Once you decide you want to learn more and you go through the process of signing up and preparing to go on a medical missions trip, you will be so excited and joyful about the work you may do, that you wish the first day would arrive. Multiple things in life may compete for your focus till then. We would like to share three ways to focus on things of good report that will help keep the joy and excitement fresh while we wait.
Whatever is True, Whatever is Noble
Philippians 4:8 is one of the most encouraging Bible verses. It contains so much simple wisdom we can continue following every day.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
When we consider what we do as medical missions volunteers through the perspective of “whatever is true, whatever is noble”, we find we are able to think upon what God is doing already that we don’t know that is of good report. He has always done amazing things for us and with us. We can turn our focus to the opportunities around us to do good. Also, we can be thankful for the many ways we will get to serve again as we hope to one day.
Whatever is Pure, Whatever is Lovely
Medical professionals and volunteers are not immune to having a bad day. Everyone experiences moments of being annoyed or tired, for example, especially when multiple things simultaneously go differently than planned.
Before you are under such pressure is a great time to think about what strategies you might employ. Think of it like a tool in your self-care kit. One way to do this is that when discouraging thoughts enter your mind, immediately evict them with opposing thoughts of what is pure and what is lovely.
For example, if you are working and suddenly find yourself concerned about how long it is taking to receive your passport in the mail, think about how wonderful it will be to present your new passport to the ticket agent one day. Think of the smiling face of a patient who has just received a good report. Consider the people in a community washing their hands in clean new water. There is so much good news to take note of each day!
Whatever is Admirable
The new year has begun, and with it come new opportunities to grow and use your gifts to spread the good news of Jesus and help provide basic health care in places where people are unable to access it. You can do this at home or where you work while you wait to go on a medical missions trip. All around you are valuable ways to make a difference. You can partner with someone who is already in another country, donate to them, help them brainstorm, or partner with people who are doing this too. You can donate to nearby groups or causes, volunteer to help someone where you are, start a blog, or do many things!
We believe every person has so much valuable experience to share, and we are thankful if you are interested in volunteering with us. We’ve seen many good things happen! Also, we are thankful for you however you join our endeavors to bring health, hope, and healing to parts of the world where people are unable to obtain basic medical care. While some difficult things such as COVID-19 are going on in the world today, there are also many good things going on in the world today too. It’s a big decision at times to focus on things of good report, but if you choose it, it’s also truly amazing! It will positively impact your life and the lives of others forever.
This year might look nothing like you planned. It may be tempting to get used to it or grumble about what has changed. But things aren’t going to stay this way forever. There is so much to look forward to! So as this year comes to a close, let’s look at three ways to continually stir up your faith.
Encourage Yourself in God’s Word
We can receive encouragement every day by hearing God’s word. (Romans 10:17) Not just during this season or the next–but every day. In difficult seasons or good, by making a habit of spending time in God’s word, we prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally. It can be a challenge to want to hear what is in the Bible or in prayer at times, but when we are disciplined, then we do this. We know God loves us and always has the best in mind, and we love God too…and want the best to be on our minds as well!
Discipline helps us form and maintain the habit of every day spending time in God’s word and becoming trained in it. It may not always be our first instinct to get ready for the day and then sit quietly with God, or to make that time later in the day. But if we do, we are thankful to notice God is still the best coach and mentor! He brings peace to every situation and certainly encourages us.
Spending Time in God’s Presence
Faith is so often stirred by spending regular time in prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and quiet time with God. If you have gotten away from this, you can go right back to it and be strengthened once more. Romans 12:12 says to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” When we make the effort to do this, it helps us be consistent in how we hope and where we place our faith.
Discouraging news can be distracting, but we have a certain hope in Christ that encourages us. Time spent worshipping God and sitting in his presence changes things. You will notice there is so much to praise him and celebrate. He truly is good and he is for you!
Remembering God’s Goodness
God is bringing us through this season and any other season to come. It’s just like before! He’s answered our prayers before. We each have a history with him that shows us he is faithful. There are people reading this right now who have prayed about a thing and received the answer then, soon, or years later. God listened and did not forget. Not only that, but he over-delivers. So you can stir up your faith by recalling his goodness too.
All Things Work Together for Our Good
It can be frustrating to wait. Waiting in line, waiting for an answer, waiting for the Internet to speed up. We have become so used to being able to order something with a few clicks on a website, and it’s here in a couple of days. But we know we can wait with a thankful heart. God knows what work needs to be done, and he knows just how to get all the pieces to come together in a wonderful way. Staying focused on God and his goodness might not always decrease the wait, but it will help you feel and remember how close he is to you, how good he is, and stir up your faith.
Have you been looking for a way to stay involved with medical missions trips this year? Perhaps you could consider becoming one of our volunteers, a monthly supporter through donations, or sign up to go on a medical missions trip with us! Go to our website, Mission Partners for Christ, to learn more about how to volunteer or join us. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Everything that is going on in the world today has already been envisioned and lovingly provided for by God. Even that thing–yes! That one thing you have on your mind as you go through your daily routines this summer.
It is easy to become used to dealing with whatever comes up during the moment. What will I need to do tomorrow to make next week more productive? What actions do I need to take to be ready for this big event several months ahead? Inwardly we know God has it all worked out though. We can rest like one who sleeps in the wind because the work is already done.
We believe that life is filled with blessings and opportunities to both be blessed and a blessing to others. Our upcoming trip to Benin is one possible way, and we know it’s on a lot of hearts. With that in mind, we gathered three scriptures to pray from and keep close to you this summer as you move toward autumn and all that it requires.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
God hears your prayers. He sees your tears and senses your concerns. You are not alone right now or when you go on your upcoming mission trip. Right now is an excellent time to press in and see that the Lord is so good! As we continue faithfully committed to the work at hand, we are assured that God is with us, and all will work out in a way we could not have imagined. Missions work is hard work, and it is worth it!
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”
God has always intended for us to be missions-minded in one way or another, even before the fall of Adam and Eve. The way we do this now since that fall did happen, is through all the opportunities we create so we can live in a way that others see God’s love at work. We share the gospel in Treasures, on social media. Whenever we share a testimonial or get into a conversation that invites this encouragement. We share it when we live out our faith in giving of our time, resources, energy, and prayers. Our hands, feet, and mouths are made for this. Hearts and minds can be full of joy and hope as we look forward to all the ways we will be a part of the blessings others receive all over the world as we serve and love with our lives.
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
We can be sure of our heavenly Father lighting the way at all times. He cares about what is going on globally. The intricate details of each personal need, hope, or dream matter to Him. He knows the best way to accomplish every goal. He knows what it will take for every person to be strengthened, encouraged, and active in the service into which they are called. We can be courageous and take action even when we are unsure of what to expect because we know God is God. He is with us and for us wherever we go.
Are you considering going on a mission’s trip?
If you’re new to praying from a scripture, one way to do it is to change some of the words into a prayer. For example, if you pray from Galatians 6:9, you could reflect on the scripture and pray how you usually pray. You could say “I will not grow weary in doing good. When the time is right, I will reap a harvest if I do not give up!”
If you’ve been thinking about joining a medical missions team, check out information on our upcoming medical mission trip to Benin. If you’re interested in learning more about our current upcoming 2021 destinations, have a look here. Do you need some questions answered before you say yes? We’d love to answer your questions about joining our team. Click here to submit your question via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!
Have you registered to go on your first medical mission’s trip or do you plan to do that in the future? Group leaders are supportive and helpful when it comes to information on how to prepare yourself for a trip, and there is no lack of information for anyone who is earnest in making the most of their moments of service, prayer, and encouragement away from home. You can find out a lot on this website and on the Mission Partners for Christ Facebook page as well!
To help you get ready in different ways you might not have considered yet, we have put together this list of three things you can do this summer to prepare for going on a medical mission’s trip.
Listen to the mission’s teams who share their testimonies in church
The teams who come to visit your churches are one inspiring source of information, and so are others within your church or community who have gone on any type of mission’s trip. This may be how many of us first came in contact with the idea of medical mission’s trips. While no trip is exactly the same as another, this one thing can be an encouragement and well of wisdom. Listen to the missionaries or team members sharing their presentations or testimonies. Ask good questions. Consider staying in contact with some of the out-of-town missionaries who encourage this–by writing letters, sending emails, or through their preferred mode of communication.
You might be surprised to find there are all sorts of people who go on mission’s trips. Many are not in full-time ministry, but also are employed in other professions such as doctors, nurses, medical technicians, teachers–or they are students or families who take time off to serve on mission’s trips. You can learn so much by connecting with other like-minded people.
Watch medical care and mission’s trip documentaries
Medical care documentaries are often easier to find than mission’s trip documentaries. One is usually available online and the other tends to be shared in churches or at small group gatherings. Both are on Netflix and Amazon Prime. These movies may not provide a full picture of what is going on, but will help you to understand issues and history involved with medical care and missions.
Cover yourself and all the people going on a trip in prayer
Your mission team group may have specific prayers you share with one another from a booklet or on a website or group leader emails, but you can pray in addition to this. You could pray for the people where you are going who will be served, the people in every port of entry and all things related to transportation and shipping, the medical team and medical supplies, any medical teams you will be working with, and more. You could pray to make new lasting friendships, learn new skills, and to serve in the best ways possible for you personally to serve.
Cover your life in prayer as well as the lives of those close to you. We know sometimes when something big is going on to bring glory to God’s name, if the enemy of our faith can’t wear you down or wear out, he may try to wear down or wear out those around you. Practice good self care and be in continual prayer. Want more specific prayer ideas? We once shared a list of seven prayers to pray before going on a mission’s trip that would be good to pray at this time.
Share your comments with us
These are just three things to help you prepare for your first medical mission’s trip. Can you think of anything else? Head over to the Mission Partners for Christ Facebook page share your thoughts and experiences with us. Is there any way you would like us to pray for you? Share that too! We love to hear from you!
During this unique time in world history, now more than ever, we must practice loving self-care and remember that God not only loves us but also cares for us on a personal level. It’s so easy to think about all the things we need–especially when preparing for a mission trip. God already knows our needs, though, so we don’t have to worry or be anxious at all.
We want to share with you five scriptures to meditate upon as we navigate this new season and way of living. As you read each one, consider how it may apply to your specific circumstances. Also, reflect upon the needs met through the hands, feet, and hearts of courageous medical mission trip volunteers.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
God hears your prayers. You are not alone right now or when you go on your upcoming mission trip.
Someone far away may also be praying earnestly–thanking God in advance–for precisely what you are called to give or how you plan to serve.
A part of loving self-care is to continually pray.
PSALM 16:8: I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
You can trust God with everything and through all things.
When we always put God first, He is the first to come to mind during a critical moment of decision or action.
NAHUM 1:7: The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
A good, good heavenly Father loves us deeply. We can humbly submit to God knowing He not only takes care of us and is concerned with what is on our hearts and minds, what weighs down or lights up our spirit, but also that He does so in love.
Seasons may change, but God is always the same. Confidence can be our response because of Who is responding to us now and forever.
MATTHEW 10:30-31: But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
When many states and businesses are closed or providing limited services, we all must stand 6 feet apart or more, wear face masks, and exercise sensible medical precautions, it may sometimes feel as though things are difficult or hindering our work. But as medical missions volunteers, we may often have encountered these things before to a degree in other nations where we have served. Another level of care and skill is involved in our important work. No task is too small for God to cover it and all things involved with it.
ISAIAH 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
We have God’s promise of strength when we are weary. He will help and sustain us in every situation we face. We can move forward in expectation, knowing that our work is blessed and protected.
Wherever we go, whatever we face, we go with God’s great love and care. We may need to adapt in every season and practice good self-care too, but God is with us. He’s on our side, and we can smile as we stand firm in unwavering faith and belief–now and in the future.
Many health care workers are on the front lines of the fight against Covid-19. In this crisis, it’s not unusual to work back to back 12 to 16-hour shifts in extremely stressful environments. Every day the front-line workers risk contracting the virus themselves and/or taking it home to their families. Health care workers are carrying an enormous amount of stress and it can quickly become overwhelming. Implementing good self-care habits can help.
Sustained, high levels of stress poses a threat to the physical and emotional wellbeing of health care workers. Practicing or creating self-care routines during times like this is crucial to reducing both the short and long-term impacts of stress.
Here are a few easy to implement self-care habits you can add to you your day to release some of the physical, mental, and spiritual pressure you’re feeling:
Private prayer time is a great place to start looking at self-care.
Most of us understand the power of prayer for communication with God, but we tend to underestimate the impact it has on lowering our stress. We believe God is listening to us, wants what’s best for us, and loves us, BUT, in a crisis, it’s easy to justify not having the time or space for prayer.
Scheduling time to pray every day puts you in contact with the creator of the universe and creates a space to unload everything you’re carrying for other people. Letting down your guard and speaking honestly about your fears and grief with God can significantly lighten your load.
Simply praying and saying “Father, I am scared, please help me through this day” can be enough to refresh your soul, provide peace, and start good self-care.
Put your own oxygen mask on first, practicing good self-care taking with your physical needs.
Just like on a plane, when the flight attendant is walking you through the instructions should the cabin lose pressure, you put your oxygen mask on first BEFORE you help the person beside you. What does this mean to you? You can’t help people if you are physically burned out. You can’t do your best work if you never take a break, don’t eat nourishing foods, and don’t rest enough.
When managing a crisis, it’s easy for our body to get caught up in the adrenaline response and push right past the normal eat, drink, rest cues. Set timers to remind yourself when it’s time to meet your body’s physical needs. Make sure you have nourishing foods on hand that can be prepared and eaten quickly so you are less tempted to skip them.
It is imperative that you regularly check in with yourself and ask “How am I doing?”.
This is something that you can do on a schedule. Set an alarm so that 3 times a day you are asking how am I doing, do I need food, water, sleep, or movement? Do I need to run, do I need to create something? Do I need to punch a bag or whatever it is that you do to help your body to release the stress that you are carrying?
Acknowledge that your pain is real and important. This form of self-care is so necessary.
As first responders, you may have the tendency to serve others first and put off your own feelings until a much later date. Sometimes we minimize our own pain because we see others’ suffering as “worse”.
First, I want you to trust that your feelings are normal, valid, and perfectly OK. The way you walk through this season doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s journey.
Second, I want you to know that you have a choice in what you do with those emotions. You can choose to take those emotions and dump them out at the feet of Jesus during your prayer time. Other ways to process the emotions that you are feeling could be writing in a journal, play with your pet, take a long hot relaxing bath or shower, listen to soothing music, read a book, whatever feels like it might provide you a healthy release for you.
Get help, no matter how busy you are. Asking for help is good self-care and other-care.
This is a stressful time. Healthcare workers and those in supporting roles are carrying heavy burdens for patients and their families. Under the added pressure it can be easy to try to stuff your emotions or put them off until ”later”. That’s easier said than done and emotions, especially complex ones like fear, anger, and grief, tend to demand our attention.
If you don’t have a support system in place to work through those emotions, it can be easy to turn to emotional eating, alcohol, and other coping strategies that further undermine your ability to handle crises. Often these are old habits that we don’t even realize we are doing to just cope with stress so it’s important to be attentive to how we process these complex emotions.
Not sure which one will work for you? Pick one that looks easy and try it today. If writing stresses you out then don’t grab a journal, instead, crank up that favorite song of yours and belt it out at the top of your lungs! Not a pet person? Maybe a hot shower and a few moments of privacy and quiet will recharge you. Or light a candle and just focus on a few moments of deep breathing.
There isn’t a right or a wrong way to do any of these techniques and these aren’t the only ways you can care for yourself.
What’s most important is to find self-care that works for you and make it a priority in your daily routine.
Please know that the MPFC team values you and the work that you do so much! We know the losses would be much greater without the incredible care that you are providing during this health crisis. THANK YOU! We are praying for you.
May God Bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you!
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