Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

Missions Twitter: Week Ending May 29, 2009

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Twitter

cartoon twitter birdHere at MissionsLauch, we have decided to post what’s going on out there in the world of Twitter surrounding missions. You can find our new Missions Twitter Log each Friday. Also, if you do use Twitter, please follow us at @MissionsLaunch. Happy Friday! 

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martinevan: Remember your very first Missions Trip when you were amazed by everything?

samuelarce: @noitisop hey, just found out kris allen is also a christian.he was a worship leader,and done missions trip around the world..

JulieMarieSenn: Came out of practice tonight to see a DR missions app on my car and a note that said “Fill this out, God has a plan, ur trip has been paid for.

collinsbob: The countdown has begun – 6 more days until our missions trip – Costa Rica here we come!

BryanPittman: Please pray for some missionary friends of mine whose identities have just been discovered. They are in danger, that is all I can say.

sparkymcwirenut: First morning after an awesome missions trip. Lord, help all who went to not slip back into the old routine and forget what you taught us.

SharonPeterson7: Two more days to my missions trip. I can’t wait……

vesselproject: Faith makes things possible, not easy.

staton4: Half the fun of a missions trip is the preparation, and seeing how God brings it all together! Starting to get excited! -Jamaica or bust!

RandDuren: @pelirroja_ I went on a missions trip, to take food and things like that to the tribes in the Amazon.

PARKPLACEMTG: “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it. – William James

exploringperu: It is a strange thing to come home. While yet on the journey, you cannot at all realize how strange it will be. – Selma Lagerlöf

heatherthorne: I managed to finally get through 2000 mission trip pics and cried all over again. Working on the slideshow today.

HordCoplanMacht: RT @bwmc Mission accomplished. BWMC mission group performs 141 surgeries on first trip to the Dominican Republic.

ReinhardBonnke: The great commission must be your great ambition! (Matt. 28-19-20)

jimastephens: Tonight we sat with a retired missionary who served in Central America for 28 years. He’s 92 and took up tennis at age 84. Good stories.

bloodintheboots: @globalcast greatest resource for a young missionary is simple… “GO”

 Twitter Bird Icon by  Matt Hamm

How Should I Dress for a Short-Term Mission Trip?

by Beverly Cooper |

Clothing

green hangersMany things are to be considered when preparing for a missions trip and dress is a major one. You do not want to be distracted from the mission because you came poorly prepared or brought something that would have been better left at home. Here are a few practical tips to keep in mind when planning and packing for your mission trip.

Weather and climate: Of course you want to know if the climate of the country you are visiting is hot, humid, rainy, cold, or temperate. Research what the climate tendencies are for the season you will be there. Also, if possible, check what the weather is expected to be for the specific time of your visit. The Internet is a great resource for this information. I always bring a thin rain coat wherever I go and extra layers for any surprises.

Culture: Be sensitive to the cultural ideals of dress for men and women. Remember, you are there representing Christ and working for His glory.

Men: many cultures consider tank tops on men to be a sign of gang activity. Also, many find undershirts to be the same as underwear that is not to be seen. Once in Romania, as part of a demonstration, one of our youth took the shirt off his back as part of a demonstration and exposed his undershirt. The Romanian pastor freaked out and said that was considered offensive. So, watch out.

Shorts: For both men and women these are usually going to be a bad idea for most non-western countries. In many cultures, only young boys wear shorts. Men wearing shorts can considered inappropriate or even silly. In some cultures it means that you can’t afford to buy pants. Women wearing shorts can be unheard of in many countries. Doing so could make people think you were outside in your underwear.

Women: Whether we like to admit it or not, you have to be even more careful then the men. Standards of dress in other cultures can be very different than what we are use to in the West. Not keeping this in mind could bring you much unwanted and sometimes dangerous attention. In many sub-saharan African countries it is best to wear skirts. When I lived with villagers in Kenya some years ago, a woman wearing pants was a sign of prostitution. In many countries such as India, it is considered risqué to show your knees or shoulders, so tank tops are out of the question. In some countries, Capri pants will do. In Egypt, it is considered appropriate to wear long flowing shirts that cover the arms and upper legs. In other Muslim countries it might be appropriate to wear head scarves.

blue hangersOld clothes vs. new clothes: If you will be working in areas of great poverty or doing any sort of service type work, then of course old clothes are appropriate. Here is an idea; I have been known to visit my local Salvation Army Thrift Store to purchase slightly used clothes to wear on the trip and to leave with the local pastors to launder and give to their needy. Think about it. You are helping the Salvation Army with their work as well as contributing to the efforts in the community where you are working. More than once I have returned from a trip with only the clothes on my back and a suitcase full of souvenirs to give to friends and family back home.

Jewelry: This is probably best left at home.Number one, it can be damaged or lost during travel. Number two, it may invite foul play. And three, it might really make you stand out in a negative way if you are in a country that doesn’t have access to such riches. Leaving jewelry at home is another way to be sensitive to your new culture. Even if you are married, it might be best to leave any expensive wedding rings at home and wear a simple band instead.

Symbols: In some countries hostile to Christians, you might not want to wear any crosses or other religious symbols. On the trips I have gone on in the past, they have asked us to refrain from any logos or symbols at all, including those that can be considered patriotic, like a flag, status symbols, like a Nike swoosh, and “funny” shirts where the humor just might not translate as it was intended. It really all depends on where you are going, but to be safe, it‘s best to just leave it at home.

A good rule of thumb when packing for a mission trip is not to bring anything you can’t stand to lose, or that will make you stand out in a negative way. Be smart and do your homework to be prepared for the weather, the work, and the culture. And most of all, listen to your leaders and others who have gone before you. They usually have the best advice of all.

Hangers by  geishaboy500

Touching Video:People in Ethiopa Seeing Jesus Film 1st Time

by Melissa Chang |

Africa, Ethiopia, Stories from the Field

This is amazingly touching video of the Gamo people of Ethiopa seeing the Jesus Film in their language for the first time ever. The people are so emotional during the showing that they are wailing and crying when Jesus is crucified. The video tells the story from the perspective of a couple who felt God calling them to adopt an entire language for the translation of the film. It shows them being welcomed by the people of Ethiopia and being there to help start the first reel as the Jesus Film premieres in the new language.

This Jesus Film translation was made possible by a partnership between Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Jesus Film Project, as well as the generous donations of those in the video.

If you want to view the Jesus Film online in any of over 800 languages, you can here.

Missions Twitter: Week Ending May 22, 2009

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Twitter

twitter logo

Here at MissionsLauch, we have decided to post what’s going on out there in the world of Twitter surrounding missions. You can find our new Missions Twitter Log each Friday. Also, if you do use Twitter, please follow us at @MissionsLaunch. Happy Friday!

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SeanaSScott: coming up with a strategy to reach an unreached people group with the gospel. there are 200 mil. people w/o scripture in their language!

debtorpaul: 1/3 of all unreached people groups reside in India http://ff.im/-38KCg

HARVESTCOG: http://twitpic.com/5nbdm – We’re praying for the “Unreached” people group in Ethiopia.

MissionsLaunch: OK, if there are only 100,000 missionaries in the world out of 2B christians, that is only 1 missionary for every 20 THOUSAND christians!

PeterPollock: I think God is calling me to become a missionary: http://bit.ly/hmtsR

earlylight333: @MissionsLaunch Yep…..I’m gonna be right there on the field with you 1 day…so I won’t miss anything!!!! Wait till God gives me the go!

knowjesus: The 3.5 billion unreached people on earth would form a single file line that would stretch around the equator 25 times!

acts17_31: The Great Commission is one of the scariest verses in all the Bible!

franklozano: I remember praying to God that I wanted to see the world, looks like I get to go to Nigeria on a medical mission trip! WOW. Should be fun!

nkotbfan14: bored to death…only four more days and then MISSION TRIP!!!! I can’t wait!!!

wildlilly: Apparently I’ve raised 100% and more for my mission trip!!! All I can say is “God is Good! God is Very Very GOOD!”

QUIZ: Which Famous Missionary Are You Most Like?

by Melissa Chang |

Famous Missionaries, missions quiz
question mark Introducing our newest quiz!

Which Famous Missionary Are You Most Like? 

Will it be someone who hacked through jungles, saved babies, braved dangers, smuggled Bibles, or reached the unreachable?

Take the quiz to find out now which famous missionary YOU most resemble!

Click Here and get started.

Photo by  OCLS

Mission Trip Impossible: Dumb Excuse #7 – Imperfection

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?, Spiritual Issues

Face with Color“I can’t take my pregnant teenager with me.”

Translation: “If my family isn’t perfect, if I am not perfect, then I’m afraid that other people will ultimately see me as a failure.

As Christians, we often feel that we have to “clean up” before we are able to do something extraordinary for God.

Truth is, it’s really less about who we are and more about who He is and what He is able to do through one ordinary, imperfect person that is willing to go.

Besides, if we’re constantly worried about what other people are going to think of us, then we’re probably more focused on pleasing man rather than God.

The unfortunate thing about people pleasers is that they ultimately miss out on tons of really cool stuff that the Lord has in store for them because they’re too busy trying to make other people happy. Instead they wind up making everyone around them miserable because they’re so miserable. We’ll call this the “fear of man” factor, because the Bible says the fear of man proves to be a snare. (Prov 29:25)

Who cares whether I’m perfect or not? If I’ve been called to go into the mission field, isn’t it more important that I’m willing to heed the call – warts and all?

Start being a God pleaser today by relinquishing your need for everyone and everything around you to be perfect- including yourself. Then excuse #7 will no longer matter anymore.

View Original Article: TOP 10 DUMBEST REASONS NOT TO GO ON A MISSIONS TRIP

Photo by Chaparral [Kendra]

Missions Twitter: Week Ending May 15, 2009

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Quotes, Missions Twitter

 twitter logo

Here at MissionsLauch, we have decided to post what’s going on out there in the world of Twitter surrounding missions. You can find our new Missions Twitter Log each Friday. Also, if you do use Twitter, please follow us at @MissionsLaunch. Happy Friday!

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paulbarksdale: Spurgeon said there are two types of Christians: Missionaries and fakes

vesselproject: “Never pity missionaries; revere them. They are where the real action is.”— Robert C. Shannon

shawnthornton: “We have shrunk Jesus 2 the size where He can save our soul but now don’t believe He can change the world.”-Unknown –

Rainwink007: On tombstone of missionaries buried in S America “When you came there was no light, when you left there was no darkness.”

drlorim: Thankful for all the missionaries and a little jealous.

billhutchison: If a nerd like me can be a missionary then there really are no excuses for others 2 not fulfill God’s plan for their life.

e3Partners: “If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small.” – Pat Morley

chriside: thinking about a missionary friend in Japan. Some people really amaze and inspire me.

themandyshow: My biggest dream is to travel to africa, feed the hungry, and tell them there is hope. I want to be a missionary so bad.

tiffany_d_smith: “God has taught us that He calls us not so much to a place as to Himself!” IMB missionary

margiemiguel: Pray that God will lead missionaries through the barriers to find hearts prepared to receive His Word.

BidenPC: @div_conspiracy I do too. How can we carry out the Great Commission if we never leave and don’t interact with those outside the “Garden”?

HannahAnderson: “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed” – Hudson Taylor

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Papua New Guinea: Etiquette, Customs, Facts and Vital Information

by Lizbeth Pereira |

Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Travel, Travel Health & Safety

Papua New Guinea Festival?
Photo by jurvetson

FACTS & STATS

Location: Oceania, the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, between the Coral Sea and the South Pacific Ocean, east of Indonesia and north of Australia.

papua new guinea mapCapital: Port Moresby.

Climate: Tropical, with rainy seasons from December to March and May to October.

Population: 5,931,769 according to July 2008 estimates. Of the total population about 37% live below the poverty line as per 2002 estimates. Close to 80% are unemployed in the urban areas as of 2004. The economy of Papua New Guinea suffers from a lack of proper exploitation of its rich natural resources. The population, especially in the rural areas, is dependent on agriculture which contributes to about 34% of the economy. Export of precious metals such as gold and copper as well as oil, seafood, palm oil, cocoa, and coffee is another form of revenue for the government. The country also benefits from substantial financial aid from Australia.

port moresbyEthnic Make-up: Melanesian, Papuan, Negrito, Micronesian, Polynesian.

Religions: Christian 96% (including Roman Catholic 27%, Evangelical Lutheran 19.5%, United Church 11.5%, Seventh-Day Adventist 10%, Pentecostal 8.6%, Evangelical Alliance 5.2%, Anglican 3.2%, Baptist 2.5%), Bahai 0.3%, Indigenous faiths 3.5%. The Constitution guarantees freedom to practice all faiths. Missionaries of various denominations freely preach their faiths and convert people.

boys swimming papuaLanguage: Melanesian Pidgin, Motu, and about 820 indigenous languages. English is spoken by about 2%.

Government: Constitutional parliamentary democracy.

Travel Issues: Travelers to Papua New Guinea need to own a passport that is valid for up to a year since date of arrival, a valid visa, documents to prove return or onward travel, and proof of sufficient funds to support their period of stay. It is possible to obtain business and tourist visas for up to 60 days on arrival at Jackson International Airport but this might prove more expensive.

papua volcanoPNG Customs have strict regulations against bringing certain food and animal products into the country. Dairy products, wooden objects, exotic animal products, fruits and vegetables are some of the banned items on a list that includes fire arms, pornography and drugs.

Health & Safety: Travelers to PNG require a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate and need to watch out for outbreaks of cholera and malaria. It would be wise to drink only bottled or boiled water and use it for personal ablutions as well. Eat well cooked food and fruits you have peeled yourself.

Political turmoils are often a cause for concern and it would be a good idea to get a picture of the current situation before setting out. Ethnic violence happens even in the urban cities and can break out unexpectedly. Adhere to curfew times and stay away from trouble spots. Security issues such as pick pocketing, armed robbery, car jacking, and similar petty crimes may happen in peace times too and should be guarded against by dressing casually and not drawing attention to your self.

papua boy in boat?
Photo by JennyHuang

SOCIETY & CULTURE

papua airThe People
PNG has a culture that is a melange of about 800 different varieties all of which still retain vestiges of its ancient elements that go back about 10,000 years. One striking feature that seems relevant to all is their lifestyle which is close to nature and a part of it rather than apart from it. This means there is no exploitation but a sharing that returns to nature a part of what came from it. Boiled food, stone-baked bread, and palm leaf abodes are some instances of this life style.

boys in papua new guineaThe Religion
About 96% of the population of PNG are Christian and include almost all denominations from Roman Catholics to Anglicans. A small percentage practices their indigenous faiths while new faiths such as the Bahai have made their presence felt in the urban areas.

Role of Family
The extended family is the norm, and they live either under the same roof or in clusters in communities. Children consider aunts and uncles as parents, and adults do not differentiate between their offspring and other youngsters in the family. Infertile couples are often given a child by relatives to rear as their own.

papua new guinea marketMost societies are patriarchal with the exception of a few who are traditionally matriarchal. Men take care of heavy work such as construction of houses and boats, clearing land and farming. It is also their responsibility to uphold family and tribal honour for which they often take up arms. Women take care of the home front, children, and domestic animals. In cities, small numbers of women work outside the homes but in restricted fields.

Ancestors
Ancestors are revered, and they follow all rituals such as the Day of the Dead and other relevant anniversaries. Older relatives are taken care of within the extended family structure and it is normally the duty of the female relatives to offer physical care while the males ensure financial help.

papua new guinea tree houseRecreational Activities
With the missionaries came rugby, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Game hunting is a traditional sport and this is done with sling shots and bows and arrows. Playing cards and stori, which means “sit and talk,” are other strong favourites. Music and dance are enjoyed by all ages and form an integral part of all get togethers.

Anything else important for this culture
A long history of western acculturation has left its mark in the urban population. But such concepts as eating out, buying ready-made clothes, and other forms of consumerism are generally steered clear of by the local people mainly due to prohibitive prices. Traditionally, violence plays a ritualistic part in PNG society when it comes to protecting tribal honour but in recent history this has paved the way for vicious ethnic conflicts powered by deadly modern weapons that cause mass destruction. It is never a good idea to bring this up in conversation.

 Woman at Port Moresby market
Photo by ximenatapia

ETIQUETTE & CUSTOMS

Meetings & Greetings
Shaking hands is an acceptable mode of greeting along with a pleasant Yu orait? or Yu stop i orait? (How are you?) to which the typical response would be Mi orait. Na yu? which, of course, means, “I’m fine, and you?” depending on the time of day, your greeting could be Moning (Good Morning), Apinun (Good Afternoon) or Gutnait (Good Night).

png riverCourtesy
When addressing seniors or important people you should use their full title and full name. It is considered correct to address senior citizens as papa and mamma. Once relationships have been established, it is alright to drop formalities and use first names.

Gift Giving
There is no formality attached to gift giving, but it is normal for visitors to drop in with some form of eatables. If you have received some gift, it is considered proper for you to return the favour when you visit.

Dress Code
In the urban scenario it is usual to don suits for business meetings and other formal affairs. Women are expected to dress formally and keep shoulders and knees covered. This is essential if you are to be taken seriously as women are generally considered less competent by the average PNG male.

PNG boat celebrationDining Etiquette
Dining consists mainly of two large meals—Kaikai bilong moning (breakfast) and kaikai bilong apinum (evening meal). In rural areas you may be seated on the floor, be served on large leaves, and eat with your hands. In the city areas you will have dining furniture and cutlery. Food is served by an important member such as the elder, a parent or even the guest. It is normal for guest to eat some food and take the rest with them for others. Second helpings signify that you’re not satisfied and so this should be avoided. If dining at a restaurant do not leave a tip as it is considered insulting. A polite thank you is all that’s expected.

Visiting a home
It is usual for visitors to drop in unannounced and be welcomed warmly. They eat whatever the family is having or just share a smoke and chew tobacco. They might even stay for days and be part of the family for that period of time. However, in the urban areas this style of visiting is rare and guests find it convenient to confirm their time of visits. This may not apply to relatives. It is a good idea to bring a token gift in the form of candy or toys if there are children in the home you’re visiting.

Communication Style
English is spoken by a minority in the cities and so, it would be of immense benefit to you to learn a few basic terms. There are about 800 ethnic languages, and so, this should apply to the area you intend to visit. Locals do not use their local language in the presence of others who may not understand as this is considered rude.

PNG Tribesman
Photo by 710928003

Dos and Don’ts

Carry drinking water with you wherever you go. Ensure you have adequate supplies of malaria and cholera medication. Always take advice from trustworthy sources such as hotel travel desks regarding best places and times to visit. Certain areas are best avoided. Do not take advice from quack tour operators, taxi drivers, and strangers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Avoid falling for scams. Foreign tourists have been targeted and robbed of valuables and documents by smart operators.

Volcano, swimming photos by tarotastic
Two painted boys, yali tribesman by 710928003
Air bldg by  Global Integrity
Boat festival by jurvetson
Port Moresby photos by ximenatapia

Passion for the Lost – Lottie Moon

by Stephanie Colman |

China, Famous Missionaries

“I would I had a thousand lives that I might give them to …    China!”

chinese girls

Do you have a passion for reaching the lost? Do you strive to take that extra step to reach your goals? Lottie Moon was just such a person who became a very influential figure in missionary history.Lottie Moon was born in 1840 and died in 1912. She was well educated receiving one of the first Master’s degrees awarded to a woman in the South. Edmonia Moon, Lottie’s sister, became a missionary to Tengchow, China in 1872 and the following year Lottie followed in her footsteps as a missionary to China also. During her life she spent almost 40 years on the mission field in China. She began her time in China as a teacher but soon this was not enough for Lottie. She had a heart for evangelism and for reaching the lost especially in China but also on other international mission fields. She wrote many letters urging Southern Baptists to give to missions or to become missionaries themselves.

“How many million more souls are to pass into eternity without having heard the name of Jesus?”

chinese dragonThis was the question Lottie Moon posed often in her writing especially when pressing for more giving of both money and self to the missionary cause in China. Lottie was so instrumental in organizing and urging for the collection of funds for international missions that in 1918 the Woman’s Missionary Union named their Christmas offering designated for international missions the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

We now know that Lottie’s question of “how many million more souls” was indeed a good question. Current estimates place the number of people in China alone that have no access to the gospel at almost 200 million. If Lottie Moon was still alive I am sure she would be asking you – wont you go, can’t you give to help save just one more soul?

3 girls Praziquantel
dragon by  Heather Bickle

Missions Twitter: Week Ending May 8, 2009

by Melissa Chang |

Missions in the News, Missions Twitter

Twitter Logo

Here at MissionsLauch, we have decided to post what’s going on out there in the world of Twitter surrounding missions.  You can find our new Missions Twitter Log each Friday.  Also, if you do use Twitter, please follow us at @MissionsLaunch.  Happy Friday!

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charlottenelson: It’s the Bulgaria Missions Trip in less in than 6 days!!! Yeeeey!! Exciting times :)

1redsoxfan: Starting my training regimen 4 mission trip 2 Honduras, spending a week in the mountains visiting ministering & serving. must get in shape!

prmissions: Contemplating going on a mission trip to Africa in August. Please pray!!!!

indiesunday: my arm hurts, just got 4 shots for my kenya mission trip, oh the joy

seeking1388: Finishing my application for my mission trip to Guatemala… and praying that God provides ALL the funding for this trip. :)

Summermoon98: Talking to friend who is on her first mission trip. It’s so strange. Here I am, doing math, and there she is, doing the most amazing stuff.

kandiechang: prays the typhoon be gone in time for our mission trip

meaganmarieh: I wanna go to a mexico mission trip, i cant get it through my dads head havent talked to him about it. Im soo upset

faithengineer: Just applied for my passport – hopefully things will work out for me to go on a mission trip in July

Blessings2u: Fillng out app 2 go on a short term mission trip to Afr with I.C. Many prayer concerns, but God will provide if it is His desire & not mine!

glodowg: @kteacher_red FYI Karla and I are going to do the mission trip. Trusting god to work out the details on $$

lonna: I need to go on a mission trip. I can feel it. It is my blood. :^) Smile

hrhtevans: home after mission trip presentation…would really love to be back in Guatemala

lnobles: @pwilson You lost 12 lbs. in India? Maybe @crosspoint_tv can market future trips to India as both a mission trip and weight-loss program.

erica_hill: @gregpc My dad’s did! He was on a trip to Tanzania – DOING MISSION WORK – and someone stole his camera out of his bag. Had tons of pics 2

RockinMomma: has scheduled my first round of immunizations for my mission trip to Africa.

Cateyes112: I am so excited about my mission trip to Guatemela!

BethanyDorner: I need to raise $334 in monthly support by May 15th so I can be part of a mission trip. Trying to overcome my unbelief and trust Him.

mattben: reflecting on recent blessings of God. Jamie’s tests were neg., all funds for Czech mission trip plane tickets provided. God is great provider

Asitnek: I wanna go on another mission trip, it’s been way too long!

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