January 14, 2021
The Lord calls Christians to go and make disciples of all nations spreading the Word of God and making disciples. We are to care for those in need, love those around us, and be good stewards of ourselves and this world. Just like any place, missions is needed everywhere.
Some places are more in need than others. Here is a list of mission trips you can take specifically geared toward the continent of Africa.
With Experience Missions, you can take a 1, 3, or 6-month missions trip. They have programs all over the world including communities in South Africa, Lesotho, and Namibia.
You would join a team of college-age young adults who will serve and grow together in several distinct cultures.
As you work alongside local ministries and become a part of your host family, you’ll be challenged to see the world through a new set of lenses. The African staff emphasizes a “build the plane as you fly it” approach to missions, so come prepared to serve in a variety of ministry opportunities.
This could include:
- Teaching at schools in townships and squatter camps
- Working on the farm
- Connecting with host families across racial
- Social and language barriers
- Sharing your faith with children and youth
Extreme Response’s aim is to change the lives of people living in extreme situations to break free from generational poverty. ER is a registered not-for-profit organization in the United States, Canada, Ecuador, the Philippines, and South Africa.
They focus on:
- Education Reinforcement
- Life Skills & Livelihood Training
- Leadership Development
Their tactic is grounded in one of the core beliefs that while money changes circumstances, it’s through relationships that genuine life change takes place.
Here some of the many sites they have with a multitude of different programs in place:
- African Hope Trust, Masiphumelele, South Africa
- ATAIM, Cape Town, South Africa
- Belwop Rescue Center, Nyeri, Kenya
- Ignite South Africa, Harrismith South Africa
- Jabulani Africa, Hout Bay, South Africa
- Kindle Orphan Outreach, Alima, Malawi (see Playground Project)
- Living Hope Community Center, Cape Town, South Africa
- Monte Christo Miqlat, Paarl, South Africa
Read more about each site here: https://extremeresponse.org/er-partners/africa/
One Collective’s aim is that they seek to relate to and understand the community through the eyes of Jesus. This includes pre-field training as well as ongoing on-field research.
They repeat a collaborative cycle that aims to work alongside others in the community to identify and assess both needs and resources.
They aim to avoid creating unhealthy dependencies and focus on what Jesus is doing within the community. This typically leads to expansion as transformation impacts surrounding communities.
Here are 4 Communities through One Collective in Africa that is currently needing help both short-term and long-term workers and volunteers.
Burundi – Bujumbura (Nyarumanga)
Community: Situated in the northern part of the capital city, Bujumbura, Nyarumanga built around the rubbish dump for the whole city. Working with a ministry called Yada.
Children as young as three years old can be found at the local dump looking for food or material that they can sell. This leads to a continued cycle of poverty due to low school attendance and education, leading to little opportunity for future achievement.
Early years education provides that alternative for that critical time before children reach 7 years old and can go to school. For many, finding food is challenging, so they provide nutritious porridge to keep them healthy and able to learn.
Work: The organization’s work is led through Ezekial and Nicola Hatungimana. They have built relationships in the community and invested their lives to see others transformed.
Education is essential and so is food for vulnerable children and so those are prioritised for the most needy. Sharing the love of Christ with them and giving them a hope for the future is also the key ingredient.
There are a number of projects whereby children are sponsored to go to preschool, there is a feeding program, a weekly kids club, and a program to help families to become self-sustaining, all of which is done with the desire to share the hope that Jesus brings. For those that are Jesus followers, their program offers discipleship and development.
South Africa – Eastern Cape (Cambridge)
Community: Cambridge, located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, is a community suffering from extreme levels of poverty as well as lack of employment and adequate education. A large percentage of the 30,000 members of the community live in shacks lacking access to food.
Cambridge is full of hopelessness, despair, and lacks a vision for the future. High levels of alcoholism, drug addiction, and prostitution exist. But there is hope for a better tomorrow to bring integrated community transformation to Cambridge by the power of God.
Work: They strive to do this through a systematic approach of empowering the local leadership to carry out their vision for the community and to spread this vision throughout the community as they encounter the living God.
They partner with Grace Community Baptist Church (GCBC) under the leadership of Pastor Vuyo Mkonwana to join the community and to establish relationships that will allow them to carry out integrated community transformation. Currently, GCBC is running multiple ministries with the vision of transforming the community.
5 Concentrations to bring positive change:
- They serve the children of Cambridge from the ages of three to five years old in their Day Care Center, Mfesane. It is a place where the children receive a well-balanced, nutritious meal ensuring their physical development is progressing satisfactorily. It is a place where the children are exposed to the world of academics to stimulate their minds and help prepare them for their transition to primary school.
- They serve the children from the local primary and secondary schools through their Home Work center. This program is designed to help the students progress in their understanding and mastering of the material taught in the school. The goal is to ensure the children are advancing in their learning and are achieving the necessary benchmarks in reading, writing, arithmetic, English, and IsiXhosa to ensure they are better poised to effectively enter the economy becoming positive contributors to society.
- They are constructing a multi-purpose building that will serve as both a church and a youth center for the community. Currently, the youth of Cambridge has no healthy place to gather to entertain themselves. The goal is to be able to provide a healthy place where the youth are able to find healthy entertainment and interact with older peers that can serve as role models.
- They are working on an entrepreneurial / employment training program that will help prepare the unemployed adults to launch their own businesses or to become employable by acquiring the necessary knowledge and training. It provides computer training, intense workshops, and Life Skills training to help adults see opportunities where they before saw hopelessness.
- They are working with key leaders to develop local champions that will take the message of Jesus Christ and his life-changing gospel to the entire community of Cambridge.
South Africa- Eastern Cape (Mzamomhle)
Community: This is a pioneer team working in the township of Mzamomhle, just outside of the city of East London.
Their vision is to see this community transformed from the inside out, building on the already existing resources and leadership there. As this ministry is still very young, there is ample opportunity for growth.
They are partnering with a local NGO called Lathitha Development, which works to affect the 80% unemployment rate in this township of 40,000 people.
There are huge opportunities for ministry growth.
Work: They work from within Mzamomhle, using community-led initiatives, resources, and vision. The current ministry is made up of:
- Discipleship of young men in the community who we see the Lord wants to use in big ways
- An after-school program where we pour into kids from ages 8-14
- Skills training through our partnering organization, Lathitha Development Center
- A girls group for middle school and high school age girls where we seek to instill a sense of worth and value.
- A relational ministry where we walk alongside and encourage all the friendships and people that God puts in our path.
Zambia – Chibolya
Community: Situated in one of the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, this community of approximately 4,500 people faces a number of spiritual, economic, and humanitarian challenges.
Chibolya is known for the open sale of drugs, as well as for alcoholism, robberies, extreme poverty, and gender-based violence. The village has a very high unemployment rate which adds to the previous issues.
In Zambia, over 60 percent of people live below the poverty line and 42 percent are classified as extremely poor. Most live on less than $1.90 per day, including many in Chibolya.
Food insecurity is high because many people do not have access to a regular food supply. Due to high food prices, families spend approx. 64 percent of their income on basic food needs.
They are seeking to bring an integrated approach to working alongside the people in this community through:
- Discipleship: They work with men and women who, because of the ravages of poverty, are desperate to survive. Discipleship is one way for them to share the love of Jesus and walk with them through some very dark times.
- Business and skills training: One way they serve those in poverty is by helping establish businesses through training and development. They are developing a piece of land for the purpose of skills training and agricultural training, as well to possibly establish a safe house for some of the vulnerable girls and women with whom we work.
- Agricultural ministry: As with many of their ministries, they take a holistic approach to agricultural ministry. Not only do they train subsistence farmers and gardeners in Chibolya and Chongwe to be food secure, but they also have a discipleship program to meet the spiritual needs of those who work with them.
- Children’s ministry: They work with several schools in Chibolya and have hopes for regular outreaches to the children of Chibolya. They are focusing on Mapalo School which is in its infancy as a school but very much needed in the community.
- Sex workers’ ministry: The issue of prostitution in Chongwe is, unfortunately, huge due to many factors. Ministry to this demographic of women focuses on street outreach and prayer, bathed in truth and love. While this ministry is very difficult because of the myriad of issues that lie deeper than most of the women are even aware of, it is one that is worth the effort as we see God intervene in their lives.
Short-term ministry and internships: Each team needs extra help and short-term ministry can help meet that need, as can internships. This is a growing area and they look forward to the many people God sends to help with the work in Chibolya.
Through GoEco you can join an Environmental Impact Internship to gain experience working with local communities to dramatically reduce the amount and negative impact of plastic waste. It is a professional environmental sustainability internship in Livingstone, Zambia.
Zambia is Africa’s most urbanized country, with a huge percentage of the population localized in just a few urban centers scattered throughout the country. These densely packed regions often suffer from extreme poverty, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, and high illiteracy rates.
This project takes place in Livingstone, a town located in the Southern Province of Zambia and home to the famous Victoria Falls. Livingstone has a history of economic instability impacted by its proximity to the Zimbabwean border and restrictive regulations on trade in the past. However, Livingstone is now slowly emerging as a lively town with modern restaurants, shopping, hotels, and theaters.
Volunteer work: Evidence of plastic pollution is everywhere. Of the 78 million tons of plastic produced annually, 32% flows into our oceans. To put this into perspective, this is the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute. By 2030, the rate is expected to increase to two per minute. Fast-forward to 2050, and this could mean that there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.
The problem is compounded by the fact that plastic cannot be burned as the fumes are toxic and, while there has been an uptake in recycling, many rural areas in developing countries do not have access to these services. According to US scientists, the total amount of plastic ever made is 8.3 billion tons. This is the equivalent of 1.5 billion African elephants or more than half a million blue whales.
Still, there is hope. This program is tailored for those who would like to combat this problem. Volunteers will work closely with Livingstone’s communities to devise waste management plans, educate children and come up with strategies to recycle the plastic waste present in Livingstone. By implementing these innovative programs, including the exciting process of eco-bricking, we are creating sustainable change within the community. What is an eco-brick? An eco-brick is a plastic bottle that is stuffed with other soft plastics inside and then placed in cement.
Some of your tasks may include:
- Planning eco-brick projects as well as having the opportunity to get your hands dirty and actually assist with the builds.
- Working with local partners and officials to implement environmentally-green policies and promote the message of up-cycling.
- Getting involved in fundraising activities to generate donations for the program and our focal projects, including the building of a new community center.
- Sharing information about our initiative on various social media platforms.
- Minimum age of 18 (16/17 with parental consent)
- Police clearance
- University degree for those staying longer than four weeks
- Passion for the environment
While this is not a Christian organization like a typical evangelical missions trip, I still think it could be beneficial in going. Ultimately we are designed to first off love God and others. We can do this by serving others and taking care of the creation that God has given us to be good stewards of. I believe when we are caring and serving with others, God is glorified, and properly taking care of creation, is what God asked of us to do.
At the very beginning of the Bible, when God first created Adam and Eve, the very first humans, he said:
“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, we are to enjoy it and take good care of ourselves, his creation, and the earth, also his creation. God put Adam and Eve in the garden and one of their main roles was to, “work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15). I think a way we can love God is of course seeking him (in the Word, through prayer, in creation, in worship, in obeying his commandments, in loving others), in caring for our bodies (his creation, we are living temples), and in being good stewards of our time, energy, money, earthly possessions, talents, gifts, and by taking care of the planet in our everyday life.
If this is something you are passionate about or interested in learning more about, check out their website, and start today to be good stewards of everything God’s given you.
Highlights of this program include:
- Contributing to the environmental sustainability of Livingstone
- Partaking in an award-winning eco-brick program
- Helping prevent plastic from entering the Zambezi River
- Enhancing your CV/Resume
- Gaining experience in program management
- Each intern will be assigned a Personal Development Coach
- Opportunities to experience the amazing tourist sights that Livingstone has to offer, including Victoria Falls
Another opportunity through GoEco is volunteering in South Africa.
More Volunteer Opportunites
Based on years of practice and in-depth field reports from hundreds of volunteers in Africa, GoEco has put together a carefully vetted selection of excellent humanitarian, development, education, and wildlife volunteer projects.
Here are some of the causes you can get involved with.
Medical and Healthcare
Aspiring healthcare professionals will benefit from volunteering in medical centers and clinics in Africa. There are ample opportunities for hands-on experience. In many parts of Africa, access to healthcare services is limited. If you have skills in this field, this is a chance to make a tangible difference in places where vital resources are scarce.
Community Aid and Development
Volunteering in community development teaching children or facilitating sports programs is a unique opportunity to become immersed in local life. Getting involved in community-based projects is one of the best ways to see international development at a human level, and reach people to build relationships.
Locations for these volunteer opportunities through GoEco include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar, and Seychelles. Whether that is community teaching, medical care, sport programs, or cleaning up plastic and dumps, there is something you can do.
Love Africa Mission is one of 3 initiatives that make up Nathan Smith Ministries. Nathan Smith Ministries has been partnering with churches and parachurch organizations since 2004. Over the past 15 years, Nathan has had the opportunity to preach internationally in Europe and Africa as well as in various other parts of the world. As a result, God has provided both short-term and full-time missionaries serving abroad.
Upcoming trips that you can join now:
- Dec 28th – Jan 10th, 2021
- Summer Internship: May 16th – August 8th
- Team 1: May 16th – May 29th
- Team 2: May 30th – June 12th
- Team 3: June 13th – 26th
- Team 4: June 27th – July 10th
- Team 5: July 11th – July 24th
- Team 6: July 25th – August 7th
- June: May 30th – June 26th
- July: June 27th – July 24th
On these trips, you will be traveling to Kijabe, Kenya, home to the Africa Inland Mission station established in 1903. Teams will connect with Kijabe Hospital, Oasis for Orphans, Kenya Kids Can, Little Lambs Daycare, and Rift Valley Fellowship – all ministries that are working to alleviate the brokenness of Kenya.
Members of the team most likely will have the opportunity to meet the Masai people down in the Rift Valley and experience true tribal culture during their Sunday worship service.
You will be meeting and working with missionaries. Teams will have the opportunity to engage in relational ministry with native Kenyans through each of our ministry partners.
Your team will serve alongside Pastor George Irungu doing evangelism in Naivasha. Teams will be taken to serve at Oasis for Orphans. To find out more, visit their website under upcoming trips Kenya.
- Team 1: June 27th – July 10th
- Team 2: July 11th – July 24th
- Team 3: July 25th – August 7th
Month Program: June 27th – July 24th
On these trips, your team will partner with a lifelong missionary family, the Whitfields. Luke and Elise established a mission station called Teranova, dedicated to serving in Southern Zambia. Their ministry, Eleeo Project, was established in 2012 and focuses on church planting, foundations for farming, and evangelism with the Tonga people.
You will stay at their home located on a 4,000-acre commercial farm in the bush of Southern Zambia.
Some team members may be invited to spend a night or two in a local village. Team members will be building relationships and sharing the gospel through crafts, sports, and education by organizing a Kids Camp in a nearby village.
Construction projects, leadership training, and conversational evangelism are all possible ministries done during your stay.
- Dec 28th – Jan 10th, 2021
- Team 1: June 13th – June 26th
- Team 2: June 27th – July 10th
- Team 3: July 11th – July 24th
Month Program: June 13th-July 10th
During these trips, teams will stay at St. Patrick’s, a working farm in Kyangwali, where fresh meals will be prepared daily. Kyangwali is about 2 hours west of Hoima town on Lake Albert and is home to over 43,000 refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.
Teams will have the opportunity to partner with Coburwas School to aid in teacher collaboration and training, classroom teaching, conducting VBS, and sports camps during their mission.
- Dec 28th – Jan 10th, 2021
- Team 1: June 13th – June 26th
- Team 2: June 27th – July 10th
- Team 3: July 11th – July 24th
The Rwanda teams are led by Olivier Gakuba and his team who currently reside in Kigali. Teams typically spend 1-2 days in Kigali visiting the Genocide Memorial and also a Children’s Hospital devoted to pediatric cancer patients.
Teams will mainly be working in Gisenyi (5-6 days) on the border of Congo near Lake Kivu. Partnering with a local church, teams engage in both outreach & discipleship.
Teams will lead a kids camp, mentor youth, and serve to help the local church.
Whether God’s desire for you is to be a long-term missionary or not, these opportunities with these organizations are a great way of getting your foot in the door.
The ultimate goal of missions is to obey Christ and keep his commandments. We are to seek him, love God, listen to his Word, be good stewards of ourselves and the planet, and love others the way Jesus would. God calls Christians to go places where people have never heard the good news of Jesus, and be light to this dark world. This can look differently for all people and it doesn’t necessarily mean one specific thing for everyone. One can be a light right where they are or can be light to those they are serving with.
There are so many mission trips available and sometimes it can be hard to narrow it down. I hope this post was a help to you and gives you something to consider especially if your heart is on Africa.