Short Term Missions Opportunity
Bring God’s love to Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s Hub City, through practical deeds of mercy and reconciliation.
“I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope” Hosea 2:15
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is called the Hub City because of its confluence of roads, railways and waterways. The roads that served to evacuate Hurricane Katrina victims from the Gulf Coast were also used to bring volunteers that provided relief. Despite being about 75 miles inland, Hattiesburg was hit very hard by the storm as it made its way north. Approximately 80 percent of the city’s roads were blocked by trees and power was out in the area for up to 14 days. The storm claimed 24 lives in the Hattiesburg area and approximately 10,000 structures received major damage of some type.
The Hattiesburg metro area is home to about 150,000 folks and almost 30% of the population is below the poverty line. Since the storm, the city has experienced a large influx of new residents from coastal Louisiana and Mississippi towns to the south, where damage from Katrina was catastrophic. The approximately 15,000 evacuees who moved into the area after the storm did so to find housing, schools and work. Many of those people have experienced dramatic changes in their lives and are now open to the Gospel of Christ.
God brought the storm and has provided an unprecedented opening for us to work together to advance His Kingdom. Our mission is twofold. We purpose to assist people still reeling from the effects of the storm by bringing hope and at the same time to expose mission teams from other geographical regions to a racially diverse mission field. We are seeking to build close relationships with the East Hattiesburg community by creating an environment where mutual dignity builds trust, and to share the Gospel in a message of compassion to needy people. To be Gospel-centered merely means to recognize our own need of God and of one another and because of the mercy and kindness shown to us, to show the same to others.
Our Vision and Mission
Hope for Hattiesburg exists to seek the establishment of God’s Kingdom Rule in the hearts of people through a clear proclamation of salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone and by doing Spirit-led deeds of justice and mercy. Teams who participate in Hope for Hattiesburg as missionaries and the people they serve will experience the reconciling love of God in Jesus Christ…
- through a restored relationship with God and with one another across all racial, social and economic divisions, which has been achieved through Jesus Christ
- through worship where the delight of God in us and our delight in Him is experienced
- through Christian community relationships where fellowship, love, increased knowledge of God and a commitment to take care of human need is experienced
- through an equipping of the people of God that mobilizes each team member to be a part of extending God’s justice and mercy to the nations and that proclaims the love of God in Christ Jesus to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and ultimately throughout the world
How Our Mission Will Be Accomplished
God Will Advance His Gospel of the Kingdom Through Us As We…
…Believe the Gospel Together
Primarily, we will be learning about the Gospel as we worship, work and spend time together. We will believe the Gospel together as leaders of First Presbyterian Church and Grace Presbytery share with teams on Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, and then on a daily basis during devotions Monday through Thursday mornings. Mission teams will have a nightly debriefing time to focus and process what everyone is learning. We will also proclaim the Gospel with our mouths during evening Bible clubs or sports camps held in the community. The project is designed to show both our sins and our weaknesses and to point to the fact that we need a Savior.
…Take on a Kingdom Focus
The primary mercy ministry focus of the work this year in partering with Ebenezer Baptist Church is the painting homes and doing minor repairs in the church’s neighborhood as part of the long-range neighborhood revitalization vision of the leadership of Ebnezer. We will work, sweat, cry and laugh in the homes of widows, the elderly, the disabled, and other people who need assistance.
We will worship on Sunday morning alongside First Presbyterian Church’s congregation. On Sunday evening we will worship with the saints from Ebenezer Baptist Church, our partner church. We will work alongside and for people of different racial, educational, economic and social backgrounds. We will be intentional on Sunday morning and evening about looking at our own prejudices, confessing them for what they are, and seeking reconciliation as we engage in recreation, as we work on homes, and as we teach Bible clubs or sports camps . One of the devotional times in the morning will be a discussion of reconciliation in the church.
The work will be painting homes in the morning in east Hattiesburg, near Ebenezer Baptist Church, then participating in a backyard Bible school in the afternoons with United Christian Ministries.
Here are the two video links to the work First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg did in October 2010 and 2011
Teams will sleep in classrooms at First Presbyterian Church during their time here. Teams will stay in the new multipurpose building. Areas are designated for lounging and recreation. Separate sleeping facilities, showers and restrooms will be provided for women and men. Access to meeting rooms for devotions, team building exercises, recreation and quiet study will also be provided. This year would be a great opportunity for your team to begin a long-term partnership with Hope for Hattiesburg and help us develop this new ministry.
Will be provided by church members and staff. Each team should designate two volunteers to assist the staff during meal time.
Breakfast: Continental style in the church
Lunch: Made at breakfast and carried to the work sites by the volunteer teams
Dinner: Buffet style in the main dining area
Team size: 25 team members a week.
Age: Mature Jr. High, High School, college age and adults are encouraged to come for the week.
Leadership: Group leaders must be present with the group at all times. If there are both young men and young women on the team, both a male and female leader must accompany the group. A high ratio of adults to youth teams is desired.
Hope for Hattiesburg does not provide transportation for teams. The use of vans is encouraged; buses are not allowed. If your team is flying in, please check with us for suggested vehicle rental agencies.
We have morning devotions as a group Monday through Thursday mornings for about half an hour. Students will receive a devotional booklet created by church leaders that team members will work through and journal in throughout the week. The devotional will include follow-up questions that leaders may use for the evening debriefing sessions. The morning sessions are led by church and presbytery pastors. During the devotional time we will sing (bring your own music and instruments!), pray (corporately and individually), share and journal.
Plan on arriving Saturday evening. Please eat your evening meal while on the road.
- 8:00 PM Orientation to the facility and check-in by HFH staff
- 11:00 PM Lights out
- 7:30 – 8:30 AM Breakfast in Educational Building
- 8:30 – 9:30 AM Introduction to Hope for Hattiesburg
- 9:30 AM – Noon Worship in sanctuary
- 12:00 – 2:00 PM Lunch with church families
- 2:00 – 3:00 PM Return to church and rest
- 3:00 – 4:00 PM Separate Leader Orientation and Team Member Orientation
- 4:00 – 5:00 PM Combined Orientation
- 5:00 -5:30 PM Dinner (where/who?)
- 5:45 – 8:00 PM Depart for evening worship at Ebenezer Baptist Church
- 8:30 – 9:30 PM Youth group leaders review devotional resources; team time
- 11:00 PM Lights out
Monday – Thursday
- 6:30 – 7:00 AM Breakfast at church
- 7:00 – Noon Depart for worksites
- Noon-1:00 PM Lunch, team devotions and rest
- 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Wrap-up daily construction projects
- 2:00 – 5:30 PM Bible Clubs and/or Sports Camps
- 5:30 – 6:30 PM Dinner (special on Thursday)
- 6:45 – 8:00 PM Depart for Kids’ Clubs (except Thursday)
- 8:00 – 9:30 PM Large group devotional led by church and presbytery leaders; team time
- 11:00 PM Lights out
- 7:00 – 8:00 AM Breakfast at church
- 8:30 AM Free day for sightseeing, possible Gulf Coast visit, cleaning dorms and bathrooms, and packing to leave.
- 11:00 PM Lights out
Note: Teams departing on Friday must request approval at time of registration.
- 7:30 – 8:30 AM Breakfast at church
- 9:00 AM Check out and depart for home
The cost to participate is $200 per individual (including leaders). There is a non-refundable deposit for the group, based on the team size. The deposit confirms the team’s dates. The fees are for the sole purpose of covering costs for the ministry or church with whom you are serving; MNA receives no income or financial benefit from the fees paid.
The fee covers:
- Lodging from Saturday night through the following Saturday morning
- Meals and meal preparation from Sunday morning through Friday morning
- A culturally relevant meal on Thursday evening
- Work project expenses
This fee does NOT cover:
- Transportation costs
- Friday fun activities in Hattiesburg
- Any medical/emergency costs
- Phone calls
- Ministry materials prepared for Backyard Bible Clubs or VBS
Ready to bring Hope to Hattiesburg?