IMPACT (International Mission Project and Cross Cultural Training) has sent people from over 30 churches on cross cultural, short term summer mission trips since its inception in 1993. Participants go to learn the perspectives of other cultures in the developing world, to live and work alongside new friends, and to exchange stories and experiences of the Lord Jesus Christ. IMPACT is a project of the Presbytery of Santa Barbara, sending youth (16 and older) and adults on summer trips which range from two to four weeks.
IMPACT emphasizes working, learning and sharing in relationships. We partner with indigenous Christian communities in countries where we are invited. While living and working with people in a new culture, we seek to understand how God can use us to encourage the faith of others (who may have less resources than we do). At the same time, we see how God uses those who live more simply, to challenge and encourage our own faith. Work projects may be to help with construction of churches, homes, schools or community centers, teaching Bible School, doing visitation or neighborhood outreach. Our friendships are built also through participation in community gatherings, celebrations and sharing in worship.
The participants are prepared and equipped for their mission experience through four days of pre-field orientation, individual and team training. Teams follow with daily quiet times and spiritual instruction in-country. De-briefing both in-country and upon return to the United States is a part of the experience, as well as involvement in presentations in churches of the Presbytery upon return.
IMPACT was created in order to have an impact on:
- The world by organizing teams to do short-term mission projects, making contributions of loving service and, in doing so, sharing Jesus Christ.
- The church by uniting our churches with each other as they pray for common mission interest, by uniting our churches with churches throughout the world, and by sharing these extraordinary experiences upon returning home so everyone may learn and grow from them.
- The participants by giving an opportunity to serve the Lord now by going, giving, and/or praying, to experience and appreciate what life is like for God's children across international and cultural lines, and to learn more of what it means to truly trust God.
Visit the IMPACT web site.