Tag: BelmontOnMission

Mission Trip Resources

In less than a week we will be sending out groups to serve all around the world for spring break! As we near the beginning of spring break, we wanted to remind you all of some of our resources to make sure that your mission trip experience is the best that it can be!  All Belmont on Mission resources can be found on our website.

Leaders, there are numerous resources under the “Team Leaders”  tab which would be hugely beneficial as a supplement to the resources you already have.  From spiritual formation to budgeting tools to risk management— anything you may need is available!

In addition to logistical resources, there are a number of videos, podcasts, blogs, and organizations linked at the bottom of the age.  These are all publishings that highlight the ideas of responsible engagement with poverty, missions, and justice.  We highly encourage you to look towards these resources for inspiration and guidance as you navigate leading a meaningful and purposeful mission trip.

Students, all of these same resources are available to you, should you feel like you need them; however, there is a tab on the website just for you!  Click “Students” to see all the resources and opportunities specially designed for our student body!

If you have any questions or concerns as we head into spring break, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Trip Spotlight: DOOR Network – Denver, CO

Earlier this semester, we posted a host partner organization spot light on the DOOR Network.  DOOR is an amazing ministry which connects students and teams with their broad network of nonprofits and churches in cities around the country to cultivate long lasting, impactful, and effective change.  DOOR has multiple programs located around the country in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and Miami.  Each program base has specific curriculum that brings the cultural context into account.  This spring break, we have two opportunities to serve with DOOR.  One group will travel to Atlanta, GA and one group will be traveling to Denver, CO.

Denver, CO is a very interesting city, home to a large population of refugees as well as a very welcoming community.  Political leaders have made it a goal for the city to support as many refugees as possible, and it is through the work of volunteers through organizations like DOOR. DOOR is “dedicated to providing life-changing experiences for our participants rooted in relationship and solidarity with local communities and neighborhoods.”  Belmont on Mission is so excited to be partnering with such a great organization.

While in Denver, students will spend time serving with a variety of local agencies and ministries and learning through evening speakers and activities. The experience is about more than preparing a meal at a soup kitchen or playing with children at a day camp. It is an opportunity to work alongside local community members, to learn from local leaders, and to listen to the stories of neighbors, clients, and churches.  Students will be working in a young, thriving neighborhood which, unfortunately, it is not immune to the issues of poverty, police brutality, and low performing schools.  In this, Belmont gets to partner with DOOR in community development and immersion in such a beautiful community.

If you have any questions about DOOR or any upcoming Belmont on Mission trips, please reach out!

Student Take: Hayden Stover

We asked Hayden, a student athlete,  to write a bit about his experiences so far as he has served with Belmont through an athletic mission trip!  We are excited for you to read Hayden’s take on serving with his sports team and athletic community.

“This past December, I was fortunate enough to go on a mission trip to San Diego. When I first got the email about this opportunity, I genuinely felt God pushing me to go on this trip, but I felt very uncomfortable thinking about it. I had no idea who would be going, and I had no idea what we would be doing.  Even though I had my doubts, I constantly felt God pushing me to take the opportunity. So, I ended up taking a leap into the unknowns of this trip, having no idea what God had in store.

The first day of the trip finally came.  We had a few meetings to get to know each other, but I still felt like I didn’t know our group at all. My honest reaction when we finally landed in San Diego was “what did I just get myself into?”  Our first night there, before we started work, I tried to make an effort to keep an open mind. I still had no idea what God was planning for this trip, but I was confident there was something there. Even though I did not feel prepared at all for what was about to happen, our group was thrown into the deep end from the start.

Our first two days were highlighted by serving breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House and helping out sorting toys for a Christmas toy drive. But, most of our work on this trip was dedicated to serving the homeless population of San Diego. For me, our interactions with the homeless were the best thing that I could have asked for on this trip. The stories these people shared were so inspiring because even when it seemed like on the outside these people weren’t given a fair shot at life or it seemed like there was no hope, they still had unshakable faith which was so powerful.

As I’ve reflected on this trip over the past couple of months, I’ve found it so hard to describe or put into words what it really means to me. This was my second mission trip. On both of the mission trips I’ve taken, I went in with the mindset that I was going to help people or make a difference. But, both times I’ve come back more changed by the people I interacted with.

Before I left for this trip, I didn’t realize how much I really needed it. Not only did this trip revitalize my faith, which I didn’t know I needed before, but it also helped me find my identity in Christ. I put so much of my worth into how I performed as an athlete before this trip, and when I faced many injuries my first year and a half at Belmont, it almost seemed like on the outside there was no hope. But, this trip helped me grow in my faith so much and find my identity in Christ. This was an experience I will never forget, and I am so thankful for this trip and the people that went”

Thank you so much for reading Hayden’s take on serving with Belmont! If you have any questions about upcoming athletic mission trips, or any questions in general, please reach out!

Student Take: Hillary Barry

Today, Hillary is sharing about her anticipation in serving with the College of Health Sciences over spring break. We are excited for you to hear Hillary’s  take on preparing to go on Mission with Belmont!

“Over spring break, a multidisciplinary team full of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students from Belmont will be traveling to Antigua, Guatemala. I am getting the privilege to participate in the hopes of seeing the hearts and joy of the Guatemalan people and honing my own nursing skills through patient centered care.

Throughout our trip, we will immerse ourselves into the culture of the Central American country where we will spend 4 “work days” treating the Guatemalan people using our nursing, pharmacology, occupational therapy, music therapy, and interpreting skills. We will be promoting health, safety, and wholesome lifestyles by assessing and educating a wide population of the Guatemalan people.

Upon reflecting on my anticipatory feelings about the trip, I am looking forward to meeting the Guatemalan people and seeing the gifts and talents within my team. I am looking forward to seeing how each person’s specialty and love for Jesus will be utilized in a way that will truly bring value to patient health by enabling a wholistic approach.

This trip and this team is a gift from Jesus but the biggest gift of all is to simply be reminded that are lives are not about us, but about how we can best serve God’s people.”

If you have any questions for Hillary or about Belmont on Mission, CHS Missions or any of the upcoming trips, please reach out!

Trip Spotlight: CHS Guatemala and CoffeeMed

In addition to the immersion and international Belmont on Mission trips over spring break, many colleges within Belmont hold discipline specific trips. The College of Health Sciences routinely runs international trips to conduct health screenings for the people they serve. Over the past few springs, CHS has travelled to Guatemala to serve in this way.

In March, students and faculty in nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social work will be travelling to Antigua, Guatemala to provide some basic health care to the workers on Guatemalan coffee plantations. Students and leaders will provide health screenings, patient teaching programs, and medicines and vitamins to the citizens in Antigua. In providing this vitally important aid, the plantation workers are reminded of their humanity in the midst of less than ideal working conditions.

Students are expected to raise the funds to pay for this trip via the CoffeeMed program. The CoffeeMed program is a really important interdisciplinary partnership that enables interaction between the commercial coffee industry and the healthcare industry. Students sell coffee from Kafes Guatemals in their local communities to fund the trip, which covers the cost of medical supplies and more. Here is a video of Belmont student’s involvement with CoffeeMed from March 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OePGDG4wZA

If you have any questions about upcoming mission trips, or the CHS Guatemala mission, please reach out!

Student Take: Tiffanie Bohrer

The author Marianne Wilson once said, “Success means we go to sleep ay might knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.”  Today, Tiffanie Bohrer shares with us her experience serving, and how her talents and abilities have been used and can be used on the mission field.  Tiffanie has great insight into the power that a short term mission has to pull you a little further out of your comfort zone, which ultimately stretches and grows your threshold for service, understanding, and empathy.  We are so excited for you to read Tiffanie’s take on serving the Kingdom!

“I am so very excited to serve with Belmont and Praying Pelican Missions this spring break! This past October, I went with Belmont to Memphis, TN for a weekend service trip called Plunge, and I am so ready to take my experience serving with Belmont  on Mission outside of the country. This trip is going to be different for me, being a freshman, because I am one of the younger participants. This gives me the opportunity to learn from older students. I also don’t know anyone on the trip very well so it is going to be a great experience with a brand-new community of people. Praying Pelican Missions does an amazing job of setting up short-term mission trips for teams just like ours. They work with a church and ask them what they need help with. That is where we come in. We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving those in need in the Dominican Republic.

I have been on two other international mission trips to El Salvador and Jamaica, and I am excited to see how this one will differ from those two. Each of those trips were different in the sense that what we were doing for the community was vastly different because of how the communities operated. In El Salvador, we helped build two houses for two families. In Jamaica, we ran a Vacation Bible School and did more outreach-based activities with the local church in addition to doing various small labor projects. In Jamaica, I was stretched more than ever as I gave my testimony on the street to passersby’s.  I, then, was pushed even more as I was asked to give a message during the church service on Sunday morning. I learned about the country and the culture, but I also learned more about myself and the gifts the Lord has given. Going on a mission trip is a great way to put those gifts to use. The Lord calls us to be a light to those who need light and to spread the good news. I am so excited to do this in a place where I have never been to before.

I chose to go on this trip because I haven’t done an international serving trip in a few years, and I missed learning about different cultures. The Dominican Republic is a country where I have never been.  I am very excited to experience their ways of doing life and to serve them in any way they need possible. Mission trips are a great way to go out of your comfort zone and step into a place that is unknown while you act as an example of Jesus to those around you. You can serve in any capacity and anywhere in the world, but I am so excited to take it a step further and travel a bit farther to spread love and bring my own gifts to a place where I can effectively help.”

If you have any questions about the Dominican Republic mission with Praying Pelican Missions or any upcoming mission trips in general, please reach out!

Host Partner Spotlight: Praying Pelican Missions

Each spring, Belmont students travel with Belmont on Mission all over the world to serve the Kingdom of God. While some teams stay in the United States to serve more locally, many teams travel abroad. In doing this, it is really important that groups partner with organizations that are well established in that area because those organizations know the context that students will be stepping into. In doing this, Belmont students are able to effectively serve and have a lasting impact.

This march, a group of students will be traveling to the Dominican Republic to serve with Praying Pelican Missions. Praying Pelican Missions connects the local church on a global level through short-term mission trips. Praying Pelican Missions acts as a catalyst for groups who wish to serve. They organize groups to work directly alongside local ministries where they can work to meet the real needs of the community. Praying Pelican Missions has the goals of genuine, long-term impact in healthy short-term mission trips. This is achieved through genuine partnerships, long-term relationships, and sustainable ministry.

In just over a month students will be in the Dominican Republic beginning their ministry. Students will do a variety of service projects with many different organizations in the community. If you have any questions about Praying Pelican Missions, or any upcoming International trips, please reach out!

Student Take: Elania Trimble

Today on the blog, we asked Elania to write about her experience in serving with Casas por Cristo, and how her time serving in the past has influenced her decision to serve with Belmont on Mission!  Here is Elania’s take on serving God by building the Kingdom!

“I have had the fortunate opportunity to not only work with Casas Por Cristo once but twice. I traveled to Acuña, Mexico in July 2016 and again in March 2017. My first time going, I was very nervous because I had no idea what to expect, and I had never gone out of the country for a mission trip before.

The first thing I noticed about Acuña was how small and brightly colored everything is. We met with Scott Dewitt, who was our trip leader and the Acuña field director. He told us a little bit about what to expect in the coming week. I honestly had no idea how a high school youth group was going to successfully build a house in only four days, but we were reassured that it could be done, and we were going to do it.

Our job site was in the middle of town and there was barely any room to move around, much less freely build a house. We had to build a lot of the parts in the middle of the street. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. Scott and his intern Alyssa took us step by step and by the end of day four we had a completely brand-new house. The most rewarding part of the trip was all the wonderful people I got to meet. The family we were building the house for had been living in one tiny house together. There were at least 10 people living there, and they were the nicest people I’ve ever met. I got to meet so many children from around town because they would all come visit us on the job site. They were so sweet and loved to help us out. We ended the trip with a little ceremony, during which we presented the house to the family.

Working with Casas Por Cristo was the most humbling and rewarding experience I’ve ever had. It made me realize how much we all take for granted in our comfortable and safe lives. The people who live there work so hard and get the bare minimum in return. They are so grateful for every little blessing in their lives and are the most kind-hearted people. The language barrier was not even an issue and didn’t stop me or anyone from connecting with the wonderful people of Acuña. When I saw that Belmont had a mission with Casas Por Cristo is was the easiest and fastest decision I’ve ever made. I am so excited to be going back to Acuña and can’t wait to make more lasting memories with Belmont on Mission over spring break!”

If you have any questions about Elania’s experience, Belmont on Mission, or upcoming Immersion, International, or Plunge trips, please reach out!

Host Partner Spotlight: Casas por Cristo

Over spring break, many Belmont students spend a week serving with Belmont on Mission. Groups of Belmont students travel to numerous locations both in the United States and abroad. International trips are a chance to be immersed in a local culture outside the U.S., grow in understanding of the cares and concerns of those communities, and promote fellowship and mutuality in your interactions with others. In other words, while there are opportunities to serve and complete projects, the emphasis is on learning and relationship.

This spring, a group of students will travel to Acuña, MX to partner with Casas por Cristo in the mission of building a house for a family who needs to be reminded of God’s love for them. For over 25 years, Casas por Cristo has been fulfilling their mission of building and serving the kingdom of God; there are now over 5,000 CPC homes in the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and soon Nicaragua.

During their time in Acuña, students will be building the Kingdom of God in more ways than one. Casas por Cristo seeks to build homes, relationships, and opportunities for growth. In striving to build the Kingdom, CPC cultivates opportunities for growth in structured experiences. Through these structured experiences, CPC builds relationships between people who, otherwise, would never have met.

The service that Casas por Cristo provides to so many communities is amazing. Through the building process, there are unique opportunities presented to us by God to serve each other. CPC’s guiding statement is as follows: “We are dedicated to meeting the physical need of better housing as a ways of also meeting the spiritual need for Jesus Christ.”

Belmont on Mission is so excited to be partnering with such a wonderful organization. If you have any questions about upcoming mission trips or Belmont on Mission in general, please reach out!

Student Take: Calla Quinn

Today, Calla is sharing about her experiences so far serving in Tennessee, and her anticipation in serving with Border Servant Corps in El Paso, TX over spring break. We are excited for you to hear Calla’s take on preparing to go on Mission with Belmont on Mission!

“I grew up in church and have had experience serving primarily in the Nashville area. Never having been on mission out-of-state, I am equally excited and curious to go on Immersion to El Paso!

I chose this trip for several reasons, but what first caught my attention was the circumstances of the people we’ll be serving. As a pre-law student interested in immigration policy, I was drawn to this trip in particular because I know it will provide me with insight and fuel my passion for serving the underserved. The opportunity to encounter such a divisive subject in a fiercely direct and personal way will offer me a broader perspective and help me better understand the cultural and political dynamics surrounding this issue.

That being said, there are plenty of things about this trip that scare me (in a good way). I know I am going to experience things that push me out of my comfort zone and leave me with more questions than answers. Many of the folks with whom I’ll interact are living as marginalized people in every capacity; racially, culturally, and economically they are frequently categorized as “unwanted.” I hope to unlearn my ignorance through this trip by navigating uncharted waters. Most of all, I hope to grow in my relationship with God by learning and developing the ways in which I’m called to show others His love.”

If you have any questions about Calla’s experience, Belmont on Mission, or any upcoming trips, please reach out!