Last night I introduced our 2015 mission trip to a group of students, their parents and some of our YM Team members.
To my knowledge this will be our church's youth ministry's first mission trip to another country. For years I have wanted to take a group of kids to another country where they could experience ministering in a different culture and poverty. So moving into my 14th year at NHC I felt like I had the adult support needed as well as a group of kids that I felt comfortable taking to foreign soil.
I have never planned a mission trip to another country so I didn't just want to dive in and attempt this without any guidance or assistance or clue as to what to do. I went to two resources: Download Youth Ministry and Leader Treks. At DYM I downloaded a resource that is a complete mission trip planning pack with tools, forms, etc. Why reinvent the wheel? What a great resource!
I then made the call to my new friend Dan at LeaderTreks and Dan talked me through some training resources as well as some field journals and post trip journals that our team will work through together.
Last night I revealed the trip. I had not told parents or students where we were going. I wanted people to attend the informational meeting who just wanted to go do missions even if they didn't know where they would be going. We had a great turn out.
We will be taking a group of student and adults to the island of Eleuthera next spring. While there we will serve at our host's, Camp Bahamas, in the morning doing some physical labor and projects there.
In the afternoons we will venture out into a Hatian community, the poorest on the island and minister to them. I'm really looking forward to this experience with our students and adults.
Students and adults who attended the meeting now have a couple of months to pray about the trip and to turn in their team application if they know God wants them to do this. I will pick the adult team and then the adult team will then sit down and go through the student's apps and decide on the team.
We will have a meeting each month (August through March) to train and go over the logistics. We have a timeline with deadlines on steps including passports, medical releases, finances, etc.
Our prayer is that God will use this trip to help us grow in our faith and dependance on Him and help students to discover how they can be on mission not just overseas but in their own community and hopefully build up some student leadership.