How To Be Bold In Your Faith

How To Be Bold In Your Faith

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

Perhaps you feel like you can never live up to the lives seen in missionaries throughout history or those whose unfailing belief in God has been praised throughout the pages of the Bible. Perhaps you find yourself wondering, “why would God ever choose to use someone like me?”

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 Christian-based service dedicate themselves to serving God on the mission field. They also push through fears and difficulties that may produce changes within them that strengthen their beliefs. But even if you are not a medical missions volunteer yet, this is also true of your life. You can learn to be bold too.

You Have Authority Over Fear

All believers have been given authority over fear. They can choose to walk in the hope of the Lord. 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.

Be Bold In Your Faith

Faith
9 Questions To Ask Before Joining A Medical Mission Team

9 Questions To Ask Before Joining A Medical Mission Team

There are many things to consider before joining a non-profit on a medical mission outreach.

There is no question about it; missionaries have one of the best jobs on the planet. There’s so. much to it:  travel, adventure, meeting new people, learning new things, and broadening one’s horizons. Deciding to travel abroad on an outreach project as a Christian can be the best experience of your life, but you definitely want to know what you’re getting into and what’s required before taking the leap! Here are some questions to ask a non-profit before you commit to joining them on a mission trip:

1. What’s the location?

It may seem obvious to ask about the location of the medical mission trip you want to go on, but the details can often be overlooked! You will want to know how many clinics will be held during the mission trip.  You will also want to know if there will be additional travel involved in getting to the clinic sites. Don’t forget to ask where those sites are, and how many days each clinic will last.

2. Are there missionaries already working there?

Not only is it good to connect with other Christians in the area, but establishing a network of contacts can be extremely helpful Being able to have contact with any missionaries that are already serving where you want to serve prior to traveling can be a great resource in preparing for your trip. It is also a good idea to establish a relationship with them before you arrive. If there are people already there, who can be of assistance, be sure to ask for their names and contact information.

3. What will the weather be like?

Knowing what the weather will be like when you will be traveling to an area can make or break your trip. You definitely want to be prepared with proper clothing in the event you show up during rainy season!

4. What type of travel is involved?

While you can count on a long flight to an overseas medical outreach, you will want to know what type of travel will be involved once you arrive. Make sure to ask how far you will have to travel from the airport, what method you will be traveling, as well as the road conditions if applicable.

5. What will the accommodations be like?

Knowing where you will be staying and what amenities are available are all important things to know. You’ll want to know whether you will have your own room or share, if a bed will be provided, whether there will be electricity and running water, and how far you will be from the outreach site. Additionally, be sure to ask if accommodations will cost extra, as sometimes they aren’t included in the cost of your trip.

6.  What language will primarily be spoken?

Knowing what language will primarily be spoken where you are serving can help you prepare for your trip. You will also want to know if translators will be provided and whether there will be an additional cost for them.

7.  Are visas required?

Many medical mission outreaches require a visa, and there is often an additional cost for this. Make sure to find out how to obtain this in time for your trip, as well as any costs involved.

8. Are meals provided?

Having to pay for meals can drive the cost of your trip up significantly depending on where you are serving. Be sure to ask before hand whether all meals will be provided in the initial cost of your trip. If not, find out what the average cost of meals are, as well as the availability and average cost for bottled water.

9. Is this a safe area to serve?

Some areas of the world will definitely be more safe than others. Be sure to find out how safe the area you will be serving in will be. If it is a riskier area, find out what measures will be in place to ensure safety (i.e. a security team and/or crowd control). While this list definitely doesn’t cover all of the questions you could ask before committing to a medical mission outreach, we think it is a good start. What else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments! And if you want to learn more about our organization and our upcoming trips, be sure to check out our volunteer page.
How to prepare, medical mission outreach, mission work, mission field, make a difference, mission, mission trip, missions trip
Believe The Lord Will Provide

Believe The Lord Will Provide

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:19

When you are on the mission field, you will see a lot of people who have less than what you have when it comes to personal belongings. You may even see a lot of poverty depending on the location you are serving. It is easy to see these things and start to believe that the Lord isn’t providing for these people.

You may feel sadness or even guilt if you compare your “blessings” to theirs. But a perspective shift has to happen. First of all, blessings come in more forms than “stuff.” Secondly, You have to believe that if YOU care about the suffering, pain, or needs that you see around you, then God absolutely cares as well!

Take this story about Elijah for example:

“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.’ Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” –1 Kings 17:1-7

The Lord took care of His child Elijah. But He didn’t just hand Elijah food and drink in the way we think God would do it. He had him drink out of a brook and be fed by scraps from the birds. God cares for His children in peculiar ways to bring glory to Him through the process!

So how does that story relate to what you may see on missions trips? It shows that God cares about all of His children and provides for their needs in ways that bring Him glory. And sometimes the way He takes care of others is through you and me! It may be peculiar for God to care for those in one country through the work of those from another, but He makes a way! One example is that God sends teams of people like groups from Mission Partners for Christ and our local mission partners to care for the physical needs of those in Ethiopia, Liberia, or other locations. I bet people in those countries would have never imagined God caring for them in that peculiar way!

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” –Matthew 6:31-32

Though the Lord provides for our physical needs, the biggest need He promises to provide for is our need of grace. It’s a free gift we can receive and share with others at all times! Just like Elijah had to remind himself during times where he felt alone and hungry, “The ravens are coming!” we get to tell ourselves in times of hopelessness, “Jesus is coming!”

This is faith in action.

Believe the Lord provides!

How To Immerse Yourself Into A New Culture

How To Immerse Yourself Into A New Culture

Going on a mission trip is different than becoming a missionary. Missionaries have to learn an entirely new language, integrate themselves into a diverse people group, navigate cultural differences, and more. But when you decide to go on a mission trip — even short-term — you can still take small steps toward immersing yourself in a new culture. It makes the experience much more meaningful the more you decide to learn about a new culture.

To immerse yourself in a new culture, you first have to spend a significant amount of time learning about the culture. There are so many ways to learn through internet searches, books, or talking with others who have been where you are going. Study the history of the place you are visiting! Find out more about the people you will be serving. Ask questions!

If another language is spoken where you are going, download an app like Duolingo and learn the basics before you travel! So many times those you are serving have to fill in the communication gaps, but you should make the effort as well. Learning the language shows the people there that you’re willing to put real work into developing relationships.

Use the language basics to develop friendships. This is a great way to immerse yourself into a culture — do life with people of other cultures and learn from them!

Speaking of friendships, a part of being a good friend is compromising. It’s easy to want things to go your way, but try following their schedule instead! Sometimes that means eating a really late dinner or possibly waking up early with the sunrise. Do things their way instead of trying to bring your culture to them.

Another important way to immerse yourself into a new culture is to drop your assumptions. We all go somewhere with preconceived ideas. Some of that could have come through the early research you’ve done. But be open to the fact that, yes, researching an area you are traveling to is important, but it doesn’t tell you everything! People are unique individuals and can surprise you! Go with the flow and observe real-life, day-to-day happenings upon your arrival and follow those! Live true to yourself while also genuinely honoring and accepting the culture you are visiting.

Observe. Be sincere. Ask for help! Be open!

Disclaimer: This article isn’t saying to pretend to act like you are someone you are not. Don’t pretend to be apart of a culture in a disrespectful way. Approach your new cultural experience in a way that says you know who you are and where you come from but that you want to learn about and experience their culture in a genuine and honest way while you are there.

Tell us all about ways you have immersed yourself into another culture. What was that experience like for you?

 

 

How To Sneak In Self-Care During A Missions Trip

How To Sneak In Self-Care During A Missions Trip

When you’re on a mission trip, whether as a leader or another part of the team, it’s hard to think about fitting in self-care. Of course, the main reason you are on a trip is to serve, but you can’t serve at your best if you don’t take care of yourself. When you get involved in the busyness of your trip’s schedule, it will be hard to come up with ways to take care of yourself. You need a plan going into the trip. Think through how to incorporate your regular self-care practices during your time away. Here is a list of some easy ways to sneak in self-care during a mission trip:

1. Pick Luxury Travel Shampoos And Soaps

Sometimes taking a shower is the only chance you will get to yourself on a medical mission trip. It’s a chance to clear your head and clean off the grime from a full day’s work. Since you’ll only be taking travel sized shower items, you might as well splurge for the luxury kind! Pick out the fancier soaps and shampoos that you may not get otherwise. Breathe in the citrus or lavender scents and enjoy your shower break. Create a spa-like experience and guarantee yourself 5 minutes of time to be alone and present.

2. Get Comfortable

Pack some of your favorites pajama bottoms, slippers, or other comfort items to relax in at the end of the day. There’s not much you can control throughout the day during a mission trip experience, but you can control the way you end the day and the comfort you allow yourself to enjoy for the night. Self-care could be as simple as your favorite hoodie sweatshirt or a soft blanket you enjoy snuggling up with at the end of the day. Be sure to give yourself a few moments to each day to get comfortable. This will refresh you before you start back in serving the following day.

3. Stretch

Sometimes there will be opportunities to go on a run or possibly do a workout while traveling, but mostly there won’t be a lot of time for exercise. However, if you can find the time to do simple yoga stretches to unite your body and mind, this will give you a moment of self-care. Try the cat-cow, downward dog, mountain, and child’s pose. This will promote relaxation and give you a new level of energy.

4. Spiritual Meditation

This is the most important form of self-care. Be sure you take time to be alone with the Lord and in His Word. That is what’s going to fill you up and sustain you during the time you serve. If you are serving others on a mission trip but neglecting your spiritual life in the process, then service is distracting you from the most important thing. Schedule daily time for spiritual meditation and allow the Lord to fuel you for the work He has called you to do.

Tell us in the comments what you choose to do as self-care on a mission trip!

The Importance of Knowing Team Members’ Individual Strengths

The Importance of Knowing Team Members’ Individual Strengths

As children of God, we have all been given unique gifts. Strengths are such an important part of understanding a person and the way God created him/her, yet we often don’t take the time to explore our given gifts/strengths. We volunteer for specific jobs or tasks, but they don’t always align with our gifts and talents. If we want to make the most impact in the world, we have to start living in a way that honors our given strengths.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen”  -1 Peter 4:10-11

If you are attending or leading a medical mission trip, I challenge you to spend time beforehand really delving into individual strengths discovery. There is a free Character Strengths Assessment participants can take here. Leaders should have participants send the results to them, and then the entire team can meet together for a debrief to follow. Be sure that everyone involved in the trip takes this assessment (leaders included).

Here are questions leaders can ask during a strengths discovery debrief with the mission’s team:

What surprised you about your results?

What pleased you about your results?

How do you think your results will positively impact the team?

What responsibilities during the mission’s trip experience do you believe would fit well with your unique strengths?

After these questions are answered, leaders should work hard to allocate roles based on the strengths of the team members. Responsibilities should be given to the ideal person for the job based on his/her strengths. And remember, the best kind of team is one that is well-rounded.

“A genius in the wrong position could look like a fool.”
Idowu Koyenikan

Your vision for your trip will be better accomplished when you include strengths discovery in your preparations. Think about it. Some participants have never explored their strengths, so not only will they be able to discover the ways the Lord created them but they will, for the first time, get to live into their strengths while on the trip! This will increase the impact they will make and transform the way they live from then on!