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

Archive for January, 2014

Reaffirming our Commitment to Mission Trips that Share the Gospel

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

by David Armstrong

Some of the requests we get from organizations who want to post their opportunities on can be challenging! Do we exist to help people meet physical needs, or to share the gospel? The answer is that we are committed to both. We are here to help mission and outreach ministries which not only live out the gospel but also verbalize it.

bible on iPadWe declined a request to post opportunities with an inner-city ministry established by Christians but whose website makes no mention of Jesus, God, or sharing the gospel. More difficult was a request from a service nonprofit which is unabashedly Christian on their website and in their service to communities around the world, even Muslim communities. But they send secular service groups as well as church groups. How does a secular group share the gospel?

Helping the poor and needy is very important to us and an outworking of God’s mercy living in us. We are called to that in Ephesians 2:10. But we also firmly believe that man’s deeper need and Jesus’ sacrifice needs to be shared in our words as well as in our actions. M-DAT exists to connect believers with opportunities to share the gospel in both word and deed. To bring people physical hope with our actions without offering to connect them to the source of all hope is to fall short.

These requests to list service opportunities by groups who aren’t committed to sharing the gospel in word as well cause us to reaffirm our commitment and reason for existence. We are a ministry, not an online ad business. We are a mission, committed to a message walking hand-in-hand with our service. Our purpose is to help Christ-centered mission organizations get the word out about their opportunities to both serve and share the gospel in the USA and around the world. Mission trips we post should, directly or indirectly, have an evangelistic or disciple-making component.

We applaud educational groups that provide youth with valuable experience serving others cross-culturally. We appreciate relief and aid groups that help relieve suffering and care for the refugees and neglected. And we honor justice organizations that fight the very real evils of human trafficking and abuse. May these groups and their good works increase! And may the Lord, the healer, the provider and the source of peace, be introduced and glorified in all these efforts.

Help Get the Word Out!

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

ShortTermMissions.comDo you know someone thinking about a mission trip? January is the peak month for locating missions trips at Tell them about us!

In addition, you can help us get the word out by “liking” on Facebook and following on Twitter.

Finding Mission Opportunities

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 helps people quickly connect with short-term mission trips that fit their gifts, calling, and availability, listing hundreds of mission trip provided by many agencies. But you might be interested in some of the other services designed to help people find mission trips and service opportunities. If you coordinate trips you might want to partner with these ministries too. If you are looking for an opportunity, try your search with one or more of them.

  • Mission Finder lists hundreds of short term, medical, domestic, and international mission trips, categorized by location and type of ministry. Lots of links, short descriptions.
  • is similar to and It has long-term Christian mission opportunities as well as short-term ones.
  • Finishers Project is designed for adults of middle age and older (Baby Boomers). MissionExplore, organized around causes, is for younger adults. Another service from the same ministry is Mission:TEACH, which helps place teachers in international Christian schools.
  • BAMmatch connects business people with opportunities around the world where their skills are needed.
  • Christian Connections for International Health and are designed for medical personnel and those interested in medical work.
  • is not specifically focused on missions opportunities, but lists options for employment at ministry organizations, nonprofits, and Christian businesses.

If you want an opportunity offered by a mission organization in another country, try Mission Platform (Australia) and OSCAR (UK and Europe).

Don’t forget that some mission agencies list specific opportunities right on their websites. Others would be happy to tell you about specific ways to serve with them if you contact them by phone or email. Ask mission agencies about short-term and long-term opportunities. Don’t overlook what are sometimes called “mid-term” opportunities, those which last for from several months up to a year or two. Sometimes these are not advertised, but they may provide the best way to get to know an agency while being further equipped for a lifetime of ministry.

Prayer and Gratitude

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014


  • Pray for those who are seeking where God wants them to serve through mission trips this summer. This is a significant season for many of them.
  • Pray for our programmers as they strive to make a number of updates and improvements to our website over the next 90 days.
  • Ask God to guide us and give us wisdom as we continue to make decisions about our services and staffing, especially as one of our key staff members is in transition. We’re excited about what the future may hold.


  • For the sharp web guys who have protected our web services this past year and updated them to be mobile-friendly.
  • For a wonderful staff of missions-minded professionals seriously committed to helping people take their next step in what God is doing around the world.
  • For God’s incredible faithfulness in providing financially again this year. We have a wonderful group of 100+ families and churches supporting the ministry.


Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.” – 1 Chronicles 16:24-25

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

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