Stepping out of your comfort zone and being prepared to experience life alongside Christians from another culture can be one of the best ways to deepen your understanding of mission.
One way in which CMS Ireland encourages this is through short-term teams, called METAs.
METAs are Mission Experience Teams Abroad. They provide opportunities for groups from Ireland to visit one of our partner locations in another part of the world, to experience life and work there and to sample something of a different culture.
For CMS Ireland and for our Global Partners, these visits and exchanges are crucial to the development of meaningful relationships. They make mission more personal, they help the Partnership Links go wider and deeper, impacting more people, and they ensure that these links last even longer.
The result is increased sharing, enhanced prayer support and, in most cases, more meaningful and effective financial support. Individuals who participate in METAs are often impacted personally, in terms of their faith, their perspectives on God, on Church and on Mission and the choices they make about their own lives and vocation.
METAs often bring ‘partnership’ alive for a parish. Sending a few parishioners on a team offers an opportunity to involve the whole parish – and the wider community – in the experience, through prayer, preparation, fundraising events and by hosting sharing events after the visit.
CMS Ireland generally facilitates around 5-8 METAs each year, providing training and preparation, organising travel and liaising with the Global Partner to develop a suitable programme. In 2015, 10 METAs – with groups from different parts of Ireland – are visiting nine different Global Partners.
For further information, please contact Gillian Maganda in our Belfast office.