Break For Change
At Bryan College, we approach short-term missions as a catalyst to, and extension of, lives on mission with God. The college defines successful short-term missions as trips in which Christ-followers engage another community to (1) encourage and learn from the global family of God, (2) share gifts of knowledge and service; and (3) glorify Jesus Christ by expressing his power to save and transform.
Because new, forever-family relationships are at the heart of God’s mission, and
because STM has a unique role in connecting millions of Americans with the global body
of Christ, long-term relationships (of people with God, and with each other) is a primary
focus of our short-term service.
We also work to develop the relationships in the preparation period with the teams via
team meetings, video calling the fields, and interaction with other BFC teams.
In STM, God brings us with him to places and people that he loves and has already been
working in—so cultural intelligence and learning will be a key part of our expectation
when we serve in a new place
Our part in missions is a natural overflow of our heart of worship, with the ultimate goal
of seeing worshippers added to the family of God, so we value participants’ spiritual
preparation as worshippers and living testimonies of God’s grace. This matters as much as
Specifically, STM at a Christian college can be a practical extension of the vocational
equipping that is at the heart of our educational mission. We connect trips to
relevant academic departments and co-curricular organizations to maximize the value
of the STM for the college (enhancing our educational offering), the participants (seeing
the connections between coursework, job, and mission), and the hosts (receiving
volunteers with specific training to meet needs).
A biblical servant is someone whose Spirit-empowered message, attitude, and actions
intentionally reveal God’s character and salvation to the nations; so we will send
participants who exemplify and are prepared to verbally give testimony to the Good
News of Jesus’ saving work and how he has changed their lives.
The average cost for a BFC trip is $1456 and the average amount paid out of pocket is $120 for
an all-expenses-paid, week-long missions trip. BFC organizes and covers any travel expenses,
food, materials, and a free day for the entire seven days - including any time spent on campus
during those seven days.
We use fundraising as our primary source of funding through a program called
ManagedMissions, send out support letters, use social media, and have team fundraisers.
1. Fill out an application released every September
2. Every November, we have an All BFC Meeting where you meet your team, go over any logistics,
and set team meeting dates. This is where you will get to start building a relationship with your
fellow team members and begin focusing on the goal.
We go as a team in order to have support, a variety of gifts, and diverse understandings of
the Gospel. These teams will meet with one another around 8 times starting in November
until they depart for their trip in order to build relationships, prepare for the trip, and go
through the BFC curriculum.
We have a particular curriculum we use that emphasizes each of our goals - Relationship,
Perspective, Work, Witness, and Worship. Each team will go through the curriculum via
articles, case studies, and discussion. This is to minimize the amount of harm typically done
on a cross-cultural trip and maximize the Gospel.
Each of our hosts are trusted and share the same vision for STM as Bryan. We have been
partnered with some of them for years. Each ministry focuses on a different need that the
Gospel can help transform. See below for trip descriptions.
Intentionality is an important part of BFC. We work with our partners to do work that will
make a lasting impact - even if it means we will not see the fruits of our labor for years. Our
trips depend on faith as we go in to do projects that will be used years in the future.
In order to process, we require each team to do a debriefing after they return to Bryan. The
debrief is to discuss what happened, how it affected the students, and what they are going
to do going forward. STM is a catalyst for a missional lifestyle, and we want to ensure our
students are able to understand the importance of what they did and how they can
continue to use the skills they have learned throughout the program in their everyday lives.
- STM trips are an extension of a missional life of following God into worship, work, and witness for his glory; they are opportunities for us to express our love for God in a new cultural context.
- STM trips are a microcosm of the missional life in which our worship, work, and witness are tested by travel and an unfamiliar cultural context; they provide a space for critical evaluation and reflection on our priorities.
- STM trips are a catalyst, an accelerant in the process of growth toward missional living; as a new relationship with God and the transformed perspective from Holy Spirit began this process, so the new relationships and perspective God brings through STMs can push us deeper in our concept and practice of a missional life.
We do short term missions based on this model:
- Life-Giving Teams
- Holistic Preparation
- Model-Worthy Hosts
- Meaningful Service
- Future-Minded Debriefing
Successful short-term missions are trips in which Christ-followers engage another community to:
- Encourage and learn from the global family of God (Relationships, Perspective);
- Share gifts of knowledge and service (Work);
- Glorify Jesus Christ (Worship) by expressing his power to save and transform (Witness).
In a community where 44% live under the poverty line, 56% of children attend academically unacceptable schools, and 43% over age 25 have not completed high school, Hope For Opelousas is fueling a movement of hope anchored in the belief that “love changes everything.” Our team experiences the impact education has on an entire community, spending time understanding the challenges of schools in impoverished communities, and being part of change through HFO’s vibrant after-school program--alongside meaningful neighborhood projects, where painting houses in bright colors symbolizes hope and HFO’s passion for their community.
The YMCA International Services is a “front lines” care provider and advocate for refugees, recent immigrants, and victims of human trafficking. Our team spends time with key leaders in this organization and joins them in serving the voiceless and vulnerable. Through in-depth conversations with people of various worldviews, the team learns to recognize the difference between preconceived ideas and the truth about these marginalized groups--and provides a living testimony of who Jesus really is.
God is using Campamento Casa Vido to equip Costa Rican pastors and missionaries for sound biblical teaching and vibrant ministry to their communities. Our team works shoulder-to-shoulder with these passionate ministers, participating with them in evangelism, construction, children’s outreach, and prayer services. Our team experiences and joins the amazing movement of God in Latin America, building lasting relationships in the body of Christ, and providing encouragement and support to ongoing ministries that strengthen the Costa Rican church and transform the communities in Costa Rica.
Learn the principles of Business as Mission and how to empower others through job creation and infrastructure building. In the city of Santiago, teams will work with hope.market (MOH’s online retailer) to learn about marketing, product creation, and working with local artisans. Teams will also participate in professional development training with employees and learn about the hospitality ministries of MOH.
Partnering with Enactus, students will gain an in-depth look at how business practices can transform communities while also learning how the global church participates in business around the world.
While the Pro-Life message and care services are well-established in the United States, in the Bahamas the Church is virtually silent on sexuality, and abortion is seemingly the only answer for couples facing crisis pregnancies. The Bahamas Godparent Center seeks to “help God's people discover the life-saving, death-defying, soul-satisfying, and God-glorifying power of neighborly love” by providing counseling and support before, during, and after unexpected pregnancies. Our team will be joining in this groundbreaking story, helping the Godparent Center to grow and sharing biblical truth about sexuality in schools.
As an extension of their discipleship mission, Source of Light, Follow the Source ministers to Jamaicans that have been separated from their families, welcoming them into the family of God full of unconditional love and acceptance. Our team visits a juvenile detention home, and an overwhelmed infirmary filled with senior citizens whose families cannot afford to support them. Our team’s focus is giving them hope, care, and love through the gospel.
Word for the World reaches out to the marginalized in Indian society--lepers, villagers, slum-dwellers, and children with disabilities. We work alongside Indian missionaries in Chennai, Mumbai, and Madurai to teach the Bible, pray for the sick, encourage believers, and learn how to live the gospel. Team members can work in a slum school doing morning devotions and experiencing classroom teaching; in youth and senior homes, sharing testimonies, leading songs, and teaching from Scripture; or with local churches in village ministry to outcasts and lepers.