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

Archive for February, 2013

ShortTermMissons.com Redesign Launched; All Signs Point to Success

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

In our last edition of Propel we told you about a major redesign of our most popular website, ShortTermMissions.com. It launched two weeks ago, and the early results are better than we could have dreamed! In every way you can measure a website’s success, numbers are up.

ShortTermMissions.com exists to help people quickly connect with mission opportunities that fit their gifts and calling. In its first week, the redesigned site set a new record for the number of users who connected with an opportunity by filling out an inquiry form. In fact, the inquiry rate almost doubled.

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The Best Urbana Conference Yet!

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

David in conversation with a student at Urbanaby David Armstrong

We were very tired as December 31 came to a close. Yet after four days of great conversations with hundreds of students, we could not have been more encouraged! M-DAT was in St. Louis for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Urbana conference. Designed for US college students, this conference has been held every three years since 1946. We are committed to connecting with and coaching students (and others) in their mission journeys, so we go to Urbana – by far the biggest gathering of students interested in missions – to meet them face-to-face.

Great Interaction

I have been to four Urbana conferences. When it comes to interaction with students, this was way better than any of the others. The average length of our conversations doubled from previous years. We helped many students find answers to their mission questions and connect with mission organizations that matched their interests. One girl was interested in using a veterinary degree in Africa. A musician wanted to know about opportunities to use his musical abilities in missions. A young man wanted ideas on how to pray more effectively for missionaries.

I enjoyed standing in the aisle handing out resource cards about our web services, telling the students “Here is what you have been looking for!” One young lady’s eyes lit up as she realized what I’d given her, saying, “Wow! Thank you very much. God bless you!” as she clipped the blue M-DAT carabineer to her purse. Another student, a young man, plans to use the site to find a mission trip for a group from his church.

Making Connections

We don’t just go to Urbana to promote our own resources. Learning what other ministries have to offer also helps us coach and come alongside those we serve throughout the year. I enjoyed visiting with several of our newer partner agencies to get a better feel for the services they offer. I connected with one group that offers a professional evaluation, two to three days long, to help participants know what they need to focus on to be emotionally and spiritually prepared for thriving overseas. I was also pleased to discover half a dozen new, hands-on-training opportunities for those considering going overseas for a couple years or more. They vary from three to twelve months in length, and couple classroom teaching and interaction with hands-on-overseas supervised experience. Immensely valuable!

We pray that conversations and connections from this Urbana conference will continue to bear fruit. May God be glorified among the nations because of his work in this generation of students.

Prayer and Gratitude

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Current M-DAT news and prayer requests:

Gratitude

  • Praise God for the successful launch of the new version of ShortTermMissions.com and the positive reception it has received.

Prayer

  • In March M-DAT’s board convenes for their annual retreat. We are blessed to have a great board! They are men and women who love the Lord and want to see workers mobilized for the harvest.  Pray for a productive time as they review goals and seek the Lord’s direction for the ministry.
  • Work to make all three of M-DAT’s services friendlier for mobile access continues. We will wrap up a few remaining features on ShortTermMissions.com, then jump into an AskaMissionary.com overhaul. Pray that the Lord would guide this process and for increasing effectiveness in helping people make it to the mission field.
  • Ask the Lord to provide connections to a couple of good graphic designers and programmers this year. We are contracting out more and more of this kind of work; it can be hard to find people who really know their stuff yet are available for new clients.

News  

  • We welcomed Dani Cypert to our team this month. Dani joins us in a customer care role, serving our mission agency partners. A pastor’s wife, she has experience with numerous mission teams and knows what team leaders go through in setting up trips.

 

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