By Bailey Kalvelage | C2C Director of Mobilization
For this post, I’ve called in two reinforcements. I’m honored to introduce you to our World Orphans Mobilization Team! Amie Martin, our Journey Trip Mobilization Director, is new to our team but is a seasoned traveler and traveled on a Journey Trip before coming on staff. Kate Borders, Senior Director of Mobilization, is our leader extraordinaire who has spent several years mobilizing teams and diagnosing how best to do trips according to the Standard of Excellence in Short-Term Missions and beyond. And then there’s me, Bailey Kalvelage, C2C Director of Mobilization. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside our Church Partnership Directors the last two years to send out teams to visit their church partners.
Here is a compilation of our thoughts on the top five reasons to travel with World Orphans!
- And oh yes, partnership!
But in all seriousness, we present the top five reasons to travel with World Orphans…
1. Join in Partnership
Whenever signing up for a short-term mission trip, the logical question is, “Why go?” It is wise to ask, “Why am I going or what is the purpose of my trip?” As North Americans especially, effectiveness and outcomes are often two of our top priorities.
Gladly, when traveling with World Orphans there is a built in “why” - one that is refreshingly bigger than any one person. All of our trips support World Orphans overall vision of partnership: “To empower the church to care for orphans – until they all have homes!” So, as an individual, when you decide to partner with World Orphans by going on a short-term trip, you are linking arms to fight the global orphan crisis with churches around the world that are already fighting the fight.
As Kate puts it, “Trips are most effective in the context of long-term relationship… There’s so much potential for trips to be harmful if not done in the proper context. That is the best thing about our trips - they are done in context of relationship with churches and are a part of the greater whole.” A built-in safety net, if you will.
So why travel with World Orphans? You enter into the trip knowing the reason and purpose of going is to encourage and strengthen work that is already impacting children and will continue to do so long after you have gone home. Your efforts are multiplied 1,000 times over because World Orphans short-term mission trips are not about you but are about Christ’s work within ongoing partnership!
2. Experience the Beauty of the Global Church
I’m just going to step aside and let Amie handle this one. She writes:
“I have been on several missions trips throughout the course of my life. One thing that stood out to me after going on a [World Orphans] Journey Trip is the beauty of the global church. Through a Journey Trip we were able to learn about, come alongside, encourage, and serve with the global church. The global church is already in the trenches doing the work of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the lives of orphans, families, and communities. It had a powerful impact on me! I was able to witness the bride of Christ, the church, in action as we observed what they come face to face with every day. In America, we don't see what the global church deals with from day to day. I was humbled and astonished as I saw church partners who were solid in their faith, humble in their service, and reaching out into their communities dealing with multiple facets of poverty on a daily basis…. Who wouldn't want to experience a trip like this and grow in a deeper knowledge and understanding of how the global church, the bride of Christ, is bringing glory to God throughout the earth?”
When traveling with World Orphans, we’ll admit it’s less about “doing” and more about relationships - engaging your heart with your international brothers and sisters to encourage and learn from each other. Our trips take very seriously the importance of educating team members and providing a chance for them to witness the global church and how we’ve been uniquely designed and commissioned to care for the orphaned and vulnerable together.
Join us and sign up for a trip! Experience first-hand the awesomeness and beauty of Christ’s church!
3. Be Challenged to Act
Up to now, you can see that both Church Partnership and Journey Trips are designed within World Orphans ongoing Church partnerships to educate and empower individuals and the church to care for orphans.
Often, the most immediate thought is that our teams go “there” to encourage those on the ground to do the work Christ has called them to – and you are absolutely correct! However, the second piece that we hasten you not overlook is that World Orphans desires each team member to also become educated on the global orphan crisis and advocate for the orphaned and vulnerable. Further reflecting on her trip with Journey, Amie writes…
“Pastor Carlos told our team, "You coming here to serve and encourage us is such a gift to us!" He then went on to say that he would encourage us to go back to our homes and fight the good fight of faith doing these same things in our communities. We may encounter different types of struggles (US church and the global church), but we all are called to die to ourselves daily and take up the cross and follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. That to me is one of the beauties of Church partnership and a very strong reason for going on a Journey Trip or committing to a Church partnership trip: we learn from and grow alongside each other, and bring glory to God.”
World Orphans educates and equips team members to act not just on a trip but also when they get home on behalf of the orphan. Just as James 1:22, 25 urges – “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says…. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
4. Engage in a Gospel-Centered Mission
One of the most compelling reasons that my husband and I decided to link arms with World Orphans five years ago, was that the Gospel is truly the core driving force behind each program, each partnership, and each trip. Even if over the next 100 years World Orphans could indeed care for each child, each community, and each church, it’s all for naught if Christ is not lifted high and the saving power of His love is not made known.
When you jump on board and travel with World Orphans, you might be taken aback at first that the principle concern of your team is not to build or paint. Rather, whether on a Church Partnership or a Journey Trip, your goal is to be an empty vessel used by God to draw others unto Himself.
Last summer, I had the pleasure of traveling with one of our C2C teams, Temple Baptist, on their yearly trip to see their Haitian church partner, Pastor Thony and Eglise de Dieu de la Bible. On the trip we discovered that, “… last year’s medical clinic helped pave the way to have 2,000 people from [Pastor Thony’s] community join in a month-long revival service. In addition, this team helped provide funds to help feed the people at the revival, which helped the local church impact their community” (Kevin Squires, Senior Church Partnership Director).
The medical clinic and financial gift provided by the team were just means to an end. God used the team’s efforts to help spread the Gospel to children and families in Pastor Thony’s community – “…to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever” (Eph. 3:21). What an impact!
5. Find Fellowship and Support
First, It was not intended that our faith journey be walked alone. On a World Orphans trip, you have the unique opportunity to join with others who also have a passion for the orphan and for Christ’s work. You find fellowship in this dark world.
Scripture urges us to, “… encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thess. 5:11). As a team prepares pre-trip and then travels away from their daily lives, they form a support team and are challenged individually and as a group to learn, grow, and act in response to God’s calling. This is sweet, sweet fellowship.
Second, World Orphans ensures that each team member is well supported before, during, and after a trip. Our Mobilization Team works hard to provide practical resources that will aid you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually throughout your trip experience.
Whether it’s making sure you are registered with the State Department’s Smart Traveller Enrollment Program, that you don’t forget your toothbrush, or that you are prepared to enter and re-enter your host and home countries, World Orphans Mobilization is there each step of the way to help carry the weight of the multi-faceted details that come with international travel. You are in good hands!
I’d say that’s a pretty hearty top five reasons to travel with World Orphans! If your soul is being stirred to check out more about our trips, a great place to start is by learning more about our Church Partnerships and our Journey program and trips. Or, if you’d rather simply talk through your options of ministry engagement, connect here!
Have you traveled with World Orphans and have another reason you’d encourage someone to travel with us? We’d love to hear from you below!