In this episode, I will be talking with two of the Youth Pastors here at CCV to get their perspective on students on mission trips.
Sending high school kids on mission trips is a great idea for several reasons. Parental concerns like, "Why are you wishing to send students overseas when there is so much work to be done here?" are common for me as a missions pastor to hear. Even when we travel within the United States, I am frequently asked this question.
While it's true that we have plenty to accomplish at home, high school students should nonetheless consider participating in mission trips abroad. Mission trips give the youth of the church I serve the opportunity to learn that God can use them to spread his name, and I find it to be a really rewarding experience. We believe that sending out missionaries is a vital element of our plan to see those far from God become devout disciples of Jesus Christ.
Every short-term group should go into the trip with the mindset of a student, ready to learn from the experiences of the long-term missionaries and eager to assist them in any way they can. Primarily, short-term travel affords the chance to spread the gospel to far-flung regions of the world.
Christ’s Church of the Valley: https://ccv.church/
CCV Missions: www.ccv.church/missions
Let’s Go 360: https://www.letsgo360.org
Pastor Larrie Fraley: linkedin.com/in/larrie-fraley-53445032
Missy: [00:00:00] I have seen on these trips, students rise up that maybe have even surprised me. They've said they're going to go on the trip because maybe a friend is, you know, asked them to go. But not only do they have that servant hearted attitude on the build, I will see them during our meal times coming and cleaning up trash or asking if anyone needs anything.
Larrie: [00:00:58] Well, welcome to another episode of Let's Go 360. We have with us today two very special people. Both of them work here at CCV as CCV student pastors, and they are passionate about mission trips. So today we're going to talk about the impact that mission trips can have on our students. And so with us today is Missy McCabe. Missy, welcome to the show.
Missy: [00:01:23] Thank you, Larrie.
Larrie: [00:01:23] Larry. And Matt Newman. Welcome to the show, Matt.
Matt: Thanks, Larrie.
Larrie: I'm going to start with Missy and just ask her to share a little bit about herself and maybe her family.
Missy: [00:01:35] Yeah, I was born and raised in Ohio, Go Buckeyes. And I've been married to my husband of 23 years. His name is Bob. He works in law enforcement and we have three daughters, 20, 17 and 14. Busy with teenage life. And we also have a very naughty three year old dog. That's us.
Larrie: [00:01:58] Okay. Now, I have to ask what city in Ohio?
Missy: [00:02:02] West of Toledo. It's a little town called Wauseon, right off the turnpike.
Larrie: [00:02:06] Okay. Had to ask because I'm from Ohio. Okay. Southern Ohio, Cincinnati area. But we used to go up to Cedar Point a lot for vacation.
Missy: [00:02:14] Yes. Love, Cedar Point.
Larrie: [00:02:15] Matt, tell us about yourself.
Matt: I grew up right here in the Valley, Peoria, Arizona, about a mile from our Peoria campus. I was a high school student in our ministry. I went to camp back in high school and got baptized by Dustin Tappan, who's still around. I believe he was my coach back then. Ended up marrying my high school sweetheart, Michelle. We both went to ASU together. I was a baseball guy growing up and today I'm a student pastor here at our Peoria campus. Have four young children, a boy, six, two girls, four and two. And a new baby boy who's four months.
Larrie: Well, we know that mission trips play an important role in terms of the student's development. We know that it's an introductory or actually a predictor as to their later volunteerism work and especially in missions. We also know that kids that go on a mission trip have generally a stronger faith than others who do not. And that's data that has been compiled by a lot of leading organizations, such as Barna and those other statistical organizations. So I guess we're going to start and have Matt tell us what your experience has been as you have observed these students going on trips.
Matt: [00:03:41] Yeah. So I've been mostly on our 1 Mission trip, which is in Rocky Point, Mexico, Puerto Penasco. I believe we leave Friday actually on this would be the eighth trip that I've gone on. And I've also been on our Short Creek Dream Center trip last year I went on that and if I had to sum up mission trips and just what I get to see students do and be a part of is they get to get a real life hands on experience of what the Great Commission is calling to go out and make disciples of all nations, not just here in our city or in our church, but they get to just see the gospel translates, no matter the language, no matter no matter the community that they're in. It's real all over the world, just like that verse says,
Larrie: Missy, have you experienced or have been able to witness perhaps a student's life that has been changed or transformed because of a mission trip?
Missy: [00:04:41] Yeah, I would say, I too have mostly been on the I Mission trips and a Short Creek trip, but I would say the 1 Mission trips, I've seen a few students that are just overwhelmed at how close Rocky Point is to where we live here in Arizona and yet how different it looks there. And then what we get to do to serve many times by building something, but often it is through the joy that these students have in their lives that can impact these families, even though they may not be able to communicate with words. And so I can think of one student in particular that has been impacted greatly and isn't going into missions in college now, but their focus is on nursing and medical and hoping to use that to serve Jesus in a different way on missions through maybe doing medical missions or anything like that.
Larrie: [00:05:47] Yeah. Now, just for those listeners that may not be familiar with 1 Mission, 1 Mission was an organization that we actually, CCV helped start many years ago. They're right across the border at Rocky Point. And we go down there and build homes for families that are living. Some of them are living in literally cardboard boxes strung together with wire or however they could put it together. And so one mission goes down and actually builds a home for these families. Now, it's not just going down, building a home, and then leaving these families actually participate in their home. They are required to volunteer 200 hours in their community so that, in effect, they earn their house and their home. And so what we do is come alongside them and build a home in what we call a short term trip. It's usually done over the weekend. And so they go down on a Friday, perhaps come back on a Sunday. It's sometimes coupled with a holiday. So there's four days to go down and actually build a home. Would you say that that going on a mission trip, these students build relationships with each other.
Matt: 100%. No matter, let's say one house that will go build. I'll just give you like a scope. There might be 30 students on that house, which would be two full vans of students and a couple of coaches. And so very rarely are you in a van with just the students from your group. What I've what I've witnessed over the years that I've been on this trip is your house team of about 30 ends up coming a very tight knit team. And so these students get to know other students that they've never met. Maybe they've seen each other at church or camp, but they come home with these new relationships, these new friendships because they've now served and they've grown a new relationship very quickly. When you're trying to figure out how to build a house with someone and you've never had much construction experience.
Missy: [00:08:03] I agree with Matt. These trips kind of forced students to almost get to know each other because you just spend time together building this house, But also an experience I just had in September. I had the opportunity to go on the Short Creek, Utah, trip with students from every campus, with the exception of Peoria, just they went on their own trip. But because there were students from so many different campuses, they don't know each other. A few of them maybe. But it was really, really exciting and encouraging for me to see how connected and bonded these students were by the end of the weekend. And my middle daughter was one of those students, and I thought it was so encouraging and sweet that she was sharing with me their text message thread that has continued on even now of planning to get together. And many of them going back on this 1 Mission trip this weekend and getting to see one another and just having that connection because they've gotten to serve together, it's just it's really exciting to me. It kind of lights my passion for missions even more.
Larrie: [00:09:16] You know, especially in the time that we're living in right now, it's so important that our worldviews are expanded. And I believe that going on a trip such as just a rocky point, which is, for the most part in a different country and a different culture. And so even though you're only traveling a few hundred miles, it's almost like you're headed into South America or somewhere where the culture is different than what it is today. And Rocky Point is certainly an example of that. And so I think becoming more globally aware of what's going on in another culture is a vital, it's very important in the growth of a student. Would you guys agree with that?
Matt: 100%. Yes.
Larrie: You know, the other thing that I believe going on trips will help, especially in the formation of these younger students, because they're in a mode right now where they're just absorbing everything that they're learning and they're so self-focused on themselves, not in a negative way necessarily, but because that's the culture that we live in to be able to expand out of out of that paradigm and get into a different culture. Something happens. And one thing that that that is obvious with all of these kids is this commitment that they seem to get just in terms of servanthood. Can you talk about how you perhaps seen a student become more involved serving more because of a trip they've been on?
Missy: [00:10:56] I have seen on these trips, students rise up that maybe have even surprised me. They've said they're going to go on the trip because maybe a friend is, you know, asked them to go. But not only do they have that servant hearted attitude on the build, I will see them during our meal times coming and cleaning up trash or asking if anyone needs anything. But then beyond that, back on our campuses, doing that as well, serving other students or their coaches by helping, by seeing a need, by picking up some trash or sticking around and helping us tear down. I have seen that by quite a few students, actually. And then as we go to school events that plays out in school to where our students really see that need to help somebody out, it doesn't matter that they're on a mission trip. They're able to serve right there, their neighbor or their community, their schoolmate.
Larrie: [00:11:59] Well, I've seen that firsthand on the trips that I've been involved with, particularly overseas to Africa. Years ago, we formed a relationship with Missions of Hope. We refer to it as MOHI. They are, in fact one of our biggest mission partners. And so we go over there pretty regularly throughout the year and several years ago around, oh, I'd say the 2012 timeframe, we were conducting mission trips to the Mathare Valley slums, which is some of the worst slums in the world. And it was primarily all adults because quite honestly, I was afraid to kind of take anyone younger on a trip like that. One year we decided to take a group of students sort of as a, Hey, let's see what happens. And so they went along with the adults. And what I saw happened on that trip to those young people changed my whole approach to mission trips. From that time on, we've not had very many. We've had some medical trips to the Mathare Valley slums, but we had a lot of student trips, high school trips, and one year I think we took almost 90 high school students to this Mathare Valley slums, the worst slums, some of the worst slums in the world. And what happened there was phenomenal. There were so many students that were changed. Impacted parents were calling me when they got back and said, This trip has changed my child. These students began to get involved more in in serving. And many of them went on to form some sort of nonprofit or to get involved in some nonprofit or some church that they will to this day say started it when they went on that trip.
Larrie: [00:13:47] So I believe for our listeners, if you have a junior high or high school student, please consider sending them on a trip like this. The trips are very secure. We send a security officer on our trips. We do a lot of vetting before the trip even starts. And of course we work with our mission partners. So they're very, very safe for these kids to go on one of these trips. But what happens to them when they're on one of these trips is life changing and transforming. So I would highly encourage you, you can find out about our trips by checking out our website. All of our mission trips are listed on our website and you can get more information. The links to anything we talk about on our podcast is always included in our show notes, as is a complete transcript. So if you want to go check out those show notes in our in our podcast. Well, guys, what do you think is the future? Where do you see mission trips going for your students?
Matt: I believe not only mission trips, but just serving in general is the number one, I Call it the glue that would create consistency in students as they as they grow in their faith, as they grow from being a ninth grader all the way to graduating high school and being sent out into the world. I believe if we can do a good job at creating awesome experiences through our missions, trips through our serving opportunities here locally, at our church and in our own city. And I believe there will be consistency as we look ahead in the future.
Missy: [00:15:30] CCV really, really builds up our next gen ministry. We know that our church is behind these students that are rising up to be leaders, and so the opportunities are there to go on these mission trips and post COVID it seems like they're coming back more and more. So I believe that as we offer them opportunities and give them these opportunities, they they will go and they will serve and they'll continue to bring other people with them to do those things and hopefully affect them in their future. Whether they decide to do full time missions as their career or they have any career, they know that missions is always something that they can do globally or locally. Here, as we know, there are lots of opportunities here locally.
Larrie: [00:16:19] And it helps them to become a leader. You know, not only will they be a student of life while they're on this trip, they're also going to become a teacher and a leader for those that they're going over to serve. And so, you know, the opportunity to develop sort of a new side of their leadership and explore things that they have not perhaps had an opportunity to do here is going to help develop them as a leader later in life. And so I can't speak enough about the importance of these trips. So you guys, how can we pray for the student ministry at CCV?
Matt: Well, I'm just going to ask for a very specific prayer, just that students. Continue to crave these trips. And through these trips, they they continue to that that God continues to work through them. And they come back here and they're fired up to lead in their schools, in their own families, on their sports teams, anywhere that they can possibly serve and be a Christ centered difference maker.
Missy: [00:17:31] I would agree with that completely. And I would just add that they would continue to that their need for Jesus would be clear to them. And as they as they get to know Jesus, that they would share that with everyone, that they have opportunity to interact with, that the joy that they have because of Jesus would literally shine from them. And we would see many, many come to know Him because of our youth.
Larrie: [00:17:59] Well said. So how there may be some listeners today that perhaps their students are not that involved in the Students ministry and the programs? What would you say to them? How could they learn more about what's going on in Students?
Missy: [00:18:17] We do have a website that, of course, students can look at, but if they come on a Sunday night or junior high on Saturday night and high school is on Sunday night. We want to get them connected to, we call them coaches, they’re mentors. There are volunteers that really do life with these students and there they can find out so many things about serving or mission trips or opportunities for them in our community. And so that's probably the best way. Of course, we're on social media, too, but coming on a Sunday night and getting engaged in our student ministry and connecting with the coaches, by far my favorite way to see students start connecting to a community.
Larrie: [00:19:02] Well, we'll certainly be sure and include the Students links in our show notes as well. Well, guys, thank you for joining us today and I look forward to having you back in a few months after we've got some more trips under our belt. And I'd love to get you two over to Africa. That needs to be our main priority. So we'll get you over there and give you that experience and be able to pour into the lives of these kids. Thank you, guys. Thank you both for joining us today.
Missy: Thanks, Larrie.
Matt: Thank you, Larrie.
Speaker2: [00:19:36] This has been. Let's go 360. Your visibility into what God is doing worldwide as we talk with those living out the Great Commission inspired by the great Commandment so that we'll stand with the great multitude before the throne when the mission of God is complete. May God bless you as we go and send those here near and far. Thanks for listening.