ISM has a new partner – SPM Project in Bangkok! Check out this exciting and unique opportunity.

SPM PROJECT UP CLOSE!

Purpose: To see people in the second largest religion in Thailand come to know the love of Jesus.

Internship Details

Students must be 20 years old to apply. Possible Activities (please note that the details of your daily schedule may vary depending on current ministry needs): Teaching English to students, children’s activities, teach sport and/or engage in sport activities, serve coffee, baking and related things to our coffee shop, spend time with students, build relationships and share about Jesus, learning some Thai (We want the intern to have 4 weeks of intense Thai in the beginning).

Hours (please note this may vary depending on ministry needs): approximately 40 hours/week.

Technical Details

Housing (please note that housing options may change depending on availability, but will be within the budget and safety requirements established by ISM): There are many student rooms where we have our center where volunteers can stay. Included is bathroom, air con, a bed, a desk and a wardrobe. (There is no kitchen or fridge)

Estimated Budget Per Month: 800 dollars per month

Other notes from your hosts:

Dress code: Since you are working with the second largest religion in Thailand t is important to think about how to dress. To dress appropriately is about showing respect, but also to be a person they can respect and want to listen too.

Ladies have to wear long skirts or trousers. Shirts or blouses need to cover the elbow. No tight jeans (no skinny Jeans)

Men needs wear long trousers as well but they can wear T-shirts or something similar. When playing sports it is different for men and then they can wear sports clothes. For women, still longer trousers but it is ok with T-shirt, but not too slim.

Code of Conduct: As we preach the gospel more with our lives than our words it is important to try to think about behaving in a Christ-like way. It is important to have an open mind and an open heart.  An obvious thing to note- girls cannot talk to boys alone is not appropriate. In a group we can be mixed genders but not when we are alone.

We try to live in a way that honours God this influences how we dress, eat, speak and behave.

For more info about this exciting opportunity please write us at infoism@impactasia.ca

Advertisements

Meet Carly Doucet coming to ISM January 2016 – internship Place of Grace – Thailand

Hi! I’m Carly Doucet and I will be joining ISM in the fall of 2015!

1452425_10151831888132879_1180409926_n

To say I’m excited for this adventure would be an understatement! This opportunity is a dream come true and I can’t wait to see all that God has in store. I heard about ISM about a year ago and immediately knew it was something I needed to do. Although I had no idea when it would be possible, one day I came home and knew it was time to apply!

Here’s a little bit on me! I was born and raised in the very small town of Belledune, NB where I attended a small church in a place called Nash Creek. Growing up in the church, I was exposed to many missionaries; it was upon meeting a young missionary couple when I was 5 years old that I knew missions would be a big part of my life. I was, however, tested in my patience as my first mission experience took place only 6 months ago in the Dominican Republic. This wonderful experience fueled my already existing passion for international ministries and left me longing for more.

I am currently a 4th year Nursing student at the University of New Brunswick; upon completion of my degree I look forward to gaining experience in the profession I love to someday use these skills internationally. Over the past 4 years, I have been transformed not only as a student but as a follower of Jesus Christ. My relationship with Jesus has blossomed and I continue to passionately pursue Him in everything I do.

Volunteering as a counsellor at a camp in Debert, NS for the last 2 years, I quickly discovered in myself a passion for children’s and youth ministries; working especially close with teen girls, my passion has taken a specific turn in that direction. This combined with my passion for Missions; Place of Grace seemed like a perfect fit! I am so excited to begin this new chapter in my life and for God to mold me and make me further into who He has made me to be!

Hello and Goodbye!

This month we are saying goodbye to Jessica Pellowe

Jessica first heard the call to “go”  in 2010.  It’s hard to believe our first hello was almost 5 years ago!   Her first taste of missions life was as an intern with me at NightLight for 3 months and then she returned to Canada for a very short time before returning to SEA and teaching in Nepal for 6 months.  Jessica then accepted a teaching position for 2 years at a Christian School in Bangkok.  After her contract ended she became ISM’s School Administrator.  Jessica is an incredibly gifted woman who  has faithfully and competently worked along side of me from the inception of ISM.  She  has been responsible for putting many of the processes in place, teaching at ISM, and handling the finances and admin.  She has travelled to several nations visiting interns and partnered wiith me at women’s conferences.  For the past two years she has done much of the admin for our Regional Retreat.

We are thankful to the Lord for bringing Jessica to serve along side of me for the past two years.  We are praying the Lord opens a door for her in Ontario!   She will be missed.

Hello Ashton

Ashton McIntosh joined ISM on June 2nd 2014 as the Internship Co-ordinator. Thankfully, Jessica has been training her and preparing herfor the new group of students arriving in September.  Ashton has several years of administrative experience,  her Bachelor of Contemporary Ministry. and a heart for worship. She will be working with ISM until the spring of 2015.

Please pray for Jessica as she adjusts to life back in Canada and that the perfect job will come her way. Also please pray for Ashton as she adjusts to life back in Bangkok and for the incoming class in September.

Dream BIG!
Sandra McIntosh
Director, ISM

Emily says thanks.

Re-blogged – from Emily Snow

thank_you_comment_graphic_01

December 21: Thank you.

I’m on my way home. My first flight landed an hour early, which meant less time on the plane but a longer layover. So, I’m currently sitting in the Istanbul airport where I have been for around 5 hours now. For whatever reason after I make one transaction in this airport my debit and credit cards suddenly have a block on them- even though I have a flag on my account that I’m traveling through this exact city. It happened the last time I was here also. So that’s frustrating but I will survive. International travels…

ANYWAY. I want to write a bit more about my time in Thailand-specifically  all of the things I am most thankful for. So, in no particular order…

Impact School of Missions

This four weeks of training and fun could not have been any more perfect for my start to this adventure. I actually wish that I could sit in on the classes for another (or maybe 2 or 3 more…) terms just so that I can soak in more of the information that we were given. For those of you who don’t know, the school is split up into four broad topics: Culture, Holy Spirit, Personal, and Missions. During culture week we learned all about the dos and don’ts of Thailand (and India for those who were traveling there for their internships), the Thai culture itself, and what it looks like to be a foreigner living/ministering in another culture. The second week we learned about partnering with the Holy Spirit throughout our internships and lives. The third week we did personality and gifts testing to learn more about ourselves and why we interact with others the way we do and how God can use those traits. And finally the fourth week we heard from 7 different missionaries in Thailand about their specific ministries and God’s heart for His very diverse world of people. Throughout the first month we also had multiple opportunities to work alongside some of the ministries in Bangkok and we visited a few of the tourist hotspots.

One of the greatest parts about ISM is that it brought 10 very different, unique, beautiful women into my life (+Sandra, Jessica, and Peter). Although we were together for a brief time, it was truly a blessing to get a glimpse at their hearts and the beautiful ways God could, would, and will use them in this world. So, to Impact School of Missions- thank you.

Servantworks- The Well

When God first put Thailand on my heart, I never could have imagined the experience I would be blessed with when I got there. I am so thankful to say that I had the most incredible 2.5 months interning with The Well in Bangkok. I was and will continue to be so blessed by the people there. They taught me about acceptance, love, forgiveness, redemption and so much more.

Every morning I started my day with 3-4 Thai women in the “Baan Dek” (children’s center). It was here that I picked up the majority of my Thai, got to play and do crafts with the kids, and got to spend quality time really getting to know the other women I worked with. They practiced their English with me, and I (tried to) practice some Thai with them. In the afternoons I did a few different things. The first being spending a significant amount of time with my fellow intern, Kylie. She is one of the greatest blessings of my internship experience.  We went on a trip to a NE province together where we got to see another one of Servantworks’ ministries (Breakthrough-Thailand) and even got to help with the rice harvest! We also went with 1 or 2 Thai women every week to China Town, where we had the opportunity to build relationships with women working on the streets. We got to spend the first month playing games/getting to know the older kids who were off of school, spent a lot of time bothering Judy in her office, ate quite a few cupcakes and HiChews, and could almost always be found bent over laughing together. You would never be able to tell by our friendship that there is a 17-year age gap- and to be honest I could never really tell either. I also had the unique opportunity to teach a worship dance class 2 afternoons per week. Even after 13.5 years of dance, I never would have thought that my dancing could be used for ministry…let alone ministry in Thailand. God gave me a passion for dance as a child, but that passion was ultimately going to be used for His glory. So cool, right? My dance class also provided me with time to get to know a lot of the women at The Well, and to see their funny, beautiful personalities. My final day at The Well they gifted me with a time of thanksgiving and prayer. The women and staff shared their thanks with me for specific things, and then everyone (including the children) prayed over me. The tears were inevitable at that point, and behind them were the pains of grief which I am especially thankful for. To grieve is to have loved- and the love I experienced and shared at The Well is irreplaceable in my heart. So, to Servantworks and specifically The Well- thank you.

Monique

When I got off the plane in Thailand and had gathered my bags, I walked out of the airport and found Sandra with the “Impact School of Missions” sign and with a 6-foot tall Canadian girl. Little did I know that the first person I met would soon become one of my closest, dearest friends. We spent an awkward first couple of hours sweating at the dining room table and making small talk- and from then on we were pretty much inseparable. I knew that I would make friends while I was there, but I never expected to have any of them become one of my best friends. Our list of adventures together is LONG but usually included a mall/bookstore, a motorcycle, a TV series, an adventurous/surreal trip around Thailand, or just talking at a coffee shop. Also, laughter. ALWAYS laughter. This girl prayed with me, encouraged me, opened up her heart to me, and loved me. What more could I ask for, honestly? It was such a divinely orchestrated friendship, and I have been so blessed by it. So, to Monique- thank you.

Support System

When I got on the plane to come here, I left behind my incredible friends and family. Throughout my time in Thailand I received so much encouragement and prayers from home. I received Facebook messages, emails, letters, a package, and had countless Skype dates. One thing that I was told on my last day at The Well came to one of the staff members during the time of prayer- it was two words: rootless, and rooted. He told me he was thankful that I was willing to be rootless in leaving behind the people and places I loved to follow the Lord’s call, and saw that in that I was still rooted in Christ. So, I need to say thank you to all of the people who supported me in coming here-financially, in prayer, and in encouragement. Without you guys I would not have experienced the Lord in the unique ways I have, I would not have met all of the people and organizations listed above, and I would not have gained the knowledge I have from my time overseas. So, to all of you at home- thank you.

Zachary

My guy gets his own thank you, even though he was a major part of the support system I talked about already. It is with so much joy that I get to call him my boyfriend and that I get to be reunited with him in 15 short hours. My sweet Zack has (aside from God) been my biggest encourager in my time away. He committed to dating me long distance for 3.5 months, which in and of itself was a big step of faith- but in that time he also committed his life to whatever the Lord had for him. Therefore, our time spent apart has become a huge blessing. The Lord has so evidently grown each of us individually, which has made our relationship even more of a joy to pursue. While I was in Thailand Zachary prayed for me, and constantly told me he was doing it. He played worship music for me when I was having melt downs, and he was a voice of reason and reassurance when the heaviness of my internship seemed as if it were too much to handle. So, to Zachary- thank you.

(First and last Skypes in Thailand!)

God

To the Lord of the universe from whom all blessings flow- I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice made on the cross that has saved me from my sins. He has so evidently (as you’ve read) worked in every situation for my good and I’m so excited to give all glory to Him. So, to God- thank you (infinity times over).

So so so thankful for this exciting journey of life that I’m on, and so so so excited to see everyone in the coming weeks.

-E

Beautiful Bangkok! ISM’s top picks for things to do!

Fun things to do in Bangkok

During your month of training at ISM you will have the opportunity on weekends and during the week as part of our schedule to experience a few of the highlights in the amazing city of Bangkok.  Here are some of our favorite activities!

Activities

Ancient City (Muang Boran) This is on our ISM calendar!

ancientcity

This is a large, green park with smaller replicas of many of the monuments, etc., found throughout Thailand. There are Thai restaurants, a mini-market area, and souvenirs all set up in models of Thai villages. With the admission price, you get to use a bike that you can ride around to see and take pictures. You can also pay about $5 per hour to rent a golf cart, which makes the experience even more fun!

Dinner Cruise on the Chao Praya River

While you can find cheaper cruises, if you want a really peaceful and excellent dinner experience, we recommend Manohra Cruises. For approximately 1500THB, you get a lovely set Thai menu delivered restaurant style to your table on an old rice barge boat that holds a max of maybe 30 people.

• Flight of the Gibbons  

This is a zip line experience through the jungle. We’ve never been, but everyone we know who has gone, loved it!

• Floating Market

floatingmarket

There are several, most of which cater to tourists. Some are just regular markets with a few vendors in boats, while others allow tourists the chance to get into boats themselves, which is worth the trouble getting there for the novelty. We have been to one called Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Expect to barter for a boat and guide.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew – This is on our ISM Calendar

grandpalace

 The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) since 1782. The king, his court and his royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. The present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), currently resides at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year. You will learn so much about Thai culture and religion.

Wat Pho – This is on our ISM Calendar!

Reclining-Buddha-Full

This is the Reclining Buddha. It is truly a sight to be seen – breathtakingly huge. It is near to the Grand Palace, so it is good to do both on the same day.

Jim Thompson House

Tour a “traditional” Thai house with some Western twists and learn about the man behind the flourishing silk industry in Thailand – and his mysterious disappearance! There are truly beautiful gardens and buildings here!

• Massages

Getting a massage is a popular tourist activity. However, you need to be very, very careful because many are covers for less-than- reputable activities. We recommend Baan Dalah Mind Body Spa, which is on Sukhumvit 8, right near the corner with the Indian restaurant. The price is fantastic, the atmosphere is lovely (many feel like cheap clinics – not this one!), and it is family-friendly. You can browse the menu on their website ahead of time.

Be aware that a traditional Thai massage includes stretches, cracking, etc. Some people love it, but other people actually hurt so much afterward that they are in pain for days. Just be aware, and don’t be afraid to ask them to go lighter and lighter. You can also get other types of massages.

River Taxi Ride o Take a River Taxi down the Chao Praya River in Bangkok! This is on our ISM Calendar!

 This is a great way to get to the Grand Palace area.

Silom Thai Cooking School  – an option on our ISM Calendar!

19392_10200450443454405_1402574274_n

There are many Thai cooking schools in Bangkok, but this is the one we recommend. It is the cheapest, but also has a truly great and educational experience. For only 1000THB, you start at a market and learn about foods, then go back to the school to make five dishes that you also get to eat. You leave with a cookbook, too. Book ahead online.

Siam Niramit

This is a great stage show (every night) that is definitely worth your time!

You will see traditional Thai dancing, costumes and music used to show you stories that explain different elements of Thai culture, from history to religion to festivals. It is truly spectacular.

Shopping

• Chatuchak Weekend Market o Also called “JJ Market,” Chatuchak is only open on Saturday and Sunday. It is a HUGE, fantastic weekend market with pretty much whatever you might need to find, as long as you’re willing to look for it. It may be better to go without an agenda and see what you find. You can buy a map to help you find your way! Bargain here.

• China Town – This is an outdoor market with lots of stalls crammed close together. It is definitely an experience! Sometimes you have to buy things in bulk. If you know where to look, you can find beautiful fabrics, delicious food, and lots of other stuff. Bargain here.

• MBK –  This big mall is like an indoor market. It is full of stalls with vendors. It is huge, but fun, and a lot cooler than the hot outdoor markets! Bargain in most places. There are some ‘proper’ stores here, too, where you usually don’t bargain.

• Panthip Plaza – This is a massive indoor market of just computer things. If you are “into” techie things, you may enjoy this.

Siam Paragon

This is the mall with all of the big designer expensive stores. It’s fun to window shop and has a massive food court on the basement level.

Terminal 21 –   It is designed to be like an airport, which is so cool! Also, each floor is decorated like a different city, including the bathrooms and the staff! More expensive stores are at entry level, and the higher you go, the more market-like it gets. Definitely worth visiting just to see how creative it is!

Mega Bangna- near ISM – beautiful new mall with a very western feel.

There are many, many other malls around town. These are just a few of the highlights!

Food – Restaurants – too many amazing restaurants to name them all!

• Akiyoshi o Japanese  just off BTS Phra Khanong (Sukhumvit Soi 67)

• Beirut – Lebanese food – Ploen Chit Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 2 • Bourbon Street

Creole & Mexican – Tuesdaynight buffet o Sukhumvit Soi 63 aka Soi Ekkamai, near Soi 1

• Crepes and Co. o Lunch and Dessert Crepes o Sukhumvit Soi 55 Thonglor 8

• Flying Chicken –  If you order the flying chicken, a man on a unicycle will catch your dinner on his head on a plate as he flies through the air. Sometimes they do it with veggies, too, and catch it with a poker. Other than this feature, it’s a pretty average restaurant, but the flying thing makes it worth going! Near ISM

* Bangna Trat • Ma-Cool-Ya – Your table has a grill in the center and you cook anything you want from an unlimited selection of meat, vegetables, etc. You can even make your own ice cream at the end!

* At Seacon Square mall • Olivie’ Cafe  Dinner “buffet” where you can order as much food as you can eat off the menu- pizza, pasta, etc.

*  At Paradise Park and Terminal 21 malls • Royal Dragon Thai food is served to you by waiters on roller-skates. There is also a short cultural dance in the evening.

* Bangna Trat • Scoozis – Italian-stylepizza

• Starbucks – Starbucks are almost everywhere here. Almost every mall will have one, and several plazas do, as well.

• Sunrise Tacos –  Equivalent to Qdoba/Chipotle – Several locations downtown

Food – Delivery

• ChefsXP.com –  You can order from a variety of types of restaurants downtown. They will deliver it on a motorbike for about $2 delivery charge. Delivery depends on your distance from the restaurant and the traffic. They say it takes an hour, and on average, it usually does.

• McDonalds –  You can order drinks and ice-creams and everything! This is definitely

something you should do once, just to say you did!

• KFC • Pizza Hut • Pizza Company (Similar to Pizza Hut) • Swenson’s (Ice Cream)

Excited for January 2013! – Jessica Pellowe

Well, here we are! The beginning of December… This month will see most of our September students returning home, our January students completing the final stages of preparation to come, and ISM staff thoroughly enjoying the whole process!

It’s hard to believe the first class is already finishing up their internship. I remember the weekend they all arrived, standing at Meeting Point at the airport, hoping I would recognise our students in real life from the photos we’d received, and wondering what the following month would have in store… We had everything planned out nicely on paper, but once you start adding ‘little’ things to plans like, say, people or real life, anything can happen!

jessica

 

In reflecting on this first term, both the in-class training and the internship time, one thing that really stands out is how incredibly open and embracing our students have been. They each truly have a desire to grow and learn and stretch themselves. They have thrown themselves into this experience wholeheartedly, and it has been an honour to see them grow in understanding and confidence as a result.

It is my prayer that as these students return home to their families, friends, and “normal” life situations, they will not return to who they were before they came, but will cling to what God has done and wants to continue doing in them. I pray that regardless of where they end up living and working, their relationship with God and their posture of humble service will be not only maintained, but continually fostered and nurtured.

Looking forward to January, we have another great group of young people getting ready to come, learn, and serve. I am excited to not only see the growth and changes in their lives, but to see how their personalities, thoughts and experiences contribute to making this term at ISM unique and meaningful. I know God planned for this group of students to come together at this time for a reason, and can’t wait to see what He has in store for us in 2013!

 Jessica Pellowe

I Surrender All. REALLY?

I surrender all! I lay it all down!  I will sacrifice everything!  I will die for you JESUS!

Really?

When we get together in our massive stadiums, comfortable churches or youth/young adult ministries we sing about sacrifice, surrender and death to self with gusto and passion. And…. most of us think we really mean it.   These songs ARE great and beautifully written.  One of my newer favourites is White Flag on the Passion 2012 CD.  It’s stirs up images of 1000’s of sold out young adults waving white flags, hand over their hearts, all ready to DIE. (any leader would love to tweet that!)

Okay, let the fantasy bubble burst for a minute and let’s get real.   How much do you REALLY have to sacrifice, surrender or die to self?  How is taking up your cross and following Jesus really played out in most of our lives?   Have you ever:

–  been imprisoned for your faith

–  been seriously persecuted

– lost someone you love because of their faith

– live without your basic needs met

– truly suffered (suffering doesn’t include not having an iphone 4S)

A.W Tozer suggested – “Christians don’t tell lies – they just go to church and sing them.”   That’s a little harsh!  People don’t know what they don’t know and we talk, live and sing songs in our present understanding of those words.

But once your feet land on the mission field, all of a sudden you have  a tiny (and by tiny, I mean miniscule) awakening  about some of the core realities of living out your faith.  Your white flag of surrender may be waving half mast when:

1.  The power goes out and you have no internet access (this is a biggy for a lot of people – in fact, reactions can rank up there with a death in the family)

2.  No one cares about your previous accomplishments, ministry involvement or leadership position.  As one missionary told me, “you become a BIG FAT ZERO.”  – Hmmm, lose your life to find it, do I have to?

3.  People tell you you’re fat when you weigh over 110 lbs.  Are you still singing?

4.  People point out all the zits on your face and say you should see a doctor right away.

5.  You sweat from morning till night.

6.  You live a bad hair life.

7.  You friends and families’ lives go on without you, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and births.  “I surrender all?”

8.  You are lonely, and unhappy and you feel like you are the only person on the planet.

9.  Your bed is a little hard.

10. The smells….. toilet aroma, garlic, rice, garbage.

11.  You don’t have loads of money.  Sound like fun yet?

12.  You try to order something and no one understands you.

13.  You lead a Bible study or preach and  no one says – “wow that was awesome”

14. You end up sitting on a toilet all night with a bucket in your hands.

Oh I could go on and on.  And most of these things are really just minor discomforts  and not truly suffering.  The point is, until we have to give up a few of the  comforts of home, we really don’t understand sacrifice at all.

Sacrifice, surrender and dying to self are essentials to becoming all  we were designed to, but most of us RUN from anything that looks remotely like it.  Let’s be honest we LOVE comfort don’t we? Paul said it beautifully in Philippians 2

1-4If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

So friends I encourage you today to embrace a little discomfort and resist the temptation to complain.  If we are willing to step out and risk our white flags of surrender will become more than a lyric.

Sandra McIntosh

Top 10 App Picks for Culture and Missions

If you are coming on a short term missions trip or just travelling it’s really helpful to have some tools to help you understand the customs, language and currency,  take pictures, play games and read your favourite books on those long plane, train & bus rides.  The following apps are our Top 10 Picks.

If you have favourites let us know!

Short term Missions or a Missions Trip – What’s the difference?

Usually when you start preparing for 2 months or more of volunteering/serving in another country you feel exhilarated about all the new things/people/food/culture you are about to experience. And you should! Serving overseas is no small task and it’s a step that I cheer about every time someone makes the gigantic leap from wanting to serve and actually starting the process, raising funds and getting on a plane. I say WAY to GO to everyone who actually does it. Amazing and beautiful!

Some of your initial thoughts may be, “I’ve been on a missions trip so this will be a piece of cake!“ But there is a big difference between a missions trip (a visit) and serving for a few months. One gives you a taste of the mission’s world and the other gives you the full meal deal. Your first inkling that what you are embarking on isn’t just a taste test is the time factor. After 10 days on a missions trip you are heading to an airport back to your family, mom’s cooking and your own soft bed! When you are staying in a foreign country for a few months after a few weeks the excitement can start to wear off and you start longing for pancakes and maple syrup! When you come to serve, you still have a return ticket, which lets you know the trip WILL come to an end, but as days turn into months, that return date can seem like an eternity away. A missions trip includes a translator; a team and you bringing lots of wonderful gifts and programs to those you came to serve. None of those things are part of the serving experience. You are alone or maybe with one other brave soul, you can’t communicate, and you’ve got “nothing” to offer as you usually are hanging on to every penny so you can make it to the end without running out of cash. You also feel very hindered by the inability to say any more than hello and thank you. At about day 10 you will probably ask yourself. “What have I done?”

What have I done?

Why serve short term instead of just coming on a missions trip? You can compare the missions trip to going to a great concert and loving the experience because it was so amazing to hear such a talented band. The euphoria wears off as quickly as singing the tunes does and within a couple of days you are over it and on to the next new hit. It was still a great time, but the high you received was very short lived. If however, you got on the bus and travelled with the artists for 2 months, listened to them practice 24/7, went from city to city, watched them write songs, set up and tear down, fight with other band members and deal with adoring fans you’d get a real taste of what it means to be a rock star. For some people it would be the icing on the cake that YES this is what they were born to do and others would rather just go buy a CD. The difference however on a short term trip is even if you don’t fully enjoy the experience you still may be compelled make it a life long decision. Serving others really isn’t about you or what you like. That can be a bitter pill to swallow, but it really can be the most incredible thing you learn while doing it. If you don’t feel the missions life is for you, you still can return home a different person by spending less, praying more and being an advocate for the those in the missions world.

A short-term trip means you really taste and see what it means to be a missionary; a missions trip means you get an adventure with memories that last a lifetime. Short term trips also give you and the Lord a chance to have some in depth discussions about The tower of Babel, death to self, His character, the showdown with the Prophets of Baal, heaven and hell, that nagging sin you had no idea lurked in the corners of your heart, your character and that’s only the beginning of the deep digging His Holy Spirit will do in your life, if you let Him. Coming to serve in another nation is not just about good memories that last a lifetime; it’s about a changed life that can last for eternity.

Katie in Kolkata