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Help – I want to go on a mission trip, but I don’t know where to start

Martin Lopez and David Ebert © D.P. Clarke
Martin Lopez and David Ebert © D.P. Clarke
Martin Lopez and David Ebert © D.P. Clarke

Overland Missions core mission is spreading the gospel. While they work in several areas within a nation (e.g. clean water projects), Martin Lopez, U.S. Director of Operations for Overland Missions, had this to say about what they do. “Any other supporting division that we have is exactly that, it supports the preaching of the gospel. So our basic foundation is always going to be the good news of Jesus Christ.”

One of the nations they operate in is Zambia. According to Martin, “These are such remote areas that we can’t just go there, preach the gospel, and leave.” Instead, they set up long term human resources using a Sector Management strategy. Several couples work 4-5 years at making friends, sharing the gospel, and meeting needs. These couples must go through Overland’s Advanced Mission Training so they can be “dropped blindfolded into any area and survive.”

As couples work in a village, they gather information to see if they can partner with other service ministries in the area (e.g. medicine). If there is no government or outside support, then Overland will assist with their Sustain Division. At the end of five years, Overland turns the work over to the villagers. Martin calls this “spiritual parenting.”

Overland has been sharing the good news in this way for 20 years, and they invite others to join them through their Expeditions Division. Their motto is “Using short term evangelistic expeditions to take the gospel to unreached tribes and develop indigenous relationships for the long term work of Overland Missions.” The emphasis for these two-week trips is ministry. Participants won’t be involved in building construction, feeding programs, or providing medical assistance. Overland’s workers train each arriving team. Local personnel help with translations. The approximate cost is $2,800 plus air fare.

David Ebert has been going on missions since 2000, and has seen the response to Overland’s efforts to reach people whose hunger for spiritual things has led them into dark areas. But when these spiritually hungry individuals hear the gospel, healings and miracles take place. In his newsletter David writes, “When I approach a tribe of people, such as the Tonga, for the first time, I must set aside my opinions, my background, my western culture and habits and see them as Christ saw them from the cross. It is my relationship with God that motivates me to share Jesus Christ with remote tribes of Zambia.”

So raise those funds, pack those bags, and head into the mission field. You’ll be joining believers from all over the world. And who knows, you might see elephants in the wild or orangutans raiding a garden. But rest assured, the government hires game hunters to trap and transport dangerous animals when they venture too close to a village.

Click here for Information on how to apply for an Overland Missions short term expedition (departing May-August 2014).

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