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You’re headed back home from an incredible mission trip and you want to maintain and keep up your partnership with your local host. But, how? Here's our advice...
How will you stay in touch? If you are going through a missions organization, chances are, they have policies in place for continued communication. Ask them about it and respect the process they have in place. At Praying Pelican, we ask to remain the primary pipeline for communication, to protect our local pastors and our teams alike.
Some tips if you do not have a missions organization to help you navigate communication:
This is a big one - when your local pastor presents you with a vision or a need for their local community, resist the temptation to jump in with both feet and shout “yes”. First, take time to consult with your leadership or pastoral counsel, analyze the reality of raising the funds needed and then, present your commitment to your local partner. The very last thing you want to do is to make false promises or not be able to follow through once you’ve given your word.
Be sure that while you are serving and giving and supporting your local partner, that you are asking the same of them in return. Have a prayer request for your church? Ask their church body to pray for it. Preparing to purchase water filters for the community? Ask your host church to raise the funds for 10 filters, alongside your church. Lean on each other for support - that goes both ways and continually builds and solidifies partnership.
So many times in missions, local pastors feel like they must make the mission team happy to keep them coming back each year. This is not healthy missions. Remember that this is a partnership, and the local partner is the leader for their community, church and vision. Everything you and your team do is under their leadership and guidance. Speak that truth out loud to them, as often as you feel necessary. We aren’t in the business of stifling the voice of local pastors - we are there to uplift and support.
And if ever you feel lost or like you're losing ground, have an open and honest conversation with your local host about how to better the partnership. Chances are, they'll have awesome insight to give.
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LATEST TRIP JOURNALS
Comunidad Cristiana El Sembrador
Baja California, Mexico | November 16, 2023
Traverse City Christian School
Belize | November 17, 2023
Concordia Lutheran Church
Costa Rica | November 23, 2023
New Beginnings Community Church
Tucson, AZ | November 24, 2023
First Baptist Church of North Pole
Costa Rica | November 29, 2023
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