The summer of 2015 was a very busy season for Redeemer’s Short Term Mission teams. Ten teams made up of 106 teammates went to Guatemala, South Africa, and Madagascar to work with churches that are connected to Redeemer through City to City. If you’re not familiar with mission trips, they are special volunteer endeavors where a team of 10 to 20 people serves in an international, cross-cultural context. Over the summer, each team carried out social justice and mercy projects while spreading the love of Christ. We at Redeemer have a unique opportunity with Short Term Missions through City to City, the church-planting arm of Redeemer. We partner with churches around the world and continue the Redeemer relationship by supporting their ministries.
This past summer, the teams supported these churches and their ministries by
• Providing occupational therapy professional development classes to elementary and high school teachers and administrators in Madagascar
• Conducting a camp for children with special needs and providing training for these kids’ caregivers in Madagascar
• Facilitating a large fundraiser in Chennai, India, to benefit a non-profit organization that cares for marginalized women
• Providing a two-day training session for local health care providers, a two-day medical clinic for the local homeless population, and two days of dental care for the children in an orphanage in Madagascar
• Facilitating multiple field trips to the cinema, museums, a zoo, and the beach for children in orphanages in both Durban and Johannesburg
• Funding and facilitating outreach events such as a “Portrait Painting Party,” and “Herb Garden Party,” in Bangalore, India, for a local church
• Teaching classes with topics such as Social Media and Job Interview Coaching to teens in Durban
• Providing dental care given by a dentist-teammate, who saw over 100 children and adults in an orphanage in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
• Providing a series of entrepreneurship classes for over 100 adults in Madagascar
Because of financial donations that were raised by our teammates, we were able to fund multiple specific projects that were requested by our hosts. These included infrastructure upgrades, special dinners and events for target groups, and gifts in the form of practical items like printers and computers, a stove, backpacks for over 100 children, a keyboard and more. Our teams worked with over 50 non-profit organizations and churches! Anri-Louise Oosthuizen, founder of Growing the Nations in Antannarivo, Madagascar (Madagascar’s first and only Occupational Therapy program), writes, “Capable. Committed. Kind! Generous. Fun. Friends. These teams, coming year after year, are such an incredible blessing to this nation, and to me personally. So incredibly thankful for, and blessed by the Redeemer Madagascar teams!“
Many thanks to all the teammates who participated this year, and to those teammates who will travel to Japan, India, and the Philippines in the fall. Please consider making a Short Term Mission trip in 2016! For more information, please look at our Missions website: redeemer.com/missions.