Each year as we begin planning for and training our missionaries for a week of laboring for the Kingdom in Jamaica, I am struck with the question “Why?” Why do we put so much effort on the mission trip?
The simple answer is found in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” The New Life mandates we share the Gospel with the world around us, and beyond. The Gospel is not limited to who we see daily, though they should not be forgotten. Yes, our nation continues sliding into sin, but that does not mean the mission beyond our home is less urgent. To be frank, we go to Jamaica (and other places) because our King sends. But, that is not the ultimate reason we go. It is an acceptable answer, and true…but only half true. We endeavor to share the Gospel in Jamaica because “there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.” (Jer 20:9)
What we hope to accomplish
Our objectives are simple: share the Gospel, encourage international brethren, strengthen our faith, and ignite fires wherever we go. The core of what we accomplish is and always has been sharing the message of Jesus Christ and the salvation that can be found only in him. Through the mission trip we are blessed to work alongside Christians from other countries with far different backgrounds and unique life experiences. We are encouraged by their ferocious desire to save the lost. We go to help them, but in reality, they help us equally if not more. Because of these trips, countless students have decided to commit their lives wholly to sharing the gospel, and going on to further training. The impact of these hyper-focused efforts is seen literally across the globe. We must indeed have this same fire in our community. The thing about fires, is they need a spark. Something hot, sharp, and often painful that shocks your system down to the elemental level. Staying home and hoping for change isn’t that spark. For many through the decades, this trip has been the essential spark.
What we need from you
What has become abundantly clear over the years is that nothing happens without significant support. We have asked a lot from you over the years, but we have four simple requests.
Constant prayers. Above all, we need the effectual fervent prayers of faithful saints. Nothing can be accomplished that is counter to the will of God or the commitment of his laborers.
Personal encouragement. This trip is equally as exciting as it is stressful. Raising support, training, planning for an international trip (the first for a few), and the impending reality of leading a Bible study is a lot. Please, when you see one of our team members, encourage them. Tell them your memories, give them advice, and offer support. It’s what family does.
Airport transportation, departure, and arrival. Our flight departs the Austin airport on Friday (March 8) at 5:05 AM and returns on Sunday (March 17) at 1:05 AM. We’ll need transportation for 12 plus luggage for both. Please speak with Andrew O’Banon if you are interested in helping with this portion of the trip.
Finally, financial support. This is the most urgent of our needs. The expected cost for our Mission Trip on March 8-16 is $28,256. This covers the cost of airfare, ground transportation, housing, meals, and supplies for 12 team members. Including the funds that have been budgeted in the church budget, as of Wednesday, Feb. 7, our team has raised $19,775, leaving us short by $8,481. Our team is comprised of veterans and newcomers, men and women, mature and young Christians. For some raising money is more difficult, due to a lack of connections the newness of the faith, or other uncontrollable factors. Any amount helps! Please consider us as you seek opportunities to support the work of the local church.