Prayer is the language that we use to communicate with God.
It’s also the language that we use to communicate our love for those around us, and indeed all of creation. Have you ever gone to a loved one, grief weighing on your heart over something and had them respond by praying over you (or a heartfelt promise to remember you in prayer)? That kind of love is powerful. It’s also an integral part of missions, serving as an essential foundation for the success and impact of the work that we do. Missionaries recognize that our work is not merely a human endeavor but something that God calls us to and, through prayer, we seek spiritual strength, discernment, and direction. Maintaining an active prayer life helps us to nurture a deep sense of humility, ever cognizant that we rely on our Heavenly Father for everything we do in service to Him.
God’s wisdom is sought long before trips are set up with our partners, before we announce them on our website, and certainly before any applications are even received. After our team members have been approved, we make it a priority to connect with everyone on a zoom call before we ever meet in person so that we can get to know one another, develop relationships, and begin to pray together.
Often, in the course of planning one of our medical mission trips, problems seem to arise. We wrote about that happening during our February 2023 trip to Guinea.
First, we had an issue with housing. There would be no hotel for our team to stay close to the community we would be serving. So our team took it to the Lord in prayer, and God came through for us in a bigger way than we could have ever imagined:
“The team prayed and within one week I was notified that a man who owned a water company had a newly built home where he never stayed. It was available for us. It had 3 large bedrooms, 3 bathrooms with running water, electric and area for our team to relax, eat meals, worship, pray and read the Bible together. This was a modern home in the middle of nowhere!” – Sheri Postma
Another issue arose when we were informed that our partner in Guinea, Mission Aviation Fellowship, had not been approved to fly inside of Guinea, and it didn’t look good for them to receive that permission before our trip. Once again, our team got down on our knees in prayer and asked God for a miracle. The Lord did not disappoint.
“On February 3 (one day before our trip), the MAF Country Director had a meeting with the Customs Director to ask for temporary flight permissions for February. MAF Guinea referred me to another airline company that mostly did flights for miners. The cost was $4995 USD for one plane each way and it could not hold our entire team. Hundreds of people started praying!
Finally, we saw our prayers answered and MAF received the temporary permission. We were the 1st passengers flying with MAF Guinea.” – Sheri Postma
Last we heard, 95% of the patients we treated in Guinea were feeling better. Praise God!
This past July, in Burundi, our team was constantly going to the Lord in prayer about all kinds of things: prayer for those who would be hearing the gospel to have hearts that are open, prayer for unity within our team, prayer for healing for our patients, and so much more. The way that God showed up again and again was astounding and re-affirmed our faith that we serve a God who holds the universe in His hands and who loves each and every one of us.
One example of how we turned to prayer during a hard moment in Burundi was right at the very beginning. We entered the country and immediately all of our medical equipment, medication, and other things that we had brought to give to patients were being held in customs by Burundian officials. Due to strict regulations, they needed close inspection. This meant that we were unable to leave the airport with our things. It felt like a helpless moment, but Sheri knew that God is the God of the impossible and immediately prayed, “God, You’re going to have to work this out for us!” A few days later, some of the supplies were released to our team, but not everything. However, between medication that had previously been shipped ahead of our arrival and supplies by the Burundian medical professionals who were volunteering with us, we never needed the missing supplies. Much like the story of Jesus and the multiplying of the loaves and fish, we had enough to meet every need.
Another example was later in our Burundi stay, when crowds of people who were desperate for medical care & education began to grow out of control outside of our clinic. Many people started pushing to get to the care providers, leading us to make the difficult decision of closing the clinic for the safety of everyone present. We were devastated to have to close the clinic so early. But God was still in control.
After the clinic closed, our team took some time to debrief and gather ourselves, and suddenly a young evangelist, named Prince, who was volunteering alongside of our team told Sheri to go and pray over the crowd of 150 still gathered by the clinic. Wasting no time, she did just that. Incredibly, this lead to an opportunity for Prince to stand up and begin sharing the gospel!
This led to an incredible moment that our team will never forget: we all began to pray with and over the crowd. A few of our team members, who were so shy they had never prayed out loud before, jumped in and prayed without abandon as the Holy Spirit began to move. We layed hands on the sick and prayed for healing. We may never hear how God continued to move in the lives of those people we were so blessed to be able to pray for, but we know a seed was planted that day and God will be faithful to see it grow to fruition!
Island In the Indian Ocean
We cannot tell you which country we visited in the Indian Ocean in 2019 because it is a nation that is very closed to the gospel. However, we were granted permission to enter the country so that we could bring our gift of free medical care and health education. During this time, we secretly shared the Gospel. One of our translators observed our team members during the outreach, and there was an opportunity to for us to share the gospel with him as well.
This particular man came from a very influential family in the area. His father and grandfather are both Imans (spiritual leaders within the Muslim community). After hearing the gospel, this man gave his life to Christ.
We stayed in touch with him and prayed for him, and when we returned in July 2022 we saw how his life is flourishing. He is now married with 2 kids. His wife is a believer. He has a good job, transportation and a very nice home with running water (these things are very unusual for an inhabitant in this country).
In the year since our last trip, there are now 25 believers (which is incredible for this closed country). They are meeting secretly every week for Bible study and church for fellwoship and discipleship.
Even better? The government of this country is asking when our team will return. We praise God for growth in this closed nation and for the open doors He has given us to share His love.
In November 2021, our medical mission team traveled to Benin and served the Dassa community. We quickly observed that this group of people, so beloved by God, did not have access to clean drinking water, and our hearts broke for them. Children were walking up to 2 hours each way, every day, to find drinkable water for themselves and their loved ones. God put it on our hearts to do something about this, so we organized a fundraiser as a team to be able to buy this beautiful community a clean water well. We were anxious about our ability to raise the required $18,000 to do this, but we prayed and we trusted God to provide. We didn’t have to wait for very long for the Lord to come through for the Dassa people; within a month, our goal was reached! We were able to tell the villagers that they would be receiving a Christmas gift of clean water for their entire community! As a result, the government agreed to give our partner the land needed to build a church for the Dassa people. Recently, in one month, 25 people gave their lives to Christ.
In March of 2019, our medical mission team served in Burkina Faso, which is a land-locked nation in West Africa. As we served the people there, we were also able to share the gospel and we prayed for hearts to be open to accepting the Good News. On the last day of our medical outreach, we witnessed 100 souls come to Christ. One of the men in this group would go on to be discipled to become a missionary to his own people group. This was the unreached people group that we went to reach with the gospel!
As we prepare for our next medical mission trip to Togo, West Africa in November, we are already praying for the people there that we will be serving. We are praying that they will see healing. We are praying for opportunities to share the hope we’ve found in Jesus, and we are praying for the gospel to take root and continue to spread long after we’ve gone.
We are now accepting applications for our next trip to Sierra Leone in March 2024; be part of the work that God is doing in West Africa as we seek to bring healthcare and the gospel to underserved communities. Get more details by clicking here.
However, if you’re not yet ready to commit to traveling with us, there are other ways to be part of the work we are doing:
Become a donor. The donations we receive from generous people, like yourself, allow us to commit to this work. Your money will be used to buy medical equipment, medicine, supplements, and help cover the costs of scholarships for medical and dental students to join us and gain practical real-world experience.
Join our prayer team. We meet once a month over the phone to pray together about our trips and those we’ve served, and shared the gospel with, so that they might continue to grow in faith. Contact us to learn more
Share the word with your friends and family! Sharing our blog posts or social media posts are a great way to show your support for the work that we do. You never know who might be waiting to learn about an opportunity to get involved with a medical missions organization like Mission Partners For Christ. YOU could be that person to introduce them to us!
If you’ve ever looked into going on a medical mission trip, you’ve probably wondered if the cost participants pay is worth it. The costs may be higher than other types of mission trips, but so are the benefits.
When you join a medical missions team, it’s normal for participants to pay for flights, accommodations, and food during the trip. Most organizations (but not us!) also ask participants to pay extra to cover the supplies needed to conduct medical exams or to leave with the patients.
But despite those expenses, there are three key reasons why medical missions trips are worth the cost:
1.Medical mission trips provide additional training for students outside of the regular classroom.
There are so many things that cannot be taught within the walls of a classroom. Some of the first people to sign-up for medical missions opportunities are students because they can finally use their knowledge in a situation that isn’t hypothetical. Students can not only see the global healthcare needs up close but also serve through hands-on experiences that make a difference! Now, this isn’t to say that volunteers should use a medical missions trip to experiment or put patients at risk by doing more than they’re trained to do. It’s simply an opportunity to experience more and serve those in need.
Medical mission trips have a transformational impact.
Short-term missions trips aren’t always equally beneficial between the communities served and the volunteers. The lasting transformations happen from building relationships, and that can’t always occur in a couple of weeks time. Of course, sharing the message of Jesus is the biggest gift you can give someone, but what’s impactful about short-term medical missions trips is that the few short weeks are enough time to change a person’s life spiritually and physically — leaving a transformational impact on those served.
Healthcare professionals can further develop their skills.
Certain diseases or medical needs are prevented in the states but still exist overseas. For example, thousands of people in Tanzania test positive for malaria each year.
In the US we often have more than enough resources and an optimal environment to treat patients. When volunteers put their skills to use in less than ideal conditions with little resources, they are developing their skill sets, providing great care, and gaining a positive learning experience in the process.
When the costs for a medical missions trip seems overwhelming, remember that there are ways to raise money such as crowdfunding and fundraising opportunities with organizations such as Volunteer Forever (https://www.volunteerforever.com/). Volunteer Forever offers scholarship opportunities that allow volunteers to serve on medical missions trips no matter the expense.
And when it comes down to it, what price would you put on offering life-saving preventions and interventions to people in need? Medical missions trips are always worth the cost.
Let’s talk about comfort zones. We all have them. They’re like the warm blanket we wrap ourselves up in when the world gets too scary or uncertain. But what if I told you that stepping out of your comfort zone could actually be one of the best things you could do for yourself? It’s true.
By pushing ourselves to try new things and take risks, we open ourselves up to a whole world of possibilities. We become more resilient, more adaptable, and more confident in our ability to handle whatever life throws our way. And what better way to step out of your comfort zone than by serving on a medical missions trip? Imagine being immersed in a culture that’s completely different from your own, working alongside healthcare professionals to care for those in need, and challenging yourself to grow and learn in ways you never thought possible.
It’s an experience that will change you forever.
What Is A Medical Mission Trip, Anyway?
At their core, medical missions trips are about providing healthcare and other essential services to communities in need.
They are typically organized by religious or humanitarian organizations and involve sending volunteers to areas of the world where medical care is limited or nonexistent. The purpose and goals of a medical missions trip are simple: to help people who are in need and to make a positive impact on the world while saying the love and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Volunteers who participate in these trips might help with everything from basic medical care and hygiene education to more complex procedures like surgeries and dental work. They might also work on infrastructure projects like building clinics or wells.
Ultimately, the goal is to provide support and resources that will help communities become more self-sufficient and improve their overall quality of life. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience that allows volunteers to use their skills and knowledge to make a tangible difference in the world.
At Mission Partners For Christ, our goals are to provide whatever medical treatment we can at our free healthcare clinics. We also offer free education of healthcare and hygiene. We also partner with other organizations to hand out important tools like The Shoe That Grows and eyeglasses to those who are in need.
The Benefits Of Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Trying new things and taking risks can be scary, but the benefits are worth it. Stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to personal growth and development in ways you never thought possible. It can help you become more confident, more resilient, and more open-minded. And when you push yourself to try new things, you might even discover new passions or talents that you never knew you had.
Perhaps you have found yourself at a crossroads in life, and you’re unsure of the direction you can take. A medical missions trip may be able to help you with this. Through exposure to a new country, new languages, new cultures, and the work done on medical missions trips, you may find that God is leading you somewhere.
Maybe this is the motivation you need to go back to school to become a nurse or a dentist or some other kind of medical professional. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to seek out other missions-based opportunities so that you can more fully invest your time and your talents in the mission field. It could also be a time of re-evaluating your own life and your priorities once you see how others are living their own lives and how they follow Jesus in ways you may not have considered.
How Do Medical Mission Trips Help You Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone?
Serving on a medical missions trip can be one of the most transformative experiences of your life. It’s a chance to step out of your comfort zone and embrace a completely new way of living and serving. For many volunteers, this can be both exciting and challenging. Being in a new environment, working alongside people from different cultures and backgrounds, and facing unfamiliar medical issues can be daunting. However, it’s precisely these challenges that can push you to grow and develop in ways you never thought possible.
Volunteers on medical missions trips often face obstacles like language barriers, cultural differences, and limited resources. But through these challenges, they develop resilience, empathy, and problem-solving skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. Many past volunteers have shared stories about stepping out of their comfort zones on medical missions trips and coming back transformed. The lessons they learned on these trips can inform the choices they make moving forward both in professional and ministerial settings.
Ultimately, serving on a medical missions trip is an opportunity to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, embrace new experiences, and make a difference in the lives of those in need.
How to Prepare For Your Upcoming Medical Mission Trip
Preparing for a medical missions trip is a crucial part of ensuring a successful and impactful experience. As you get ready to embark on this journey, there are a few things you can do to help make the most of your time serving.
First and foremost, it’s essential to do your research. This means learning as much as you can about the community you’ll be serving and understanding the culture and customs of the area. Taking the time to learn some basic phrases in the local language can also go a long way in building relationships with the people you’ll be working alongside.
Mental and physical preparation is also key. Volunteering on a medical missions trip can be both physically and emotionally demanding, so it’s important to be in good health and to take care of yourself before and during your trip. This might mean getting enough rest, staying hydrated, and eating nutritious foods. It’s also important to mentally prepare yourself for the challenges you might face, whether it’s seeing patients with severe illnesses or working in unfamiliar conditions.
Don’t forget to do an internal inventory to see if you are properly prepared to serve in this way. A previous blog post listed the type of characteristics that are important for work in medical missions. Be sure to check it out to see if you’re a good fit.
By taking the time to prepare yourself and your team for your medical missions trip, you’ll be better equipped to make a positive impact and create meaningful connections with the community you’ll be serving.
In conclusion, the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone and serving on a medical missions trip are numerous. By taking risks and trying new things, you’ll develop important skills like resilience, empathy, and problem-solving. Serving on a medical missions trip can also open your eyes to new cultures, ideas, and perspectives, and allow you to make a meaningful impact on the world.
If you’re considering taking the leap and embarking on a medical missions trip, I encourage you to do so. It may be challenging, but it will undoubtedly be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Whether you’re a healthcare professional or simply someone who wants to make a difference, serving on a medical missions trip is an opportunity to challenge yourself, grow, and learn. So why wait? Take the first step today and begin your journey towards making a difference in the world.
You can check out our upcoming medical mission trips here.
Medical mission’s trips are a great opportunity to explore new cultures and serve people who are in desperate need of medical attention. Of course, medical mission’s trips always require some medical professionals on the team, but not everyone is required to have a medical background! In fact, many members of the team are students because they are able to get healthcare experience and — in some cases — receive class credit or volunteer hours they need for school.
Maybe you’re someone who is looking for some hands-on medical experience. Or, maybe you want to serve but need an organization to help you with the logistics. We would love to help!
Here are a few reasons why you should go on one of our trips:
You will grow closer to Jesus.
You will learn to see the world differently.
You will have to step outside of your comfort zone.
You will be following God’s command (Matthew 28:19-20)
We are confident that when you say “YES” to one of our trips, you are opening yourself up to the world-changing impact that God can give through you!
Are you looking for an opportunity to provide medical attention and education to communities in need? Go on a mission trip! Would you love the idea of shadowing local doctors and nurses and playing an essential role in someone’s care? Come on one of our trips! Do you want to plant the seed of the Gospel into the hearts of people who may have never heard of God’s saving love and grace? Join us on a mission’s trip!
Here on the blog, we have everything you need to know to prepare for your trip!
Did you know that the phrase, “Do not be afraid” is written (in one form or another) 365 times throughout the Bible. It’s almost as if God was trying to communicate something, isn’t it?
Something we hear a lot of from aspiring short-term missionaries is a theme of fear. People are afraid of the unknown. People are afraid of traveling to a place they’ve never been. People are afraid of how they might feel while on a trip.
There is a whole lot of anxiety wrapped up in the very idea of committing to a short-term medical missions trip. While that is very normal and understandable, we also want to encourage you to remember the overwhelming message found in the Bible: do not be afraid.
“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.” – Isaiah 41:10
When fear strikes our hearts, it is easy to become stuck. It’s easy to allow that fear to block us from moving forward. This is because there is a message that fear is communicating to us at that moment: “you will not be safe. You must protect yourself by getting out of this situation.”
Fear has a way of convincing would-be medical missionaries that they will be better off not submitting that application. Fear is telling them that they will be safer staying at home. Fear also has a way comforting us by telling us that it is okay if we do not go; someone else will go and do the work instead.
Imagine if everyone allowed fear to stop them?
No hospitals would be built.
No doctors would exist to heal.
No one would go when the call rings out.
And souls will be left struggling with no access to healthcare, health education, clean water, etc… Worse still: there’d be no one to deliver the good news of the Gospel.
When we can give ourselves permission to push past the fear, we allow ourselves to also trust in the promises of God.
He will be with us wherever He calls us. He will be our greatest Supporter and Friend in the midst of all circumstances. He will be the One holding our hands as we walk out in faith in answer to His call.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1
Fear can only exist in the dark; Fear occurs because we find ourselves caught in a moment of not-knowing. We can’t see what lies ahead for us. We don’t know, when we commit to a short term medical missions trip, if we will feel comfortable. We don’t know who we might meet or what opposition we might encounter to the gospel. There is a whole lot that we do not know.
But when we take a minute to breathe and really think through the root of our fear, we can also remember this beautiful promise found in Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and salvation.”
Wherever we go, in obedience to God’s call, we are walking the light of God’s love and guidance. He is the one who holds tomorrow in the palm of His hand. We can trust that He will also guide us safely through the work He’s given us to do.
More than that, we know that God is preparing hearts who will be open to hearing the gospel and receiving the love of Christ that we offer through our health clinics. We may meet people who are not interested in the gospel, but we will also meet people who are longing to know that they are irrevocably loved by the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
Can you imagine how wonderful it will feel to get to be the one to deliver that message to people who are waiting to hear it?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
In the end, we all have a choice: will we allow fear to hold us back? Or will we be the ones who step out in faith and trust that where God may be calling us, He will also be our Most Holy Protector?
This is not to say that the choice is an easy one to make. Of course it isn’t. We are merely human, and fear is a human emotion. A compelling one at that.
But we are also children of God. As such, we have a beautiful promise from our Heavenly Father that we can find our peace and hope in Him.
The more we choose to focus on our God and His promises to be with us, keep us safe, and give us peace, the less power fear has over us. We have a hope in God that we cannot find elsewhere.
So today, I want to encourage you: if you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit prompting you to join us on a medical mission trip, please follow that leading. Fear will always tell you to stay safe and stay home, but God is the only One who can promise our safety. If He calls you to it, He will also bring you through it.
Applications are closing soon for our next medical mission trip to Burundi. We still need doctors, nurses, dentists to volunteer to join us. We also need those without experience in the medical field. Everyone is welcome.
Is God calling you to join us in Burundi? The deadline to apply is April 30. You can get all the details for that trip here.
Though Malaria was eliminated from the United States in the early 1950’s, it still can affect half of the world’s population. 3.2 billion people live in areas at risk of transmission in 106 countries and territories. Because it is one of the world’s deadliest diseases, one of the top killers of children, and keeps livelihoods and communities from thriving, we want to tackle it head-on by sharing researched facts about this illness and explain what YOU can do to help!
What is Malaria?
“Malaria is a disease of the blood that is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, which can be transmitted from person to person by a particular type of mosquito.” To read a detailed description about transmission, go here.
What are the symptoms:
Chills, fever, and sweating, usually occurring a few weeks after being bitten.
Pain areas:in the abdomen or muscles
Whole body:chills, fatigue, fever, night sweats, shivering, or sweating
Gastrointestinal:diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
Also common:fast heart rate, headache, mental confusion, or pallor
It’s important for someone who has contracted this disease to receive treatment within 24 hours, though that is not always doable.
Here are a few economical reasons we should be fighting against Malaria:
Malaria-free countries have 5x greater economic growth than countries with malaria.
A 10% decrease has been associated with a .3% rise in GDP.3
Every $1 invested in malaria control in Africa returns $40 in economic growth, contributing to Africa’s prosperity and its prospects as a trading partner. (Resource)
“About 3.3 million lives have been saved because of international malaria control interventions, the World Health Organization reports, and malaria mortality rates in African children have dropped by about 54 percent. Hopeful statistics like these help validate USAID’s declaration that the war on malaria is the “greatest success story in global health. But there’s still significant work to be done.”
This graphic does a great job covering all you need to know about this deadly illness:
So what can we do?
This is the reason that Mission Partners for Christ exists; to be the church to the world through medical missions. For us, being the church means that providing access to medical treatment that we often take for granted here in the USA is a big part of that. Our hope is that some day, this deadly disease will be completely wiped out. This is an achievable goal, but we need your help to get there.
There is a lot that we can do to win the war against this disease. Things like providing access to medical treatment and professionals, preventatitives like bed nets, and education about how the illness spreads are all important factors to eradicating malaria. These are the things that we provide on our outreach trips.
Mission Partners For Christ provides education in the communities we serve all about prevention, and we provide treatment during our outreaches. This treatment is costly but necessary. If you want to make a difference and help us beat this preventable illness, please volunteering for oone of our trips or consider a donation to our organization to help support our efforts.