See the World, Change the World

<b>See the World, Change the World</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The global financial crisis has caused Americans to re-evaluate their lifestyles, including the ways in which they travel. More Americans are eschewing the canned double-decker bus tour in favor of interactive experiences that allow them to focus on family, self-improvement, helping the environment and social responsibility.

Increasingly, this means “voluntourism,” or giving back to the communities visited. Voluntourism trips can mean anything from religious missions to helping plant flowers, working with children, or taking human rights tours or conservation safaris. The travel industry acknowledges that voluntourism has become a major new trend — companies offering voluntourism packages are making money despite the economic downturn. Churches are hoping to generate more interest in missions.

Missionaries can be anyone from young adults to retirees. What do they share? A desire to improve the world. “Their ministry is not without hardship and sacrifice,” says Jerry Rankin, president, International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Church. “Many of them have left prominent positions of ministry and successful careers in America and embraced a different lifestyle, isolated from family and friends. They persevere and labor faithfully, compelled by a vision of seeing a lost world transformed.” To help Americans understand what missionary work involves, the International Mission Board (IMB) recently released a book, “Voices of the Faithful: Book Two, Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians Serving Around the World.” The book shares the compelling stories of over 300 IMB missionaries.

“A willingness to go is all they have in common,” exclaims compiling editor, Kim P. Davis, speaking of her friends who are working around the world and with whom she collaborated to create this book — a collection of incredible stories of faithfulness in the face of uncertainty.

For more information about “Voices of the Faithful: Book Two, Inspiring Stories of Courage from Christians Serving Around the World,” visit www.thomasnelson.com.

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