Non denominational mission trips offer excellent ways for members of smaller churches to experience the joy and satisfaction of serving others. Volunteers should take care, however, to make sure that the organization through which they schedule such a trip is a reputable faith-based agency. Without such "due diligence", volunteers have been subjected to journeys that were more like a horror story than a religious experience. |
Once upon a time, the term "mission" mean traveling thousands of miles to underdeveloped countries to bring more sophisticated religion to cultures other than one's own. However, past mistakes in evangelizing, coupled with today's technologies bringing global connections, have transformed the idea of mission. While visitors may bring labor, tools, techniques and goods to a receiving country, there is now a mutual exchange of knowledge, understanding and friendship.
This potential for increased international goodwill and understanding makes it even more critical that potential mission volunteers thoroughly research the agency that operates non denominational trips. A poorly run or even unscrupulous company can do tremendous damage to the faith of believers who want to serve others as well as to the volunteers' reputation among those they seek to serve. Consequently, several factors should be taken into consideration when choosing a non denominational trip.
First, those interested in non denominational projects can check to see if the organization is a legitimately registered not-for-profit faith-based community. This type of information can be obtained from any government agency responsible for maintaining corporate licenses or accountability.
How the organization operates provides the next major clue to its authenticity. For example, volunteers should check to see whether the agency provides clear-cut, easily understood guidelines regarding all its opportunities. Potential travelers should know a trip's physical requirements (including any inoculations), along with needs for visas, passports and other identification. Participants should have answers to these questions before paying the agency any amount of money.
Experienced guides are another good sign that the sending organization is reputable. Guides should speak the language of the country to which the volunteers are going, and should known local customs well enough not to offend the residents there. It's also a good sign if the guides can tell participants about specific local contacts they know, both for the sake of finding a good purpose for the trip and for making connections with the community.
Overall, people of faith who want to go on an independent mission trip should ask the organization how it frames the spiritual surroundings of the journey. In many cases, longtime guides have prepared devotional outlines or pamphlets that inform travelers of opportunities for prayer and worship as well as service. These booklets along with trip itineraries can be shared with the travelers' home churches so that their local congregations have the chance to join in prayer for them.
Breaking down walls between belief systems offers one of the greatest benefits to outreach journeys. Joining together to meet a community need, whether in one's native country or around the world, provides a common purpose that makes divisions fall away. In fact, this chance to experience new friendships, as well as gain new perspectives on one's faith, can be what many volunteers find most satisfying about journeys such as this.
Non denominational mission trips, in the final analysis, are often one of the best ways to build relationships between people of differing beliefs and cultures. Mutual effort for a common purpose rises above differences. Positive results help cement ties that last for years.
When you have considered participating in one of our non denominational mission trips, check details online here. You can see information about programs at http://www.colorsinfo.org/programs/ now.
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