Know Before You Go – 5 Things to Consider Before You Go on a Mission Trip

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  1. Obviously the first thing you should do is PRAY! You should seek God’s guidance as you prepare to go, while you are there, and when you come home. Have people praying for you back home as well.
  2. It would be a smart idea to learn about the culture of the country you will be serving in. Learn what type of clothing is acceptable. Try to learn a couple of words in the local language as well: words like please, thank you, and hello. This can be helpful if language is a barrier and is very appreciated by the people to whom you are reaching out.  Google Translate and YouTube should be able to help you with this.
  3. Align your heart with the purpose of your trip. Be a servant while you are there; go to learn about God and more about yourself and others; don’t think you know it all; embrace grace if your flight is delayed or you get bitten by bugs or if you don’t always agree with your team members.
  4. Plan ahead! Get the shots that are necessary for the country you are travelling to. Know what to pack by doing your research. Items that you might want to take with you are: bug spray, hygienic items like toilet paper and stomach medicine, sunscreen, a couple of flashlights, and plastic bags for your clothes to keep them dry. Take along snacks like peanut butter, crackers, and protein bars (as the food may not be to your liking). Another tip is to roll up your clothes when you pack because it will take up less room.
  5. Debriefing after your trip is almost as important the trip itself; firstly, it can help with the adjustment to your normal life; secondly, it can put into words everything you learned on your trip as you return to your daily life. Engage with people when you get back. A short-term mission trip will change your life: it will make you more grateful, expand your perspective on just about everything, and draw you closer to God.

There are many things to think about after you say yes to going on a mission trip. It may be your first time going, or your third, but remember that God is with you always. Also remember that your reason for going is to serve and to tell others about Jesus and His love. Know that this experience will change your life for the better.

If you are interested in going on a short-term mission trip with Galcom, please contact us at 905-574-4626 for more information.

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Christian Radio in Albania

Pastor Cimi Baraku and his wife established a church called Emmanuel Mission Church in Korce, Albania, of which he was the pastor. Korce is one of the larger cities in Albania and has a population of nearly 80,000 people.

In the late 1990s, Emmanuel Mission Church started a Christian radio station named, Radio Emmanuel. In 2003, while raising funds in America for the radio station, Pastor Cimi suffered a fatal heart attack.  His son, Tani, took over managing the radio station; although young, Tani had many Christian radio professionals from around the word come alongside him to mentor him and help him lead the radio station.

 Pastor Cimi contacted Galcom International for help with their new station. After he passed away, Tani and his mother contacted Galcom again, and a team was sent over to help with the tower assembly for Radio Emmanuel, as the station was having trouble. The problem was that their tower was set on top of an apartment building and was being interfered with by radiation. A team from Galcom travelled to Albania in order to raise the tower so the broadcast area would be larger.

Since then, teams have travelled to Albania from Galcom to distribute radios.

Near the beginning of 2016, Tani was able to purchase a new building to house the radio station; however, the building sure needed a lot of work! Again, a team from Galcom went over to Albania to assist with cleaning up the new building and handing out radios. There will be more teams heading to Albania in 2017 to design and complete the studios and distribute more radios to people living in remote villages.

A Trip to India

When ministries work together, more can be accomplished to expand the reach of the Gospel. Last year Galcom International’s Executive Director, Tim Whitehead, was invited to travel with a team from Global Outreach to India where pastor Praydot Mondal is the director of Ahoban Radio Ministry. Of course, Tim took along some Galcom radios with him. It is difficult to ship radios into the country due to high duty charges, so Praydot had been to the Galcom office to see if it was feasible to assemble the radios at his end.

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Ahoban Studio

Officially, in India, there is freedom of religion; however, local Hindu leaders can be very violent to Christian evangelists. Missionaries are able to travel and present the Gospel but it needs to be done in a discreet, sensitive and respectful way. Praydot suggested that a team from Global Outreach come to India and run a medical clinic as a way to share the Gospel.

Along with handing out radios and evangelism, distributing eyeglasses was a major ‘focus’ of this trip. The Lions Club (a worldwide non-evangelical club which has programs to help the community) collect thousands of eyeglasses, then sends them to groups who, in turn, will sort, measure and catalogue the donated glasses so they are ready for people who need them. img_20160201_131513 In fact, prison inmates from an East Coast prison are among some of the people who do these tasks. Many eyeglasses were handed out in India during these clinics. Included in with the clinics for eyeglasses were three doctors and a chiropractor. Praydot mentions these clinics in his email.

“The first place where our clinic was conducted now has a small church group that is now meeting regularly. Did we plant a church? Not exactly, but we were a catalyst of encouragement to the few believers who were in that village. Their ongoing contact with and encouragement by Ahoban staff were critical to its starting.

Since we visited the locations that we did, we have had numerous village leaders from other villages on the same island request that we come to visit them next time. One church is now started; perhaps we could be a part of catalyzing more churches in the future.”

Listeners’ information up to November 2016.Jpeg

185 letters received from listeners.
150 phone calls came from listeners.
320 listeners completed correspondence course.
727 correspondence courses, calendars and letters sent to listeners.
68 accepted Christ through correspondence course.
We have 42 radio listeners’ clubs in 17 District of West Bengal.

God can use anything He chooses to spread His message into countries that are not openly friendly to the Gospel. We are privileged to be His hand and feet, not only to share His word, but also to minister to the physical needs of those we visit.

Lighthouse Radio in Belize

Clive Welsh runs Lighthouse Radio in the town of San Pedro in Belize and back in October, Galcom International was blessed to have him as the guest speaker at our banquet. While here in Canada, Clive mentioned that he was experiencing transmission problems and so while the team were in Belize they were able to find and repair the problem, which was with one of the antennas.  Besides that task, the men also diagnosed a problem with the generator and with the transfer switch. Clive is waiting for parts to come in so that the next person can finish the repairs.al-and-john-on-the-tower

Following that, it continued to be a busy time for the 5 men.  On one of the days while there, they had an opportunity to share about Galcom in two schools on the neighboring island of Caye Caulker.  The first was a charter school being run by North Americans to meet the need on the island for those that wanted to study beyond 8th grade. The team was able to challenge the students to look for solutions to the problems around them by using the radio as an example of how solar energy is used to produce the power needed to run them in areas where there may not be affordable electricity. The second school was a grade school and the men were able to talk to the students in each of the classes about the Lord and how He cared for each of them.

On another day, they shared in a local church and then distributed radios in the area around the church. It was a very poor part of the island where the inhabitants were actually having to reclaim land from the sea by using anything they could find as fill; it 15355747_10157907976655302_167847449893929965_nlooked very untidy as often old mattresses and discarded items were being used. The people were very thankful for the radios and for the message of hope that they proclaimed.  This was the second poor area that a distribution of the little missionaries was made on the island.

One evening on their way home from a Christmas presentation, Alastair and John met a blind man who gladly received one of the radios. He had been a follower of Christ for many years and shared how just after becoming a believer he was attacked by a man with a machete who struck him across the head, blinding him instantly. He said that the only thing that keeps him going some days is his relationship with the Lord. Now he will be able to listen to God’s Word each day on his radio.

With the repairs to the station, the signal was now able to reach Caye Caulker. Clive recounted how a man had dropped by the station to say that his mother, who lived there, could now hear the station and was also able to listen to the Bible on her ImpaX radio/audio Bible in Spanish. Each one of the radios the team took into Belize had a Bible with both English and Spanish recorded on it.

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Praise the Lord for these Galcom radios and for Lighthouse Radio.

If you are interested in going on a mission trip, please contact us. http://www.galcom.org/get-involved/mission-trips/

Reaching Every Village for Christ

Formally known as Aid Sudan, Every Village changed their name in 2012, because their goal in South Sudan is to reach every village for Christ.

South Sudan is a landlocked country in East Central Africa and gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. However, there is currently a civil war raging throughout the country which is one of the causes of a water shortage.

img_1452At Every Village, their heart is to provide clean drinking water to these people by drilling wells, and the Gospel message through radio. They send mission teams into South Sudan to do much of the work, but back in 2008, Galcom International had the opportunity to assist in building a radio station.

Since then, Galcom has had a close partnership with Every Village, sending literally thousands of radios to aid them in spreading the Gospel in South Sudan!  Why radio? In the bush of South Sudan, there is very little Bible translation and a minuscule literacy rate

Recently, an email was sent to Galcom from Andrew Brown at Every Village, where he oversees the radio programming for Every Village. He mentioned that he took 12,000 radios with him when he last went to South Sudan. Four thousand went to their radio station in Aweil; and the other 8,000 went to the city of Tonj and Mvolo County. What is exciting about the radio distribution to these two areas is that it was the first time these people had the opportunity to receive radios!

Every Village held a pastor’s conference which was attended by 672 pastors who came to pray for their nation and collect their Galcom radios. One pastor mentioned that women especially love hearing the radio broadcasts because most of them are illiterate. These women have become advisers in society, because they hear the broadcasts (whether Gospel content or community development content) and then tell their husbands and children what they have learned. This, in turn, spreads to the whole neighborhood! Each radio impacts an average of 7.5 people. Every Village’s radio station network supports the work of long-term missionaries by broadcasting the gospel through Galcom International’s solar-powered, hand-held radios.

Impacting a Widow’s Life

This is a story from one of our ministry partners who gave an audio Bible to a widow in Burkina Faso:

The widow’s name is Poko. The Moore translation is female and this name is given to a twin. She is 90. She had 2 daughters who both married and live far away with their husbands and she only sees them every few years. She lives in the courtyard with her husband’s (who died in 1984) brother and his wife. They are all up in age and cannot cultivate so food is scarce. Her health is not good. She has vision and hearing problems and cannot walk without assistance. She gave her life to Christ 2 years ago through our widow program. Each month with her grain she receives prayer and encouragement.

Thank you again for all you have done.  God’s Word is being spread because of people like you!

Please be praying for this widow and for all who have received audio Bibles around the world over the years!

Quechua Outreach in Bolivia

One of Galcom International’s partners is a man named Alex Muir. Alex is with Pioneers Canada, an Evangelical mission organization that mobilizes teams to participate in planting churches amongst unreached people groups. Alex is based out of New Brunswick, and has had a burden for the Quechua people in Boiivia for some time. He has made a number of trips down to Bolivia to hand out Galcom International radios to this needy people group.

Most Quechua speakers of this indigenous language live in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. Alex has been traveling to Bolivia for a number of years to minister to the Quechua there. He makes at least two trips per year, and takes along 1,000 radios each trip.  Alex and his team hand out these radios one to a family, or even a village.  If a Galcom radio can reach 8 or even 10 people, imagine the impact of 1,000 radios broadcasting the Good News in their native language.
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This most recent trip was number 34 for Alex with Galcom radios/audio Bibles. He says that they have been privileged to hand out 47,000 radios or audio Bible/radio combinations.

He says, “It’s a great joy to think that each team has made a difference in many people’s lives. By going to pre-arranged stops in different communities and inviting other communities to come and meet with us, many Quechua have had an opportunity to hear the Gospel.

“We have visited 148 communities, with at least one family from each receiving an audio Bible/radio. Many of these communities do not have a local church. In fact, most communities do not have any believers and most have not heard the message in their heart language until now.

Thank you all again [to Galcom] for being faithful servants, such a vital part in this ministry to the Quechua. Pray as we plan and set up our teams for 2017, asking God to provide for the Galcom audio Bible/radios and for those who will travel with us to make a difference in Quechua lives.”

If you feel the Lord calling you to travel with Alex and a team to reach the Quechua through
radio, please contact the Galcom International office at galcom@galcom.org.