Our summer missions program is kicking into high gear! We’re doing a few things a little different, which has me very excited. The most noticeable change is that we have three trips instead of two. The two main reasons for this is to keep the team size smaller (better for team building and spiritual growth), and so we can have more dates available for trips so it’s easier for teens with crazy schedules to still be able to make a trip.
- Maine, June 18-27, $595, students currently in 7th – 12th grade
- Chicago, July 3-12, $795, students currently in 9th – 12th grades
- Ukraine, June 18-29, $2095, students currently in 10th – 12th grades
We’ve also changed our service hours; every student is supposed to complete 20 hours of local ministry hours to participate on a trip. In the past, they had to be completed by the end of the trip, now they’re supposed to be completed by the time we leave for the trip. Which means for this year only, any of the service done last summer can be counted twice – for last year’s trip and this year. Going forward, that won’t be the case after this year.
Even though we’ll have three destination teams (I’ll be on two of them, Maine and Chicago), one of the values we’ll be pushing is that we are ONE team serving in three places. Towards that end I’m really excited about the Prepare Go Live mission trip devotional series from Leader Treks and Simply Youth Ministry. That’s the theme for this year’s trip, and we’ll be using the ‘Prepare’ journals for our spiritual development before leaving, the ‘Go’ journals during the trip, and the ‘Live’ journals as a Student Quest series once we return to explore together how we Live out what we’ve learned. Having the follow up is probably the most important part of the spiritual development aspect of the trip; without guiding students’ processing of the trip and directing the application to life back at home, it’s easy for summer mission trips to just be service oriented vacations. What I love is that the series comes with permission to reproduce it as much as we need, with all of the resources (including logos, posters, leadership guides, etc.) on a cd-rom. We’ll be customizing it to suit our group’s needs, and including the journals with their other mission trip resources in their binders.
Here’s the links for the application form and informational packet (students need both, deadline is February 14th), both of which can also be found on our church’s student ministry page: