International (MNN) — Every trip takes at least a little planning ahead. Orphan Outreach wants you to start thinking now about taking a short-term trip with them in 2011.
Orphan Outreach plans to take 50 groups–a total of over 500 people–to Guatemala, Honduras, India, Russia and more. The trips will take place all throughout the year with church groups, radio station teams, and individuals volunteering to serve.
Why take so many trips, though? Is the help that these groups bring really that imperative? Orphan Outreach's Tiffany Taylor Wines answers with an emphatic "yes!"
"It is just vital to the mission of reaching out to orphans to have people go on short-term missions trips with us," explains Wines.
The presence of these volunteers serves several purposes. On a most basic, physical level, the teams always bring with them humanitarian aid that provides healthcare and necessities to orphanages in countries that may not have the same access to food banks and healthcare that poor children can benefit from in the United States.
The emotional and spiritual effects of these trips are incredibly important. The staff at Orphan Outreach orphanages is committed to the children and to Christ, but work can be difficult and lonely. The presence of compassionate believers who care enough to take time out of their schedules to encourage these faithful workers is invigorating to the staff.
More than that, the children also benefit greatly from the visits. They are able to see the Gospel lived out in an entirely new way when believers come from all across the globe just to be with them. It's an incredible opportunity to share the love of Christ with a group of little ones that the Lord has so clearly commanded His people to reach out to and care for.
Wines confirms what a privilege it is to share this life-changing news with orphans who are in such desperate need. "They need to know that even though they don't have a physical mother or father, there is a Heavenly Father that loves them dearly, that wants to hold them in His hand, be the best Friend, and walk alongside them. That is the privilege and the honor of being on this trips–being able to share that with children for the very first time."
The results of these short-term trips are not only encompassed in the ones being served, but there's also a history of spiritual revitalization for the server. "I have found that when I am totally out of my comfort zone and I'm over there serving, I can hear God's voice just a little bit louder," agrees Wines.
Many obstacles potentially lie in the way of your decision to join Orphan Outreach on one of these trips. The financial burden may be the biggest. Besides the fact that Orphan Outreach has all sorts of ways for you to raise the money, Wines also implores you that if God wants you to be on this trip, He will undoubtedly provide. "He knows how vital it is for orphans to be told that they have a heavenly Father," notes Wines.
Most believers wouldn't consider themselves missionaries, or even the "missionary type," but God has a tendency to surprise His servants by taking them in unexpected directions for His glory. Start praying now about whether or not this is something God may have for you and your church or family in 2011.
Investigate the trips that are set up already by clicking here. If you do feel the Holy Spirit tugging on your soul to join one of these trips, listen to the call and do not let any obstacle get in the way of what God has called you to do. This could be just your opportunity to learn a little trust.