Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Missions

Last week was our summer missions wrap up at church. In truth, the mission continues because over 150 church members came home with life changes that will hopefully impact everything they do from this point on. That is part of why we go, that is one of our goals... change.

Our trips this summer church-wide included:

1. Trip to New Orleans - two of them, in fact. And adult team went and one of our SPACE teams went, both working with Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Louisiana. We prayerfully watch as Gustav threatens an area of the country where many of our church members have left a piece of their hearts!

2. A trip to Baltimore - while close by, there are many things for us to learn in urban centers. A trip to Baltimore, or any city near you, is highly recommended, eye-opening and challenging.

3. Peru - three people from our church joined a medical missions team to Peru. Half the team worked in an orphanage that provides medical treatment for Indians served in the jungle by a missionary couple, the other half visited a thriving Indian village that just 7 years ago was deteriorating.

4. Uganda - our church has a partnership with AOET in Uganda and we had a team visit there and work with AIDS orphans.

5. Hungary - the team our family served on was serving a group of church planters living in Europe. What we brought home was a desire to serve beyond ourselves, to be a light where none exists and the realization of what families give up to do this. It was a such a pleasure to work with the children of these missionaries, to bring a little fun into the daunting (yet amazingly fruitful and satisfying) lives of believers forging the way in spiritually bleak cities in Europe.

6. Jamaica - this team from Grace served a couple orphanages with a VBS program as well as providing needed services God revealed upon arrival!

7. Tecate, Mexico - this team from Grace met up with a larger team from Illinois to serve an orphanage in this bordertown. They came home truly blessed!

8. England - one of our SPACE teams joined up with a church planter in Manchester to talk up and perform at a Outreach Music Festival. Many wonderful conversations, many decisions made for Christ and a great experience that will hopefully bring some liveliness back to our teens at home!

9. Cameroon - our last SPACE team to return. This team provided, for the first time ever in Navigator Cameroon history, childcare for the women of this ministry. Many Nav families traveled very far to join together in worship, reporting and planning for a country-wide ministry. Most of these Cameroonian women have never met even though their husbands work together within this organization. It was an amazing opportunity for them and their children to come together. Historic, and quite an experience for our team!

Here's a video the church put together you might enjoy with pictures from each of these trips. We have more trips scheduled for this fall and currently have a Grace family in Uganda for the year while the director of AOET and his family is here in MD, attending AU classes on international leadership. It's an amazing partnership!

For this first time ever, our teams were not fully funded. We're working out some of the reasons why this may have happened. We covet your prayers on this matter and the impact it will have on future life-changing trips. Thanks!


audrey said...

wow, i didn't realize there were so many teams - good for you!

Have you ever checked out i can't stop thinking about it.

deanna said...

I have never heard of it - I'll check it out, though!