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Why I’m Excited About our PPM Youth Leader Trip to Alaska

Marko here. We posted the other day about the second youth leader vision trip we’re taking in September to Alaska, to help people get a sense of both the amazing work of Praying Pelican Missions and this fantastic location. But I thought I might share a bit more backstory and details.

The Youth Cartel has been partnering with Praying Pelican Missions for a number of years, and I’ve been on ten or more trips with them. We’ve tried multiple approaches over the years to figure out how the Cartel can get the word out about this org we believe is “best in class” (and I write that as someone who has been on many, many youth mission trips with multiple organizations). In the early years, Adam and I went on what could be called “blogging trips”: we’d go see the work of PPM in a country, and blog about our experiences. Knowing that PPM’s approach is to develop longterm partnerships with local churches (led by local pastors), and to serve under their authority and on their behalf, I would always pull these pastors aside for private conversations about how they were treated by PPM. Honestly, these conversations are what really sold me.

We’ve tried to do some Cartel/PPM trips with youth groups from the Cartel fam; and while those were great, it wasn’t our strong suit. I’m not sure why it took us so long to remember that a couple vision trips we did for youth workers years ago were the best thing we could offer, and that’s being proved out with these Alaska trips. I mentioned the first trip (September 17 – 20) on my Facebook and Twitter, and we filled it in six hours. So I asked PPM if we could add a second trip a week earlier (September 10 – 13), and they scrambled to accommodate us (props particularly go to the Alaska team for this).

I got to go on a partnership trip with them to Alaska last summer, and honestly, it’s one of my favorite locations I’ve been to. As a group leader, I was stoked to see it has a great combo of factors: less cost than an international trip, but some of the ‘feel’; wonderful ministries excited to receive help, but none of the challenges of passports and immunizations and currency exchange. and it is guh-guh-gorgeous, of course.

I’ve said this before: I think that youth ministry short-term missions can one of the worst things we do in youth ministry (drive-by missions, white savior complex, ministry tourism); but it can also be one of the best things we do in youth ministry, when the context is carefully curated to increase the likelihood that our churches bless local churches and they bless us. When done correctly (as I firmly believe PPM strives to do), we get to participate in partnership with the work of the Kingdom with Jesus who is already present and actively at work in the location where we serve.

SO: I encourage you, youth worker, to consider a trip with Praying Pelican. And I have been so deeply encouraged in the last couple weeks hearing so many stories of Cartel-y youth workers who are going on PPM trips this summer, and heard about them through us.

We’ve limited the size of these Alaska vision trips in order to maximize the experience. And we have about four or five spots remaining on the Sept 10 – 13 trip. You’ll spend a few days with me and a small group of peers. OH, and it’s free (you just have to get to Anchorage). Please feel free to reach out to me (marko@theyouthcartel.com) with any question you might have. Or, get info and register here.

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Get a Vision for Missions in Alaska

Join Marko and PPM as we explore what healthy short-term missions look like in beautiful Alaska. This trip is intended for church leaders who are exploring a future mission trip for their group. You will have the opportunity to visit local churches and non-profit organizations that are serving those who call Alaska their home.

This trip has limited availability, with 8 spots available (limit 1 leader per church/organization). The costs of this trip are sponsored by The Youth Cartel and Praying Pelican Missions, making it at no cost to you. There is a refundable registration fee of $100 to reserve your spot that will be returned to you after the trip.

This leader trip includes all ministry visits, lodging (at local churches), meals, transportation, staffing, and pre-trip prep. It does not include your flight to Anchorage, Alaska.

September 10-13, 2022 ($100 refundable registration)   

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Announcing The Youth Cartel’s 2022 Mission Trips

bahama mission trip

It’s no secret that The Youth Cartel is a big fan of Praying Pelican Missions. There are plenty of wonderful organizations out there who can help you with your short-term mission trips. But PPM, in our opinion, stands apart. Their commitment to developing long-term relationships with local, indigenous church leaders, and serving under their leadership is unique, and helps avoid many of the problems that can be created when short-term missions is more…well…drive-by colonialism.

For 2022, we’re partnering again with PPM for two specific weeks. On those two weeks, Mark Oestreicher will be present, both to make sure your experience is the best, and to speak to your teenagers in the evening. We thought long and hard about locations for 2022, and have chosen two we’re pretty excited about: Abaco, Bahamas, and Kauai, Hawaii. To be clear, we did not choose these locations for their ‘exotic’ nature: we chose them based on needs.

Abaco is a lesser-visited island in The Bahamas, but one with dramatic needs, particularly in the wake of a horrible hurricane in 2019. We’ll partner with local church for a variety of wonderful ministry.

Then, while Kauai is certainly a beautiful location, the needs of the people who live there year ’round can be profound. We’ll be partnering with a wonderful church that has been active for years in serving their community.

Ask us any questions you might have. Or, for more info (including dates and pricing), click here.