Short-term trips have ripple effect

By January 31, 2011

International (MNN) — Short-term mission trips are all over the ministry radar right now, as various organizations prepare to take teams across the globe to impact the world for Christ. Now they just need people to go.

Orphan's Heart, is one ministry looking for teammates.

"We look for locations around the world where we have an opportunity to have a hands-on approach with the children, along with nationals who are already doing the work, so that we can help these children know they have hope, and that they have a future ahead of them," explains Ron Gunter with Orphan's Heart.

Orphan's Heart tries to address spiritual, physical, mental, and educational needs of children around the world, and they rely on short-term missioners to do it. Last year, the ministry took 600 people to various countries, providing food for and doing activities with children.

Why leave the comforts of home to trek into the hot African sun? Why immerse yourself in a foreign culture with foreign foods and customs?

For one thing, it's an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ to the less fortunate. For another, though, Gunter says these trips tend to have a ripple effect. People's lives are almost inevitably changed as they see the joy and gratefulness of needy children, and they frequently bring the passion they've gained back with them. As people return from trips changed, entire communities are affected.

"Our goal is to engage people in a hands-on experience with missions," says Gunter. "And when their lives are changed with that hands-on experience, then their churches are changed, their communities are changed, and their families are changed."

Often, short-termers with Orphan's Heart will return for another trip, or refer friends to go. Entire churches could end up involved.

So this summer or spring break, consider taking a trip with a purpose. You'll change the lives of children and their families, and your life is sure to change, too.

Orphan's Heart is currently working in Uganda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Trips are heading out to all of these locations throughout the year, although trips to Haiti are on hold for security reasons. Orphan's Heart puts safety first on every trip and always informs the State Department of their whereabouts and work.

The duration of most trips is about a week, but arrangements can be made for you to stay longer if you would like to. For all of this information and more, visit orphansheart.org. Join a trip today and live out the Great Commission.

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