We would like to invite you to join us on one of our many life-changing ServeNow mission trips! For this year and the next year, we have scheduled trips to India, Uganda, Ukraine and Nepal (find out more information and details here: Mission Trips).
Why should you consider and commit? Here are several reasons:
- If you have a desire to serve those in greatest need…here is your chance! You will serve people with various kinds of needs, coming from various backgrounds; they may live in slums or deep poverty, they may be refugees or orphans, sick or disabled. Yet, they all have one thing in common: they need practical help and they need to hear that Jesus offers hope and salvation. If you have a desire to help young girls at risk of human trafficking, or to provide warm clothes for those facing cold winters, a ServeNow trip is a practical and tangible way to actually make a real difference. From summer camps, to handing out Christmas gifts, to providing Bibles/discipleship resources to adults, or the Story of Jesus to kids, to medical clinics and much more, there is something for everyone, no matter your passion, gifts or skills!
- See firsthand what God is doing in another part of the world. I believe it is very healthy to get out of your own culture, context, community and “comfort zone”, to witness what God is doing in other countries and parts of the world different than our own. Your perspective on the world and on people will change, and I guarantee you that your heart will be deeply touched! You will be impacted as much as you make an impact on others.
- Have your passion and compassion increased. By being personally involved and seeing the needs firsthand simply will increase your passion and compassion in a way nothing else can. Interacting, engaging, serving, praying for, and sharing with people will make you a more compassionate and committed person.
- Meet and make new friends for life. Be a part of a team that is bigger than one individual. It is a wonderful thing to be part of a team that together accomplishes something more than any one individual can. Mission trips have a way of creating a bond and fellowship deeper than even years of attending the same church sometimes can! Just getting outside of your normal everyday routine, life, culture and serving together can be one of the most rewarding and healthiest things for you, your family, small group, youth group or whatever group!
- Have your own stories to tell! I love to read, and there is a great quote from the Hobbit where Gandalf says to a timid and fearful Hobbit, who needs to be convinced of going on an “adventure”: The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there. In the same scene, he also says: You’ll have a tale or two to tell of your own when you come back. Better to have your own stories to tell than merely reading or hearing about others!
- Meet some of the greatest “servants” I know and be inspired to greater service. I have had the privilege to spend time with each of our ServeNow national directors, both here in the US and the countries they live and serve in. I can honestly say we have some of the humblest “servant-hearted” leaders I have ever met or served with. You will be inspired by their hearts, humility, devotion, service and sacrifice. As a result, you will desire to become more of a humble servant yourself!
- Jesus calls us to go. I saved this for last because, for the follower of Christ, this is the clincher. He has called us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). While yes, we should start right where we live, in our own country and communities, we shouldn’t stop there! God’s vision and heart is for the world…for every nation…for all people everywhere. Jesus doesn’t just love you or people like you. He loves the world (John 3:16). Going is an act of faith, trust and obedience. You are fulfilling the Great Commission.
Lastly, let me speak to some “concerns” you may have. Do you know the number one thing that prevents people from going on a trip? Fear. It manifests itself in different ways, but here are some common shapes it takes on:
- Fear of finances. This is probably the number one reason people have for not committing to go. It’s the fear that they do not or will not have the money to go. Or they look at the cost of a trip and think it is too much to raise. Yet, as our president likes to put it: If you wait to commit until you have the money, you will never go; but if you commit to go, you will be amazed how God provides! We can tell you story after story of how God provided for people who committed to go before they knew how they would afford to go. Don’t let the fear of finances hold you back. We will even help you in sharing the need with others. Let others (many who legitimately are unable to go on a trip, due to physical of circumstantial limitations) have the joy of giving and thus being a part of your trip!
- Fear of “safety.” Again, when our president is asked if he can guarantee their safety, he is apt to say: Yes…if you can guarantee your safety walking across the street here in your own country! Many people fear flying…but there is a higher chance of death driving to the airport than flying on a plane. Others fear they won’t be safe in another country, but there are risks anywhere, every day, in any country. Yes, some countries are more “dangerous” than others. Yet, the real fear is a fear of being out of our “comfort zone” and thus not feeling “in control.” There is a Proverb that says: The sluggard says, ‘There’s a lion outside! I’ll be killed in the public square!’ (Proverbs 22:13). You could find an excuse for not doing anything if you really wanted. Trust God; after all, your life is in his hands.
- Fear of “being wrong.” While it is always a good thing to pray before committing to a trip, many times people “pray”, but because they don’t receive a clear “sign from God”, they decide not to go. I find it ironic however how few take “prayer” so seriously when it comes to vacation! There is an interesting passage in Acts chapter 16 verses 6-10. It talks about how the apostle Paul and some of his companions traveled throughout various regions for the sake of the Gospel…but as they went, they were stopped by God from going to certain places. Finally, God did lead them to a specific place…but it didn’t happen while they “sat and waited.” It happened while they were on their way. I believe that we are sometimes too afraid of making a “wrong decision”, therefore we do nothing. Why not follow Paul’s example and just begin to “move” in a certain direction, trusting that God will guide you and lead you and “re-direct” when or if necessary? How can God “direct your steps” if you never even start by taking a step? Remember Abraham’s example too. Hebrews 11:8 tells us: By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. If you sense God’s calling, go! Even if you don’t know all the details of how it will all work out. Fear of “being wrong” can actually be a symptom of not trusting God to lead you.
- Fear of “uselessness.” Many of us suffer from crippling insecurities. We wonder if we are really needed or can really be of use. However, one of the great joys for me in leading teams is seeing how God uses each person in different ways at different times in different situations! God does not need “talent” (though he can use our talents). He simply desires for us to make ourselves available to be used by him, with a willingness to serve others in humility.
There are many other factors that hold people back. Nevertheless, I challenge you to overcome your fears and live by faith. You can always find a reason to not do something, or why now is not a “good” time. But “now” is the time to go and serve! The Bible is full of people who said “not now”, and they missed out. The Bible is also full of examples of people who did respond when God called them, and they were blessed accordingly.
The question is…which category will you be in?
We would love to talk more with you. Please feel free to reach out and contact us via phone (719-900-1800) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you have.
You can also check out our mission trip website page (Click Here). Keep in mind that there is a process leading up to the actual trip. The first step is filling out an application form and reference form. Then, once approved, there are various other forms and steps to take prior to the trip. We have deadlines for each trip, so don’t procrastinate, sign up soon! We look forward to hearing from you!
Lastly, if you really can’t go yourself, would you consider helping others to go? (Support a Team Member). Or what about sponsoring a child to attend one of six camps this year? (Sponsor a child to attend camp). As mentioned in this article fear of lack of finances is often the number one concern. You can make a real difference and help team members not worry about their trip expenses.
Please also pray for teams going this year and the lives that will be touched and impacted as a result!