Basketballs bounce off concrete stained with red dirt. Shouts of encouragement ring through the humid air. Out of breath, youth gather for a break. They gulp life-giving water and hear life-giving words.
“Two are better than one,” the man reads, “for they have a good return for their work.” The whistle blows for the two-on-one drill. Laughing youth try their skills. Prisoners raise shouts of victory in a moment of freedom.
Last year I led a team from Capital Area Christian Church in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, to visit one of Pioneer Bible Translators’ missionary families in West Africa. We had the privilege of witnessing the good news shared on the basketball court as our teammates read and discussed Scriptures that Pioneer Bible Translators has published in local languages. As our team observed this couple’s sports outreach program in prisons and schools, we caught their vision for using sports to bring youth and their parents into contact with the life-changing Word of God.
The long-term impact of this team’s trip to Africa is already evident at Capital Area Christian Church. They have committed to raising money for a Youth Sports Center and to sending volunteers to help build it. After it opens, they desire to send teams to lead sports clinics. They also have begun sending financial support to the missionaries who lead this ministry.
The impact of short-term mission teams is also felt in significant ways by their missionary hosts. “The biggest benefit we receive is the increase in prayer support—earnest, insightful prayer—because they have been here and experienced a bit of our life. When such a connection is made we feel free to share more deeply our concerns, prayer requests, praises, struggles, and victories. Some things here are just difficult to truly understand unless you have been here. We are always glad to have short-term teams come because we are no longer just a name on a prayer list or a picture on a wall. We become real, we become connected, we become friends, we become partners!”
Pioneer Bible Translators recognizes that short-term mission trips develop long-term partnerships. One of the best ways to strengthen and deepen partnerships is to work together side-by-side on location. That is why we work with churches to organize, train, and send short-term volunteer teams to meet the many needs we have on our fields. These strategic partnerships are essential to fulfilling our vision of seeing lives transformed through God’s Word in every language.
Interested? Opportunities abound for volunteer teams to serve in places such as Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. We can assist your church in recruiting, equipping, and sending short-term teams who can have long-term Kingdom impact.
We have several urgent projects that require some skill that need to be completed in the next 10 months. Would you pray about joining one of our teams or sending someone else to a field to help our worldwide team? Teams are needed to do the following on our fields.
- Build new trusses and replace the tin roof on a guest house.
- Build an incinerator for one of our facilities. We have the plans.
- Resurface the floor in a warehouse – pouring a thin slab of concrete. No cement trucks to help.
- Weld a couple of towers, one lightening rod and one internet tower.
- Remodel a kitchen and bathroom in an office building.
- Remaking shelves in a homeschool library.
- Work with children and youth during branch meetings in April, August, or December 2014.
- Take on carpentry, electrical & automotive projects in early spring 2014.
For information about short-term volunteer opportunities and the services we can offer your church or group, contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 329-4831.