Transformative Travel: Mission Trips and Intentional Travel Draw Increasing Numbers
by Ellen Birkett Morris
Vacations promise adventure, exotic locales and the chance to learn about other cultures. Service vacations offer those perks, plus the chance to deepen your faith, expand your gratitude and broaden your horizons. And, as i t turns out, using vacation time for a short-term mission trip will make you part of a national trend.
In a September 2008 address to leaders of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission networks, Robert Priest, professor of mission and intercultural studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, estimated that more than two million U.S. Christians travel abroad each year on short-term mission trips.
Such trips are, he said, “an enormous phenomenon” and “central to the ministry practices of a high proportion” of Christians in the United States. Many Presbyterian women are participating in such volunteer vacations, and despite the differences in where and how they volunteer, their experiences are similar.
Share the volunteer experiences of Judy Martin and Carol Hylkema by reading the full text of this article in the May/June 2009 issue of Horizons.
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Ellen Birkett Morris, a freelance writer in Louisville, finds renewal in writing, traveling and spending time with family.
photo by Jacqueline Veissid/Getty Images.
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