MENU

Introducing ... Virtual Mission Trips!

It was March 2020, Martha Bateman’s first month on the job as the MTW Southwest Hub’s new youth mobilizer. Tasked with recruiting youth from PCA churches in her region and organizing short-term mission trips, she had a globe-trotting, life-transforming, Great Commissioning summer all planned out.

And then came the global pandemic.

As COVID-19 made international travel more difficult and dangerous, MTW canceled all short-term mission trips, including those that Martha had planned. With these plans thwarted, Martha and Southwest Hub Director Jerry Gibson were forced to adapt and innovate.

Their idea? Virtual mission trips.

Between March and July, Martha organized three week-long virtual mission trips. This series of nightly interactive Zoom calls allowed participants to meet and hear from MTW missionaries, learn more about missionary life, and dig into three particular mission fields: Cambodia, West Africa, and the Texas/Mexico border. People of all ages participated, from high schoolers with their youth groups to families with kids to elderly couples, all eager to engage with missionaries they might not otherwise have a chance to visit.

A Catalyst for Missions Conversations

I’ve always been interested in missions,” said Fatima Briones, a rising college freshman who attended the virtual mission trip to the Texas/Mexico border. “I’m just trying to learn, trying to listen. It’s so amazing how God works through people.”

While Fatima emphasized that in-person mission trips are irreplaceable, she found that her recent virtual mission trip experience still provided valuable insight into what missionaries’ day-to-day life looks like. Now, Fatima plans to explore summer internships with MTW and discern God’s calling on her life.

Meanwhile, others used the virtual mission trips as a learning tool and catalyst for conversations about missions and the kingdom of God.

“We were scheduled to go on a mission trip to Mexico this summer, but the pandemic put a wrench in everyone’s plan,” said Pastor Kevin Arevalo, who leads the youth and community groups at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Sugarland, Texas. “When
this opportunity came up I thought: ‘That’s going to be great!’” 

“One of the missionaries in Mexico was walking around with her iPhone and showing us the [impoverished] neighborhood where she ministers,” he said. “Later I thought: ‘I wonder if this is the first time that these students used technology to see not a fantasy
world on social media, but the brokenness of the world.’” 

More on the Horizon

Following the success of these virtual trips, Martha organized a virtual seminar series for college students attending RUF’s Summer Conference in July. Now she’s planning virtual trips to Honduras for this fall and winter.

While virtual trips aren’t a replacement for the boots-on-the ground experience, they have provided a unique opportunity for individuals and churches to explore missions and connect with global mission fields. Even after the pandemic is over, there’s a good chance they’re here to stay.

Learn more about virtual mission trips at mtw.org/events.

Andrew Shaughnessy Oct 6, 2020
Please login to continue
Having Trouble Logging In?
Reset your password
Don't have an account?
Create an Account
Sign Up for Free
Name
Email
Choose Password
Confirm Password

GET INVOLVED

Southeast Asia Vision Trip | January 21–30, 2023
Vision Trips
Concert of Prayer for Missions | Sept 17
International Student Ministry
Year-round Internships

Thank You for Helping Ukraine! (VIDEO)

The church has been so generous to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine. Thank you for all you've made possible.

SEE MORE

The Privilege of Reaching the Unreached (AUDIO/VIDEO)

MTW Coordinator Lloyd Kim makes a case for what may be the most important social justice issue today: unreached people groups.

SEE MORE

Dasha: A Life Transformed and Faith Renewed in Ukraine (VIDEO)

After two months sheltering in a school, Dasha yearned to hear silence, to see friends, to walk—not run—on the street, to read the Bible.

SEE MORE

Pray that God would use the crisis in Ukraine to draw many to himself, and that many new churches would ultimately be planted there.

Pray that God would call people to go and reach unreached people groups around the globe. 

Pray for the new believers God is drawing to Himself in Ukraine, and for those returning to faith in the wake of war.

Pray today for the unreached living in Central Asia, as well as for the local believers and missionaries hoping to reach them. Pray for relationships and conversations of faith. 

Pray for Ukrainian pastors and church members who remain in dangerous areas, and for those transporting supplies across enemy lines. 

Pray for our partner churches in Ukraine, and especially for the pastors, trying to care for church members who've stayed and those who've left. 

Please pray for Dominican church leaders to be trained and equipped to start new churches in the DR.

Pray for MTW's work in the Pacific Islands and the Island to Island partnership including church leaders from Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. 

Pray for pastors in Ukraine as they seek to pastor those who have stayed and those who have fled while enduring stress themselves. 

Pray for relationships between believers and non-believers to flourish throughout Japan, and that those relationships would lead to life-changing conversations about Christ. 

SUBSCRIBE TO MTW ONLINE

Stories from the field straight to your inbox.