PREPARING FOR A MISSION TRIP

Pete Missions

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is almost over. Christmas is just a few weeks away and then we start 2019. We are excited about what 2019 holds for us here at MissionLab. We have groups signing up and getting ready to come this spring and summer and we can’t wait for them to get here to see all the ways that God is going to move. One of the many questions that we receive when groups are preparing to come is, “How do we prepare for our trip with MissionLab?” Here at Missionlab, we send materials that we hope will aid our teams in their preparation to serve with us. But there are a few things that we would …

summer flowers

Summer 2015: Lessons from the Lower 9th

mlab Local, Missions, Summer

Have you ever stopped to smell the roses?  Literally? If you have (kudos to you), you may have received some sidelong glances from confused onlookers. However, you have not just seen the beauty of the rose, but experienced it, and what a difference that makes. Many people have seen New Orleans, whether while visiting here or looking from afar.  People see parties, vibrant culture, lots of rain, good music, great food – you name it (we probably have it). Amidst the typical touristy attractions, you might hear an undercurrent of negativity. Dirty. Lost. Sinful. Godless. But these are words used by those who have merely seen New Orleans, not those who have experienced it. New Orleans is a city full …

Tea Cup

NOLA to Greece: Tea and tears

mlab Global, Missions, Sarah, Staff

“Syaw or sabz?” I must have clumsily asked that question a dozen times, mostly because my Farsi is non-existent and I had to keep repeating myself to be understood. “Black tea or green?” Over and over again. Wednesdays are a little different at the refugee center: only women in the building, a more relaxed atmosphere, and lots and lots of hot tea. I knew deep down as we started the day that something significant was happening. I had been feeling it all week, and I sensed it even more so with each handshake and kiss exchanged as the refugee women filed in. As we settled in with our tea, our hostess, an incredible woman who has served at the center …

NOLA to Greece: Check your “savior syndrome” at the door, please

mlab Global, Missions, Sarah, Staff

I am not a hero. I am NOT a hero. I am not a HERO. Sometimes I have to repeat that phrase to myself so I’ll remember, well, to remember that I am no hero. I don’t have super powers, a glowing, golden lasso, or even a cleverly named sidekick. But there is something about going on a volunteer trip that kicks that latent “savior syndrome” into high gear. Those of you who know me personally know that I spend a lot of time trying to coax this syndrome out of the groups that volunteer with MLab in New Orleans, so you would probably think that since I rail against “savior syndrome” so much that I’d be immune to it. …

NOLA to Greece: “But when do we start??”

mlab Global, Missions, Sarah, Staff

If you’ve been following #NOLAtoGR on social media (if not, you definitely should be!), you’ve seen a little bit of our Grecian journey so far, and let’s be honest, from our pictures of the delicious food, incredible views, and plenty of smile-filled selfies, it probably doesn’t seem like we’re “roughing it” as you might expect us to do on a trip like this. You might be wondering when our “real work” begins, and you’re probably not the only one asking that question. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: sometimes serving and volunteering involves more than nose-to-the-grindstone tasks. Sometimes it’s sharing a meal and a conversation with a local ministry partner. Sometimes it’s catching up with a …

NOLA to Greece: Notes from a newbie

mlab Evan, Global, Missions, Staff

  Since March of 2011, MLab has partnered with a refugee center in Greece. And if you’ve been through our program in the past three years, you’ve heard about the dire situation of the refugees there. In the time since our partnership began, some of our MLab team has had the opportunity to serve there. They have seen the faces and heard the stories first hand. Today, for the first time, I have that same opportunity. Soon, I will see those faces and hear those stories myself. I am blessed beyond measure for this opportunity. But if I am completely honest, sitting here in the airport about to board the first flight, I am also more than a little scared. As an …

Summer is over – now what?

mlab Behind The Scenes, Jamie, Missions, Staff

After the suitcases are unpacked, the laundry is done, and you’ve found just the right spot to hang your feathered mask and the pictures of the kids you met at the playgrounds, you might think you’re done with the week you spent at MissionLab this summer. But as we’ve learned here, it’s really just the beginning. It can take a little work to really unpack all that you experienced here in New Orleans, and that’s where debrief, “a series of questions about a completed mission or undertaking,” comes in. To me, debrief is just as important as training. It allows a time for reflection. Most people only think of training when they consider completing a mission, preparing themselves to do a …

What If No One Thanks You?

mlab Engaging Culture, Missions

Thank you – it’s only two words, two syllables, eight letters, but it’s a powerful phrase. I remember writing an endless stream of thank you notes after holidays and graduations, my fingers cramping a few notes in, and my hand covered in smeared ink (the struggle of being left-handed is very, very real). My mother sent me to enough etiquette classes to know that it was the right thing to do, though. Showing gratitude is important. It affirms people, builds them up, and lets them know that what they’ve done – and even more so, who they are – is important to you. Sometimes, especially in ministry, we don’t get to hear the thanks we think we deserve, though. We …

2014 Global Missions in Greece

mlab Global, Local, Missions, Spring Break

If you’ve been to MissionLab in the past three years, you’ve probably heard me (or one of my teammates) talk about our global missions focus in Greece. In fact, if you have interacted with me on anything past surface-level small talk, you’ve probably heard me talk about Greece. Three years ago, part of our team began looking into the struggles, the needs, and the ministry opportunities there. Ever since, we have been sharing the story of the work in this part of the world with our MLab teams who have come to serve in New Orleans. In a country so tiny and overrun with economic difficulties, there are over a million refugees seeking a better life. With only around 11 …