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

Archive for the ‘Choosing a trip’ Category

Trends in Short-term Mission

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

More Interest in Longer Mission Trips?

We recently made a study of search and inquiry patterns related to mission trip information on the website. It suggests a greater interest in longer mission trips than we have previously seen. As in the past, most searchers seem to be looking for mission trips that are a few weeks long. During a recent 18-month period, however, we saw the number of those searching for trips at least three months long has doubled to 24 percent.

Longer mission trips offer more cross-cultural experience. They often include a stronger focus on mentoring and discipling participants and preparing them for long-term service. In the last four years we have observed a number of short-term sending agencies refocusing their efforts to provide more opportunities of this type.

Please pray with us (and the mission organizations sponsoring trips). Pray that these longer trips will continue to attract interest and accomplish much in the lives of those who go as well as those among whom they serve.

» Read Search Summary Reports.

Help Others Discover Their Place to Serve

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

ShortTermMissions.comDo you know someone thinking about a mission trip? January is the peak month for locating mission trips at Help spread the word!

The website also includes a variety of articles about choosing a trip.

» See our website for sample text and graphics. In addition, you can help others discover by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. We encourage you to share our social media posts with others in your network.

The colors of India

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

by Paul Nielsen

Jeran Anderson grew up in Missouri; her sister keeps a goat, whis is apparently something people in Missouri do according to her album about the goat.

Jeran is my Facebook friend: I “randomly Facebooked” her after seeing her at an art gallery opening and later realizing she was in a design class taught by a friend on mine. Jeran participated in a mission trip to India in 2006. The country and its people captured her heart, and she is biding her time until God lets her return. This interview was conducted over Facebook.

Propel: Were you interested in missions before you went to India, and if so can you point to what got you interested in missions?

Jeran: I first had an interest for missions when missionaries came to my church when I was in the sixth grade. I thought the life of a missionary seemed so adventurous and exciting.

P: What prompted you to go to India for three weeks?

Issue VII

J: The thing that prompted me to go to India was really God. He used a good friend to spark my interest in the trip, and I also read an article that had a quote from a huge hero of mine, Amy Carmichael. In the article it talked about how she said the biggest problem in India is the lack of prayer. I decided to let God move and open doors if it was His will. I thought going to India for three weeks would be a good way to see if missions was for me. God opened all doors and taught me so much.

P: What was the nature of the mission trip — that is, what did you do while you were in India?

J: While I was in India I worked with Indian pastors doing village evangelism. I also worked with widows, lepars, and orphans. It was an amazing time to see such beautiful people of God that needed His love.

P: How did your time of service in India change you, if it did it?

J: I feel that India has forever changed me. I am in love with a country and the people in it.

The first day I was in India I thought it was so different and exciting but I wanted to have more passion for the people. I prayed that God would give me a heart and passion for India and it’s people. God did exactly that. Even though it was hard at times, each day I loved India more and more. During my time back from India I have learned even more about the country and miss it very much. I feel drawn to those people, and every day I feel more sure that God is calling me to spend my life in this country.

P: What is it about India that has you so intrigued, if you know?

J: I think that India is so beautiful with its bright colors, spicy food, dark people, fun music, and passion for Jesus. The gospel is spreading so quickly over there and it is great to see. There are also so many that are under the darkness of Hinduism and Islam. We as the body of Christ need to pray that they would see Jesus as the one way and truth (John 14:6).

P: You have plans to study abroad for a semester in Ireland. Did your mission trip to India prompt you to look into other cross-cultural opportunities such as this?

J: I was originally wanting to study in Uganda but God seemed to close doors towards that trip and open them to Ireland. I am really excited to live in another culture for a semester. India helped boost that cross-cultural excitement, but I have loved other cultures.

P: What do you look forward to learning from your time in Ireland?

J: I am interested in just learning more about how other people in the world live. I think that there is always a great deal to learn from those around the world. I want to have fun and adventures too. I think it will also be interesting to be able to study the church in Europe and see some of the problems they are having.

P: As a graphic design major, do you think you’ll ever use your field of study on the mission field?

J: My major has been something that I really don’t get. I do feel that it has been something that I need to trust God in. Most people would ask why I am not a cross-cultural services major. I feel that by being in graphic design I have a service to offer. I feel that God has told me to finish my education before He sends me out. I don’t know if I will ever use it, but it is something I do have. Honestly, I like [graphic design] but my passion is missions. I am waiting to see how God will use that in my life. I would love to take pictures overseas for a mission board.

For some it may be hard to say yes to God’s call to serve in missions overseas but for me I have to keep saying, “Yes, Lord, in your time. I will wait for your time.”

Issue VII

Considerations in choosing a mission trip

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

The M-DAT staff devised this list late last year in order to guide students at Urbana, and elsewhere, in choosing short-term opportunities wisely.

Questions to Ask Yourself
    • Why are you going? What is your motivation?
    • What type of experience are you looking for (discipleship, cross-cultural exposure, ministry experience etc.)?
    • Which level of cross-cultural experience is right for you?
What to Look for in a Mission Agency
    • Fit: Do they have programs that match your interest and experience?
    • Experience: Do they have experienced mature leaders onsite? Does their communication with you show signs of quality and professionalism?
    • Preparedness: Have they thought things through (expect some flexibility but also thorough planning)? Do they have emergency management procedures in place?
    • Comprehensive: Do they provide adequate training to prepare you? Do they help you process the trip with a debriefing?
What to Look for in a Mission Trip
    • Long-term plan: Does it fit into a broader long-term plan for the area you will be ministering in? How does it match up with local churches and career mission work in the area?
    • Great Commission focus: How does what you will do help accomplish the Great Commission? Is there an evangelism or outreach element even if its mainly a construction trip?

For more on finding the right Mission trip, see

Five years old

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

by M-DAT Executive Director

Five years ago this December M-DAT launched The website addressed the growing need for internet based resources offering practical assistance to people seeking to develop deep, lifelong mission involvement. It was specifically aimed at helping people take the step of serving on a one week to three year mission trip.

From the beginning our goal has been to build a quality website that met real needs, became widely used, and stood the test of time.

The “thank you” notes we receive from the people and agencies we serve confirm that we are meeting felt needs. One large agency shared with us that apart from word of mouth (every agency’s primary source of participants), was the best producer of new participants and groups.

The traffic and scope of the service steadily grows. We launched with 20 agencies and 200 trips. Today we help people connect with nearly 1,000 trips from 64 mission agencies! About 5,000 to 7,000 individuals visit the website every month, an ever-growing number.

And we’re still here! Five years is quite remarkable for a website. We’re thankful for God’s provision through churches and individuals to make a reality and keep the service available to tomorrow’s missionaries.

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

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