Missions Sunday is January 26 Mark your calendars!
Redeemer’s 2014 overseas mission trips will be highlighted at all services this month. On Sunday, January 26th, look out for the Missions Table at Coffee Hour. Literature on our upcoming mission trips will be available, and former team members will be on hand to answer any questions you might have. Some of our past team members will also be sharing testimonies of their personal experiences during the services.
This year we have great expectations that more people than ever before sign up for these short-term life-changing trips. On the roster are 10 trips, with the goal of sending up to 200 people to South Africa, Chile, Madagascar and more.
Mission trips are special volunteer teams of 10 to 20 people serving in an overseas cross-cultural context. Each team carries out social justice and mercy projects while spreading the love of Christ through personal encounters with local churches and non-believers.
We at Redeemer have a unique opportunity to engage in sustainable short-term missions. Through the connections of City to City, the global cities church planting arm of Redeemer, we partner with our international church planters as a way of supporting their work. We aren’t starting from scratch or “parachuting in,” but continuing an existing relationship and sharing the same gospel-centered, city-loving values.
Last year we served church planters in East Asia, Tokyo, and Santiago, among other locations. Projects the teams developed and implemented included:
•Teaching Business and Finance classes to help adults start their own businesses.
•Conducting workshops and seminars related to professional development and “Faith & Work.”
•Giving specialized medical care to rural populations in Madagascar.
•Teaching English classes to university and middle school students in East Asia.
Teams also brought over much needed materials such as dental and medical supplies, new clothes, and sports equipment donated by various companies. For a comprehensive recap of 2013 trips, please visit the website at www.redeemer.com/missions.
There is no “personality type” best suited for a mission trip. Every personality and skill set is of value and needed for a well-rounded team. Preparation for the trips includes general meetings, fundraisers, and socials where trip projects are developed and team members get to know one another. The prep time in itself is a challenging and growing experience.
We strive to have the team members use their God-given skills and talents to enhance each trip. Mission trips are a great venue for using your professional skills or personal interests. Teresa Smith, a physical therapist who traveled to Madagascar as part of a medical team, said: “One little 7 year old boy named Joanito came in for several days of treatment. He had a big smile and bright eyes, and had to be carried into the clinic by his mom. The right side of his body moved unpredictably and in an uncontrolled way, so he used his ‘good’ left arm to anchor his right arm out of the way. After much work, and some time spent teaching him to move differently, and working on his balance and control, Joanito no longer needed to anchor his right arm to his lap with the left one. He sat independently at the edge of a wooden chair, and smiled.” This is just one example of how one volunteer’s unique skills were used to glorify God on a trip.
But I do not account my life of any value, nor as precious to myself, if only that I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
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