Vapor trip participants come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some people come with very little international travel experience, while others may consider themselves “mission trip junkies.” We thank God for all who seek to more actively participate in His global agenda. There are many amazing, Kingdom-minded entities serving the nations in a variety of ways and with a variety of methods for how their specific entity’s trips are carried out. At Vapor Ministries, we have a very focused mission. In light of our commitment to pursue solely this mission, we feel that it is important to share with you who we are and how that affects Vapor trips. Our mission statement is:
Vapor Ministiries aims to establish sustainable centers for alleviating poverty and multiplying disciples in third-world environments.
You may notice the absence of the word “trips” in the above statement. So… then why do we take trips? Great question!
We take people on Vapor trips because, when carried out well, trips can greatly impact people’s lives and ultimately serve to support Vapor’s overall mission.
In order to stay missionally focused, while providing a powerful international experience, we have identified four major aspects that drive how we conduct Vapor trips.
Four Driving Aspects:
Spiritual and Personal Development:
Vapor trips can be life transforming for each participant. We equip each guest with a Vapor booklet full of personal and spiritual growth material. Each morning of the trip, a Vapor leader helps unpack Biblical teachings. Each afternoon, a Vapor leader facilitates community-debriefing times where participants are able to work through their experiences. Each evening, trip participants are encouraged to personally capture what is happening in their hearts using their Vapor journal. We have found that a “trip done well” can be a catalyst for spiritual growth long after a trip participant’s return.
Awareness and Advocacy Experience:
Vapor trips can help individuals connect their voice with the billions of under-heard people living in poverty, who often lack adequate representation. Vapor trips provide an opportunity to experience a small taste of how life is in third-world environments. We create space to build understanding and form relationships with amazing men, women and children living in some of the poorest places on earth. Our hope is that in the process, statistics actually become names, faces and relationships. We pray that when participants return, advocacy becomes a natural byproduct of the time spent with those we serve.
Mission and Vision Participation:
Vapor trips provide opportunities for service. We invite individuals and families to be participants in our ongoing mission. Whether someone is traveling to one of our operating centers or to a Vapor center still in its implementing phase, there is always a “doing” portion of a trip. We plug guests into service roles under the guidance of our indigenous leaders in a way that lifts up our international staff. Though this portion of a trip does not control the calendar it is an integral part. Whether trip participants find themselves primarily sharing the gospel, helping teach a lesson or laying a little brick, all service given at centers (in a culturally sensitive and wise manner) will outlive a trip participant’s time spent serving.
Vapor trips provide rich cultural experiences, where participants can absorb life done a little differently in another part of the world. Participants have unique opportunities to participate in customs common to the areas in which Vapor serves. From bargaining in local markets, to tasting local cuisine, to viewing local scenery and praising our Maker in native tongues, trip participants learn about another culture firsthand. We ensure that there is a healthy mix of familiar and foreign aspects to Vapor trips. We hope that the cultural aspects of Vapor trips help participants better embrace how Christ is uniquely working in all nations.
These four aspects help us determine what activities populate each trip calendar. Every Vapor trip starts at our headquarters with cross-cultural training, briefing, orientation and team-building activities. Vapor’s trips and events coordinator handles all logistics and provides our guests with the information and steps needed to make each Vapor trip a success.