Mobilizing Volunteers — Developing Leaders — Empowering Communities
Inviting people of all ages to encounter change, build real relationships, and serve.
Mobilizing volunteers is about bringing people together from diverse cultures and backgrounds to serve in partnership toward a common goal. We accomplish this primarily through our short-term mission trip program where volunteer teams help with practical projects to serve people in under-privileged communities. We've found when people step outside of their comfort zone to focus on others 3 great things can happen.
When people work together to complete a project, they naturally connect with others in meaningful ways. We can often become so focused on accomplishing a task that we view human interaction as an unnecessary distraction, but at EM we've found these interactions can be the most meaningful outcome of a mission trip.
Yes, we seek to offer practical assistance, but entering into someone's struggle and listening to their story brings hope in ways that go beyond repairing a roof or painting a house. In fact, volunteers on EM mission trips often come away feeling more than anything else that they learned something from the people they're serving. This mutual giving and receiving can lead to incredible impact while upholding the dignity of everyone involved.
As volunteers serve and build relationships in a culture and environment totally different from their daily lives, they begin to see the world through new eyes. We witness this time and again, as we walk alongside thousands of people going through this journey. People grow closer to God as he works in their hearts and enables them to see the world through the lens of others.
When you enter into a mission trip not as a "savior" but as a listener and learner, it can revolutionize the way you see the world around you and renew your vision to live your mission at home.
There is a lack of resources in every community where EM volunteers serve, and by giving generously of their time and money, team members help fulfill this need. A portion of the money raised by each volunteer goes directly toward completing local projects and employing local people. And it doesn't end there.
Volunteers often continue to support the local community through financial contributions long after they leave. Over time we've seen that communities where we serve are improved immensely by access to resources gained through the help of volunteer teams.
At the heart of every major change is a figure or group who refines a vision and inspires a community.
From our homes, to our families, to our local communities and our world as a whole, there's no denying that our future is shaped by our leaders. So inasmuch as we are committed to mobilizing volunteers today, we are equally committed to raising up leaders for tomorrow.
At Experience Mission, when we talk about leadership we're not just talking about those who take charge or lead a group. We're talking about using our influence to promote positive change. Not everyone is meant to be a "leader" in the traditional sense, but we all have influence. Our goal is to equip young people around the world to step into the spaces where they have influence and take action to serve others. We believe everyone has the potential to grow into this kind of leader.
Because our goal is to train people to lead in a way that benefits others, we begin with the assumption that every single person has value and an innate need to understand their own self worth. All of our programs are designed to help people see the value in those around them regardless of race, culture, socio-economic background or any other classification. Our goal is to instill a sense of the value of all human beings in every future leader.
Leadership is not a one-time gift that some people get and others don't; rather it's a learned habit cultivated over time. We've found when we give people real responsibility and equip them for success, they often surprise us with their ingenuity and resolve, and in the process they grow and mature into outstanding leaders who make the world around them a better place. Our interns and IMMERSION team members are required to work hard, make tough decisions, overcome challenges, and partner with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. They often consider their time in these programs as some of the most challenging and rewarding of their lives.
When sustainable change occurs in a community, it most often begins from within.
Sustainable change succeeds when there is a sober awareness of the local struggles and a homegrown vision for the future. The community recognizes the barriers that stand in their way and finds ownership in their treatment of these problems.
There are terrific challenges in each of the under-served communities where we work: poverty, economic turmoil, and government corruption being among the most common. In the face of these challenges, many people are unfairly oppressed. The "haves" control the "have-nots" and perpetuate cycles of injustice that promote inequity. We're not talking about people who are lazy or inept. We're talking about ordinary, hard-working people who find themselves in need not because of anything they've done but simply because of the situation into which they were born.
It's a long process, but we've found that connecting local leaders with relationships and resources is a great place to start, and we've seen how these connections have helped to empower the communities where we serve.
EM staff and community partners constantly come face to face with people living in poverty who feel powerless to change their lives for the better. Ultimately, our goal is to empower them to take control of their own lives. Everyone should have the opportunity for meaningful work to build a decent life for themselves and their families, and our vision for Community Empowerment is to help real people gain the resources and relational support they need to move into a place of strength.
The truth is that, in every under-served community, poverty and the challenges that come with it are extremely complex. There aren't easy solutions, so our strategy is always to connect with local leaders who know the community firsthand and are striving to help those around them. We work with them to understand their vision for their community, and we seek to utilize our network to help as we can.
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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.