Monday, April 21, 2014

JACOB'S FUND :: What's so special about a mission trip?

Mission trips. Churches, youth groups, and civic organizations host them as well as non-profits like The Red Thread. Teams work locally, nationally and internationally in soup kitchens, on farms, in hospitals and schools. They get dirty, clean things up, package food, build houses and provide any number of services. 

But why? 
Why go to all of the hassle? 
Why not just write a check? 
That's good enough.

While raising money for surgeries and medical care is critical to accomplish our mission—providing hope and healing to needy and orphaned children—we feel that relationship building is equally important. It is a component of our programming that is so intertwined with our work serving needy children with disabilities that we can not imagine our organization without it.

Two TRTP volunteers from McKenna Farms mission trip, Spring 2013
On mission trips, ties are strengthened between donors, Red Thread leaders, volunteers, and the families being directly affected by our work. Donors provide the funds for all things necessary to complete the task at hand. Volunteers supply the manpower to do the hands-on work. TRTP team leaders guide the volunteers during the work and facilitate opportunities to meet the children and families being helped. 

Mission trips foster personal connections between: volunteers and children with disabilities; volunteers with TRTP leaders; TRTP leaders with the families being served. These are things that can't be adequately experienced from afar. They require one-on-one contact. 

Through these personal experiences, we see what it's like to live in someone else's shoes for a moment. We see what it is like to have a disability. We then have the opportunity to do something beneficial, to become a direct blessing to a child. Through this process, we grow as human beings. 

And then we share. We share our stories when we come back home. We talk about the people we met and worked with and how they affected our lives. Through mission trips we realize that not only can we GIVE to these children, but we RECEIVE great blessings in return.

That, dear friends, is why we provide these opportunities for TRTP supporters. 

This week, we'll embark on another trip to McKenna Farms. For 3 days, we'll be there, helping out in whatever capacity they need, meeting some of the kids we support, and fellowshipping together. 

In honor of the upcoming journey to Georgia, we invite you to join us for a trip down memory lane through a series of posts about our spring trip from 2013. See the trip through the eyes of Jacob's Fund Director, Glenna, the author of the following posts and our fearless leader for each mission trip in the USA.

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