Just a quick update to talk about you, our upcoming mission trips, and one underlying reason we believe our mission trips are different from most.
Today, I'd like to lift the hood on Play. Story. Eat. and talk about the main thing that propels us in the directions we have gone in the past few years.
What Drives Play. Story. Eat. Mission Projects?
"We seek to initiate and develop friendships with marginalized and forgotten people."
This quote is from our mission statement. It came to us several years ago when we noticed a recurring theme on our trips. When people asked about what we did as a mission group, we said something like, "We go where no one else wants to go and work with people no one else wants to work with."
It is really easy for mission groups like us to focus on projects in beautiful places or in places that give us bragging rights. For example, in Guatemala, there is a gorgeous lake area that has many indigenous peoples in that region. Almost every mission group and denomination have teams going there, because it is such an attractive destination. While there is still much to be done there, strong churches already exist, and there is no shortage of folks who want to go help. So for us, even though we have great friends there and have an open invitation to join in their work, we believe we need to go where the need is greater.
In another case, we have friends doing ministry in the garbage dumps in Guatemala City. It is a tremendous ministry, and they do heroic things. Interestingly, many mission teams love the idea of going to work in such a terrible place. They can stay in a hotel nearby, go to the dumps for their project, but never connect with the people. One of our friends who leads a church and a ministry there tells us that they often feel used or ignored by groups who come in and out without getting to know them or be of any real help.
For us, we look for marginalized or forgotten people who no one is currently paying attention to. And we want to be humble and apt to serve in ways that make a long-term difference, whether anyone knows about it or not. So when you see or hear of us working with cowboys, Kekchi Indians, women, prisoners, soccer players, motorcycle enthusiasts, or senior citizens, they all have one common denominator. In one way or another, the people we serve often feel marginalized or forgotten by the church.
Everyone Needs a Friend Who Loves Jesus.
The other part of this defining equation is how friendship is key. We initiate and develop friendships. Regardless of who we work with, we don't want to hit and run. To do this, we have found that when we play, tell stories, and eat together, we naturally make great friends. And once you are on the road to friendship, faith is easy to talk about. Through the years we have honed our skills at being able to connect our stories with God's story and get people on the road to growing in their relationships with God. We don't presume that we have arrived or are at full effectiveness, but we believe that we are truly beginning to help our friends find Jesus and then gather others in groups that invite more and more to follow Jesus as well.
In putting friendship first on our agendas, we have seen how it offers us a chance to understand the realities of our new friends before jumping into a do-good project we might be itching to do but is not of first importance to them. We believe that whatever we do must be a collaborative project. And at the end of the day, we hope that our friends are as much a part of the solution as we are, and that they would have a sense that they and other locals had a bigger part in solving the problem and leading out for the benefit of their own people.
The #1 Reason Your Prayers and Engagement are Needed:
We can't do this alone.
There are so many opportunities before us, and there is no way a handful of us can do it all. We need friends who will make friends. We need the participation of many to join us.
We need God's help and guidance in all of it. So many of the things we are attempting are way above our heads. We know we are inadequate in and of ourselves. So your continued prayers for us are greatly needed and are of great strategic importance.
Upcoming Trips That are Open to You and Others
Here's a list of trips that we see coming in the next few months. Almost every trip has an anchor church or group, a leader of that group, and a focus for the trip. While these trips are being spearheaded by at least one group, all of these trips are open to others to join them from outside their group. If you have interest in any of these, contact us, and we can get you hooked up with others who are also preparing to go. Please note that these dates can change as we proceed, so be alert to that reality. Our aim is to have our teams ready and prepared to make each trip effective in mission and a blast for everyone involved!
January 3-9...Guatemala Rodeo Team...
This group will focus on a rodeo in Agua Blanca, Guatemala. Anchor church is Open Range Fellowship of Lone Jack, Missouri. Sam Anderson and Michael Macias are team leaders.
January 10-16...Guatemala Rodeo and Women's Team...
This group will follow up with rodeo events but also have a few days of working with women's groups in the region. Anchor church is Open Range Fellowship of Lone Jack, Missouri. Sam Anderson and Michael Macias are team leaders.
January 20-27...Honduras Cowboys and University of Agriculture Relations...
This group will be working with the Escuelas del Campo Program related to the University of Agriculture in Catacamas, Honduras, and visit both new and existing Christian rancher groups across the country.
March 12-16...Guatemala Women's Trip...
This group will be working with women's groups in the region of Quesada, Guatemala.
March 19-26...Brazil Exploratory Team...
This group will be an exploratory team that will meet key leaders who are interested in opening up Brazil to the establishment of Christian rancher groups and ministries for cowboys and ranchers of Brazil. Steve Reed is team leader.
10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)
Please pray that we will be wise and responsive to what God wants for each of these trips. Pray that God would continue to send laborers into His harvest fields.
We are still collecting money for Cesar's surgery. By the time you read this, we will have sent $1250 to help.
Keep helping us spread the word for the Nebraska Play. Story. Eat. Experience at Camp Witness November 3-4. And pass the word for any of the above mission trips we have slated.
PS... Investing Information
You can mail checks to:
Daybreak International, 11628 Oakmont St., Overland Park, KS 66210
On PayPal, you can give using the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On our websites, you can give at www.PlayStoryEat.com or www.DaybreakInternational.org.