Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

Urbana: Calling missionaries since 1946

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Training, Planning to Go

worship the Lord

Photo by dtcchc

This week in Urbana, Illinois, over 20,000 potential future missionaries are gathering together to consider their calling, worship, pray and study missions.  they will listen to speakers, purchase books, and finally end their week with an opportunity to pledge their lives to missions.

Urbana was started in 1946 after WWII when the country began to gain a burden for the world they learned of through the veterans. Since that time, over 250,000 students have attended over the years.

Besides focusing solely on missions for a full week with international speakers and missions experts, the students also have an amazing opportunity to talk and even interview with over 300 missions organizations to find which ones are out there and might be best for them.

Urbana is an amazing event and is responsible for helping many many missionaries to the field. Even if you missed it this year, it is worth checking out the next time it comes around. The students praying about their futures could also use your prayers, so please remember them.

Even if you couldn’t attend, they have some excellent videos of their main speakers that you can find on the Urbana09 website. Please visit to see what is happening this year and what the topics are.

If you want to pursue or learn more about missions but can’t attend Urbana, there is an amazing class that is held all around the US call Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. This class is excellent even for those who did get the chance to attend. So either way there is a chance for you to learn more about God’s heart for the nations and your place in His plan.

Mission Trip Impossible: Dumb Excuse #4-Pride

by Lori McCarthy |

Planning to Go, Should I Go?

Goldfish“I don’t have anyone to babysit my pet goldfish while I’m gone.”

Translation: “I don’t feel like asking anyone for help.”

Most of us have someone or something that we are responsible for taking care of, whether it is a job, a ministry, pets or children. The problem then lies not in the fact that we are caretakers of some sort, but rather when we use our role as manager, pet owner or leader as an excuse to get out of doing something that God is calling us to do.

If this is the case, then we need to remind ourselves that God always equips the called. He knows all of the things you are responsible for, and He will provide for those things as well. So let’s just admit it. If we really wanted to, we could probably easily find someone to watch over things for us while we are away, whether it be our pets or our ministry. The bottom line is that we may not WANT to. Sometimes, asking others to help out means giving up our own control over things, or admitting we need other people. Basically, not wanting to let go of control of the things we are in charge of to ask for help is really a form of pride. Come on now, don’t you think God could find someone else to take over things while you are away doing the new things He has called you to?

So, go on, trust that God will cover things in your absence, pick up the phone to ask for some help, and follow the path you know God is calling you to.

Your goldfish will be just fine.


Mission Trip Impossible: Dumb Excuse #2-Inadequacy

by Lori McCarthy |

Planning to Go, Should I Go?, Spiritual Issues

Dunce Cap“Like Moses, I’m afraid I might stutter.”

Translation: “I’m a bumbling idiot! I’m shy, I’m incompetent, I’m afraid to talk to people, and I’m afraid I might embarrass you.”

Just like Moses, we can try all we want to convince God that we aren’t the best candidate for the job, but let’s face it. God knows better. If God already knows everything about us, then it’s not like he’s surprised by any personal weaknesses or limitations we might have. In essence, what we’re really trying to do is talk God out of sending us, isn’t it? It’s as if we’re saying, “You’ve got it all wrong, God. I’m much too (fill in the blank). Are you sure you don’t want to send someone else more qualified for the job?”

Fortunately, that didn’t work back in Moses’ day, and it won’t work for you or me today either.

Can’t you hear Moses now?

“But God, I’m not an eloquent speaker! I’m much too slow of speech and tongue. Please send someone else to do it.”

And what was God’s response?

“Go, and take your brother, Aaron, with you, and he will do all of the speaking for you.”

It’s pretty clear. God already knows in advance whether we’re equipped to handle the job or not. Otherwise he wouldn’t ask us. Besides, whatever areas we might be lacking in, God is more than able to fill in the gaps for us. Hence we must conclude that excuse #2 is ultimately irrelevant.


Photo by  Elizabeth Welsh

Mission Trip Impossible: Dumb Excuse #1-Flaws

by Lori McCarthy |

Planning to Go, Should I Go?, Spiritual Issues

mirror reflectionExcuse #1: “I’m afraid I might miss out on my monthly auto-shipment of Proactive.”

Translation: “I have flaws. Therefore, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be considered perfect enough to become an ambassador for Christ.”

So what’s your excuse? Instead of acne, yours might be, “I’m too short,” “I’m too fat,” “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” or “I just don’t fit in.”

Most of us can relate to having feelings of inadequacy about certain real or perceived flaws and imperfections which we see in ourselves. So whether it’s the battle of the bulge or our battle is with blemishes, we’re all essentially fighting the same battle. If we allow ourselves to give in to an inferiority complex we begin to believe the lie that we aren’t meant to be Christ’s ambassadors.

However, Isaiah 53:2-3 tells us, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (NIV)

Yet in verse 5 it says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities: the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (NIV)

The truth is that even Jesus didn’t look the part of an ambassador, and certainly not a Savior! If God didn’t expect Jesus to look perfect, then he doesn’t expect us to appear perfect either. Hence we have just exposed excuse #1 as an untruth which means it no longer has any control over our lives.


Photo by notsogoodphotography

Mission Trip Impossible: Top 10 Dumbest Excuses Not to Go

by Lori McCarthy |

Planning to Go, Should I Go?

Top Ten SymbolI’ve been a Christian for almost 34 years now, so at one time or another I think I’ve made up every dumb excuse in the book why I couldn’t possibly go on a mission trip. Today I’m hoping to give up the struggle, to finally lay down all of my excuses and completely surrender to His will.

Perhaps like me you’ve been struggling to make up your own mind about whether to join the mission field. If you’re still sitting on the fence about going on a particular mission trip, you’ll definitely want to read over my list of “Top 10 of the Dumbest Excuses Ever Not To Go on a Mission Trip.” Your mission then, should you decide to accept it, is to see whether you recognize yourself somewhere in the mix and discover the real reason behind your unwillingness to “Go!” Ready?

  1. I might miss my monthly auto-shipment of Proactive.
  2. Like Moses, I’m afraid I might stutter.
  3. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to fit my 99 pairs of shoes in my suitcase.
  4. I don’t have anyone to babysit my pet goldfish while I’m gone.
  5. I can’t give up the 4 packs of cigarettes I smoke every day.
  6. I spent all of my money on the latest pyramid scheme.
  7. I can’t take my pregnant teenager with me.
  8. My BFF won’t have anyone to watch the Bachelorette with.
  9. I’m afraid that I might wake up with a witch’s crossbone in my nose.
  10. I’m a loser, and no one would want me to go anyways.

Tune in for more on each excuse starting later this week…

Photo by psd

A Class You Need to Take

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Training, Planning to Go, Strategy

If you are interested in missions at all, this class is for you.

The Importance of Appointing a Power of Attorney When Traveling Overseas

by Corey Brook |

Planning to Go, Travel Health & Safety

flowerAs Christians we know that our souls would be blessed if we were to ever die for Christ’s sake. This, I believe, includes missionary work. Unfortunately, if something were to happen to us while overseas our business affairs would have to be dealt with and failing to appoint a responsible person could lead to conflict and unnecessary and additional heartache among those we love. Death while abroad isn’t the only event which warrants the drafting of a will and appointing a power of attorney. An accident could render us unable to speak for our self. This would then leave us at the mercy of local medical staff that may be unaware of our best wishes. A living will and appointing a power of attorney is then as essential as buying the plane ticket when traveling overseas.

When appointing a power of attorney it is important to choose someone that can be reached, that you trust, and who knows your wishes concerning the type of medical treatment you do or do not want in certain circumstances. Some people want their lives spared at all costs. Some would never want to be hooked up to a vent. With no power of attorney, medical staff will normally assume the person wants all medical intervention.

Just picking a person is not enough. Due to the Privacy Act, U.S. consoler officers may be prohibited to give information concerning the location, health status, problem faced, or welfare of an American to anyone, including family or congressional representatives, without the American’s express consent. This could create problems. This is why written documentation providing permission for the consoler to give information as well as the power of attorney to receive information is very important in case of an emergency situation. To make things nice and legal and to be sure every ‘T’ is crossed, it is advised to seek help from an attorney. One can be found through the Department of State’s website

The U.S. government, through the Department of State, provides ample information for all kinds of emergency situations including death or injury. The Bureau of Consoler Affairs offers assistance to families when a death or injury of an American citizen occurs overseas. They also deal with other emergencies concerning American citizens such as arrests or victimization of crime.

Photo by  cattycamehome

Planning for a Long-Term Missions Trip: Taking Care of the Homefront

by Denise Oliveri |

Long-Term Missions, Missions Emotional Issues, Planning to Go

chessA lot of work and preparation goes into planning a long-term missionary trip. You will certainly need more than a few days of clothes and your visa as you prepare to leave for months, or even years. When you sign up to go on a long-term mission your agency or church will help you prepare. It is important that you follow these instructions so that you are not left out in an unknown country unprepared for what may come. The following are some other considerations to make as you place to leave for a long-term missionary trip.

Taking care of things at home:

One of the hardest things you will have to do is to decide how you will care for things at home. The best way to leave on a mission long-term is to have few things left to worry about at home. You will want a clean break so that you can focus on your purpose. If you own a home, you will need to decide whether you will sell your home, or rent or lease it while you are away. If you decide to rent, you will have to put someone you trust in charge of the property.

lookingBills are something else you will have to consider. If you have debt, it is a good idea to work to pay off that debt before you leave. However, you can also ask a trusted friend or family member to take care of your bills while you are away. The best way to handle this is to have a checking account that has enough money in it to cover your bills for several months.

If you are taking the whole family, then you will need to carefully research homeschooling for your children and prepare your children for this life as well. Kids can be adaptable, but you will need to help them along the way. If you are leaving your family behind, you need to make sure they are emotionally prepared for your long-term absence.

Preparing to leave:

There are other essential parts of packing up and leaving the country that you will need to consider. First of all, make sure that you have all of your necessary documents and paperwork for traveling. That means having your visa updated and ready to go. It is also a good idea to have copies of important documents such as your social security card, birth certificate, and other papers in a lock box. Make sure that someone in your family can take care of this in case it is needed.

goodbyeImmunizations are also very important as you embark on a long-term mission trip. Talk to your doctor about what you need to stay healthy, and make sure that everyone in your family gets the proper medical care before leaving. Most physicians know what types of immunizations you will need for different parts of the world. You will also want to think about medical care while you are away. Will you have access to a clinic or hospital? Will you be able to secure your prescriptions? Consider this and make plans accordingly.

Packing and planning for your trip:

It will be important that you take the right things when you leave. Learn all you can about where you are traveling and pack for the climate. You want to avoid taking unnecessary items, but you also want to make sure you have the items you need. If you are stationed in a remote area, going to the local department store to pick up a winter coat won’t be an option.

You will also want to become familiar with the language and customs. This is very important to the success of your mission. Take some time before you go and familiarize yourself with these factors. Learn the basics of the language and be prepared to learn even more when you arrive.

Chess photo by Mariano Kamp
Goodbye photo by  The Udall Legacy Bus…
Thinking photo by Pink Sherbet Photography

The Great Commission Music Video

by Melissa Chang |

Facts and Stats, Missions Emotional Issues, Planning to Go

This is a GREAT short video montage of quotes about missions set to music. Feel free to use this anywhere… enjoy!

Keeping Yourself Safe from Exotic Diseases with Vaccines

by admin |

Planning to Go, Travel Health & Safety

colored syringes
Photo by ad-vantage

When your mission across the border is finished, it’s nice to come home with stories and a new sense of faith and purpose, not to mention a certain pride for being a part of something so meaningful. It wouldn’t be so nice to come home with a horrible and potentially lethal but preventable disease. Our immune systems and routine vaccination programs are developed to deal with domestic diseases.  When traveling internationally, additional vaccinations are an essential weapon for exotic disease prevention.

Before we get into those additional vaccinations it is important to be up to date with our routine vaccinations.  Just because we have those horrible childhood memories of being mutilated by those mean nurses with their big needles doesn’t necessarily mean we are up to date with our shots.  The recommended vaccines for any given person depend on multiple factors such as age, health status, and medical history. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services has a questionnaire on their website to determine what routine vaccines a person should have. However, this questionnaire concerns routine vaccinations. International travel requires additional vaccinations. 

The CDC recommends a visit to a doctor for vaccinations 4 – 6 weeks before departure. This is because it takes time for our bodies to develop immunity given by the vaccinations.  Also, some vaccines must be given in a series over days or weeks. The Hepatitis B vaccine is given in a series of 3 shots, the second shot is given one month after the first, and the third is given 6 months after the second.

Yellow Fever Immunization RecordThe only required vaccination for international travel is yellow fever when traveling to certain countries in tropical South America and sub-Saharan Africa. To satisfy this requirement, the yellow fever vaccine must be taken by an authorized clinic. The CDC has a search tool for finding such a clinic on its website. 

The type of vaccine that you should get depends on your destination. (The CDC has a website tool for this too on the destinations page.) For example, when traveling to Columbia, travelers are recommended to have the Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, and Rabies vaccines which are in addition to their recommended routine vaccination schedule.  The only vaccine included in this Colombian travelers list that shows up in a routine vaccination schedule is the Hepatitis B vaccine for certain individuals. 

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about a number of horrible diseases at home like Yellow Fever or Typhoid.  Abroad, it’s a different story. It is imperative to educate yourself of the potential health threats of a given destination as well as measures available to prevent infection. Good old washing of the hands and bathing are the first line of defense to prevent infections; vaccinations are the next line of defense. Overall, educating yourself will help keep your healthy.

Photo by davebushe

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