February 8th, 2011 at 11:24 am
Leaders of mission work along the Texas-Mexico border shared several helpful hints for those feeling called to share the hope of Christ in region through mission trips.
- Work on the Texas side of the border. Though drug cartel violence has not ravaged the entire Mexico side of the border, organizations continue urging mission teams to work along the Texas side of the border where the physical and spiritual needs remain great, and the region is safe.
- Partner with trusted organizations. There are a multitude of churches and ministry organizations along the Texas border. Choosing an organization that is known and trusted like those supported by Texas Baptists through Cooperative Program giving – Texas Baptists River Ministry, Buckner International and Valley Baptist Missions Education Center – helps church groups know they will be well taken care of and put in a position where they can have a long-lasting impact for God’s kingdom.
- Listen to local leaders and organizers and do as they say. Local residents and ministries know the area better than those coming into it. While the Texas border remains safe, it always is important to remain in areas organized have already scouted. Not only does it keep teams safe, it enables them to better work together and accomplish the task at hand.
- Consider staying at a Christian retreat center. There are several retreat centers along the Texas border designed to host mission teams. Many of them – like Valley Baptist Missions Education Center – can help connect mission teams with projects, provide three full meals each day to each trip participant and allow space for teams to debrief at the end of the day – all at prices drastically lower than what it would cost to stay at a hotel and eat at restaurants. And the money spent at these retreat centers is invested back into ministry and mission efforts.
- Expect God to work before a trip, during the trip and after it. Missions leaders believe people along the border are more open to the gospel than they typically are because of the violence on the other side of the border. Organizers encourage team members to prepare themselves through prayer and studying the Bible before the trip, during the trip and long after the trip finishes. God will change the lives of people mission volunteers encounter along the border. They also may be changed themselves.