This has been a most interesting year. Typically, the ITEC team does training trips or site visits to about twenty countries each year in addition to attending speaking engagements both domestically and abroad. When COVID-19 hit, all of our scheduled travel for 2020 was put on hold, giving us a chance to look at the new opportunities God was placing before us.
With travel postponed, we took a closer look at the mission of ITEC- inspiring Great Commission participation. We do this in three ways: developing tools and training programs, training indigenous Christ followers, and equipping others to do the same. The early years of ITEC were largely focused on developing tools and training systems like the portable dental chair, the Maverick flying car, and curriculum for training indigenous Christ followers. Over the last six years, we have focused many of our efforts on training Christ followers around the world to meet their people’s felt needs as a door opener for the Gospel. Due to COVID-19, the slower pace of 2020 has allowed us to focus our efforts on equipping others to do their own training trips.
Equipping and Multiplying
We worked directly with several churches this year who expressed interest in learning how to have a long-term impact on their short-term trips by training partners overseas. By training indigenous Christ followers, the local church is able to meet needs in their communities, demonstrating the love of Christ to their own people. As they demonstrate the love of Christ by meeting felt needs, they will have a door opener to share the Gospel. While this may sound easy, the transition from ‘going and doing’ projects overseas to training is not easy. However, the opportunity training presents is worth the hard work. Even during a challenging travel year, those who have been trained overseas are still able to work and share the Gospel in their communities.
There is a growing movement of churches and organizations who are focused on training and equipping the local church overseas for long-term impact. To begin having more conversations about the idea of Great Commission participation, we started the Mission Minded Podcast in January. In September, we also released a series of short videos called Mission Minute. These videos feature people from diverse backgrounds who share their experiences from the field (both sending and receiving), discussing why they focus their mission efforts on training.
Join Us in this Movement
We want to invite you to join us in this movement. This is not an effort that we can accomplish alone. We need you!
Most importantly, we need your prayers as we end a challenging year and approach 2021. The Lord has opened many doors for us, and we are looking forward to getting back to training overseas. We also invite you to share this vision with your local church and mission-minded friends. We would love to come alongside you, your church, or your organization to share how training overseas can multiply your mission impact.
Finally, we invite you to participate by giving in support of this vision, allowing us to further the mission of ITEC. While we don’t talk a lot about funding, the mission of ITEC is only possible by the generosity of our donors.
We look forward to seeing what God has in store for the new year. Thank you for being a part of the extended ITEC team!