There are reveal parties these days for baby gender, for the newly engaged, and for anything, really! So why not with prayer partners for the church’s mission trip?
In June, 14 people from St John’s Lutheran Church went to Wilderness Canoe Base in the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. We did a Hybrid Trip – part mission with creation care and part trip into the BWCA.
First, we helped the camp trim trails, pick up brush, and created burn piles. Then, we set out on trail. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area is real wilderness – out of the range of cell phones. It’s where Minnesota gets its name, “The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes!” Students and Adults along with their guide canoed and portaged from lake to lake – outdoor living at its best!
While we were on trail, each participant – adults and student – had someone back home praying for them. The prayer partner received a postcard in the mail on who and what they should pray about:
It was a surprise for students to learn who their prayer partner was as the reveal took place at Mission Trip Ice Cream Social. It was a chance for the prayer partner to meet the mission tripper, which resulted in rich conversations and new friendships. Here is what we did together:
- Always have food. Ice Cream and Rootbeer floats were the treat of the night – but it could be a pizza potluck, ice cream sundaes, or a special coffee bar. People feel at ease when they have something in their hands, especially when you are dealing with all ages – food and drink naturally fill that void.
- Share visuals. Create a video or show some photos to introduce the what the mission trip was all about. Students are creative and know exactly how to do this.
- Introduce the prayer partners. Match up the prayer partner and the mission tripper for a 15 minute conversation. Give them a set a discussion starters:
– To ask Mission Tripper:
- Share one or two of your favorite stories about your time in the Boundary Waters?
- How did we help Wilderness Canoe Base with some projects?
- What was hard about the trip?
To ask Prayer Partner:
- What is it like to pray for someone you don’t know?
- What kind of things did you pray about while we were on the mission trip?
- How can we continue to pray for each other?
- Recap and regroup. After prayer partners and mission trippers come back together, ask prayer partners what stories they heard, and then ask mission trippers what they learned. Everyone will share different stories which makes recap so much fun.
- Pray and pray again. Before you close in prayer, hype up next summer’s trip – Reveal where the next mission trip for 2020 will be. For us, it will be Kentucky – Appalachian Service Project. We will ditch the water shoes for overalls and the paddle for a hammer to build alongside the people warm, safe, and dry homes.