Welcome.   Today we will be exploring the concept of cross cultural mission, and why we encourage people to embrace these opportunities.

Mission abroad – Many people see mission work as an opportunity to give selflessly to others less fortunate, maybe as a way of using their time constructively building housing or nursing the sick, whilst for others it may be putting money in Charity relief boxes.   However, it goes so much deeper than that.

It is not just a chance for us to give to others; but also for us to be touched.   Like the sick woman who, regardless of being tired, weak and bleeding, was determined enough to push her way through the crowd to touch Jesus’ hem and be healed, we too have much to gain by pushing through to the front.   Not being someone who watched others go, but to embrace servant hood and be prepared to make the sacrifice ourselves.   To live a day, a week, a month, in their shoes.

However mission IS a calling, so does this mean it is not for everyone?   No.   As Christians we are called to “make disciples of all nations”, therefore evangelism should no longer be seen as a ‘gift’, but rather a mandate.   It is our role, it is our responsibility.   Many people are not called into mission work, yet still have so much to offer.   These are the grass roots of mission work, the foundations by offering prayer support, encouragement and financial support to those who are.

We are not looking to advocate short-term, short lived successes.   Nor demean people by insinuating that we can fly out, stick some expensive plasters on deep wounds and then leave two weeks later after ‘doing our bit’.   Our primary aim is to impact people and change lives, including our own. This only occurs when our objectives are Christ-centric.

The mission trip itself offers people an opportunity to travel outside their comfort zones, and experience poverty firsthand. To provide intensive labour, build internal relationships and offer love and encouragement to the people...