Knox the Fox slides in on Faith Promise Church mission trip to Kenya

Susan EspirituOur Town Adventure Seekers

Mission trips can have a positive impact on both the volunteers and the communities they serve with the willingness to learn and collaborate with the local communities. Church affiliated mission trips are a common way for church members to participate in service and outreach initiatives in different parts of the world while deepening their own faith and commitment to service.

Members of the team tour Ms. Leah’s farm, one of many beneficiaries of 410 Bridge’s Foundations for farming program.

Recently, Faith Promise Church partnered with 410 Bridge on an exploratory mission trip to Kenya, specifically visiting the three communities of Irigithathi, Mugunyu and Canon with the focus of the mission being to encourage and build relationships with the community and leadership around five focus areas: discipleship, water improvement, health, education and economic development.

The 13 person Faith Promise team representing campuses from Knox, Blount and Anderson County, was led by Brandon Dunford, Faith Promise’s associate campus pastor and producer in Anderson County, and engaged in such activities as relationship building with children, tree planting in the three communities, experiencing a day in the life of a community member, and learning more about 410 Bridge’s Business Start-Up Training program (BST) and Foundations for Farming (F4F). The mission team experienced worship services from four different churches in the community with some mission team members having the opportunity to preach in the community churches!

Mission team member Melissa Tindell stands alongside a borehole and water tank funded by Faith Promise Church

“A better understanding of poverty was the most significant takeaway from the week-long trip,” says Melissa Tindell. She said, “We learned more of how poverty is defined, common misperceptions, how we walk with not for the communities, and how we must understand that poverty is not a pocketbook issue, but instead a mindset issue.”  She also felt, “Most importantly, the mission team received abundant joy, confidence, spiritual development and the love of Jesus from every community it visited.”

One of the best side notes from the trip involved the experience of two mission team children who at the age of 9 and 12 were able to experience the rich culture of East Africa through engaging with Kenyan children in the Discovery Kids program among many other activities. Tindell says those experiences, “help students discover their spiritual talents through teaching of Biblical virtues.” See next week’s Our Town Youth story on one of these youth.

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