In addition to sponsoring camps within the United States, GCI Generations Ministries sponsors short-term mission trips to locations around the globe (see http://www.generationsministries.org/mission-trips.html). Here are reports on two recently completed trips—one to Mexico and one to Colombia.
Mission trip to Mexico
In June, Crossing Borders mission trips marked its tenth year of conducting mission trips when 19 missionaries from around the U.S. participated in the organization’s 19th mission trip to Mexico (they make two trips each year).
God blessed the group with good weather, safety, great camaraderie and many opportunities to join him as he writes his “epic story” in the lives of each individual he has created. No two years are the same on a Crossing Borders trip. The leaders communicate in advance with ministry partners in Mexico, asking, “What can we help you with this trip?” The goal is to be a blessing by supporting the on-the-ground ministries of these partners.
These partners request various kinds of assistance: teaching VBS classes, fixing broken items, helping with outreach events, preaching, providing food, etc. Almost all the requests on this trip were for repair and construction projects. As the trip planning team considered how to fulfill the requests, God was sending applicants with great construction skills.
Though the missionaries preached, played with children, fed the needy and conducted other outreach activities, their main focus was to build a large shade shelter for a church, hanging new ceiling fans and doing a major bathroom remodel in a children’s home, repairing a refrigerator, mowing grass, painting two houses and more. The group also conducted an all-day Fiesta at a children’s home with face-painting, games, balloon animals, Bible lesson, squirt guns (a big hit!), two meals and a piñata filled with candy.
The next Crossing Borders trip to Mexico is scheduled for December 11-14, 2015. For more information and an application form, go to www.cbmission.org or phone 903-746-4463.
Mission trip to Colombia
As reported last week, a group from the U.S. (pictured below with trip coordinator Janet Morrison at left) traveled in June to Barranquilla, Colombia to work alongside the GCI church there. The missionaries hosted a Vacation Bible School for children 5–12 years old. One requirement for the trip was that participants have had at least three years of Spanish in high school or grew up speaking the language.
Seventy children attended the VBS, with about 22 people serving as staff, including the 10 from the U.S. The theme for the VBS was the “I am” statements of Jesus: I am the Good shepherd, I am the Bread of Life, I am the Resurrection, I am the Light, I am the Way the Truth and the Life. Each day included a Bible story, crafts and games to match the theme. The children loved the VBS and at dismissal each day would excitedly tell their parents what they had done and show their craft.
On the Sunday following the VBS the children and their parents were invited to church. The Barranquilla, Colombia church usually has about 70 in attendance but this Sunday it had 170 (including 51 children). Hector Barrero, pastor of the Bogotá church and GCI’s mission developer for Latin America, gave the sermon. The children enjoyed an age-appropriate class and made a craft. Here are comments about the VBS:
- “It was a real inspiration that you came from the United States.”
- “I don’t want it to be over.”
- “All I hear at home are the songs and memory verses.”