In an important passage that draws us in to God’s mission, Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields” (John 4:35). In a display of Jesus’s full humanity, demonstrated by his heartfelt response to the crowds that suffered the effects of false religion, we learn that when Jesus “saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them” (Matt 9:36). It’s important for us to see people the way Jesus sees them: lost sinners in need of salvation through Christ.
The value of “looking” and “seeing” the mission field for yourself is hard to overemphasize. Thus, short-term mission trips or mission internships have tremendous value. Short-term missions can be problematic in many ways. Done well, however, it can be a tool of the Lord to help you “look at the fields.”
This is where BMM’s FirstLook program comes in. Designed for college students, the FirstLook missions ministry experience opens your eyes to the opportunities in global missions. It is a first look at ministry and life on the mission field under the care of an experienced missionary. Many times, mission trips can give you an unrealistic perspective of missions. Think about it. Many mission trips are designed to have you ministering with a large group of people just like you. You and your team pull off an event that may only happen in that place once a year or once every two years when visitors come to help. While those efforts can be fruitful, they don’t represent the regular routine of mission ministry in that place. The FirstLook program seeks to give you a day-to-day picture of culturally appropriate, long-term missions.
FirstLook experiences are available most times of the year, especially in the summer. There are opportunities in North America as well as abroad. Never travelled internationally before? We connect you to a BMM-approved travel agent to plan and purchase your itinerary. Is your time limited because of other summer plans or school and work obligations? That’s fine. We work with the time you have. The typical trip lasts between two and four weeks, but it can be as long as two months if that is what works well for you and the host missionary.
You also benefit from BMM’s expertise in planning for the unexpected. We will ensure that you have both short-term health and evacuation insurance to provide necessary coverage during your trip. This cares for health and evacuation needs that could arise due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, or political unrest.
Of course, there is cost involved, but please don’t let that make you hesitate. You will see God reward your faith as you seek Him for the necessary support through your church, family, and friends. We’ll help you establish a support need and give you tools to get started seeking the partners God has for you.
Each “Firstlooker” is hosted by an experienced host missionary. They welcome learners like you and will create a full and immersive experience for you. It’s not a vacation, so be prepared to work and get valuable hands-on experience. You will encounter real people with real needs and see how God uses people like you to meet those needs. It is great preparation for wherever God leads you in His global harvest.
Look at the fields! Get started today by visiting the FirstLook page and finding out more.
Administrator for Church Relations and Enlistment
Travis Gravley & his wife Becky are former missionaries to Romania. He serves as BMM’s Administrator for Church Relations and Enlistment. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more ways to serve.