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Short-term Trip to Africa … an Incredible Adventure!

Many people’s first exposure to ministry overseas is through short-term mission trips. Often One Challenge workers partner with their churches in their sending nations to help facilitate a short-term mission experience. Paul Siaki, an OC worker in South Africa, recently welcomed a short-term trip of 77 people from Irvine Presbyterian Church (IPC) in Southern California.

“It was an incredible adventure!” says Paul. “Imagine it if you can: multiple flights coming in on one day on three different airlines, 230 pieces of luggage, 14 10-seater vans, 5,000 pounds of ministry supplies, and so on!”

Irvine Presbyterian Church  team

The 77-person team split their resources and personnel for most of the two-week trip, spending only first two days and last day together. The teams spread its time between three locations in South Africa and Swaziland.

“One went south eight hours to Durban to do ministry with a fantastic African couple building up a new ministry and church plant. Another went five hours to Swaziland to work with a ministry partner in painting a new dorm, doing food distribution and a nightly VBS program to launch a new church plant in a tent. The last went into downtown Johannesburg to help with an orphanage and school,” says Paul.

Southern Africa

10 years of partnership

A decade ago, IPC sent an exploratory group to determine partnership opportunities. “From this original trip, relationships were made, and those partnerships have grown through the years — with multiple mission trips and several African partners visiting them in Irvine,” says Paul.

Often in short-term teams, the impact is more evident in the short-term participants rather than the country they are there to serve. Through this 10-year partnership, IPC has been able to develop relationships and have lasting impact. “The impact on IPC has been remarkable with children from the original team returning to minister as adults,” Paul says. “The impact on Southern Africa is beyond what we can measure as countless lives have been changed through the faithful commitment of this church.” Southern Africa

In the role of resident workers in various countries around the world, it is exciting to see the nations come to Christ. “It’s one of our great joys to connect people for the advancement of the kingdom,” Paul says. “Sometimes the opportunity God gives me to meet people and to network seems to be one of my biggest roles. I love the privilege of doing this for God’s mission here in Southern Africa.”

If you or your church is interested in short-term missions with One Challenge, contact us at

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