’s economical or other resources.
Mission Partners for Christ is blessed to partner with other organizations to actually cover the costs of the medical supplies associated with our trips.
Medical missions trips are always worth the cost because people in need are served with the health care and other resources they otherwise might be inaccessible to them. Entire regions often benefit long-term from our short-term decisions to visit with them and provide some of the supportive care they need. We are excited to be able to go to places like Benin and Burundi for this reason.
The Healthcare Crises in Burundi and Benin
When we go on medical missions trips, we provide valuable medical care to people who need it. We possibly play a role in decreasing mortality rates and in limiting the spread of serious diseases. This is one reason why it’s imperative to go to places new to us and establish ongoing relationships with those who live where we will serve.
For example, malaria cases doubled in Burundi in 2016. According to World Health Organization (WHO), during the last year of recorded reports, nearly 6 million inhabitants were diagnosed with the disease, and around 4000 perished. Burundi has been recovering from a past civil war and still experiences some barriers to preventive health care. Due to cost, many of the population postpone visiting the doctor or seeking emergency health care treatment until late in the course of an illness, injury, or condition.
CDC Benin reports that malaria is the second top cause of death in Benin. The first is neonatal disorders. There are ongoing programs to help with malaria prevention, including some that help pregnant patients with malaria.
The work we will be doing in partnership with others in Burundi and Benin later this year is essential. It’s going to be a small part of a real, lasting change.
Life-Saving Intervention is Worth It
Burundi and Benin may seem so far away from the United States where we often have more than enough resources and a safe, sanitary environment to treat patients. Still, the situations we are called to serve in are real. Medical missions volunteers are needed.
There are multiple ways of funding your medical missions trip–it doesn’t all have to rest on you. Funding for many volunteers’ trips comes from themselves, church fundraisers, family members or friends also hosting fundraisers and supporting them, and through other means such as scholarships or grants.
The sooner you begin the fundraising work, the sooner you have it all covered, but sometimes it’s right up to the last moment–so don’t give up hope entirely if you don’t have it all immediately. Volunteers also plan around the trip and may choose to make certain adjustments to their current routines.
Volunteer Forever is one organization known to offer scholarship opportunities that facilitate a volunteer’s earnest desire to serve on medical missions trips no matter the cost. Life-saving intervention is worth it, and volunteers will never regret the decision to serve.
There Is Still Time to Join Us
The deadline to apply for our Burundi opportunity was June 1. You are still able to fund someone else’s trip if you’re moved to do so at this time. Click here to submit your questions about this via our contact page. If you are interested in going to Benin with us this November, there is still time to apply. You can go here to do that.
Medical missions trips can be a great source of inspiration, education, and even adventure while we serve others and release new blessings into their lives.
What we want to keep in mind though is that it’s not all about us or others. These medical missions trips are ultimately one way through which God’s love and glory is displayed. It’s not all about what we can get from it. While we are immersed in other cultures, nations, or regions, there are some things to remember that will help us shine bright as we serve others.
Be Sensitive to the Moment
It’s natural to want to remember the sights and sounds of the moments we spent with others. While we are on the medical missions trip, we can jot down notes to aid us in journaling and writing supportive fundraising content once we are home and take lots of pictures. We often want to be able to show friends and family how we were able to serve others and what it was like so they can understand the mission and support it. When we are photographing scenic views and momentous events or people, we want to be sure we have permission to include everything or anyone.
There may be some places we go to where we need to be especially sensitive in this regard, so if you’re unsure, you could always ask your group’s leaders, the person you are talking with, and study about the culture and any context or specific regional information you may need to know prior to going on the trip.
When we take pictures or write about what we experience on these trips, it’s important to have the right heart. We are not the savior of anyone.
How we present where we’ve been and what we’ve done is a reflection of who we are, so we need to go with hearts fully set on loving others where they are and serving them rather than making ourselves look good. Trust in the organization is built up with others when we show we honor and respect them and everything anyone does in the group can build trust.
Think of a time when you poured your whole heart into a meal for your family or friends. How happy were you to see the delight on others’ faces when they began to eat? Go back even further to the moments throughout the day as different people walked through the kitchen while you were cooking. Their questions and anticipation of the meal. The building excitement as those waiting expressed interest in the scents of the cooking food. It’s a joy to serve others.
Now imagine you are guests in a foreign place where such meals may be quite costly in time, resources, and more–yet a group of grateful-hearted ladies or gentlemen have sacrificed and worked hard to prepare a special meal for you and your group. They have given their all for it, and it may just be the best tasting meal you have sat down for in years due to all the love that went into it. They find it a joy to serve others too, and they look forward to you enjoying what they have put into it.
By being mindful of the various ways we can show our appreciation of all they have done, and being willing to try the foods or meals, we show our appreciation of others. We build trust too.
Show Interest in Others
You probably love to be listened to and it lights up your heart when you can tell stories and share what’s on your mind. That’s the way it is for people where we go too. Some things we listen to might seem out of the ordinary, but if we put our focus on listening to understand, we may learn something while at the same time conveying our respect and honor of others and their unique situations.
You may not always speak the language of the people where you’re going on a medical missions trip, and they may not speak yours perfectly either, so it’s a good idea to make arrangements for a reliable translator who has years of ongoing fluency in the language of the people. The internet connection or wifi in a place may be allotted only so much bandwidth too, so if there are any confusing phrases or words that cannot simply be Googled, the experienced translator will be ready and able to help you.
Are You Ready for the Next Step?
Though the focus of these trips is something greater than us, you can see there are things we can get from participating in a short-term medical mission’s trips. If you’re interested in learning more about our current upcoming 2020 destinations, have a look here.
Do you need some questions answered before you say yes? We’d love to answer your questions about joining our team. Click here to submit your question via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!
During this unique time in world history, now more than ever, we must practice loving self-care and remember that God not only loves us but also cares for us on a personal level. It’s so easy to think about all the things we need–especially when preparing for a mission trip. God already knows our needs, though, so we don’t have to worry or be anxious at all.
We want to share with you five scriptures to meditate upon as we navigate this new season and way of living. As you read each one, consider how it may apply to your specific circumstances. Also, reflect upon the needs met through the hands, feet, and hearts of courageous medical mission trip volunteers.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
God hears your prayers. You are not alone right now or when you go on your upcoming mission trip.
Someone far away may also be praying earnestly–thanking God in advance–for precisely what you are called to give or how you plan to serve.
A part of loving self-care is to continually pray.
PSALM 16:8: I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
You can trust God with everything and through all things.
When we always put God first, He is the first to come to mind during a critical moment of decision or action.
NAHUM 1:7: The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
A good, good heavenly Father loves us deeply. We can humbly submit to God knowing He not only takes care of us and is concerned with what is on our hearts and minds, what weighs down or lights up our spirit, but also that He does so in love.
Seasons may change, but God is always the same. Confidence can be our response because of Who is responding to us now and forever.
MATTHEW 10:30-31: But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
When many states and businesses are closed or providing limited services, we all must stand 6 feet apart or more, wear face masks, and exercise sensible medical precautions, it may sometimes feel as though things are difficult or hindering our work. But as medical missions volunteers, we may often have encountered these things before to a degree in other nations where we have served. Another level of care and skill is involved in our important work. No task is too small for God to cover it and all things involved with it.
ISAIAH 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
We have God’s promise of strength when we are weary. He will help and sustain us in every situation we face. We can move forward in expectation, knowing that our work is blessed and protected.
Wherever we go, whatever we face, we go with God’s great love and care. We may need to adapt in every season and practice good self-care too, but God is with us. He’s on our side, and we can smile as we stand firm in unwavering faith and belief–now and in the future.
It seems that we are reminded every year, usually around November, of worthy charities in need of our donations and the tax breaks that might come from the giving. We at Mission Partners for Christ feel that it is important to cultivate a heart of giving all year long.
What does giving look like for Missions Partners for Christ? I’m glad you asked!
We give of our time, our energy, and our financial resources so that God’s work may be accomplished. We plan, coordinate, and lead anywhere from 3 to 5 medical missions trips a year. Mission Partners for Christ spends hours per trip going over flight details, applications, and customs documentations. We spend time answering questions and training volunteers. And we pray. We pray all the time. We pray for language barriers to be broken, for safe flights and landings, and for soften hearts to hear the gospel. In short, we pray all the time!
What does this all have to do with having a heart for giving the whole year through?
It is our prayer that through our giving, you receive the opportunity to explore what cultivating a heart of giving looks like for you.
It works like this…
Mission Partners for Christ, is a 501c3 non profit. We are supported by volunteers and donations from people just like you.
In order for us to be obedient to God in our calling, we need people to give of their time by joining us on medical missions trips. Volunteers that will choose to take time away from work and family and give it to people that they have never met before, know little to nothing about, and simply serve them and show them the love of Jesus.
We need Christ followers to give of their resources through financial giving. Your support allows us to continue to lead people to Christ, and help to heal them both body and spirit, as God has called us to do.
We need lovers of the Lord to give of their energy through prayer. We need people praying for the people that we are serving, for the people doing the serving, and for the people that choose to partner with us financially.
Here’s how you can help…
Are you a prayer warrior? We would love to have you on our prayer team! Click here to get started!
Is Jesus calling you to be His hands and feet? We may have a spot on an upcoming trip just for you! Click here to see which opportunity is right for you!
Have you been financially gifted? Are you looking for ways to cultivate the giving heart of Jesus in you? If this is you, we would be grateful to have you partner with us! For that reason, we offer multiple giving levels to choose from so that, no matter how you’re financial gifted, you can still support God’s work! Click here to become a supporter!
Have other ways you feel called to serve? Click here to contact us, as we would love to hear your thoughts!
Sometimes we get really excited to help people on medical missions trips. In that excitement, we start losing sight of our impact.
David Coulibaly, a ministry leader in Mali, West Africa once described performing mission work with americans like this:
“Would you like to know what it is like to do mission with Americans? Let me tell you a story,”
Elephant and Mouse were best friends. One day Elephant said, “Mouse, let’s have a party!”
Animals gathered from far and near. They ate, and drank, and sang, and danced. And nobody celebrated more exuberantly than the Elephant.
After it was over, Elephant exclaimed, “Mouse, did you ever go to a better party? What a blast!”
But Mouse didn’t answer.
“Where are you?” Elephant called. Then he shrank back in horror. There at his feet lay the mouse, his body ground into the dirt — smashed by the exuberance of his friend, the Elephant.
“Sometimes that is what it is like to do mission with you Americans,” the African storyteller concluded. “It is like dancing with an Elephant.”
Ouch! That stings doesnt it. We often only think of the good we are doing without seeing the damage losing sight of our impact causes.
Some things that we should keep in mind when we are on a medical missions tri, that will help keep us from losing sight of our impact, and makes the experience better for the people we are called to serve:
We are not the savior. We cant save anyone, nor is it our job. Jesus called us to make disciples and spread the good news. When we come in with a Superman here I am to save the day attitude we step on people and they get hurt.
People need our expertise not our pity. When we show up to share knowledge and love on people it comes across as all of us being equal. When we show up with an attitude of pity we elevate ourselves above the people that we are serving. We are all equal in God’s eyes, and He has called us to love our neighbor not pity them.
Dont take yourself too seriously. Be willing to try some of the native customs, foods, and experiences. Being open to the cultural that we are visiting is a great way to build trust with those we are called to serve and help them see us as people just like them.