I still remember the fall day that Christa and I were huddled around a table at Panera Bread talking with our first two Go Apprentices, Lauren Morris and Regan Saunders. We spoke about how cool it would be to organize a multi-country mission trip where participants had no idea where they were going and would discover their destinations by following clues and completing challenges. It sounded like something right out of a reality TV show; an Amazing Race meets world missions adventure. We laughed and joked and imagined all of the cool things you could do on a trip like that.
Suddenly, my day dream was interrupted by two very excited Apprentices saying, “Can we do it?”.
Woah, I was just imagining how cool it would be; not actually considering doing it.
I thought, “Well, why not?”. That was the conversation that started the ball rolling on what would become one of the central pieces of the Go Internship and open doors to some of the most impacting ministry I’ve ever been a part of.
What I love about how this began, is it is so reflective of daily life at Go; everybody putting their two cents in, dreaming together, then as a team running at a goal. I think the general public would be shocked at the level of influence the Interns have had at Go.
There have now been four Mystery Trips that have taken teams to a total of eight different nations.
- Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Manila
- London, Paris, Rome
- Cambodia, Thailand
- Johannesburg and Cape Town South Africa
Now, a lot of people ask, “Why make it a mystery?” So here are a few reasons why we believe in the Mystery Trip:
- Why not? This may seem sarcastic but literally, why not? If we were going to be planning an exclusive Go Intern mission trip anyways, and doing all the work that goes with coordinating international ministry, travel schedules, etc... why not work a little harder and provide a once in a lifetime experience for these interns who were investing a year of their life to receive training and serve the world?
- Traveling to multiple nations within one trip allows the interns to come face-to-face with multiple cultures in a short amount of time, allowing them to see that people face many of the same challenges and share many of the same basic human needs regardless of culture. We would literally be in the trendy streets of Hong Kong having conversations with college students one day, and a few days later be in a Thai village playing with children.
- Our goal from the beginning of Internship was to train up leaders that had a heart for the world. We realized early on that this was easier said than done. With the Mystery Trip we sought to make a mission trip more appealing for first time missionaries by offering some adventure with it. This was strategic because we understood that regardless of what the motives for participating on this trip were, that every student would return home changed. As TL Osborn once famously stated, “Look into the faces of another people and you will never be the same”.
- Another unforeseen advantage of the Mystery Trip is that it became the “outreach lab” of Go. Since we were traveling with such a creative group of people and we all knew each other so well it allowed us to test and experiment some new ministry concepts that proved to be transformative. It was on the Mystery Trip that the following outreaches were birthed; Dream Campaign, Message in a Bottle, Love from Above, Night of Refuge, Go on your Own, Light the Night, and more. All of these were successful campaigns that sought to move us from simply performing dramas in the streets to engaging in intentional conversations of faith.
The reasons listed above are just a few of the reasons why we believe in the Mystery Trip.
Click the side banner to browse through some of the previous Mystery Trip Posts. Check back tomorrow as we continue to take a look back at the history of Go in preparation of the new phase that will be launched on Friday. Please help us spread the word and link to this article and don’t forget to subscribe to the Go E Newsletter which you can do by clicking on the banner below.
More Mysteries to Come,
Greg & Christa