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We do missions differently. So should you.

Chances are, if you’ve scrolled through your social media feed lately, you’ve run across a video by Christian comedian John Crist. His lighthearted brand of comedy has been viewed 200 million times on YouTube, making people bust out laughing around the globe.

The key to comedy is that it’s relatable because there’s some kernel of truth to it. Comedy often allows us to smile while re-examining our beliefs and the world around us.

Crist’s latest video, “Honest Mission Trip Leader” is no exception. Most if not all of us know exactly what Crist is talking about. The trip where everyone has to wear the same shirt. The trip where someone can’t find their passport. And yes, the trip where you wonder if you’re really doing any good.

“Day four is when we’re really going to get down to business,” Crist says in the middle of the video. “We’re going to paint a school. Are there skilled painters in that country that can probably do a better job than us? Yes there are. Does this country have high unemployment and they could probably use the work? Again, also true.  Was this school painted last week by the mission team that came before us? Again, yes. But that’s not important. We’re going to paint the school and we’re going to get some photos to send back to the church.” 

Horror stories like this make me proud that Buckner International does mission trips differently than most organizations. Because our staff works with vulnerable families every day of the year, they understand the context, resources and needs of the community where they serve.

That knowledge helps our staff empower families to meet the goals they set for themselves. Buckner staff in countries like Kenya, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala connect families with resources that help them gain the skills they need to succeed. If they need job training, Buckner makes that happen. If they need help managing finances, Buckner teaches them how to do that. If a family wants to start a business, Buckner helps make that happen as well.

As families grow through Buckner programs, their confidence grows and their dreams become larger and larger. They have hope for a better future and the skills to make that future a reality.

But the areas where Buckner serves don’t have all the necessary resources for families to achieve their goals. That’s where mission teams come in.

Buckner Missions recruits teams with specific skills such as business development, agricultural knowledge and construction experience to come alongside the families we serve and work with them to provide the resources required to help them overcome an obstacle they’ve encountered.

These teams come in at precisely the right moments and provide precisely the assistance these families need. They’re a crucial and seamless part of Buckner ministry in the area, and in the development of the families we serve. Once the team leaves, Buckner continues ministering to the families, helping them continue on their journeys toward self-sufficiency.

That way no one has to wonder if they’re making a difference through service. Mission teams leave their locations of service knowing hope shines here.

Want to know more about how you can change a life through Buckner missions? Visit www.buckner.org/missions.

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