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Where Should We Go? Solving the Mission Trip Destination Dilemma

Posted by Erin Mackenzie on February 1, 2017 at 6:43 AM

Jerusalem. Judea. Samaria. The end of the earth. Essentially, Acts 1:8 doesn’t narrow it down much. The four locations Jesus cites represent, to His audience, the cultural and geographic poles of similar/dissimilar and near/far . . . and everywhere in between. Armed with the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to be walking testimonies of our faith. Everywhere. It’s true that witnessing doesn’t require leaving the confines of home, but, like Isaiah (see 49:6), God has called you to more far-reaching ventures! You’ve committed to leading a trip someplace; it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. First up: where should you go? The options are inspiringly and frustratingly limitless. Here are eight factors to ponder when determining whether you’ll serve in a different zip code or on a different continent.

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Mission Trip Leadership 101: Eight Comforting Promises for Nervous Newbies

Posted by Erin Mackenzie on January 12, 2017 at 1:16 PM

You want me to lead a mission trip? Yes, you.

I doubt any of your shrubs have spontaneously combusted (Exodus 3), and you probably haven’t kissed any hot coals between flipping burgers lately (Isaiah 6). But perhaps it was that offhand remark, that compelling line from Sunday’s sermon, that mailer you can’t bring yourself to recycle. God called His people in ancient times, and He does the same in the twenty-first century. He can use your unique formula of strengths for His service. In some cases, that may look like spearheading your first mission trip. Following are eight excuses why you should ignore that nagging feeling encouragements from the God who may have handpicked you to be His hands and feet in a thrilling new way.

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Why Y? 2017 ALMA Conference to Focus on Millennials in Missions

Posted by Erin Mackenzie on December 16, 2016 at 7:20 AM

I’m friends with my dad on Facebook. My CD collection may or may not include at least one boy band. I vividly remember sitting in my high school theology class and learning of the 9/11 attacks. I am motivated by a career that both challenges and fulfills me. I am not too lazy to make a bowl of cereal. Nonetheless, I’m a Millennial (aka a member of Gen Y or the “Me” Generation). Like the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and people of Gen X before us and Gen Z after us, we’re bound together by certain defining events, pop culture icons, technological developments, and ideals, all of which combine to lend us a unique perspective on and role in the mission of the Church.

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From Nostalgia to Normalcy: 8 Post-Mission Trip Essentials

Posted by Erin Mackenzie on October 15, 2016 at 6:16 AM

All the paint—except the last stubborn splotch in that hard-to-reach spot—finally washed off in the shower. Your aversion to PB&J after eating it for lunch every day for a week is wearing off. Your hamper is full of dirty laundry; your heart, of fond memories. You must have just returned from a mission trip! (Hopefully you felt an extra measure of God’s peace before and during your time in the field thanks to the first two posts in this series on prepping like a pro and serving like a superstar.) Now it’s back to the grindstone. You’re a changed person faced with reintegration into reality. How does one reconcile the highest of spiritual highs with the relative triviality of daily life? Here are eight ways to come down from the proverbial mountaintop, without tumbling headfirst.

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"I Will Treasure This Forever"—Youth Mission Team Shares God's Word in Cormorant, Manitoba, Canada

Posted by Deb Burma on September 13, 2016 at 2:08 PM

“I will treasure this forever,” said nine-year-old Simon, as he clutched his new Faith Alive Bible. Simon lives in the remote village of Cormorant in Manitoba, Canada. He and his friends, along with the other children in this isolated community, wait anxiously for the return of a VBS youth mission team who arrive every summer from Peace Lutheran Church in Columbus, Nebraska. For eleven years, this team of ten to twelve high school youth and a handful of adults has worked with LAMP-Canada to bring the saving love of Jesus Christ to the children in Cormorant.

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US and Canada Mission Trip
 

A Mission Trip Memoir You Better BELIZE!

Posted by Erin Mackenzie on June 20, 2016 at 7:13 AM

Sometimes God opens doors softly, subtly. I was nearly walloped in the face as He tore one from its hinges; two weeks after a harried phone call, I was on a plane to Belize! While wallowing in a planned mission trip to Guatemala that didn’t pan out, the words of Proverbs 16:9 struck me: “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” As I scrambled to forge ahead with yet more plans, the Lord established a way for me to go to elsewhere in Central America! Shortly before a team from The Lutheran Church of the Webster Gardens was set to depart, I was approached about taking the place of a participant who dropped out at the last minute.

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Mission Trip Latin America
 

8 Mission Trip Tips to Help You Serve Smarter

Posted by Erin Mackenzie on May 11, 2016 at 1:06 PM

April showers bring May flowers, or so they say. They also ring in major summer mission trip anxiety, in many cases! If you read my first blog post, featuring eight mission trip planning considerations, you’re ahead of the game. But soon your aircraft will begin its initial descent, or your vanload of groggy passengers will get their second wind when they see your exit on a road sign. Then what? Abiding by these tips will help ensure that you bloom wherever God has planted you!

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