We move forward holding on to God’s hand
On a recent walk around my neighborhood, I noticed this statue. At first glance, I saw how the weather had impacted the garments, the faces and the entire statue itself. Upon closer attention, I saw how all three were looking in different directions while in forward movement. I wondered what had caught their attention. I also noticed striking details on their head coverings. I paused for a few minutes and raised a question to God; “where might they be off to? What can we be doing in this season of waiting?
God asked me to share what STM has been up to during this “waiting – holding – not yet” pattern and share ways to invite you to join us in this journey.
The Short-Term Mission team is having conversations with US based pastors, regional executive ministers, global servants and partners and IM Area Directors about the many volunteer opportunities to open up, once we can resume our travels. While we wait, feel free to invite us to have zoom video meetings or conference call conversations with your missions committee, pastoral staff to give up-dates on missional activities. Did you know that before this pandemic, we registered and supported 900+ volunteers a year? Once we can resume to register short-term mission teams and volunteers, our partners’ needs will be immense. We want to be well prepared to provide adequate orientations to teams before they depart.
Rev. Dr. Ann Borquist and I are working on a revised Team Leader’s manual. We can practice some group exercises and cross-cultural conversations virtually with you. Reach out to us.
Nicole Cox, STM Associate, is compiling short videos of the Special Assistants to STM. Would you like to meet these skilled leaders virtually, and find out the ministries they support locally and abroad?
We are looking ahead to 2021 and 2022. We are identifying needs based on what our partners are telling us. We will share a list of sponsored STM sponsored short-term mission trips in the coming months. Similar to the three figures in the picture above, depending on the ministry context, we may be looking to the East, West or South for short-term missions. We keep our eyes and hearts on living Matthew 25: 40 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” We remain guided by The Holy Spirit and the focus ministries which are part of IM core ministry priorities; health, economic development, immigration & refugees, human trafficking, education, peace & justice and our partners’ invitations.
Volunteers are sent by their churches and STM on short-term cross-cultural missions. The preparation is God centered, because we are God’s instruments of peace, healing, hope and love while we serve. The “God moments” volunteers have on the field, are transformative. Once volunteers return back to their homes, their congregations we encourage them to share stories heard, felt and learned. We encourage volunteers to try to have others understand what they lived abroad. It is an opportunity to thank their sending churches for all the prayers and help they received before and during their short-term missions. Volunteers truly live 1 Corinthians 12: 12 – 27 (Unity & Diversity in the Body of Christ). Global relationships are strengthened because we are witnessing to one another.
Please keep lifting us in prayer. The STM Team is currently working with five young adults “The Trailblazers” preparing them to serve in Mexico, Hungary and Spain. They will depart when it will be safe for them to do so.
The Short-Term Mission team is debriefing with three adults who have returned from short-term missions in The Dominican Republic, Hungary and Bosnia. Would you like to hear their stories? Please call 610-768-2168 or email us at email@example.com and request to have their contact information, so they can share their stories with your congregations. We are in conversation with global servants and partners to offer “virtual tours” of their ministries. We want to stay connected through the pandemic.
We may not be physically present NOW, with our various partners, but we can see, pray, understand, listen and remain God centered in our virtual short-term missions. We encourage everyone to embody the scripture found in Colossians 3:17 ” And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
If you are interested in any suggestions we have made above, please contact us at 610-768-2168 or firstname.lastname@example.org