Wednesday, February 01, 2006

2006 summer mission trips - mission agencies

As I did last year, here is quick tour of some of the more well known mission agencies if you are looking to get some of your students plugged into mission experiences that are offered by some of these organizations.

My personal opinion - if you are a youth worker and have a desire to do a missions trip, you can do it! And you can do it the right way, including the oh-so important elements of partnership, connection, cultural engagement and well prepared students. Lots of help is available [if you are at your wits end, you can email me]. But if you just cannot do it, but have some students really interested, check some of these out.

Also, please please please, take the idea of checking references seriously. Get a list of people that have gone before and ask them some good questions. It will be worth it.

Christian Associates Intl - short term, many in 2006. We've got some good friends working with CAI. They seem like a good organization. I think you can find a few bloggers with them too if you look.

Baptist Mid Missions - Stamp (Seniorhigh Teen Apprenticeship Missionary Program)
Looks like filling fast at this point, but neat idea regarding denominational based mission apprenticse program.

Christar - First STOP
Three focus areas - Chinese (yah), Hindu, Muslim. Might be for college kids, but worth a look. We have some good friends with Christar as well, I like them.

Global Expeditions - the missions arm of Teen Mania has, of course, a boatload of trips. Looks like the age range starts at 11. Looks like you have to use their trip wizard here. Also looks like you can go wherever you want in the world. [Is that a good thing for a high school kid? Maybe, maybe not.]

Adventures in Missions -
Loads and loads of trips too. Never met anyone that has done one personally but heard good things about them. The owner used to have a blog that was really good, but I've since lost it.

Teen Missions -
I'm sure they have tons too. It's quite an operation down there. See my writeup of Mustard Seed Boot Camp from the summer of 2004 when K and I went. One thing is for sure, you will appreciate a lot after you are done with Boot Camp, not neccessarily a bad thing.

247 teams
Check the info page here with contact for Phil.

Check out specific bases for specific trips. The Mission Adventures deal is pretty good logistically speaking. You can bring your students and not worry about food, lodging and other details.

The Navigators US International Ministry
Check the map here. These are for college aged only.

Along the lines of something more local for East Coast folks, which have a ton of merit too - low cost, ethnic populations within our own cities, etc., here are a few of those options:

Jeremy and Matt run Chain Reaction. Dates aren't listed yet, but I had an opportunity to listen in on their leadership summit last Oct, which was a lot of fun. In terms of references, these guys are the real deal. I heard first hand about a lot of impact students had.

Merge, formerly SEMP. A few hits from search engines about this too. Put on by Sonlife, in 5 locations around the US this summer. A previous post. Also got this follow up from someone in the Sonlife office:
You are right in that some of the group expressions will differ, but here are a few examples: visiting nursing homes or homeless shelters (sharing the brokenness), serving elderly in the community (bringing restoration through caring, listening), prayer stations, experiencing the Tabernacle (building community), etc.
I'm hoping to send a team, and utilize it as a step for younger students in our missions progression.

And of course, NYC always has lots of opportunites. Once again, Jeremy is a good resource. Urban Impact is also great, especially dealing with people groups from the 10/40 window that live in the city. And NYC ministries looks good too.

Well there you have it. A quick roundup. If you know of more or have some first hand experience, would love to hear more about it. Leave a comment and I'll update the post.

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