With natural disasters literally rocking our world, youth and young adults are challenged more than ever to make choices that have impact outside their local communities. Getting involved in global missions can widen your capacity to learn, appreciate and connect with other cultures. In the words of the popular Christian band, Casting Crown, â€œwes can serve until the whole world hears!â€
Missionary work can be as challenging as it is rewarding. There are various factors to consider:
RESEARCH YOUR HOST ORGANIZATION
Does the organization have an established track record? Get as much feedback as possible. Does the organization share your beliefs & values?
COUNT THE COST
Chaplain Willacin Velanne Gholston, of the Methodist Health System (Dallas, TX), says she had to consider the spiritual and financial cost. â€œI had to sit down and calculate the cost of living,â€ said Gholston. â€œAnd spiritually, I had to consider the greater cost of missing the move of the Holy Spirit who was compelling me [to] this work…â€
EXAMINE YOUR MOTIVES
What do you want to give? What do you want to get? As 23-year old, Joyce Mudymba, Fund Accountant in Malden, MA discovered after returning from a mission\’s trip in Belgium, it\’s important to just â€œBe ready to serve and to love.â€
WHERE SHOULD YOU GO?
What part of the world is God calling you to? Certain regions are known for unique issues. Ask God to direct you before selecting a final destination. Willacin Velanne â€œPreciousâ€ Gholston, Chaplain with Methodist Health System of Dallas, TX, served a year at the M. Joan Cousin Women & Youth Empowerment Center, and AIDS center in Botswana (Southern Africa), â€œI felt the call of the Holy Spirit drawing me to do [it],â€ she stated. â€œThroughout [life] I have had a passion to be with persons from other cultures…â€
Intercultural engagement and cross-cultural experiences [excite] me.
Gholston says that the experience taught her the real meaning of â€œcommunity.â€ â€œI learned that community is by no means determined by geographical boundaries alone. Anthropologically speaking, to live in com- munity is to live as a member of the human race. Theologically speaking, to live in com- munity is to live in fellowship with God and those who God created in His image.â€
In the final analysis, Gholston described her mission work experience as â€œa life-changing encounter.â€