Many overseas missionary organisations have various opportunities for people to volunteer with them in different capacities and for different lengths of time. You may not think you’re skilled for such a trip, but that’s probably not true. A lot of short-term missions are suitable for anyone. If you can play sport with children, paint a wall, lead singing, dig a hole, tell someone about Jesus, or just smile at a child, you’re sure to find a trip to suit you. Also, if you have any level of professional skills, you’ll be surprised how they can be used around the world.
Last year I spent six weeks volunteering for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Uganda. When I was looking for a charity to volunteer with, I initially dismissed Wycliffe, as I’m far from being a linguist. But then I found out that they need people with all sorts of professional skills to operate successfully. I work as a graphic designer, and I was able to use my skills to help promote their translation projects in Uganda. Mission organisations need people to fill all kinds of roles including project management, finance, IT, teaching children of missionaries, administration and many more.
Short-term trips often use general skills and you will usually be part of a team from the United Kingdom. This can be a great place to start, and you will be able to experience a new country and culture together as a team, working together. Trips which use more specific professional skills may take place with a smaller group. All of these trips can range from a few weeks to a couple of years and sometimes develop into long-term opportunities.
I encourage everyone to consider going on some form of overseas mission. It is a great way to find out how people live in other countries and to see how God is working in mighty ways across the globe. It’s easy for us to get discouraged by the spiritual state of our nation, but in many parts of the world, it’s a different story. You will go with the intention of blessing others, but come back realising they have been more of a blessing to you!
If you’re looking for a trip, a good place to start is www.globalconnections.org.uk