In the midst of freezing conditions in Britain, summer seems a long way off.  Students are still hard at work preparing for their exams, not thinking about what they’re going to do with the long summer break.  The rest of us are grimly trying to get through the winter.  If we spare a thought for summer, it’s to recognise that it’s still a long way off.

In fact, if you have any thoughts of doing short term mission this summer, it’s far from a long way off, and actually you really need to get your skates on if you’re going to discern where you’re going, with which agency, get through their application process and raise the funds you need.  The process is lengthy so you need to get started now, if you haven’t done so already.

The place to start is in the Syzygy Guides to Doing Mission Well.  We have a comprehensive guide on doing short term mission which will talk you through from start to finish.  It will point you to helpful websites, and outline everything you need to do be ready.

Another good place to visit is Christian Vocations.  They have a particularly good search engine which shows you who is doing what, and where.  There are also helpful articles to fill you in on some of the practicalities.  Or go straight to your own denominational mission agency, if you have one, or an agency where other people you know have had a good experience.  We recommend the following agencies:

That’s not to say that other agencies aren’t good, it’s just that we don’t have personal experience of them.  But do make sure that you select an agency which operates under the Global Connections Short Term Missions Code of Best Practice which will ensure that the agency has reviewed its activities in the light of sector standard best practice.

And you don’t have to be university age to take part in a short-term mission team.  Many agencies are specifically recruiting older people, who have the benefit of life experience and wisdom even if not all the energy of youth.  In many ways they can achieve more than their younger counterparts, so don’t rule yourself out.

So what are you doing this summer?  Doing the usual or doing something different?  Taking a break or taking a risk?  Go on, do something adventurous this summer which will change your world, somebody else’s world, and see God at work in you and through you.  But don’t leave it too late!