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

Archive for the ‘M-DAT’ Category

Celebrating 15 Years

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

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.

How M-DAT Helps Tomorrow’s Mission Force Grow

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

A mentor or a coach simply helps another person develop the understanding, skill, and experience they need to accomplish their goals. That is how M-DAT serves every day, by phone, email, or in person, and especially through our web services as we harness technology for kingdom purposes.

» ShortTermMissions.com connects people to many great options for short-term exposure to cross-cultural ministry and tries to match them up with options that fit their experience, skills, and passion, and the vision that God is growing in them.

» AskaMissionary.com offers potential missionaries advice from dozens of experienced missionaries serving in a variety of ministries all around the world.

» PreparingToGo.com provides those considering overseas service with video clips of experienced missionaries sharing how it felt for them to walk through the various stages of becoming a missionary.

Thanks for supporting and encouraging the M-DAT staff and sending others our way.

Leadership Changes

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

M-DAT’s board of directors met for annual meetings in March. Praise the Lord for many profitable discussions for our executive director and the board – at their first meeting without the founder, who is now heading overseas! The addition of new board members and the loss of an eight-year-veteran board president also change the dynamics. Yet the board’s vision and desire to help people get involved in what God is doing around the world continues. We are encouraged.

M-DAT’s new board president is Michael Kaspar. Michael is the senior director of global connections for Operation Mobilization. We also welcome a new board member, Malachi Wurpts, technology director for the Center for Missions Mobilization. Malachi brings in some much-needed expertise in web-service management as our founder leaves.

Special thanks are due to our outgoing president, Greg Fletcher of Pioneers. We are grateful for his many years of service in guiding the M-DAT board.

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 ShortTermMissions.com 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.

Prayer and Gratitude

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Prayer

  • 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.

Gratitude

  • 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.

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