By Carl Stagner
Immersion. Often in the church, the word is used to describe the ordinance of baptism. For Christian Women Connection, formerly known as Women of the Church of God, immersion means so much more. Immersion Trips, an integral part of CWC’s ministry since 2005, have made it possible for Christian women to go deeper in their walk with Christ through annual, firsthand mission experiences. A closer look at these popular opportunities sheds light on why this year’s trip to Berlin, Germany, has already reached capacity.
The women of the Church of God have demonstrated their avid support of missions for generations. It’s no wonder then that CWC offers Church of God women the opportunity each year to taste and see the fruit of global kingdom investment. In fact, going on any short-term mission trip offered by the Church of God is a chance to experience a blessing that reading about it, hearing about it, and seeing the pictures can’t duplicate.
“In their book, How to Get Ready for Short Term Missions, Anne-Geri’ Fann and Greg Taylor write, ‘God is moving in this world. His kingdom is growing in parts of the world you have never been, places of which you have never heard.’ Sometimes in the United States, we think we think we have a corner on God, but Immersion Trips tell a different story,” Mary Stephens, CWC ministry coordinator explains. “These trips take us out of our comfort zones and into places where God is doing new and amazing things. It is a blessing to have one’s eyes opened to witness God’s work and to learn from it.”
Ask around. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a believer who has regretted embarking on a short-term missions experience. They know that these trips aren’t only about the destination, or about the important ministry work they engage in. These trips are also about building relationships that make a lifelong difference. “Perhaps one of the greatest blessings is the lasting friendships that are created on these trips,” Mary explains. “The meaningful relationships forged among the travelers, international friends, and missionaries cannot be captured in words or pictures.”
Exhibit A: this year’s Immersion Trip to Berlin. For just one week, the women who reserved their spot in time are expected to immerse themselves in ministry and local culture. They’ll be able to see with their own eyes the collective impact of the Church of God through CHOG TraffickLight on display at Pink Door—a new transitional home for women coming out of the sex industry. They’ll be enriched by a seminar conducted by the Three Worlds team of Global Strategy. Participants’ eyes will open to a new world of opportunity for the kingdom to expand. You’ll be challenged and stretched by the perspectives of brothers and sisters in Christ who have never set foot in the United States of America.
“Most, if not all, of the women who have traveled on the Immersion Trips have said it was a life-changing experience,” Mary concludes. “After the first Immersion Trip to Zambia in 2006, Suzanne Haley wrote, ‘I went to see the church in Zambia, and she refreshed me, she all but washed my feet. She fed me, she sang to me, she prayed for me, she gave me gifts, she welcomed me. My gifts and calling were received, affirmed, and celebrated there. She reminded me that it takes hard work to build the kingdom, and she called me to an intimate place with God where my perspective could be renewed and I could be strengthened for the challenges, opportunities, and ministry ahead. Indeed God is doing something spectacular…” Suzanne eloquently wrote what so many have experienced in the various countries visited on the CWC Immersion Trips.’”
You can experience it, too. For more information, visit http://www.christianwomenconnection.org/immersion-trips.html, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 866-778-0804.