Staying on mission at home isn't easy. For many, the mission trip begins well before they even touch down on a foreign land. It starts in their city maybe even in their neighborhood. With so many trips being shut down right now and living in uncertainty, I want to provide five ways we can encourage our mission trip leaders and their teams to engage the world right around them. After all, that’s what Jesus did.
1. Take your neighbor or those in vulnerable situations a meal
There is a phrase that begins with “You never really know someone until...”, the facetious side of me wants to say “until you know them” but one way we often see Jesus getting to know people involves a meal or inviting them into a meal. So take your team or encourage your team to share a meal with someone they may not know.
2. Spend time online with people from the community
Know a local church that focuses on that demographic, check out their website and see what they are doing to carry on through the quarantine. Maybe watch their live service, and see who can learn more words or pick up phrases and then debrief with your team. Remember things may be different, but they aren’t weird.
3. Go to a restaurant that serves food from the place you would have visited
Two years ago I was sitting in the Louisville airport when a conversation began between myself and an older woman from Ethiopia, we began sharing stories of traveling and different cultures. She encouraged me to visit an Ethiopian café and share in a coffee ceremony. Most people think the way I make my coffee is ceremonial in and of itself (Chemex pour over anyone?!).
4. Read a book or watch a movie.
I have found books to be more accurate than movies, but unless this quarantine plans on lasting a couple months I better just watch a movie. If you love books and reading grab a book from that country or city and learn everything you can about it, study it, research it, and get together with your team over Skype or Zoom and share what you learned. God has created some amazing cultures that reflect the uniqueness and beauty of who he is so go learn about them.
PS. Geography Now is a must on YouTube, you can thank me later.
When in doubt, don’t over complicate it. God has you right where He has you. Live out the confidence and hope we have in Christ by serving those around you. Write a card to all of your neighbors, call your grandparents, or the nursing home to check in on them. Thank the superstore workers when you can only get one roll of paper towels. Deliver food to families who might be affected by the loss of a job. When in doubt, do something, anything, don’t overcomplicate it. You are an image bearer of the Father, live out of your identity in Him and walk confidently and wisely into serving those around you.
This is one post of many we're doing related to the current crisis. Download Cancelled: A Guide to Maintaining Missions Engagement When Your Short-Term Trip is Cancelled.