How To Support Your Child’s Desire To Go On A Mission Trip

How To Support Your Child’s Desire To Go On A Mission Trip

“Missionary: someone who leaves their family for a short time, so that others may be with their families for eternity.”

I recently came across this quote and really resonated with this meaning of missionary. You see, my husband was a missionary kid, so the idea of missions has always been a topic we discuss regularly. One recent question we had was “What if one of our children is called away to missions and desires to go?”

If you have been talking about the importance of mission work, it’s highly likely your children have been listening. They may have already started talking about going on one. If you find yourself wondering how to support your child’s desire to go on a mission trip, keep reading! We wrote this post just for you!

Here are 3 easy ways you can support your child’s desire to take their very first mission trip: 

1. Encourage

Encouraging children to attend a mission’s trip may be difficult. A mission’s trip can sometimes be dangerous or the idea of your child being apart from you can feel scary. But remember to offer your support before, throughout, and upon their return home. Help your child prepare before, pack a few letters full of Bible verses like the one below for him to read during your trip and feel encouraged during the difficult times.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:19

And be there to listen to your child talk about what her experience was like after she returns!

2. Pray

There honestly isn’t much we can do to replace our worry other than to make time for frequent prayer. Remember, God calls us to spread the Gospel. Pray for those who will be impacted by your child. Pray for your child’s personal spiritual growth, and pray for his safety while he is away! Remember, prayer is a powerful weapon to replace fear. 

Support your child’s desire to go on a medical mission trip by praying with, for, and over them regulalry. Helping them tune their ears to God’s voice will always lead them to their calling. Allowing prayer to shape our hearts and soften any resistance we parents may have to our chidren joining a mission team, is essential to helping children grow more independant in their faith.

“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” — 1 Samuel 1:27

3. Let Go

One of the worst things we can do as parents is to try to hang onto our children while they are following the will of God. Their desire to go on mission trips is no exception. Even young children can serve locally on mission teams. Check with your church to see if they have short term opportunities locally. There are also mission organizations that offer family and paretne+child trips. A quick Google search will help you locate options for your family!

Remember, God doesn’t always call us to the safe and comfortable places. As parents, we want those two things for our kids but we need to be able to let go of our kids and give them room to be obedient to God. Listen with an open mind when they start discussing mission work and let God provide the means for their calling to unfold!

Tell us in the comments about your experience letting your children go on mission’s trips!

10 Things You Need To Know Before Going On A Medical Missions Trip

10 Things You Need To Know Before Going On A Medical Missions Trip

Thinking about joining one of our medical mission teams? GREAT! 

Medical missions trips are transformational experiences for all involved. Serving others changes the hearts of the servants and those being served but being prepared is ESSENTIAL to making a difference. We’ve compiled this list of things you need to know before going on a medical missions trip to help you make a lasting impact. 

Here are 10 things you need to know before going on a medical mission trip:

  1. Communicating will take more time.

Depending on where you are headed globally, you will most likely be embedded in communities that speak languages that you are not fluent in. This does not mean you have to learn another language before you can join a medical mission trip, but it does mean you need to have is to be aware and to have translators readily available. Patience is also needed because communicating through a translator takes more time than two people fluent in the same language. You will not be able to serve the community well if you cannot communicate effectively with one another. Clear communication is essential to helping people with their health needs

  1. Be flexible and willing to adapt to unfamiliar conditions.

You are traveling outside of the United States to places that are in need of proper healthcare. Sometimes, other amenities that you are used to will not be available either. In other communities they’re available, but look radically different than what you are used to. You won’t be able to spend every night in a 5 star air conditioned room, familiar food, a hot shower, etc. but that’s part of why these trips are so transformational. Access to clean drinking water may be limited. For example, 60% of Tanzania’s households have water from a protected source as of 2012, so you will most likely have access, but when we travel to remote areas access may be limited. 

  1. Expect limited supplies and access to equipment.

The number of physicians is not the only thing lacking in the under served communities we travel to. Supplies and access to medical equipment can also be quite scarce. We bring as many supplies and medications as possible to supplement what is available locally.  As a team member you can find out what equipment and supplies will be available, and count on bringing most of what you need! Specialized dressings, medications, and sutures are often the first supplies gathered. (Remember, if you plan to bring medical equipment, it will require a heavy-duty electrical converter to work outside of the US).

  1. Loosen your grip on the plan and relax the schedule.

In the United States, medical clinics and hospitals often have rigid schedules, and it’s expected for people to abide by a plan. Other countries are much more go-with-the-flow. Out teams have an agenda and loose schedule, but we are also committed to being flexible and serving people whenever they show up. Things can also be highly unpredictable due to the environment not always being stable or reliable, so one must be flexible with any plans that are made. Leave your rigid, timely mindset in the states and choose to be adaptable.

  1. Be ready to try new foods!

The type of food you are used to eating will not be accessible on a medical missions trip. It’s important to be grateful and humble when trying new foods. You will like some foods you try and others you won’t. Before going on a medical mission’s trip, branch out and try different foods that are common in the communities you will be visiting. Be prepared to say “yes” to what is offered to you. If you have special dietary needs be sure to talk with your team leader early in the process so that adaptations can be discussed. Staying hydrated and well nourished is going to be crucial to your ability to show up and care for people well. Your patients deserve good care from someone who is reliable and alert.

 


Are you loving this list of 10 things you need to know before going on a medical missions trip?
If so, please consider sharing with a friend! Sharing helps us reach more people so that we can have a greater impact in the world!

  1. Take time before you leave to preparre your mind, body, and soul.

Medical missions trips take a lot of preparation. You will need to take the time to raise money for the supplies you need and then gather those supplies as well. You will want to do research on the types of health concerns you will likely face as some you may be seeing for the first time. All overseas missions trips also require certain vaccinations before entering the country (go to https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel to find out what vaccinations are required for each country and tips for staying healthy abroad). Traveling overseas also requires getting your passport and other important travel documents which can take several months. Make sure you prepare in advance so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute.

  1. Pack everything.

Packing “light” or “minimally”  is not the best idea because you may not be able to buy the supplies you need in most places. If you are not sure what to pack for every scenario, check with your team leader. They are experienced travelers who can advise you what to pack and what to leave behind. We wrote an entire post about what to bring. You can read it here! 

  1. Fundraising is essential.

Unless you have been saving up for the trip’s cost, you may need to raise funds ASAP. Cash is good but donations of medical supplies can also make a huge impact. Reaching out to pharmaceutical companies, clinics, hospitals, and local medical related businesses to gather the necessary donations for your trip. This is a great way for family and friends to support you if they’re unable to join you for the trip. You can invite them to securely donate online here. This is one of those rare exceptions where more is more. It’s our goal to take enough supplies that we can leave resources behind for local physicians and clinics. It’s much easier for us to bring the supplies with us than it will ever be to ship things into the country after we leave. Check with your team leader to find out what the specific needs are for your trip! 

  1. Recognize and honor cultural differences without judging.

When heading into uncharted territory, you may find yourself surprised at the differences that surround you. Remember, we are intentionally traveling to under served areas so you will likely see hospitals and clinics in poor condition. Physicians are usually well trained in conditions they see most often but they can be limited by inadequate access to technology, medication, and cutting edge training. Also, health care, dental care, health education, and nutrition education are highly needed, and medical specialists should know that the lack of knowledge in these areas makes it difficult to approach patients in the same way. Read our list of book recommendations here to help you prepare for diverse cultural experience you’re about to have! 

  1. Education is critical to long term health maintenance.

Because of the limited access to medical care, educating our patients is key to helping them stay healthy long term! There will be limited opportunities for costly, time consuming follow-up appointments, so be prepared to educate patients for preventative care and after-care. Allowing time to ask questions and really listening to their concerns will greatly improve their long term prognosis. Your team leader will help you know what is encouraged and what behaviors to avoid.

I hope this list of 10 things you need to know before going on a medical mission trip has inspired you to say “YES” to this opportunity.

I’ve been doing this for over a decade and it’s not always easy, but it’s always rewarding. 

There are lots of things to learn before, during, and after you serve on a medical mission trip, but don’t let that scare you! It’s still one of the best ways to create major change in the lives of people with little to no access to medical care.

See you in the mission field!

Sheri Postma, RN
Founder & CEO
Mission Partners for Christ
MissionPartnersforChrist.com
Facebook.com/MissionPartnersforChrist
Twitter.com/mission_partner

 

Global Health Update: Medical Mission Teams Are Needed More Than Ever

Global Health Update: Medical Mission Teams Are Needed More Than Ever

Although the world has spent much of the last year focused on COVID-19, we are just now beginning to see the data on how the pandemic has impacted our most vulnerable communities. 

In short, the report is not good. World health experts are reporting that the impact of the pandemic varies widely depending on the income level of the people in that community. Many of the communities we serve, often the most impoverished with grossly under-served medical needs,  have been deeply impacted by the pandemic. 

Which means that now, more than ever, the work we do can make a huge difference for the people we treat at our free medical clinics. 

 

Here are just a few of the reasons Mission Partners is committed to continuing efforts to provide free medical care in underserved communities: 

1. “Healthcare disruptions due to COVID-19 could reverse decades of improvements, the UN says. This could result in hundreds of thousands of additional under-five deaths this year.” (source)  
More boots on the ground are needed to shore up medical providers in overwhelmed communities. Short term medical mission trips like the ones we create provide basic treatment, education, and preventative care. This free care lessens the financial burden on individuals who need it.

 

2. “Over 40% of countries have fewer than 10 medical doctors per 10,000 people.” (source)
There simply are not enough providers to meet the healthcare needs of people in the impoverished areas our teams visit. Short term medical mission teams can provide much needed support whole longer term initiatives work to solve the lack of provider problem. Our medical teams can lighten the load of the local healthcare providers allowing them to stretch their resources further.

 

3. “The latest World Health Organization (WHO) ‘pulse survey’,1 conducted in almost 135 countries, shows that the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to severely disrupt the delivery of health services – with services for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) disrupted in 44% of countries.” (source)
NTDs are a group of parasitic, viral, and bacterial diseases that impact large numbers of people living well below the poverty line. The often painful and easily spread diseases can make it hard to work, farm, or attend school. The WHO and other health experts have targeted efforts to reduce NTDs because of the direct connection between these illnesses and poverty. The COVID-19 travel bans and overwhelmed health system have hampered efforts to stop NTDs.

4. “The pandemic is estimated to have driven between 119 and 124 million more people into extreme poverty last year.” (source)
More people falling into extreme poverty means a greater number of people at risk for chronic illness due to lack of affordable and accessible medical care. While we cannot fix the problem of extreme poverty, we can offer support to those facing it by offering free care at our clinics. Our teams partner with local organizations who can continue to offer additional support to our patients long after our teams return to the US.

 

5. “The World Meteorological Organization reported that 2020 was one of the hottest years on record during the hottest decade on record. Not only do these disasters affect food security and nutrition, but regions with high food insecurity are also facing significant health challenges from preventable diseases.” (source

Food insecurity increases the likelihood of malnutrition and related health conditions. Our teams provide screening, treatment, nutritional education, and supplements to those who need them. The local organizations we partner with also continue to bolsters the community with nutritional education and support as food insecurity increases.

 

The needs are significant but with faithful medical mission team volunteers and generous donors like you we will continue to  partner with local organizations to provide medical care, education, and preventative treatment in under-served communities.

 

Can we count on your support? Click here to give or click here to find out more about our next trip.

 

Be Bold In Your Faith

Be Bold In Your Faith

You can be bold in your faith. Yes, you who are reading this right now!

When you think of medical missionaries or missionary work in general, do you assume they are born very courageous? That they have received an impartation of boldness that others have not? This is not necessarily the case all the time, although God definitely is faithful to answer the prayers of those who ask for His help. So when someone needs more help and asks, they will receive it–especially when they are doing something that reaches people who need to know Jesus! People who do missions work dedicate themselves to serving God on the missions field. They also push through fears and difficulties that may produce changes within them that strengthen their faith. But even if you are not a medical missions volunteer yet, this is also true of your life. You can learn to be bold in your faith too.

You Have Authority Over Fear

All believers have been given authority over fear. They can choose to walk in faith. Not only when they do their usual activities, but also when they arrive in a new territory. There can be areas of life in that new territory that God plans to use to stretch our faith. Any place we already have a history with Him–or don’t–is fair game. He loves us and also ultimately wants us to be like Him. God can use difficulties and new events in our lives to help us grow in faith, wisdom, experience, and confidence. Having scripture in our hearts can also help.

Scriptures to Encourage You to Be Bold in Your Faith

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (ESV)

God is faithful to respond to us when we pray. Sometimes He responds even when we do not know what words to pray. He is our deliverer, bringing clarity and peace with Him.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” Romans 8:15 (ESV)

We are able to call upon our heavenly Father when we are in trouble or about anything concerning us. He is our Father–that means something. He is also God…and that means a lot too! With God on our side, we can do all that we are meant to do.

Hebrews

The entire book of Hebrews is dedicated to the topic of faith, and is contains many good words to keep planted in your heart and mind. Any of the books of the New Testament books of the Bible that talk about the travels and trials of the apostles and new disciples of Christ are encouraging as well. We get to read what they went through, to an extent, and see the way they spoke of themselves, one another, God, and more.

You Can Do Difficult Things

It’s true–you can do difficult things. We are created to be amazingly resilient people who face challenges every day. As we build up more of a history with God, we get to see scene by scene that we are capable of so much more than we might have ever thought possible. It’s all through Christ that we do these things, and that is who empowers us. With God behind it all, you can be bold in your faith. If you want to become a medical missions volunteer, know that it is important work to God, and He will help you when this is part of the purpose of your life.


World Malaria Day 2021

World Malaria Day 2021

World Malaria Day is April 25th of this year, and we want to spread awareness about the continuing world health crisis of malaria. Lots of regions globally are populated by people living near or on the travel route toward a major water source. Many sources of water attract disease-carrying mosquitoes. This includes stagnant water, ponds, factory run-off, water cans, rivers, and more. Every water source is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes–particularly those carrying malaria parasites.

According to WHO (2017), of 219 million global cases of malaria, about 92% are in African countries. In some of those countries, sprays are available for use inside their homes. Many people in African countries sleep beneath an insecticide net. Others receive anti-malarial medication. These preventive treatments are not widely available for all people though–especially not the sprays, which can be expensive over time. Many children and adults who fall ill with malaria will then need to be tested and treated for it. Access to this medical care often does not adequately cover the needs of a region. Without treatment and prevention, sometimes there are malaria deaths and secondary illnesses or injuries due to malaria, such as blindness or brain damage.

World Malaria Day Increases Awareness

How does sharing information about malaria help? It increases awareness. The more we learn about a condition that may impact people in regions where we serve–or ourselves here at home–the better we can support one another’s health goals. Many living in the United States live in communities that employ trained workers who spray or set traps for mosquitoes. These employees also work on culverts, check for and warn against standing water in public spaces or yards, and do other things to help quell mosquito breeding.

We may enjoy going outdoors for fun and recreation quite often. It is generally easy for us to plan on wearing a special lotion or mosquito spray, burning citronella candles, or hanging up a zapper in the yard. This is a routine in other countries too, but due to wars, epidemics, or other causes, not every region of the world currently has the infrastructure to regularly support these efforts.

There is Hope

Malaria is potentially a curable disease, but it is also largely preventable with access to the right supplies and education. There is currently a pan-African effort to increase awareness and lessen the spread of malaria. Zero Malaria Starts With Me is a campaign created to educate youth and adults about malaria. People of all ages and backgrounds, including religious leaders and students, volunteer in this program.

Medical missions volunteers also often play a role in helping many people receive malaria treatment and prevention techniques. Interested in becoming a medical missions volunteer? Reach out to Mission Partners for Christ on our website or via Facebook and Instagram.

How We Mission: 2021 Trip to Burundi

How We Mission: 2021 Trip to Burundi

Have you been hearing us talk about the 2021 trip to Burundi and wondering how to go with us?

If so, you are in the right place to learn more about the 2021 trip to Burundi!

Our trip to Burundi, one of the smallest countries in Africa, will be 7/9-7/19. The majority of the population lives in rural areas which has led to deforestation (overpopulation), soil erosion and habitat loss.  Burundians experience a great deal of poverty, corruption, poor access to healthcare, education and hunger. In fact, the World Happiness Report of 2018 ranked Burundi as the world’s least happy nation. Join us on this medical mission trip as we bring joy and the love of Jesus to the people of Burundi. 

Here is a list of facts about the trip. We hope it will help you decide whether to join us! Of course, if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to contact us via email.

How much does it cost to join the 2021 trip to Burundi? Do I have to pay the entire amount to secure my spot?

The cost for our Burundi trip is $2700. A $300 deposit is required within 2 weeks of registering for the trip to secure your spot and will go towards the total balance. Half of the balance is due 4/9/21, and the rest is due by 6/11/21. Additionally, there is a $100 application fee.

What does this trip’s cost cover?

The cost of each of our trips include meals, travel, and accommodations. If a tourism day is built into the trip, travel is included. Volunteers are responsible for the cost of souvenirs or other optional activities they wish to pursue.

How old do I have to be to participate in the 2021 trip to Burundi?

For liability purposes, you must be 18 years or older to participate in the 2021 trip to Burundi.

What are my responsibilities while attending this trip?

All we ask is that you are willing to serve as a unified team member and are willing to be flexible. We assign roles and discuss more specific trip responsibilities during our first team meeting which will be held via Zoom video conference. Additionally, we ask each participant to attend all team meetings, be on time during the trip, and attend all trip activities.

What type of documentation do I need to provide to attend the 2021 trip to Burundi?

All participants need to provide a passport with 2 blank pages and at least 6 months expiration date past return date of trip (1/20/21), a clear color copy of your passport, 2 additional passport photos, and a visa. (This will be discussed during our first team meeting).

Doctors and dentists must provide a clear copy of their medical degrees, certificate or evidence of completing internships, CV, a reference letter from employer, and a copy of their current medical license. Nurses must provide a clear copy of their nursing degree, nursing license, a resume, a reference letter from their employer, and an official transcript.

Are there any vaccines or other medical requirements to participate?

All volunteers are required to get a yellow fever vaccine before they can obtain their visas. We also recommend you consider getting Hepatitis A and oral typhoid vaccines, as well as prescription medication to prevent malaria.

Are there any other requirements that I should know about this trip?

Yes. We do require a background check, and you sign a waiver.

I need help raising funds for the 2021 trip to Burundi. Can you help me?

Yes! Check out this blog post and this one for some tips on raising funds, and don’t forget to download our free fundraising template!

Where can I learn more about your organization?

You can learn about us and our heart for mission work by watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W907K9k5KXo

You can also learn more about us on our About page and our FAQ page.

Where can I find your application for this trip?

You can find the application for the 2021 trip to Burundi on this page. The deadline to begin the application process is April 5.

I can’t attend the 2021 trip to Burundi, but would like to support it financially. How do I do that?

You can donate directly towards this trip by clicking here!

We hope this gives you more information about our 2021 trip to Burundi, and we hope you will join us next July! Click here to submit your application.

2021 Trip to Burundi