Today's episode will interview my two co-workers as they discuss their role as Trip Coordinators within the CCV Missions team.
We have many short-term trips in which teams travel near and far to make an impact in others' lives around the world.
We as believers are commissioned by God to serve those around us as Christ has served us. CCV has joined hands with ministries seeking to serve those in the Valley who are hurting, lost, confused, and oppressed. Respond to God's call and join us as we partner with these ministries to share the love of Christ with people in our own city
The LetsGo360 Podcast was created to inform those interested in the Global Mission of what God is doing Here, Near, and Far. You will hear from exciting guests locally and worldwide who share their experiences, innovative strategies, and best practices to reach the lost in a changing world.
Christ’s Church of the Valley: https://ccv.church/
CCV Missions: www.ccv.church/missions
Pastor Larrie Fraley: linkedin.com/in/larrie-fraley-53445032
Missions Sermon, February 2022: https://youtu.be/p9fzYTq-ZYw
When Helping Hurts book: https://www.amazon.com/When-Helping-Hurts-Alleviate-Yourself/dp/B093RD5JGQ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=QPFWRUPWNFSP&keywords=When+Helping+Hurts&qid=1660858372&sprefix=when+helping+hurts%2Caps%2C109&sr=8-1
Larrie: [00:00:34] Welcome to another episode of Let's Go 360. We're real excited to do this podcast today because it is a different podcast from what we normally do. Today, I'm so honored to have with us today two coworkers, Larrie Figg and Anna Harrington. Now they probably have the best job at CCV and they're going to share what they do in just a moment. But before we get started, I'd like for you to know a little bit more about them. Larrie, welcome to the show.
Heidi: [00:01:06] Thanks, Larrie.
Larrie: [00:01:07] Anna, welcome to the show.
Anna: [00:01:08] Thanks, Larrie.
Larrie: [00:01:09] Heiei, why don't you tell our listeners about you, your family, and maybe how you came to CCV and then into missions?
Heidi: [00:01:18] Well, gosh, it's been a journey. So I am married to my wonderful husband, Brandon Figg. We have been married almost ten years. We are a blended family. We have six children between us. So that always keeps us on our toes, of course. But it is a lot of fun. We're always involved and busy and on the go. My husband was on staff when we first met and that's how I came to CCV. At the time I was in the dental field, I worked in a specialty of orthodontics. So for 26 years I was working in people's mouths, making beautiful smiles with braces. So that was a lot of fun. But it was a time that industry was changing and I just felt like God was calling me in a different direction. I started volunteering in missions and just fell in love with it. And through the grace of God, they after about nine months, I kind of put the bug in their ear that if they ever wanted someone on staff or needed an extra staff person, I would be highly interested. And nine months into that journey, they invited me to come along and be on the team and it's been a true blessing. So for the last five years I've had the honor of getting to send teams all over the world to serve through different ministries.
Larrie: [00:02:45] Well, Anna, what about you?
Anna: [00:02:47] Well, I came to CCV about five and a half years ago. My husband and I transferred to Phoenix, not Phoenix area, but Tucson for about four years, and then moved up to Phoenix. And we came to CCV. And it was the first church that we visited about five and a half years ago and fell in love with it and started coming. And about six months, into attending, an opportunity arose and I joined the staff in the finance department. And then about three, years ago I had the opportunity to transfer into the missions department and oh my goodness, it's been fantastic. Mike and I have been married 30 years and we have three adult children. And thank God they're all here in Phoenix. My my daughter is coming back here in the next six months. So, so excited to be part of this team. It's just it's been a great journey.
Larrie: [00:03:56] Well, having worked with both of you, I can tell you you've added so much to the Missions Department and CCD, and you've been a part of changing a lot of people's lives. Now, I know you both are passionate about missions. What is it that you really enjoy? What is it that makes you so passionate? Now I know, besides working with me. What else would be, would you say, really inspires you and makes you passionate?
Heidi: [00:04:26] I would have to say. Gosh, when teams come home from trips to hear the stories and the life change that come out of those trips and the experiences has just been an eye opener for me. Everybody comes to us from different walks of life and different experiences in life. And sometimes, you know, when you put somebody in an environment where they just get to see God in almost the rawest form and get to see the vibrance and the joy of individuals in another country that may be in extreme poverty and the joy that they have and the love that they have for Christ. It just blows people away and it really does some work in their heart. And so for me, I love to hear those stories when they come home from being distributed throughout the world and what those changes were and how it affected them.
Anna: [00:05:33] I would have to agree with Heidi, but I also enjoy when people are interested in missions and they come from all different walks in their Christianity and not sure if they can do missions because they don't know about God. Maybe they're not seasoned in their walk with God, but seeing that God can use them, that He's no respector of person. And so seeing the confidence and that grow in them, knowing that it's not about them, but that God's going to use them in whatever situation, you know, the specific mission trip that they're on, what they're going to encounter. So in that regards, it's, it's like they hear God. They, they, they do things outside of their comfort zone and God uses them. And so their lives are changed because of that.
Larrie: [00:06:31] That is so good. Before we get any further, let's tell our audience, what is it that you guys do?
Heidi: [00:06:40] So we get the wonderful opportunity to work with our mission partners all across the world and even here, locally, here, near and far. So we get to talk with them, kind of see what their needs are, what a project may be that they've been dreaming about or need. So then we get to work with them on those projects to identify what the team would be doing on the ground. Then we get to do the logistics and the administration part of it, work with the team members to get them prepared and going, trip training. There's such a big thing that we are always working on passports and airline tickets, hotel rooms, working and identifying with trip leaders who will lead these trips as they go into the world.
Larrie: [00:07:40] Now, I know you're much more than just travel agents. Although you're coordinating trips, you do get involved in a lot of the personal lives of people, not only are trip goers, but the people that we’re going to visit. How many trips did CCV go on? Let's say pre-COVID.
Heidi: [00:08:04] We were about 65 to 70.
Larrie: [00:08:09] So we that 65 to 70 trips?
Larrie: And how many goers went how many participants?
Heidi: [00:08:16] It was around 2000.
Larrie: [00:08:18] Wow. Well, can you walk us through perhaps a trip from start to finish so that we get a sense of what's all involved in in actually going on a mission trip.
Heidi: [00:08:35] Again. We work with the ministries all over the world. We identify dates that would work for them and for us. We do the logistics piece of that, the housing, the airline tickets. We identify the projects that are needed to work on ground while we're there. What? Like if it's a VBS trip or an evangelistic trip or specific serving with work projects, things like that. And then just speaking a lot in loving on the ministries, I think that's probably one of the things that when you think of going, you think of working with your hands and doing surf projects. But one giant piece that I think isn't always talked about is the relationships. We build or try to build these amazing relationships with our mission partners. So really stress the flexibility and just keeping your eyes open on ground. You never know when your words can touch somebody that's working hard in the field and they are struggling. And by you just coming alongside them and loving on them could help them out in their ministry.
Larrie: [00:09:58] What's involved in the registration process? So someone's interested in going on a trip. They find the trip on our website. What's all involved in that registration process?
Heidi: [00:10:11] They just need to give us their information. So their name, their date of birth, their passport information, if it's an international trip. We do require for people to have a background check. So we want to make sure that whoever we're sending has that available to us. Then it's just getting prepared to go. Once we have all your information, we identify the team. Then we have already identified the trip leader and then the real work begins and we start that process.
Larrie: [00:10:46] Is there a background check or how do you make sure that that that there's some level of security clearance before a trip goer can actually go on a trip?
Heidi: [00:10:58] Yes, that's correct. We do do background checks. That's very important to us. Just like serving here at CCV. We just want to make sure that everybody is in a safe environment. So we do and we're pretty strict on that. We want to make sure that everybody is ready to go.
Larrie: [00:11:16] And what about training?
Heidi: [00:11:18] Yes, we do intense training prior to going on the trip. We have team meetings, so the trip leader will have the teams come together and then they have a curriculum that they go through to get everybody prepared and ready to go, not only spiritually but emotionally and getting ready to work in the field. We do also really. Make sure that everybody knows “When helping hurts.” So we want to make sure when we go into a country that we come alongside our mission partner and not just tell them what we do here in America, but we go and serve how they work in their countries.
Larrie: [00:12:03] That's so good. How about the youth? You know, we do trips with our high schoolers. Can you talk to us a little bit about a typical high school mission trip?
Heidi: [00:12:17] Yeah. So pre-COVID, we were actually sending 50, a group of 50 over to Kenya to serve with our mission partner, Missions of Hope International. We are praying that that will get to continue in the future as the world opens up. But we do have a couple other partners here that are here and near that we send our youth to. So one of them is 1 Mission down in Rocky Point, Mexico. So our students go and spend a weekend serving along side 1 Mission help building houses for people that have worked very hard. They've served over 400 hours within their ministry to be eligible to build a house. We also have another ministry called Short Creek Dream Center, so we work closely with them. This fall we're sending two groups of 50 there and they will get to do some serve projects in that community. It's a former FLDS community, so they get to do some projects there working alongside the Dream Center.
Larrie: [00:13:26] And so as these trips unfold, it just doesn't end. I mean, the trip is not over. When they get back, there's also some follow up after the trip, right?
Heidi: [00:13:36] Correct. We do do debriefs with our teams. And a lot of times it makes life long relationships. I know I myself went on my first mission trip in 2017 and a lot of those people on that trip I'm still friends with and talk to quite regularly. And there's just something beautiful about going with people into the world and doing serve projects or ministry and you just build this relationship. So it is it's a lot of fun to see that as well.
Larrie: [00:14:07] Right now, our ministry here at CCV, the Missions Department is modeled after the Great Commission and also after Acts 1:8. And so when we often refer to trips as here near and far, which is modeled after going into Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the ends of the Earth. And so our Jerusalem is here. Tell us about a here trip.
Anna: [00:14:35] Well, excuse me. I can tell you a couple of trips that are here. We work with Streetlight USA, which is and they work with trafficking a trafficking ministry and we have trips with them quarterly and it's on a Saturday and it's, it's phenomenal. We get to go in and help just upkeep of their facilities, anything from painting to grounds keeping. But we also they also get to learn about the ministry and how to get involved and how to, you know, pray for these pray for these young ladies. We also have Go ten. Go ten is works with refugees. And so, again, we get the opportunity to go into community centers and help refugees learn English. We get to experience some local cuisine in that region. So it's great opportunity and it's on a Saturday and just, you know, one day out of the month. And so we pretty much do Go ten all year round. And so those opportunities are available on our website. If you go to CCV missions, you'll be able to see what opportunities we have here in the Phoenix area.
Larrie: [00:15:59] So for our listeners who are really interested in getting a cultural experience but perhaps can't go internationally, Go Ten and those one day mission trips, you can do a here trip because obviously they're in Phoenix, but you also can experience a far experience because you will be talking with people from other cultures. And it's really one of our best one day mission trips that we offer. And so, Heidi, you mentioned really some near mission trips when you talked about 1 Mission. Are there other near mission trips that people can get involved in?
Anna: [00:16:44] Yes. We have near trips. We have trips that go to Washington State, Flying H Ranch. We also go to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is considered near and we have Dearborn, Washington. So it's in the US area and the opportunities are great. We've just had a couple of trips go into Flying H and it was incredible and the opportunities that they have here in the States, it's quick and easy trips. It's not as long as a far mission trip, but can be anywhere between 5 to 7 days.
Larrie: [00:17:27] And that Dearborn, Michigan trip is an amazing trip because I've been there a couple of times and you can go to Dearborn, Michigan, and walk down the streets and the neighborhoods, and it will look like a typical American city. But there are 86% of the people that live there are from another culture, another people group. And it is an amazing trip to go on. So I would encourage you, those of you that would be interested in doing that, take a look at our website. And by the way, all of our trips are listed on our website, ccv.church under the missions tab. You can see all the mission trips. Everything about when they are going, how much it will cost. And check that out. We will include that link in our show notes like we do on every episode for further information. Can you guys maybe share a story about soomeone that's gone on a mission trip and was transformed. And as a result of going.
Anna: [00:18:36] Actually, I have a great story. Last year we had a trip that went to Puerto Rico, and on this particular trip we had, it was a trip of 15 participants. And one participant in particular, she was a brand new Christian, probably three months into her Christian walk. She came from a background where she lost her husband and in a tragic accident and she was struggling for the last year. She felt like God told her to come on a mission trip. She's never done anything like that before and in the process of training, one of the things that we work with our participants is how to share your story. And so we taught our we went through the training, taught them how to share a brief story of who they were before Christ. Why did they choose to give their life to Christ and then how God just changed their lives? Well, on this mission trip, she had the opportunity to share her story and had never done that before. And in in doing so, and she did a phenomenal job. But at the end of the service this lady came up after the service and she just was weeping and she came up to our participant who had shared her story and just told her how that just has helped had helped her because she had lost her husband just a few months before we arrived.
Anna: [00:20:23] And it was just it was so amazing to see how she how God used her and how she believed that God used her and that God can use her at any time. And she didn't have to be afraid, you know, to be bold about her story or to share her story. So it was an eye opener for her to know that God used her. When we came back to back home, I believe it was a month later, she got baptized. And so since then, actually, I ran into her at the airport, sending off another trip. And she is doing fantastic. She's thriving. She's more confident in who she is in Christ. And God is giving her opportunities, even at the airport where she works, to be bold about her faith. So great, great transformation in her life.
Larrie: [00:21:22] Wow. That's a great story. You know, as we begin to wrap up here, I want to make mention that for those of you that perhaps didn't catch the February 19 and 20 service this year at CCV, you can always go back to our website and listen to and watch past services. Missions weekend was on February 19 and 20, and if you would really like to get a good overview of what the missions team and what the Missions Ministry here at CCV is all about, check that service out because. You, our listeners are actually the senders of missions. You know, I know many of you would love to go on a mission trip, but for some reason, you can't, you can't afford it. You can't take the time off. But that doesn't mean you can't be involved in missions. There are many ways to be involved in missions. You can be a pray-er. If you can't go on a mission trip, you can pray and you can literally go to our website and pray about our missionaries and mission partners that are all listed there. You can also be a welcome-er. We all know that people are moving into our neighborhoods from different cultures.
Larrie: [00:22:35] Welcome them. Go out of your way to welcome them to our city and to the neighborhood. You can also be a sender. Our mission goers all need support to go on mission trips. And there's a way on our website for you to actually be a sender. And you also are a sender already, because 10% of everything that comes into CCV through our offerings and tithes goes to missions, and that's the budget that we operate on. And of course, you can be a goer, be a goer by simply stepping out in faith, going to our website, finding a mission trip to go on, click that register button. There is no excuse for anyone who who wants to go on a mission trip and cannot go because of finances. In our training, we show you how you can go about raising funds to be able to go on a mission trip. And so as we wrap up here, Heidi, Anna, thank you so much for what you're doing. I know you guys both answered a call to do this and you're doing amazing work. How can our listeners pray for you?
Heidi: [00:23:49] I think one of the biggest ways is prayer. We always say that God picks our teams and it's so true. We find time and time again when we're short team members, somebody might come up to us and say, Oh, I know these three people or whatever, and God just puts these teams together and He brings them together beautifully with all the different talents with it, whether it be a specialty that that person works in, that can bring support to that group or just going and loving on our mission partner. I would just say, pray that God continues to work His beautiful magic and bring our teams together and that they can go into the world and serve.
Larrie: [00:24:37] Anna, what about you?
Anna: [00:24:38] I would agree. I think prayer is one of the main things that we need and just wisdom when we have opportunities for different places to serve that that all the details for every trip that we that we do would just flow together and all the pieces would come and flow together. So I think just prayer for our team that we have wisdom on new trips and, and that we pick the right leaders and, and the right people sign up for these trips. So our biggest thing is that when we go in and we want to serve and we want to be part of what's happening around the world, and we can assist our partners in those areas.
Larrie: [00:25:26] Well, thank you both for joining us today. And we look forward to having you back. And maybe after a few months, we'll touch base and talk specifically about maybe trips that just ended and the things that that God did while our folks went on those trips. Thanks for joining.
Heidi: [00:25:44] Thanks, Larrie.
Anna: Thanks Larrie.
Larrie: [00:25:45] And thank you, listeners for listening.