Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Mission Trip




    This year's mission trip was a tremendous success. Thirty-one youth and eight adults journeyed to New Orleans, Louisiana, for a week of service, worship, and prayer. We had the opportunity to help rebuild a church and two homes in the lower ninth ward--all of which had been destroyed by hurricane Katrina.

    It's difficult to convey in words the experiences we shared with one another: living as a community of faith for a week, driving fifteen hours each way, saying 'I love You' to Pastor Washington (the pastor of the church we helped rebuild), having conversations on racism, seeing the complete devastation of the hurricane, working in the heat, sharing a meal with members of Westside Christian Church, eating beignets at Cafe DuMone, and closing each night with our lullaby.

    This was the first year we didn't use an organization, such as Group Workcamps, to help us with the mission trip. It was only our youth and we were responsible for everything from worship to cooking. Some of our youth missed meeting others and learning about different faith traditions. But everyone agreed that it was an amazing experience to be together 24/7 for a week. Where else do you get that type of opportunity?

    How about others? Is it common to organize your own mission trip or use someone else to help you with all of the little details?

    7 comments:

    Tim said...

    I've actually never used a missions organization. I'm not really opposed to it, just that the Lord has always provided other opportunities.

    yes2justice said...

    I have always gone on trips that we organized on our own. This year, we went with an organization and it didn't work out nearly as well. As a leader, I felt that it took away my ability to be a leader and simply made me the rule enforcer (which the youth most definitely did not like).

    Tammie said...

    I have to echo what the other commenters have said. We have done three mission trips. The two that we organized worked better than the one that we used an organization. The key, however, in both of the ones we organized was making a connection to existing ministry so that we could simply plug in and use our team and its talents where they could best be used.

    Adriane said...

    We have gone through Youth Works! for the past 5 years and have had amazing trips! :) Honestly, without having any paid staff at our church to organize a trip (and the volunteers that do it working full time jobs) I think it would be REALLY hard to do it any other way. As a youth I went on trips that were not planned by mission organizations... and they were great as well... I do think that by going through a group we miss some of the independence that you get from a self planned trip... but it is great to be able to plug in and work. :)

    Tre Lawrence said...

    Can anyone give an idea of price points?

    Eric said...

    Our group was with Brother Vance and working at Pastor Washington's church about a month ago. I'd love to see pictures! We also worked with Lawrence and Ray and Clara...

    I prefer to do it myself, mostly because you can't count on the theology being right, especially when you're in a more progressive church like me (UCC).

    Pics from our trip via my profile, by the way.

    Longtime reader. Thanks for all the ideas!

    Jenny said...

    I've done both.. planned our own and used organizations. i think there are benefits to both.. it think it just depends on the kids you have .... The year I planned my own I had a fairly young group with no mission trip experience. We are a progressive Presbyterian church and we always worry about the theology of what will be presented... but i have decided that it is good for us to experience all kinds of theology and view points... we are oftern in our own little liberal bubble and we have to teach kids that if want our views to be understood and respected than we have to be open to others as well...