After a year and a half of canceled plans, we can all be forgiven for being hesitant to start putting things on the calendar again. In some cases, we've even grown accustomed to the simplicity of staying inside our own boxes, content to never venture outside of our comfort zone if we can help it. Sadly, these new habits have a major downside, and that's all the good things we've unintentionally left behind.
These good things include the new experiences that help us learn, grow, and become who we were created to be. The opportunities to love and serve others in a way that shines light in the darkness. The group activities that draw us closer together as the Kingdom of God. All things that can be found on group mission trips to communities across the U.S. and around the world.
As you look ahead and start thinking about making some big plans for the future, we wanted to share a few important reasons worth considering.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment in all of the Torah was, he responded, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." An essential part of following Jesus (and showing our love for God) is caring for others, taking the position of a servant, and meeting tangible needs for those around us.
The earliest followers of Jesus lived and breathed this way of life, making the needs of any in their community the responsibility of all. This broke away from the traditional view of looking after one's own family first and foremost and took to heart the story of the Good Samaritan which conveyed the truth that everyone is our neighbor, and we are God's hands and feet to love them as we love ourselves. When we serve on mission trips, we say "Yes" to this way of living 24/7 and learn how good this way of life can be for all involved.
For communities and ministries across the U.S. and around the world, the last year and a half has been difficult. The families, churches, and organizations EM partners with across the U.S. and around the globe are able to serve their neighbors and community because of the support from people who live far away and believe in the work they set out to do every day. Without the encouragement of regular or seasonal volunteers who breathe life and vitality into their ministry, it can be hard to keep going.
Most EM partner communities have now gone 2 years with little to no volunteer interaction, and they can't wait to connect with groups like yours again. So, whether you miss old friends that Covid has kept at a distance or you're looking to connect with the family of God in new communities, let's make 2022 the year these communities once again feel the life-giving support of knowing they're not alone.
We've all gotten used to spending less time with others keeping to ourselves and doing our own thing in our own little corner. But as the elusive "end of the pandemic" comes into view (we hope!), it's important to remind ourselves about the importance of getting out of our comfort zone and spending time on the margins with people who are different from ourselves. It might be easy to let a "pause" on mission trips become a new rhythm—but don't let that happen! Mission trips are incredible at shaking up our world and helping us see in new ways. They connect us to people we would otherwise have never met, and they force us to approach our lives differently. So, don't settle for the new status quo. Break free!
Mission trips challenge each person who joins a team in good and meaningful ways. They force us to confront our own tendencies to make life about ourselves, protect our own comfort, or shy away from the hard edges of life. But that's where we always find Jesus. God is continually working in every community, whether we go there or not.
Choosing to dive in gives us a front-row seat to his goodness and grace at work. It allows God to awake something inside of us that lies dormant in our normal routines.
And when we do this together, this growth is multiplied exponentially. We are given comrades to work alongside in the trenches, friends to process new ways of thinking, and accountability partners for the road ahead. Jesus said, "Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, there I am with you also." We've seen this time and again on life-changing mission trip experiences.
This changes everything. When we make ourselves aware of every person as valuable and full of dignity because they were created in God's image, we are moved to compassion and empathy. Each person becomes a vessel for revealing to us more of God's character. Each community member we encounter is defined solely by their relationship to their creator and not by their circumstances or shortcomings. When we begin to see this way, we cannot ignore conditions of injustice that hold people down and make them feel small.
While injustice and hardships are everywhere in this world, mission trips are a great way to focus our attention and give us practical ways to jump in and care for the people we meet. They force us to slow down, look into people's eyes, and remember that we're all God's children, in need of daily reminders of his love for us.
Mission Trips are intentional service and learning experiences that help you put your faith into action. Serve from 1 week to 9 months (or many different types of mission trips in between) as you meet real needs, build meaningful relationships, and grow as followers of Jesus. Find your trip today!
You must have a group size of at least 6 members to join this trip. Please view the Small Team trips or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.
For most trips, you must have a group size of at least 6 members. Please view the Small Teams tab on each Community page or call our Servicing Department for more options at 888-475-6414.