International (MNN) – It’s hard to believe it’s 2018, but Orphan’s Heart International has been eagerly anticipating the opportunities this year will bring in ministry.

Deanna Berkes of Orphan’s Heart previewed a few of the short-term mission trips coming up this year. She says, “We are taking groups or individuals for each of the weeks we have listed. We’ve got trips to Uganda, to Romania, to the Dominican Republic, Guatemala … [there are] several different nations that we are traveling to.”

On June 6, for instance, they are taking a team of young individuals to Uganda. Here, the team will work with an orphanage and a local school and help with some AWANA projects.

“We also have a trip going to Romania … July 26. And they will also be helping orphans. We work in two different orphanages in Romania with our ministry partner there as well as a group that does foster care. So you’re really being the hands and feet [of Jesus] here, going in and just loving on these kids, teaching them about the Gospel and sharing the Good News just through relationship and teaching.”

The exact projects these teams will be involved with depends on what skills and abilities each member brings to the table. There might be an English class or a women’s outreach, for instance. Berkes says they will do their best to utilize whatever talents the team has to offer.

The Gospel and short-term missions

A lot of people might feel that a few weeks overseas is too short to really make an impact, spiritually or otherwise. But Berkes says because there is such a focus on relationship—both between Orphan’s Heart and their partners and between those going and the people they serve—there really is a great opportunity to make a difference.

(Photo courtesy of Orphan’s Heart)

“I feel like when folks are on a short-term mission [trip], it’s really kind of a pressure cooker of sorts because emotions are high and expectations are there that you want to see the Gospel moving and want to see the Holy Spirit moving and it’s such an impactful way to get involved with sharing the Gospel,” Berkes says.

One of the ways they hope to emphasize the Gospel in their projects is through a series of specialized trips. Orphan’s Heart has been planning a mother-daughter, father-son, and senior adult trips. The idea is that these specific groups will be able to connect in a special way with mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and seniors they will be working with.

Much of what takes place on these trips is about garnering a heart for missions and pursuing a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Berkes explains, “It’s an awesome opportunity to kind of get to know our Lord and Savior on a more intimate basis because you’re in this opportunity that’s away from home, away from all of the things—the daily mundane and just things that we do on a regular basis and so it gives you that opportunity to refocus and re-center and get to focus wholly on the heavenly Father.”

You can view the 2018 trip calendar here.

Even if you can’t go on a trip, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a major part of what Orphan’s Heart is doing.

“We’re always collecting school supplies to go to each of the countries we’re working in. Education is super important and critical to breaking that poverty cycle. And so, we collect school supplies to send to each country to share with those children there so we don’t have to purchase them.

“Another way is through child sponsorship. In many of the countries that we’re traveling to, folks can sign up for sponsoring a child. It is $38 a month.”

All of those funds go directly towards the educational, nutritional, and spiritual development of the sponsored child. To sponsor a child today, click here.

To donate supplies, click here.

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