8 Pediatric Medical Mission Trips Medical Missions
Nothing tugs at the heart like a child who is suffering. That’s why many short-term missionaries are drawn to pediatric medical missions trips. They want to help alleviate the world’s pain, and they want to start with the youngest and most vulnerable victims of disease and disability.   8 Sending Agencies for Pediatric Medical Mission Trips In some ways, pediatric medical missions are a unique calling. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a short-term missions trip that fits your needs. In the list below, we’ve identified eight places you can turn to get started. These aren’t the only organizations that offer pediatric medical missions trips. You can do some research on your own to determine what other groups and sending agencies have to offer. But these will help you take that first step toward figuring out God’s plans for you as you move toward taking a pediatric medical missions trip.   1. International Volunteer HQ.  This website is more like a connection point than a sending agency. International Volunteer HQ doesn’t sponsor trips on their own, but they do connect you with trips that are available, including medical trips. Those trips can be filtered by specialty or interest, allowing you to see what’s possible in terms of pediatric medical missions trips.    2. Cure International.  This organization focuses solely on kids. With a network of hospitals around the world, Cure International provides free health care for children in underserved or impoverished settings. Their primary ministry involves surgeries that address a variety of disabilities, but they are also committed to sharing the gospel whenever possible.   3. World Medical Missions.  As an affiliate of Samaritan’s Purse, World Medical Missions provides ministry opportunities for all kinds of medical professionals helping all ages. That includes medical mission trips with pediatric elements. In that role, you can help support and encourage the staff at local hospitals who are fighting exhaustion and discouragement along with disease and disability.   4. One More Child.  Another organization committed to helping children, One More Child makes a difference in the lives of kids all over the world. They offer several different opportunities for volunteers to partner with them, including pediatric mission trips that meet the needs of struggling kids.   5. Association of Baptists. For World Evangelism (ABWE). Like some other agencies, ABWE focuses on a wide spectrum of medical missions opportunities. Their commitment is to fulfill the Great Commission wherever they get the chance. But if you’re interested in pediatric mission trips, they can work with you to find a trip that fits your calling.   6. Hope for Haiti’s Children.  For decades, Haiti has struggled to provide a sustainable government and economy for its people. As a result of the internal turmoil, basic health care has been difficult to provide, even for its youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Hope for Haiti’s Children strives to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the midst of the chaos. By providing health care for children now, this group is hoping to build a stronger Haiti in the future.   7. Samaritan’s Feet.  For many children a new pair of shoes can go a long way. They can prevent disease and provide for educational opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. While Samaritan’s Feet is known primarily for distributing shoes in underserved regions of the world, the organization also sponsors mission trips that include pediatric elements. Medical missionaries can teach proper foot care, which prevents diseases and improves quality of life.   8. Children’s Lifeline International.  For more than three decades Children’s Lifeline International has been sending medical missions teams around the world to serve children. The group is making a difference in the world through medical care and doctor education. And, with several missions opportunities each year, you will likely find a pediatric medical mission trip that intersects with your passions.   One Child at a Time As a pediatric medical missionary, you can make a difference in the world one child at a time. And you search for the best way to fulfill the calling God has placed on your life, don’t; forget the power of prayer. Sharing your heart with God will open you to His wisdom and His direction.  Through prayer, He will point you in the right direction and reveal the perfect opportunity for your pediatric medical mission trip.   Find Your Medical Missions Calling Medical Missions serves to connect your professional skills and biblical calling to the largest database of healthcare mission organizations, professionals, and thought leadership. Join us at the Global Missions Health Conference to find your Medical Missions calling. Or, browse our full list of partner organizations to find the right mission for you.
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What Is A Mission Trip?
For a lot of believers, the call to mission doesn’t involve a lifetime commitment to moving overseas. It doesn’t mean packing up one’s family and possessions. And it doesn’t mean quitting a job or ministry at home. For them, it means mission trips. Many Christians fulfill their commitment to the Great Commission through short-term experiences. While it might not include extensive language or cultural training, if God has called you to short-term missions, you still need to know what to expect. You need an answer to the question, “What is a mission trip?”   Mission Trip Starters Even though short-term mission trips are different from career opportunities, it’s still important to do some homework ahead of time. That’s the best way to find answers to “What is a mission trip?” As you prepare, here are a couple of things to keep in mind: Bathe everything in prayer. No mission endeavor makes much of a difference in God’s kingdom without prayer. That’s because prayer is the channel for God’s power as He works in the world. So, spend time praying for yourself, so you’ll have the wisdom to know which direction to take.    At the same time, pray for the people you will be working with on the field so they will feel encouraged and empowered in their ministry. Finally, pray for those who need to hear the gospel. Whatever mission field God has for you, start the preparation process with prayer—and continue to pray every step of the way.   Find your fit. When you think about “What is a mission trip?” you need to understand that you’ve never had more options than you do today—even for a short-term trip. For example, you may be a medical professional interested in pursuing medical missions. If so, you can learn more about the possibilities by attending an event like the Global Health Missions Conference. This will give you a chance to connect with like-minded people, find out more about sending agencies, and build networks that will equip you down the road. But even if medical missions aren’t your sweet spot, you can still dig into opportunities like construction, sports ministry, disaster relief, marketplace missions, or education. And, of course, you can see what’s available for more traditional trips that focus on activities like evangelism and church planting.  You also can talk to friends and mentors, asking them how they see God at work in your life. Once you have done some research and finished some self-evaluation, you’ll be ready to take the next step in finding your answer to “What is a mission trip?”   What Will You Be Doing? One of the best ways to figure out what a mission trip is—or, at least, what it could be for you—is to understand what missionaries do. Aside from the distinctions we see in location, duration, and methodology, Christian missionaries share some common characteristics. As a result, mission trips also have some basic things in common. We’ve listed five distinguishing characteristics of a mission trip. This list isn’t exhaustive. God may show you other things to consider as you prepare for His work in your life. But these will provide some great filters to help you move forward and discover an answer to “What is a mission trip?”   1. A mission trip fulfills the Great Commission. Regardless of what else you get from this article, you need to understand that a mission trip is only a mission trip if it fulfills the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). Jesus gave His disciples a command to share the gospel around the world, and missionaries play a major role in making that happen. So, if you’re wondering, “What is a mission trip,” start with the gospel.    2. A mission trip requires you to depend on God. All Christians are called to lean into God for every experience in their lives. Mission trips challenge you to trust God in ways that can only happen outside your comfort zone. Both as you prepare and as you do the work on the field, you will need to hear from Him and follow His direction. You will certainly face unfamiliar circumstances. But it’s all part of His design for teaching you to depend on Him more fully.   3. A mission trip allows you to partner with other believers on the field. The best mission trips give you the chance to work side by side with career missionaries or local Christians in their context. You get to see what they do every day, and you get a better understanding of their joys and struggles. Again, that’s something that really can’t happen unless you’re there to see it with your own eyes.    4. A mission trip gives you a chance to experience a new culture. Admittedly, this may be one of the more exciting aspects of a short-term mission trip. Getting a chance to leave home—even for a few days—and see things you’ve never seen can be incredible. But most believers who seek an answer to “What is a mission trip?” walk away understanding that experiencing new cultures involves more than eating different foods and seeing famous landmarks. Being exposed to another part of God’s creation—and how faith is practiced away from home—can help you become less arrogant and egocentric. You make a connection with another realm of God’s kingdom, and that’s important.   5. A mission trip teaches you to see the world differently. When we talk about the “church,” we’re often speaking of the brick-and-mortar building where we meet with other believers regularly. But when God sees the church, He’s thinking of something much larger. He’s looking at the “big picture,” the universal church spread out across both geography and time. Knowing what a mission trip is and participating in such an adventure develops that “big picture” mentality in your life. What’s more, you recognize that while you hope that God has used you to make a difference in the lives of others, they have made a difference in your life at the same time.   Take The Chance Since you’re reading this blog, it’s reasonable to believe that you have an interest in finding out how God wants you to respond to the question, “What is a mission trip?” You believe He is working in your heart and life, and you want to follow Him in whatever direction He leads. That’s great! Again, keep praying about it and keep seeking His plan. Mission trips are not always easy. They require a lot of commitment and a lot of flexibility. But they can also transform your life in powerful ways. Take the chance as God leads you. Let Him teach you what a mission is all about by participating firsthand.
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What Is A Missionary?
This history of Christian missions can be traced back to the earliest days of the church. After establishing the gospel in Jerusalem, the first believers took the gospel to nearby regions—like Judea and Samaria—before traveling to the limits of the known world (Acts 1:8). Since those early days, we’ve become pretty familiar as Christians with what missionaries do. But there’s another question we need to consider: What is a missionary?    Admittedly, it’s easy for our minds to blend what a missionary does with what a missionary is. But there’s a lot of value in asking, What is a missionary? That’s because what a missionary does is really just a reflection of who a missionary is.    Understanding the differences among missionaries Before looking at the common qualities required for missionaries, it’s helpful to understand that there’s diversity in this important Christian ministry. In His wisdom, God has wired each of us differently with various gifts and abilities. The church is complex, and we need everyone filling their role—even if those roles are different from our role. But even within a particular role—like being a missionary—God has provided variety. For example, missionaries come in different ages and genders. Young and old, male and female all have a part to play. Likewise, some missionaries serve in short-term contexts, while others make missions a career. Some are called to specialized ministries like medical missions, and some serve in more traditional avenues like preaching and church planting. And, of course, some serve in one part of the world, while their peers might minister on the other side of the planet. So, God doesn’t expect everyone to be the same. That’s important to know. Now that we’ve seen that missions is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, we can do a better job of answering the question, What is a missionary?   So, What Is a Missionary? Differences aside, Scripture makes it clear that the answer to “What is a missionary?” includes several necessary traits. Because of the nature of the position, these qualities transcend all the differences mentioned above: gender, age, specialty, duration, or location.  If you believe God may be moving you toward mission work, either full-time or short-term, this checklist will help you know what a missionary is and where you fit into God’s plan for sharing His message around the world. 1. A missionary has a personal relationship with Jesus. Admittedly, this may seem obvious, but it can’t be ignored. Missionaries are called to be ambassadors for Christ, His representatives sharing His gospel around the world. But you can’t be an ambassador for Jesus without having a personal and vibrant relationship with Him. To be His missionary, you must be one of His followers.   2. A missionary has a calling from God. One important thing that sets missionaries apart from other believers is the unique calling Christ has put on their lives. For example, the apostle Paul, probably the greatest missionary who ever lived, was set apart by God to be His voice to the Gentiles even before coming to Christ (Acts 9:15-16). When the time came for his first missionary journey, the Holy Spirit specifically singled him out with Barnabas for the work (Acts 13:1-3). When you think about the question What is a missionary?, you must consider the calling of God on your life.   3. A missionary has a passion for the lost. Of course, this should be true of every Christ follower. Whether we are called to go overseas or to work in an office building, each believer should have a heart for people who don’t know Jesus. But missionaries are driven by a desire to share Jesus with others. Their passion moves them to leave their comfort zones and set up shop in an unfamiliar and, in some cases, dangerous context. They ache for those who have not embraced Jesus as Savior and will set almost anything aside to make Him known in the world.   4. A missionary has an enduring faith. As noted earlier, missionaries are wired to run into uncomfortable and illogical situations. That’s because they have placed their faith in Christ alone. They count on Him to give them the courage to complete the job He has called them to perform, and they trust Him to supply their needs in His way and in His timing (Philippians 4:19). What’s more, they know that this life is not all there is, so they believe He will carry them through every difficult situation until He eventually brings them home. For missionaries, the “well done” at the end of the road (Matthew 25:23) is worth anything they endure on earth.   5. A missionary has a unique capacity for flexibility. The old joke says that if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes because it will change. In a sense, that’s the same attitude missionaries need to adopt. In a foreign culture, things can change in a heartbeat. As a result, missionaries must be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. This becomes easier when you remember God is in control, but flexibility is a key life skill when it comes to being a missionary.   Grow Where You’re Planted In some sense, the answer to “What is a missionary?” can be answered by a close look in the mirror. When Jesus gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), He was giving it to every believer. We are all called to share the gospel, whether it’s around the world or across the street. That means we have a responsibility to grow where we are planted. As God works in your heart and helps clarify His calling on your life, start right where you are. Look for opportunities to develop the characteristics of a missionary in your own backyard, in your Jerusalem.   After all, sharing Jesus is what missions is all about. It’s what a missionary does, and it’s what a missionary is.
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7 Christian Mission Organizations That Offer Mission Trips
If you believe God has called you to the mission field, your options have never been better. Whether you’re interested in medical missions, church planting, evangelism, disaster relief, marketplace missions, or any other form of fulfilling the Great Commission, the number of Christian mission organizations that can get you on the field has grown exponentially in recent years. You just have to determine which organization works best for you.    7 Christian Missions Organizations to Consider As we noted, you have plenty of options, so practicing due diligence is essential. You’ll need to prayerfully research the possibilities and figure out your best fit. It might seem like a lot of work, but you don’t want to skip this step. It’s vital to understand what various Christian mission organizations have to offer and how that aligns with where you believe God is leading you. As you begin your journey to identify a mission organization that works for you, we’ve provided a list that could be a springboard for your search. The seven Christian mission ministries listed below are reliable and offer various opportunities for missionaries. These can be a great starting place for figuring out God’s plan for your life.   1. Medical Missions Medical Missions hosts the Global Health Missions Conference, which is held every year in Louisville, Kentucky. While not a traditional sending agency, Medical Missions does offer guidance and support for individuals called to the mission field. Through Medical Missions, you can connect and network with Christian mission organizations based on location, specialty, duration, and many other categories. As you might expect, the group’s focus is medical missions; however, many of the agencies associated with Medical Missions include opportunities for non-medical missionaries as well.   2. Send International As the name implies, Send International is a Christian missions organization committed to placing missionaries on the field. Send’s goal is to mobilize Christ missionaries to plant healthy church congregations around the world. This is accomplished by partnering with local churches to identify and commission those who are called. Send International also makes cultural and language training a priority, so servants on the field can live out the gospel in meaningful and relational ways.   3. Youth with a Mission (YWAM) Youth with a Mission is an established, non-denominational Christian missions organization that seeks to glorify God by sharing the gospel at home and across the globe. Since the 1960s, YWAM has sought to empower young leaders to serve Christ on the mission field. Today, in addition to providing domestic and international mission trips, YWAM offers an in-depth, six-month Discipleship Training School that includes classroom training and field experience for college students and young adults. The goal is to train disciples to become the most effective servants of Christ possible.    4. World Venture Since 1943, World Venture has been helping individuals share the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission. With decades of experience and partnerships rooted in the United States and worldwide, World Venture addresses various needs, including church planting and evangelism. The missions organization also shares the love of Jesus through sports ministries, education, and marketplace missions.   5. Team Toward the end of the 19th century, missionary Hudson Taylor issued a call for 1,000 new missionaries to serve in China. Around the same time, other Christian mission organizations were making urgent pleas for Europe and Asia. In response, the mission organization that would become Team was born. Since its inception more than a century ago, the movement has expanded around the world, supporting some 500 missionaries and networking with more than 2,000 churches. In addition, its job board allows users to explore a wide selection of opportunities in both medical and non-medical missions.   6. Pioneers  Pioneers have a passion for planting churches and serving as the hands and feet of Jesus among the world’s least-reached people groups. Founded in 1979, Pioneers currently sponsors more than 2,800 missionaries who serve in a variety of contexts. Pioneers work with missionaries to identify their strengths and passions, then the organization seeks to match those qualities with the best mission opportunities available.   7. Medical Missions Outreach  Using Luke 9:2 as its guiding principle, Medical Missions Outreach combines medical care to serve the physical body and church planting and evangelism to meet the deepest spiritual needs of individuals. Medical Missions Outreach also partners with local congregations. This allows people who accept Christ through medical missions to step directly into a solid discipleship program.    Season with Prayer The most important thing you can do as you research the best Christian mission organizations is to spend time in prayer. God speaks through His Word and through the wisdom of trusted mentors, but the time you spend with Him in prayer is priceless.  Throughout Scripture, prayer is a common thread that runs throughout the early Christians’ missions work. Nothing has changed in the two millennia since the early church was formed and began taking the gospel from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). God still speaks through prayer, and He will still show you the best Christian mission organization for you.