CAROL STREAM, Ill., Feb. 12 /Christian Newswire/ — Almost two million Americans go on short-term missions trips each year, sponsored by the more than 40,000 American churches, schools, and other organizations that send teams around the world. Round Trip, a documentary-style DVD and curriculum produced by Christianity Today International, aims to help these travelers embark on global missions trips better prepared, more culturally aware, and equipped to build lasting change and relationships.
In a twist on the expected scenario of Americans going out into the world to help people in need elsewhere, Round Trip emphasizes the increasingly reciprocal nature of missions efforts. Today, a missions team may be Africans serving in India, or, as the documentary shows, in the U.S.
The film follows teams from two churches that have pioneered this new kind of short-term missions: one group travels from Chapel Hill Bible Church in North Carolina to Nairobi, Kenya; and a team from Mavuno Church in Nairobi arrives to do their missions work in North Carolina. The two churches have built the kind of deep and lasting relationship that Round Trip advocates.
“The future of missions is multi-directional,” says Andy Crouch, executive producer. “Many short-term mission trips are undertaken with outmoded assumptions about developing-world needs, and without enough genuine partnership with those who will ‘receive’ Westerners’ help. Especially lacking is awareness that the church in the global South is just as committed to, and capable of, engaging in mission around the world as the churches of the North and West.”
Oscar Muriu, senior pastor of Nairobi Chapel, adds in an interview for the film: “We can not afford as the African church to only receive, receive, receive. The African church can give back.” . . .