Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Celebrating 15 Years

Bringing people and missions together using internet technology

This past month M-DAT celebrated its fifteenth year of serving the Christian community by connecting people with mission opportunities. Interest in M-DAT’s web services has consistently grown over the years. Will you join us in celebrating what God has done?

A Mission Trip Search Engine?

M-DAT was founded March 31, 2000. It grew from a vision to work with mission organizations to see a cooperative resource come together that would enable people to connect with mission opportunities quickly. Peter, our co-founder, recognized the need for such a service during his senior year at university. ShortTermMissions.com has now seen 2.2 million visits as people have searched for ways to serve God’s church and His kingdom around the world.

Services for Aspiring Missionaries

In 2009 the ministry expanded to include AskaMissionary.com, where missionaries answer questions and share about real life issues and challenges, and PreparingToGo.com, a resource center for would-be missionaries. In 2014 AskAMissionary.com had more than 88,000 visits and more than 180,000 page views.

Strategic Partnerships

Along the way we have partnered with scores of short-term and long-term sending agencies who use our services or contribute content, and also collaborated with ministries that equip and assist those who go.

This year, to continue our push for excellence in mission trips, we are promoting a web service that allows participants to rate their experience. MissionsTripsReviews.com was created by Amanda Jones who works for Christ for the Cities. Currently 13% of the organizations who post trips on ShortTermMissions.com have been rated there. We are encouraging the rest of our organizational partners to ask their short-termers to rate them there also.

Supporting M-DAT

Would you like to help expand the effectiveness of M-DAT services like ShortTermMissions.com and AskaMissionary.com? You can do so by giving through our online PayPal form. You do not need to have a PayPal account to do so. You may also send a check to M-DAT with a note to use the funds for expanding the reach of ShortTermMissions.com and AskaMissionary.com.

» Help support M-DAT with a donation through http://www.mdat.org/donate.

Mobilizing More Laborers

The M-DAT team is about mobilizing people to missions and mentoring people for missions, and we greatly appreciate your encouragement and support in doing so. But how do YOU encourage people to be involved in missions? Have you thought of intentionally being a missions “mobilizer”? You don’t need a title or a desk to do so. All you need to do is talk about missions and ways people can be involved with internationals at home and abroad. For those who express interest or have questions about missions, point them to AskaMissionary.com and other resources that can help.

Obstacles to Serving in Missions

“I have traveled the country speaking and meeting with college students from 150 colleges, teaching God’s heart for the world and challenging people to live missionally,” says Josh Cooper, author of the 2013 book Hold Fast: The Mission of God and the Obstacles of Man.

“Everyone has at least one good excuse why they shouldn’t live their life for the mission of God. Therefore, most people who live for God’s purpose won’t end up doing so accidentally. Out of the hundreds of thousands challenged to be missional Christians, only a small handful make it.”

Cooper recognizes nine obstacles which hold back today’s students and keep them from considering full-time missionary service as a reasonable option for their lives:

  1. A lack of awareness of God’s mission purposes
  2. A focus on needs closer to home
  3. Materialism
  4. Romantic relationships
  5. Family opposition
  6. Theological issues (e.g., pluralism)
  7. Uncertainty about their calling
  8. The burden of debt
  9. Concerns about raising support

Cooper shares stories of those who have overcome each struggle and provides encouragement to keep the reader moving forward.

» Know students or others who could use this book? Get copies for them and one for yourself, then read and discuss it together.

Meet the M-DAT Team: Donna Williams

Donna Williams serves as M-DAT’s social media consultant. She researches and creates eye-catching missions material for our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Donna writes from Atlanta, Georgia. She’s been creating content (blogs, social media, websites, and print) for various clients for almost 15 years.

Gratitude and Prayer

Thank you for praying!

  • Leadership: The M-DAT Board of Directors gained another new member. Katie Rousopoulos is the director of Taylor University’s summer mission program, Lighthouse. Welcome, Katie!

Please pray with us…

  • Customer Service: We continue asking for prayer about revamping the back-end management system for ShortTermMissions.com. The programming process has been going on for almost two years now, and the delay in its completion has kept us from developing other features to serve the 115 agencies who post trips on ShortTermMissions.com. We are praying for breakthrough: a strong three-month push to get us through to testing and implementation.

M-DAT helps people make it to the mission field. Explore our websites:

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