What a word.
While it intrinsically embodies justice, in some ways it has been watered down to an excuse in our every day language. ‘I’m sorry I was late, I was just picking myself up some chocolate,’ or, ‘I know I said I would do that but I just didn’t have time.’
In fact, it’s the opposite.
It’s an intentional effort to start with ‘Missions Trip’ and end with ‘Missional Living’. It’s called Just Go because as Christians we often pray, think, worry, get excited about, wrestle with, talk about, dream, hope and scheme – about travel, ‘mission’ and saving the lost and helping the poor. Which is all worthwhile and good, but it shouldn’t stop there.
We want to see people put words into action and, well, Just Go – GO and meet the people who are trapped in injustice; GO and pray and worship in these spiritually dark places and change the atmosphere; go and give out Bibles to disillusioned youth in post-communist Europe; GO and pray for healing; GO and teach English to young people and students; GO and pray for and encourage the long term missionaries who give their blood, sweat and tears to the transformation of these communities; GO and run a one off project that these fledgling missionary teams can’t manage without some extra pairs of hands; GO and raise the joy level in the parks and community centres where families are trapped in a cycle of injustice and poverty; GO and see if cross cultural missions is for you; GO and let God break your heart for the poor – GO and catch a glimpse of how your culture has shaped you and your view of God. Over the last three years since this has been running, we’ve seen lives transformed both of the people on our teams and within the communities we partner with.
Here are a few reasons why.
One is that we are intentional about how we prepare, lead and follow up with the people on our trips. Part of the prep includes spending five days camping together in Sussex at a YWAM centre called Holmsted Manor to get ready. It’s a time of team building and training on all aspects of cross-cultural mission from seasoned and well experienced missionaries from all over the world. We also spend a lot of time in prayer and sung worship as we believe it starts with God, and His mission for the world.
Another reason we’ve seen such an impact is that it’s not *just* two weeks for some nice memories and a few selfies with beautiful children in dirty clothes. We partner with our long term YWAM missionaries, so our trips are part of a much longer, much bigger story. Some of our first year delegates have returned to the same place and are still in touch with the people they met, and some have even started fund raising for the projects they worked with! Our vision for Just Go, and the way we frame everything, is as part of an ongoing story of transformation, an exciting story to be part of.
This year we’re heading back to our friends in Romania, Serbia and Sarajevo as well as a ‘mystery trip’ which won’t be revealed until you’re actually at the airport!
A third reason why Just Go has been so impacting on individuals is that it’s not *just* a chance to broaden horizons and experience cross-cultural missions in action (although this happens!) It’s a chance to challenge your understanding of God, of yourself and of others, and the impact can be life long. It’s a chance to reflect on your own character and Christ-likeness.
So, if you want to connect with God in a new profound way, to rely on him, hear from Him, be challenged about your own heart, to be outside your comfort zone, as well as making new BFFs for life, then Just Go could be for you. Just Go is a family: we might be geographically spread out, but we’re a community of people seeking to know God more, and to make him known to the least and the lost. The friendships made on Just Go endure far beyond *just* two weeks and we have reunions and other opportunities to serve throughout the year.
If you want to know more about our summer missions trips including dates, prices, locations and how to apply for Just Go 2015 #JG15, then check out our website at www.justgoywam.com