REG-L-Birdsboro Mission Trip

Tabitha Heller, 11, of Birdsboro, and her grandfather, Barry Naus Jr., also of Birdsboro, fit in a new plank as they repaired a porch as part of the 2020 Mission Trip Birdsboro last summer. This year, volunteers are set to help more than 30 families with home repairs July 21 to 25 .

Volunteers for Mission Trip Birdsboro will set out to help more than 30 Birdsboro families in need with home maintenance and repairs July 21-25.

Despite many things grinding to a halt during last year’s COVID pandemic, a restructured Mission Trip Birdsboro was adapted to respond to the challenges and responsibilities of safely providing help in the community.

For the past seven years Mission Trip Birdsboro has offered support for those unable to care for their homes by providing needed help with maintenance and repairs regardless of a homeowner’s financial burdens, personal or physical abilities or other limiting factors.

This year, Mission Trip Birdsboro will continue to operate guided by many of Mission Trip Birdsboro’s new practices implemented under the new structure developed last year. The mission’s leadership team continues to monitor state and CDC guidelines to safely interact with the community and volunteers.

Yet in spite of all the uncertainties and adaptations initiated by the leadership team last year due to COVID, the ministry remains strong and continues to grow.

This year there are more participants than ever; 162 volunteers have signed up to carry out the work of Mission Trip Birdsboro July 21 to 25. It is anticipated that out of about 40 applications for assistance reviewed by the sites team 32 of them fall within the scope and abilities of this year’s volunteer work crews. This means that more than 30 families in need will receive the gift of assistance with maintenance and home repairs.

As a non-denominational Christian ministry Mission Trip Birdsboro gives participants the opportunity to share Christ’s love by striving to exemplify Christ’s teachings to love our neighbors and to serve others in need with kindness. In the Bible James 2:18 tells us, “‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” In other words, actions speak louder than words; and during Mission Trip Birdsboro participants strive to demonstrate what it looks like to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

The growth of the mission over the past seven years has been remarkable. Starting as an “experimental” ministry founded by St. Paul’s UCC Birdsboro in 2014, the church volunteers worked on 4 homes and at 3 community projects. Encouraged by that first year’s positive response and success Mission Trip Birdsboro doubled the number of projects the next year. More churches were invited to partner in the ministry, and it continued to grow. From a handful of volunteer workers at the start, the number of volunteers grew to 49 by 2018, followed by 113 the next year. Even during last year’s pandemic Mission Trip Birdsboro had 108 volunteers.

This year’s 162 workers are the most volunteers yet. The rate of growth led the Mission Trip Birdsboro leadership Team and St. Paul’s UCC, Birdsboro leadership to consider spinning MTB off to become its own independent ministry. The process has been started and a new 501(c) (3) non-profit organization has been established.

Next year, the ministry will continue its good works as an interfaith, inter-denominational organization called “Mission Trip Birdsboro & Beyond.” It has been the natural progression of growth and inter-denominational partnerships of Mission Trip Birdsboro that inspired the change. The current Mission Trip Birdsboro leadership team is excited about this transition and anticipates continued growth and expansion of Mission Trip Birdsboro & Beyond as it lives out its mission to “share the love of God by serving our neighbors.”

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