Most of the questions you have about your upcoming mission trip will be answered within these pages (feel free to contact your coordinator if you cannot find the answer you seek). Many times we cannot give you more specific information or details about your outreach because the field may still be planning the outreach and preparing the information. Occasionally plans have to change entirely (this may even happen after you arrive on the field). We understand this is difficult to explain to friends and family what you will be doing, but be assured that we will provide you with all the information we have, as soon as we have it.
Based on the feedback of previous applicants and the fields, the greatest assets you can take to your outreach are a spirit of willingness and flexibility. This will enable you to bless your team by doing whatever is needed and by going with the flow of the moment.
Life on a Short Term Outreach
One applicant was asked, "Why do you want to go on this outreach?"
After a pause, the reply was, "I feel as though I am in a spiritual rut. My hope is that God will use this to kick me in the pants so I can see the world differently for the rest of my life."
Not a bad answer! This applicant was starting the short-term process by anticipating long-term results. That is an excellent attitude to have. Allow God to use your preparation time, the outreach itself, and your re-entry, as one means to conform you to His image, and you can see dramatic long-term changes in your life, too.
Your arrival back home should be just the beginning of a whole new way of looking at the world and your personal ministry. Therefore, as you take the first steps of this journey, ask God how He wants to use this outreach to transform you. Also, realize this outreach is not an event in your life; rather, it is a tool of discipleship that God wants to use to refine you in great ways.
A cross-cultural outreach, whether a few miles from home, or across the globe, will expand your understanding of both God's love for you and your purpose in this world. You are an integral part of God's plan - a plan that will unfold one step at time as you navigate through the preparation process and ultimately serve others as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
The better your spiritual, emotional, physical, and practical preparation is, the more effective and fulfilling your outreach experience will be. Commit now to submit yourself to God for growth and development throughout this process. Commit to submit to your team leadership (Heb. 13: 17) and to your teammates (Eph. 5: 21). Commit to being a dependable, contributing member of your team, fulfilling your responsibilities with a joyful heart. Then watch as God uses this outreach to bring love, truth, and hope to a hurting world.
Parts of this letter are adapted from CULTURELink Resources. OM partners with and recommends the excellent training seminars and short-curriculum provided by CULTURELink. For more information visit www.culturelinkinc.org.