USA (MNN) – AMG International is using their Mission Adventures program to open-up short-term mission trips to everyone.
For almost 30 years, Mission Adventures has hosted mission trips for churches, doctors, ministry partners, and everyday people.
Ken Ivins, AMG’s Assistant Coordinator of short-term missions, says, “It’s the natural connection that we have from the field already. We obviously want to take our teams, those that are sponsoring children, those that are supporting our missionaries, those that are supporting our ministry, we want to take them to see firsthand the things that we’re doing.”
Teams are often created for specific purposes like a building project or a medical need, but there are other “open” teams that anyone can join.
“When we have open teams, we have people from all over the country that will come and join us,” Ivins says.
Working with Local Christians
AMG makes sure it works closely with local Christians to provide for their needs.
Ivins explains that they work hard to stay away from toxic charity.
“It’s something we really do focus on in our short-term teams, is helping the field do things their way, not ours. We step alongside what they are doing and we do it the way they want it done,” he says.
Ivins adds, “But the cool thing is, and we found this historically true, if done well both sides benefit. Our team members go in with the desire to bless and to encourage and just to build up our partners.”
Both those on the mission trip and the local Christians they are helping can benefit from charity done well. A big factor in making sure both teams are working together is communication.
Ivins says, “Sometimes we say things one way they hear another and we’ve got to make sure that we’re on the same page. We work in a way that is beneficial to the field that builds other people up and… [gives] them the opportunity to hear the gospel in a clear way.”
Work in the Mission Field and at Home
While work in the mission field is important, Ivins also emphasizes the need for local missions.
He says, “God does put us all in a mission field. And so maybe you go on a short-term team, and you’re challenged to do some of the same things [in your country].”
He adds, “We minister to the homeless, we minister to poor, we minister to children… And of course, the question the entire time, I’m asking my team members, are you doing this at home? Because God’s got you in… your area for whatever reason.”
Ivins encourages churches thinking of going on a mission trip to go in with the mindset of building life-long relationships with the local Christians they work with.
Finally, pray for the Mission Adventure trips. Pray for those that go on the trips as well as the local Christians they work with. Pray for AMG as they continue this program and spread God’s Word.
Header photo courtesy of AMG.