Kayleigh (on the far right) in Costa Rica

After a two-week outreach, now what?


During the Outreach Since the moment we drove away from the airport I knew I was going to love Costa Rica. The familiar smells of Latin America filled my senses as I took in all the foreign billboards and stacked architecture. Muddled Spanish was being spoken all around me and I longed for a piece of fruit from one of…

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Are Short-Term Mission Trips worth it? ­ Part 3


Part 3: What benefit does short term missions have for nationals and our long-term staff? One of the biggest questions people often wrestle with in doing short-term missions is “What benefit to these trips have for nationals (people who are native to the country you’re visiting), as well as for missionaries who are serving long-term?”  This question seems to be the…

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The Little Things


In my work teaching in our semester program and working with our site leaders I find myself often thinking about the various cycles we see repeated in the communities we serve in; cycles of abuse, family dysfunction, and poverty among others that are passed on from generation to generation. They are passed on until someone makes the decision to swim…

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Nicaragua Home Visit

Are Short-Term Mission Trips Worth It? Part 2


Part 2: Is it better to go or send money? If you’re just joining our conversation, this is part 2 of a three part series on the value of short-term missions. If you missed part 1, feel free to click here and get caught up. In the last twelve years of being involved in short-term missions (vocationally for the last…

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Are Short-Term Mission Trips Worth It? Part 1


Part 1: Short-term and Long-term missions working together If you’re anything like me, you’ve asked the questions, “Are short-term missions even worth it?” “Wouldn’t it be more effective to just raise the money and give it to the ministry?” “What benefit does it really have on the people in that country?” or “It often seems the short-term team benefits more…

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Scribbles on Paper


I am blessed to have three children ages 11, 9, and 5. Ever since they were old enough to hold a crayon and scribble on paper they have loved to present their works of art to me saying, “Look what I made for you daddy!” Like fathers everywhere I would respond with an overly enthusiastic, “Wow!! It’s amazing! I love…

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Hope in the Dust


There are places in this world and in our lives that appear dark – where hope is the last thing we would expect to spring out of them. I’m learning more and more that the character of God is just that – bringing life into the dark and the barren. And when I leave the comfort and predictability of home…

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Alex’s Story


At times unbelievers, those who have not yet met Christ, come on an SI outreach. Some of these adventurous souls make a life-changing decision while on their trip. Team leader Cindy Noblitt had a front-row seat at the life-transformational power of the Holy Spirit when she brought her group down last year. Here is their story: Alex, a Chinese international…

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A Lesson (and the Blessing) in Obedience


I took a job with Students International about two and a half years ago knowing full well that part of my job was to lead student trips – something I’ve been hugely passionate about for years and have done with enthusiasm. But then we had a baby. We went to Costa Rica when I was 12 weeks pregnant, then I got a…

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Traveling light


Last week our CEO Dave Hansen spoke with the Joshua Wilderness students before they headed out on their outreach to Dominican Republic. He shared how much he loves this opportunity because of the unique place these students are in right now, and in their anticipation right before leaving on an overseas outreach. As they were all about to pack their…

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