International (JFP/MNN) — Each year, thousands of people go on short-term mission trips.
Some want to be a part of something that benefits someone else. Others are looking for adventure and personal growth. Still others are wondering if they might be hearing a call for purpose.
The JESUS Film may have what you’re looking for. Each year, JESUS Film Mission Trips (JFMT) offers more than 40 trips year to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Guided by professional mission trip leaders, groups range from 5 to 30 participants.
Greg Jackson* oversees the trips for The JESUS Film Project. It’s not a “one size fits all” approach either, he says. “One of the more traditional kinds of mission trips that we do is classic JESUS film showings. When we go into closed countries, we’ll use some of the JESUS film products in classroom setting is to build relationships with people and then share the Gospel that way. Then, one of the third ways that we do is distribution of materials.”
The distributions come at port cities or in other places where people are in transit between Europe and the Middle East North Africa region (MENA). If you’ve ever traveled, you know that a good part of the trip is spent waiting. Jackson says they take advantage of this time. “As the lines and lines of people are there, we are walking among them, offering them packets that have the New Testament or have the JESUS film, or a variety of other evangelistic materials.”
But the first contact isn’t always the last. Jackson explains, “Each one of those packets has a contact card so that, when they are interested in more information, or they want to receive Christ, they can call, e-mail, or even snail-mail-connect with our contacts over in Europe.” Follow-up is as important as the initial touch point is. The card keeps the door open for communication and relationship.
As The JESUS Film Project advances with digital media platforms to the individual, will that negate the need for mission trips? Jackson says No. “All the places we’re going, there’s usually about 4% Christian population or less. So the fact that we can come in there and come alongside them not only accelerates the ministry, but it’s a huge encouragement as well to the body of believers that are there.”
Jackson explains his theory of acceleration this way: “There’s something that God uses about bringing foreigners into these places. There’s a ‘clout’ that we can bring to the local believers that are there that really accelerates their ministry.” Detailing further, he says that what their mission teams do in two weeks would take the local JESUS film team close to a year to do. They capitalize on the novelty of foreigner. For example, “If it’s in an English -speaking class, we may talk to anywhere from 70 to 300 students. From those students, we will be able to filter out and let the locals know that there are 15 men and 25 women that are really interested in spiritual things.”
Months of planning have gone into each of their short-term mission trips. Yet, the fact is they can only happen if volunteers join in to accomplish the trip strategy. “We have a certain minimum number that we need for a reach trip in order to make the trip viable. If we don’t have that number, we have to cancel those trips,” notes Jackson. Making the need known and providing the opportunity is connecting availability and accessibility. “I believe that there are people out there hearing this saying, ‘How can I go and be a part of this?’ I believe that God is stirring their hearts.”
It’s easy to find a mission trip. Just click on the map above, or click “Trips” in the top menu bar. Choose from the Trips drop-down menu. Then click on the trip name link to view an individual trip description.
After you have picked the trip you are most interested in, you can apply online, or use the “Request more info” form link found below the trip description. This form sends us an e-mail, which the JESUS Film Project will respond to as soon as they are able.
JFMT is ministry of Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ International. Beyond what is offered on the Website, college students looking for opportunities in the USA and internationally can explore GOsummerproject.com.
Likewise, if you are a high school student looking for a project here in the USA or internationally, Cru High School has trips designed for high school students. JFMT offers some family-friendly mission trips; minors must be accompanied by their parent.
Learn more about the ministry.
*Names changed for security purposes.