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

Archive for May, 2013

What Will Brandon Do?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Brandon will graduate from college this month. He’s been on a few short-term mission trips and thinks God may be leading him into missions full-time. Is his lack of job offers an invitation to go overseas? Should he pursue further training? How will he pay off his college debt?

And what about his girlfriend Kelsey? Are they going to stay together? Kelsey has one more year, but then what? Will she go on to grad school, take a job out of state, or get wrapped up in the American dream and never give world missions another thought? What do Brandon’s parents think he should do? What do Kelsey’s parents expect?

As young adults like Brandon and Kelsey try to find their place in God’s plan for the world, they sometimes feel overwhelmed by advice, opportunities, and good causes to pursue. At the same time they may feel paralyzed, not knowing who to turn to or how to get there from here.

If you work with students, some of them interested in missions, consider sharing with them these video clips (and others) from the archives of PreparingtoGo.com:

» Preparing for the mission field as a college student

» Dating and missions

See also some of today’s “top questions” on the AskaMissionary.com website:

» How do I handle my debts and still go into missions?

» What do missionaries wish they had known before they went?

As well as:

» What if my parents oppose me becoming a missionary?

Countdown to a Better Mission Trip

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Embark screenshotPlanning a mission trip? Do you know about Embark? It’s a free, five-part email series from ShortTermMissions.com designed to track with short-termers as they prepare and return from a mission trip. Subscribers enter their name and contact information, along with the dates of their trip. Emails are automatically sent at key times before and after they go. Readers might also be interested in The Next Mile E-Zine, a series of emails sent to participants after their mission trip ends.

Creative Mission Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

By David Armstrong

Some days I suspect the number one requirement for missionaries going to the least-reached parts of today’s world is creativity! Why creativity? Because that’s what it takes to turn a natural setting into a great place to interact with people, sharing the gospel in both words and actions.

In fact, creativity is required for making any cross-cultural leap. It will help you integrate the old and the new. It will help you bridge from the known to the unknown. Though others have gone before you, you must innovate and do what others have not thought to do … adding your unique contribution to the beautiful tapestry God is weaving to share his love with those in your host culture.

Maybe that’s why God has handed you a set of tools and techniques that are different from what he has given others. The tools in your God-given toolbox will give you advantages and opportunities that others don’t have. As you learn to fit into a unique part of the world, God will connect you with people who others don’t connect with and in ways other can’t connect. God is creative that way!

Mission “entrepreneurs” don’t just look for a job to hold, a neighborhood to live in, or a place where they can make friends and have fun. They also seek to develop their presence in the community in a way that cultivates natural opportunities to interact with people, foster relationships, and build bridges for the sake of the gospel. They talk less about “entry platforms” and more about “access strategies.”

Mobilizers and mission leaders, keep your eyes open for people who have that blend of creativity and intentionality that makes a good entrepreneur. Those skills would help them on the field. And as you look in the mirror, thank God for his creativity in forming each one of us differently … for his purposes.

Prayer and Gratitude

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Current M-DAT news and prayer requests:

  • Board meetings: M-DAT’s board of directors held annual meetings in March. Join us in thanking God for the fruitful meetings and for Greg, Don, Lisa, and Michael who join David in forming our current board. We’re grateful for their wisdom and experience in ministry leadership.
  • Services: Praise God for the increased number of people inquiring about mission trips as a result of the redesign of ShortTermMissions.com. Pray for our staff as we continue seeking to help those who use our websites, an average of 18,000 visitors per month.
  • Laborers: Our last issue of Propel described the four days we spent at the Urbana student mission conference with some 14,000 students. A recent report confirms that more than 5,000 hope to go on a short-term trip, more than 3,000 expect to serve in missions through one-to-two-year commitments, and 4,000 plan to go for more than four years. Each of these students will need help and encouragement to keep the commitments they’ve made and grow through them. As Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37-38).

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