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Caring for Missions Partner Churches Year ‘Round

Marko here. I’d been hearing things from our short-term missions partner, Praying Pelican Missions, about their new PPM365 initiative; but I had questions. Then, I had the amazing opportunity recently to travel with some PPM staff to visit some tiny churches in Alaskan villages only accessible by plane or boat. Some of those pastors and church leaders I now consider friends (and my brothers and sisters). Seeing some of their very unique challenges brought this new initiative into focus for me.

The way PPM describes it is a good starting point. They say “your group, or church, partners with a local church on your missions trip for one week of the year; but what about the other 51 weeks of the year? That’s what PPM365 addresses.”

PPM365 offers support and encouragement to PPM’s partner churches all year long, mostly by making a handful of “promises” to those church leaders: Consistent Care, Aid in Emergencies and Medical, Relational Network & Training, and Empowerment to go. The first three of those are mostly focused on the physical, relational and spiritual needs of partner pastors. The last of those (Empowerment to go) provides the opportunity for those PPM Partner Churches to go on mission themselves, often to locations, and with approaches, that US missions teams could not do.

In some contexts this will mean helping with low-cost medical insurance. In some contexts, theological and leadership training will be provided. In some contexts, otherwise-impossible ‘breaks’ from ministry (PPM is using the word ‘respite’ for this) will be funded. Each country where PPM365 is active will have a unique approach, primarily informed by the stated needs of these wonderful partner pastors.

It’s all about supporting the local church in meaningful, responsible, non-colonial ways. PPM has beta-tested this program with partner pastors from Kenya, Haiti, and a few other countries, with plans to expand to additional countries in the months and years to come.

An example from my time in Alaska: we met with Pastor Don in the tiny native village of Koyuk. Koyuk is only accessible by plane or boat, and about 340 people live there. There’s one church, one store, and a school. Pastor Don is amazing, and clearly knows and loves this community and its people. He lives a subsistence life, mostly relying on hunting and fishing for food. He’s the single father of three teenage children (his wife passed away from Cancer a few years ago). Don’s denomination certainly provides some level of care and connection; but he has other needs–relational, physical, family–that are rarely met. PPM365 would come alongside Pastor Don and help with some of those needs.

AND, the idea is that you, or your church, could partner with a church (and its leader) year ’round. After my wife and I chatted about it, we decided to become “Sustain Level Partners” ($200/mo; there’s also a “Multiply Level Partner at $35/mo, which needs 5 sponsors for each local church leader). I identified a few PPM partner pastors who’d had a big impact in me, really hoping we could be the sponsor for Pastor Rosaura in Belize (see my old post here to see more about her). Belize is coming online as a PPM365 in January; so we’re supporting an amazing Haitian pastor between now and then, knowing that PPM will find another sponsor for him when we’re able to support Pastor Rosaura in a few months.

How cool would it be for your church, in preparation for a future mission trip, or following a trip where you connected with a local host church, to sponsor that pastor and be in active partnership with them all year? Consider this for yourself, your youth ministry, or your church. Super stoked about this. Again, get more info 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)   

Learn More

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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.