It was 1986 when this team left Colorado for our first international short-term mission trip. We had literally been from coast to coast in the U.S. – east, west and south – on short-term mission trips, but we had not been out of the U.S. together. We boarded a double-decker Boeing 747 in Denver and made the second ever direct flight to London. The first such flight had taken place the day before.

Oh, what novices we were. Some had never been on an airplane. Only I had previously been to Europe. We were about to learn what it means that England and America are “two countries divided by a common language”! We were not very subtle about our surprise at the things that seemed like inconveniences to us. Hopefully our naivety was not too offensive!

What we did know was the heart of short-term mission trips. LOVE. We loved God, we loved people, and we loved music. Oh, how this team could sing. And, they sang everywhere we went. Yes, they sang in churches, schools and various places where they were invited; but they also sang on the airplane, on their bus, on the streets, in the garden where William Shakespeare proposed to Anne Hathaway and in cathedrals that they were touring. They sang. They prayed and shared God’s love where ever they went. This is the essence of a short-term mission trip. LOVE.
Recently I listened again to some of the songs they recorded upon returning home. Then I read the team journal that they wrote. One excerpt particularly touched me. “Burt (one of our home hosts) shared his feeling about watching the group that had been in his home the night before. He and his wife spent a lot of time that night trying to figure out what made them different. They eliminated the single fact that they love each other because a lot of people love each other. They concluded that the unique quality was that they edified each other in the Lord. They encouraged and taught each other, as he put it.”

What a successful first international short-term mission trip we had in 1986. We experienced a great harvest for the kingdom, we made life-time friends, our lives were greatly impacted along with many of those whom we ministered to in England; but what we didn’t know at the time, we established a firm foundation for hundreds of teams and thousands of team members that were to follow.

We have now been on 6 continents and in 50 countries. You can read about some of our escapades and lessons learned while on short-term missions in the book “101 Ways to Flush a Toilet.” If you would like a copy contact me at:

Isaiah 52:7 (NET)

How delightful it is to see approaching over the mountains the feel of a messenger who announces peace, a messenger who brings good news, who announces deliverance, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

I would invite you to join an In Motion Ministries short-term mission trip. Come taste the joy of carrying this message of good news to the world.

Written by:
Norma Dunn
Founder and Missions Consultant
In Motion Ministries

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