At a New Year’s Eve party in 2012, I met someone who told me about free mission trips. I didn’t believe them. I’d been on enough trips to know that they cost and sometimes cost a lot. I thought they must be mistaken.
After further investigation, I found out they were right. And it’s not the kind of free that they ask you for money at the end. One time I went on a free 5 day/4 night retreat for pastors and then when it was over they wanted me to go raise funds for them to continue to operate. This isn’t like that.
This is Samaritan’s Purse, headed up by Franklin Graham (the same people who do the Christmas shoe boxes). Samaritan’s Purse is funded by people who believe in the mission of spreading the Gospel through helping others – from wealthy corporations who give millions to individual donors who give $20. And they do not solicit money from their volunteers. They even give you free t-shirts and hats to wear and keep. Diane and I have been on three trips with SP. Our son Adam has been on two and our son Matt has been on one. They are awesome trips.
They do disaster response helping at the time of the crisis and they do rebuilds. Because of the nature of disaster responses, to help with them you must be able to go at a moment’s notice. Unlike most disaster responses which are sudden and unpredictable in nature, rebuilds are long term projects allowing volunteers to plan and schedule a trip three months in advance with a team. These are great opportunities for anyone desiring to get involved with mission work. You can go by yourself, with one other person, or with a group. They feed you, provide a place to sleep and shower, provide construction site supervisors, and provide all the materials and tools.
The minimum age is dependent upon the state’s laws. Right now they have disaster rebuilds in Oklahoma, New Jersey, and New York. New York requires people to be 18. I think Oklahoma is 14. I think New jersey might be 16.
These are free mission trips, paid for by Jesus loving donors who believe in the mission of Samaritan’s Purse. I see the SP mission as helping those who are at a difficult time and forever changing the volunteers who go to help. Your only cost is to pay to get yourself to wherever the trip is. Check out the link below. It’s a wonderful opportunity and most important – they do it for Jesus’ glory and in Jesus’ Name.
Learn more at www.spvolunteernetwork.org.