Why serve on a short-term mission team?
Because you may experience God’s call on your life more deeply than ever before, while at the same time being the hands and feet of Jesus to people in desperate need.
Since 1983, Forward Edge has mobilized more than 17,000 volunteers to serve on mission trips in many parts of the U.S. and 33 foreign countries. With more than 30 years of experience in short-term missions, we’ve learned the importance of doing things with people, not just for them.
And we know what it takes to make a mission trip meaningful—not just for those who go, but those they go to serve. Significantly, the programs our mission teams support are on-going long-term programs, designed and directed by local Christ-followers. This allows our mission team activities to effectively support long-term investment that aligns squarely with the vision of their in-country hosts.
Join or send a mission team with Forward Edge, and experience the joy of living your mission as you empower the poor, vulnerable, and forgotten to live theirs.
The recent “normalizing” of relations with the U.S. has provided a historic opportunity to support the work of the Church in Cuba. For more than 50 years, Cuba was officially off limits to U.S. travelers. But that is changing. Now YOU can be part of what God is doing there!
For most of the past half-century, Cuba was officially an atheist state. In 1962, Cuba’s government seized and shut down 400 Catholic schools, and many church leaders, including pastors and priests, were sent to labor farms for “re-education”. While both Protestant and Catholic churches remain restricted in their activities, they were never outlawed altogether. In 1984, Catholics and Protestants were allowed to conduct mass and worship services respectively. Since then, the growth of the Church inside Cuba has been phenomenal. By 2004, almost 20% of all Cubans were attending weekend religious services, compared with less than 1% in 1984; a growth rate of 1,960 percent!
Since personal income is regulated by the government and ranges from $20-$50 a month, most of the country suffers from extreme poverty. In keeping with its primary mission, Forward Edge teams to Cuba focus primarily on supporting church-run children’s programs. Additional ministry opportunities include construction or renovation of church buildings, reconstruction of homes destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, relational evangelism, and training of Cuban church leaders.
On January 12, 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people and displacing more than a million others. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated this already-fragile country, killing 500 people, displacing 175,000 others, and increasing the ever present needs of this impoverished nation.
Forward Edge teams to Haiti get to serve some of the most vulnerable children and families hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew in a small community called Vernet. Vernet is located just outside the city of Les Cayes in the southern region of Haiti. The devastation of Hurricane Matthew has made survival increasingly difficult for the 3,000 people that live here, and out of desperation, many parents have turned to the practice of restavek, giving their children away in a form of slavery.
Forward Edge teams to Vernet will support Pastor Prenor Coudo and his wife Antonise, who lead a community-based ministry for vulnerable children they call “Kids Club.” On a weekly basis, they touch the lives of over 100 children—some from restavek homes—with the Gospel, a healthy meal and other activities to give them hope. Teams will have the opportunity to come alongside this critical ministry to serve the children and their families, making a lasting impact on their lives.
In the mountains about 50 kilometers northwest of Nairobi is a town called Kijabe. Due to the staggering amount of orphans in the area, many are without access to adequate food, safe water, and a secure place to live.
Forward Edge teams to Kenya get to share Christ’s love with impoverished children, including many AIDS orphans, by serving them food, administering medical care, and renovating a school to improve their learning environment. Many of these children come from Mama Beth’s, Forward Edge’s children’s program in Kijabe, and visiting teams spend much of their time serving, playing and praying with them.
Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca is home to one of the largest concentrations of indigenous people groups in the world. It’s also one of the poorest regions in North America.
Teams to Oaxaca get to help feed and tutor more than 100 children at Trigo y Miel, Forward Edge’s children’s program on the outskirts of Oaxaca City. They also get to help repair the homes of needy families and engage in other community-related projects.
Nicaragua is second only to Haiti as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Children and families served by Forward Edge teams to Managua come from extremely impoverished and dangerous environments, including life inside a city dump.
These living conditions often leave children severely malnourished, neglected and abandoned, with a high risk of physical abuse, sex trafficking, rape, and teen pregnancy.
Forward Edge teams to Managua work on projects at schools and churches in poor communities, serve at feeding programs, and pray with suffering families. They also get to stay at Villa Esperanza, Forward Edge’s home for at-risk girls.
Hurricane Maria Relief
On the morning of September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico. It was the largest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. Territory in 80 years, leaving the entire island without electricity and whole communities destroyed. Local authorities are saying it will take decades to rebuild. Thousands of Puerto Ricans are still living without electricity, safe water or reliable sources of food. More than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have fled the island since Maria struck to stay with friends and family on the mainland, but are anxious to return.
Teams will have the opportunity to work alongside the local church and help families rebuild their homes and lives. Regardless of your skill set, together we can provide the free labor needed to clean up, gut homes, install roofs, and assist the community in rebuilding their homes. Our initial focus will be assisting the most vulnerable: widows, seniors, single moms, and low-income families living in the rural-interior of the island. These families need hope and you can provide it.Puerto Rico Trip Details
Hurricane Harvey – Houston, Texas
Any team of seven or more is invited to join the efforts of our wonderful partners in Houston. Want to talk about a possible trip? Contact Noah Hoff at the bottom of this page.
Houston Trip Details
Baltimore statistically ranks high among U.S. cities for issues of drug use, child poverty, violence, gang activity, sex trafficking and teen pregnancy. Forward Edge teams are partnering with a local ministry called The Transformation Center to help meet these pressing needs through serving the poor and building infrastructure for Hope Christian Academy, a private school for underprivileged children scheduled to launch in the Fall of 2017.
Baltimore Trip Details
It’s our desire to see churches flourish when they partner with communities in need by going on mission trips. We’ve seen great fruit in churches that have taken on “church-to-community” partnerships in our locations around the world. The impact of such a partnership will not only change the lives of those you serve, but will also transform lives within your congregation.
“For almost a decade I’ve relied on Forward Edge and have never been disappointed. Forward Edge is first-class in vision, purpose, equipping, support and connecting the body of Christ with the mission of Jesus on a worldwide scale.” – Pastor Chris Campbell from Bridgeport, WV
Your church can benefit the most from Forward Edge’s 30-plus years of experience in missions and cross-cultural ministry by becoming a Strategic Community Partner with one of the communities we serve.
Mission Trips with Forward Edge can bless your church:
- Serving a community in need creates tremendous unity within a church body.
- People who serve on mission trips with Forward Edge most often return with a passion to serve in and through their home church. Our programs help you cultivate and guide those passions.
- We offer various levels of involvement that can cater to different types of people in a congregation. (i.e. prayer, child sponsorship, long-term projects, etc.)
- We welcome creative new ideas the Holy Spirit may give your congregation to help serve a community.
- We offer a turn-key mission trip program that takes the logistical load off of your church and frees them up to focus on what God wants to do in their hearts through the experience
Want to talk more about a possible mission trip?
Fill out the form below, and we’ll be happy to reach out.
College and University students are ideal short-term mission trip members. They’re on the cusp of their futures, and we provide opportunities for them to launch into those futures with unique mission trip experiences. These young adults have a passion to serve, and to be the catalyst for change as they live their mission. We can often create opportunities to serve that aligns with their degree programs, which deepens their understanding of the field they are pursuing, and provides a cultural experience that enhances their course of study.
Students will join with their classmates to become a team that works together as servants. As a team, they are immersed into the culture, and as they put their faith into action, they obtain a deeper understanding of what servanthood is and how it applies to their own lives. With opportunities to build relationships with the local people we serve, they develop life-long friendships and a sense of community on a global scale.
Practically, Forward Edge ensures a consistent mission trip experience, regardless of where they serve, through complete logistical and practical coordination from start to finish. The location may vary, but the key components of devotions, debriefs, relationship building, and serving will be present in every trip. Each team will have a unique mission trip experience based on where they serve, but the foundation will always be solid, and the team can be confident that they will have the spiritual and logistical guidance necessary to ensure an amazing mission trip experience.
Want to talk more about planning a group mission trip?
Fill out the form below, and we’ll be happy to reach out.
Our mission teams typically consist of 10 or more volunteers. If you know 10 other people who want to serve on a mission trip, you have a team! If your church, small group, youth group, family, group of friends or business wants to form a team and serve together, we’ll help you make it happen on dates that work best for you!
The first step is for your group to decide where you will serve. Many groups decide based on passion for a certain location or a certain cause. Do you want to help vulnerable children? Do you want to help disaster victims? Do you want to serve people in Cuba, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua or in the United States? Check out our mission trip opportunities and connect with one of our Team Coordinators. They would love to help you plan your trip!
If you’re an individual and not part of an existing team, no problem! We have a number of open teams designed with you in mind. Check them out in the list below! We’re committed to making sure everyone with a heart to serve has that opportunity.