An hour into a Louisiana morning the rooftop heats up under-knee, and Meredith Jolly props a roofing nail on point atop a shingle. It’s day three on a World Changers project and the college junior is hammering out the early hours on the roof of a worn-down house in Baton Rouge. She’s joined by other volunteers from First Baptist Church, as they bring a house back to life.
Meredith has worked on roofs with World Changers in six states, and every year she returns to the worksites with even more excitement about spending a week out of her summer renovating and repairing lives with sweat and the occasional bruised thumb.
“I’m not one to do much manual labor,” Meredith says. “This is one of the few chances each year to get out of my comfort zone and do something I’m not used to.”
If you’ve ever been on a short-term mission trip, then you know about the popsicle-sticky hands of a 6-year-old hearing the gospel in a Backyard Bible Club or Vacation Bible School. You remember the surprise on a man’s face when you offered him a bottle of water in Jesus’ name. Or maybe, like Meredith, you experienced how a little sweat and sincere love can transform a community like Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Whether you’re on a summer break from college or putting those work vacation days to good use, a short-term mission trip gives you the opportunity to use your gifts in ways you never dreamed possible.
Here are a few short-term mission trip options to get you pointed in that direction:
PowerPlant is a church-planting experience working alongside church planters throughout the United States and Canada. You’ll gain valuable experience in surveying, prayerwalking, team building, and evangelism along with great teaching from Southern Baptist leaders. Check out powerplant.studentz.com.
World Changers places church groups in communities where residents need lots of home-repair work but can’t afford materials or labor. From morning devotionals to dusk, volunteers work on roofs, interiors of homes, and even in government housing providing manual labor in the name of Christ. Learn more at World-Changers.net.
Missions On Short Term (M.O.S.T.) is an opportunity for adults to serve full-time in terms of service ranging from three weeks up to two years. Often M.O.S.T. volunteers serve closely with long-term missionaries. Go to AnswertheCall.net and click on the “adults” tab for more info.
Innovators gives college students who are sophomores and above a chance to work a fulltime job in a community while serving alongside a local missionary. Sojourners get valuable training and mentorship, and they see the needs and do the work of a missionary. Find out more at AnswertheCall.net.
“Short-term missions can transform the way you look at the world,” says John Ramirez, collegiate evangelism coordinator at the North American Mission Board. “When I was a missionary in Boston I had the pleasure of seeing people’s eyes light up as they discovered the importance of what they were doing.”
As Meredith enters into what she hopes will be a life of ministry to women and girls, she plans to help girls experience the same excitement she has for serving short-term.
“Short-term missions helps push us outside of ourselves and into actually doing what we talk about,” says Meredith.