Mission agencies around the globe use short-term mission trips as one way to reach people with the gospel. But when the pandemic put a pause on international travel, organizations began to look into new avenues to keep the passion for spreading the gospel at the forefront.
The solution many of these organizations found was establishing virtual mission trips. The pandemic closed international borders, but virtual trips have created one pathway for believers to continue being a part of the Great Commission in new ways.
“‘As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’” -Acts 4:20
Just like in-person mission trips, virtual trips vary by organization. In general, though, a virtual trip is intended to connect participants who are unable to travel to the field with missionaries and national partners on the front lines of ministry.
At East-West, virtual mission trips are called Short-Term Mission Team Virtual Engagements. Through STMT Virtual Engagements, participants learn more about the culture, ministry strategies, and national needs for countries around the world. It is an opportunity for team members, national partners, team leaders, and missionaries that serve those fields to connect and grow together.
Through the use of technology, participants can learn how to share their stories and God’s story, learn from nationals about what is happening in their ministries, pray for those ministries, and keep their heart attuned with the things that are on the heart of God.
“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” -Ephesians 4:11-13
During STMT Virtual Engagements, teams come together for a short series of Zoom calls to pray and to grow in relationships with partners on the ground in a particular field. Daily emails are sent out over the course of the Virtual Engagement to give teams a glimpse into the culture of that field and to train and equip them to share the gospel with others.
While some agencies are putting a price on these virtual trips, East-West is offering this as a free resource to anyone who would like to join. East-West sees the importance behind using our time well in this pandemic to learn more about what God is doing around the world and to invite others along to help open their eyes to the task of the Great Commission we have all been given.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” -2 Timothy 2:2
If you are interested in hearing more about upcoming STMT Virtual Engagements with East-West, you can submit your info here.
Writers on the Short-Term Missions Teams staff help coordinate and carry out short-term mission trips at East-West. Their heart is to promote the Great Commission and equip others to take the gospel to the ends of the Earth.