As you probably know, I have been in seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) pursuing my Masters in Divinity for the last couple of years. Although we are not exactly sure where or to what God is calling us when I finish school – whether pastoral ministry or teaching in the academy, in the US or elsewhere – it has been the blessing and opportunity of a lifetime to pursue seminary education. As part of my program, I have committed to participating in two short-term mission trips. They are specifically designed as “vision trips,” to expose me to other cultures (particularly in the majority world) and to provide vital experiences which will help our family better discern whether God could be calling us to teach or minister in another part of the world.
What’s the plan?
The first of these trips will be this May 15-30, 2017 to Mbale, Uganda (right on the equator in East Africa). I’m going with several students and faculty from TEDS. We will be connecting with Uganda Christian University, which connected with one of the country’s leading hospitals. We will also be working with JENGA Community Development Outreach, who cares for some of the most vulnerable and needy people in the area. We will be learning about local customs and culture, meeting with professors, engaging local Muslims, preaching in local churches, sharing meals, and generally spending a great deal of time experiencing the people there. I’m so looking forward to this opportunity!
How can I participate?
I’ll be journaling through this experience as well here on my blog, sharing updates, photos, prayer requests, and stories of God at work. I’ve created a special page to collect all that material into one place (similar to my trip to Israel a few years back), so please join me there to share this journey with me.
Also, one of God’s explicit instructions to me in all this is to share the opportunity to fund this trip with the people in our lives. So, I’m asking you to partner with us, both financially and in prayer, to make the trip possible. Each team member is responsible to raise their own support in gifts for Trinity. The cost for participation is $2,800 to cover airfare, in-country transportation, housing, food, and ministry expenses. Gifts to Trinity, with an expression of a preference for my trip expenses, are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you are willing and able to make a gift to Trinity to assist with my expenses, kindly do so at http://tiu.edu/givetomissions.
Thank you so much for your consideration on this. Whether or not you can help us fund the trip, we would ask you to please pray:
- Pray for me (for stamina, wisdom, humility, and to learn and grow from this experience).
- Pray for the team and the people we encounter (that the gospel would go forth in power and that all of our lives would be changed by God’s work among us).
- Pray for my family whom I’m leaving behind for two weeks for the sake of this trip.
For the sake of Christ’s Kingdom,
-Jeff (Faith and John) Block