Day 1: Greece

mlab Global, Missions, Sarah, Staff

Completely exhausted from travel, looking worse for the wear and smelling like all four of the airports we’d trudged through, our team has finally made it to Greece! By the time we dropped our bags in our hotel room, I was completely overwhelmed. Those of your who know me fairly well can tell that I’m a bit of an over-thinker. Maybe that’s an understatement – I’m a LOT of an over-thinker. When we stepped off the last plane, I was bracing for culture shock, language (and sensory) overload, and exhaustion. By the time we checked in, though, I was on the verge of shutting down altogether. Out of everything I was feeling, one thought stood out the most: I was …

Countdown to Greece: Pure Servanthood

mlab Global, J.P., Missions, Staff

 This is a guest post from J.P. Cox, our MLab Director. He and one of our other staffers, Sarah Barnett, will be traveling with a small team to serve in Greece for a week. J.P. and Sarah will be blogging throughout the trip, so come back for regular updates on this adventure! As I sit here in a rare moment of solitude and collect my thoughts (which are many at the moment), my mind keeps going to our upcoming trip to Greece. I have the privilege of leading a team of 13 to this beautiful country for a week of service to the Lord. Service – what does that really look like? I’ve spent the better part of this week …

What’s Your Focus?

mlab Behind The Scenes, Local, Missions, Sarah, Staff

This is a guest blog from our Associate Director of Youth and College Programs, Sarah Barnett. Sarah is a New Orleans native who spends too much time drinking coffee and reading BuzzFeed articles.   The leaves don’t change much during a New Orleans autumn. While friends in other parts of the country are beginning to add layers to their outfits, I’m still rocking flip-flops. I force myself to drink the oh-so-beloved pumpkin spice lattes, even though the face-melting heat will linger here until mid-December. Despite the weather, though, the feeling of fall creeps into New Orleans in other ways: the feeling that it’s time to rest, to regroup, time to rethink and reframe. Our theme for the coming MissionLab year is “FOCUS …

Why Do Short-Term Missions?

mlab Local, Missions

Top 5 Reasons to Take a Short-Term Mission Trip 5. Your group will grow closer. Going on a trip is fun! Seeing new things, having new adventures, tasting new foods and experiencing life together draws people closer. 4. You will be stretched. You will see things that you do not see on a regular basis.  You will meet people that you may not talk to in your everyday life.  While the experiences themselves will grow you, having time set aside for the Lord is a growing experience.  Anytime you separate yourself from the day-to-day and push yourself to focus on God and others, you have an opportunity to experience the Lord in new ways. 3. You help long-term missionaries.  Short-term …

Summer Missions Experience

mlab Behind The Scenes, Local, Missions

MissionLab has one overarching motto: Learn missions. Do missions. Be a missionary.  In the summer of 2011, Jack Blanding did just that. Not only did Jack get to be a missionary, he got to help teach youth how to do missions as well. When it comes to learning missions and doing missions, Jack recalls connecting specifically with one student from a church in Georgia that came to MissionLab. Although Jack was nervous about being a summer missionary for the first time and working with this group, he shared his story with them and was excited to lead them.  One student in particular connected with Jack’s story, and because Jack was willing to share with him, the student then went on …

Week 9: July 22 – July 28

mlab Local, Missions, Summer 2012

It’s hard to believe this is the last week of MissionLab for the summer. Our 9 groups helped us finish out the summer strong. Groups like Brock Baptist and Calvary Baptist helped out by wrapping up painting projects for several senior adults in the city. Without these groups, it would have been so difficult for these seniors to afford these home repairs, and our volunteers were happy to help. Students from Calvary also helped a local church with some construction needs, served the homeless throughout the city, cleaned up lots in the Lower 9th Ward, and spent time doing kids’ ministry in a local neighborhood. 121 Community Church also served through children’s ministry while they were here. They helped out …

Week 8: July 15 – July 21

mlab Local, Missions, Summer 2012

We were definitely busy at MissionLab during week 8, as 16 church groups joined us for our second largest week of the summer! Groups like Allen Free Will Baptist and Bethel Baptist served by spending time helping a homeless shelter and partnering with local churches to help with their ongoing ministries. Several teams like Anderson Mill, FBC Leesburg, Hunter Road Baptist, Flora UMC, FBC New Albany, Greensburg UMC, and Manatee Baptist Association spent their week sharing Christ with kids around the city through games and crafts and Bible. Some served with local day camps while others held Backyard Bible Clubs and sports camps in neighborhoods across New Orleans. Pauline Baptist spent their mornings serving the homeless and doing yard work …

Week 7: July 8 – July 14

mlab Local, Missions, Summer 2012

Week 7 was especially rainy in New Orleans, but even still, our MissionLab groups were able to serve all over the city, sometimes in unexpected ways. As the rain rolled in, groups helped load groceries in peoples’ cars at Wal-Mart, they drove around the city and prayed for different neighborhoods, and they even had the chance to do one-on-one ministry at the local shopping malls. It was so encouraging to see these groups with open ears and eyes willingly serving however God asked.   We had 11 different church groups join us at MissionLab this week, ready to be a part of the work God is doing in New Orleans. FBC Salado, FBC Madisonville, Downsville Baptist and Calvary Baptist spent …

Week 6: July 1 – July 4

mlab Local, Missions, Summer 2012

Even though it was short because of the July 4th holiday, this has been yet another amazing week! Every church was able to prayer walk through different parts of New Orleans and pray for the people, as well as the neighborhoods as a whole. Briarwood Baptist Church from Meridian, MS also helped out at a food bank, packaging food for those at risk of going hungry in our community, and the church group also cleaned up some overgrown yards. FBC Grand Bay, AL spent time with some homeless people, sharing basic hygiene supplies and Christ’s love, and they also hung out with kids through the neighborhood, building relationships and sharing Jesus through sports. Five Points Baptist Church from Northpoint, AL spent …

Week 5: June 24 – June 30

mlab Local, Missions, Summer 2012

With threats from Tropical Storm Debby, week 5 might have started a day late but God didn’t! This was our largest week of the summer. Over 400 students and leaders from 16 churches across the country came ready be a part of God’s work in New Orleans.   Many groups including Crosspointe, Euto Baptist, FBC Albany, FBC Cisco, Gateway Community, Grace Fellowship, FBC Sanger, and Jubilee Shores UMC all helped this summer’s ongoing clean-up efforts in the 9th Ward. From cutting tall grass and small trees to removing debris, these groups worked hard!   Several of our groups also continued ministry at neighborhood playgrounds. Using sports and games as a way to build relationships with community children, these groups had the …