Although a good amount of our community is abroad, there are still many of us here in 'Antioch' on a mission.
In the mid '90s our organization focused much of it's energy on the facilitation of 'short-term mission trips.' Externally, it was how people came to know our movement, but internally much more was taking place.
These 'short-term trips' were not just rite-of-passage excursions to feel good about feeling sorry, nor were they opportunities to boast statistics of success. Instead, they were necessary times of research and education; intentional efforts in anticipation of a day when others would join us to make possible the goal of permanent presence in these strategic locations around the world that we have now been visiting for over a decade.
This summer is yet another step in that direction as a majority of our community will spend extended amounts of time abroad at one of our 4 'hubs' in Africa, Latin America, India and South East Asia. People are abroad for 5 weeks to 7 months! This is a great time for our movement.
However, here in Antioch, we don't hit the pause button. We are continuing to train and sharpen our particular skills as agriculturalists, health care workers, linguists and social workers (the list goes on). We do so through research and study, but also by volunteering in our country at large.
Examples of this would be seen in our Child Birth Education students who are volunteering for local agencies to benefit low-income and refugee families through education in the birth process. In the neighborhood of Hopewell, we are facilitating a summer tutoring program for the young people. There is even a group of students utilizing their educational development skills to orchestrate and facilitate the 'Antioch Together' program (in cooperation with a local church) for kids 6 to 14 years old. For 10 weeks these kids will benefit from lessons on global awareness and the necessity for all humanity to live at peace with one another.
The community garden has been reworked and includes some cutting edge horticulture techniques that will be implemented abroad for people who have small plots. The goal is to grow a lot of diverse food on a small plot. The playground has been upgraded, fenced and made safe for local families to have an area for play with their children. The basketball courts are being renovated and the field is seeded and ready for future soccer camps and other physical training programs.
Still there are many other projects going on. Everything from educational documentaries and awareness musical productions to health care informational packets and character development curriculums are in the works. There is a lot going on!
Mission is an attitude and we are focused. One does not need be abroad to participate in the activity of God. Do something for someone else today and you'll join us on this Mission!