Vacation with purpose gains momentum among ministry circles

By February 15, 2008

USA (MNN) — Combining volunteerism with vacation is gaining popularity, increasing by as much as 30% over the last year. The fastest growing demographic has been people under age 20, although Baby Boomers are still leading the way. 

Capitalizing on the trend, Love Packages' Steve Schmidt says, "We're looking for missions groups–people that want to be involved in missions somewhere around the world but really don't have the finances to go to Timbuktu. But they want to be involved, and they want to something great for God. We need a lot of volunteers. We have mountains of literature that need to be moved."

Schmidt calls it a "Missions Adventure." Once teams arrive on the Butler, Illinois campus, they are given dorms to stay in. The dorms house up to 40 people and contain kitchen facilities and showers.

Past teams had members that ranged in age from five years old to 93. He says there are jobs that people can do on every level. There is sorting, cleaning up, bundling and packaging to be done. Each container weighs 20 tons. With 38 container requests already this year, there's a lot to do. 

But when asked how filling containers with thousands of pieces of Christian literature amounts to evangelism, Schmidt says their work is a needed support to kingdom building overseas.

"We explain to them that every piece of literature they're handling is going to be read by a minimum of 20 people overseas. We tell them stories about the lack of literature in different places around the world, and all of a sudden, it begins to dawn on them that they're really going to impact lives by the material that they're handling and getting ready. They really come away with a new sense of being able to do something significant for the kingdom of God."

As of last month, with all the donations already received, there were about 5 weeks of back-logged sorting to do. If you want to get involved, click here, and fill out the volunteer form.

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