Texas Conference UMC Laos Mission Trip June 30 to July 13, 2019

Date Posted: 10/1/2018

Purpose of the Trip: To engage mission leaders in the Texas Conference UMC congregations who want to know the Laos Methodists and their work. To develop a long lasting connection between churches in the Texas Conference and Laos Methodist.

Who Can Go: Methodist Clergy or Lay Members who are willing to be a leader in promoting the connection between the Texas Conference and Laos Congregations and institutions.

When Will We Go: From the evening of Sunday June 30 to Saturday July 13, 2019.

What Will We Do: We will meet with Laos Church Leaders, Learn about the life in the Laos Methodist Church, explore mission projects in Laos, visit local congregations, and explore potential connection with Laos Medical and Educational Institutions. Explore the culture and travel to the major Laos cities.

Proposed Schedule:
June 30 leave Houston in the early evening
July 2 arrive Vientiane
July 2-4 visit Vientiane
July 5 visit Pasong and overnight at Vang Vieng
July 6 travel to Xiabuli
July 6-8 visit Xiabuli
July 9 travel to Luang Prabang
July 9-11 visit Luang Prabang
July 12 leave Luang Prabang
July 13 arrive in Houston

Cost of the Mission Trip: The cost for all expenses is $3,200. This will pay for air fare, local travel, hotels, food and miscellaneous expenses like visas. Local congregations are encouraged to assist travelers who don't have the financial means for the entire cost.

Commitment Time Lines: We would like to have firm verbal commitments by January 1, 2019. We would like to have money deposited and copies of Passports for the trip not later than March 15, 2019.

Who Will Lead the Trip: Joel Rabb, an In Mission Together Consultant for Global Ministries will lead the trip.

Signing up for the Mission Trip to Laos: Contact Rev. Scott Moore smoore@txcumc.org, Director, Center for Missional Excellence, or Christine Riggle criggle@txcumc.org, 936-788-6650.

Lao History and Culture: A brief history of Laos can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos Methodists in Laos Even in the face of great challenges, the churches in Laos are growing at a steady rate. Led by 69 committed pastors and lay leaders, the mission has a well-organized national council, or governing structure, which effectively coordinates and administers the mission. The Laos Mission Initiative hopes to be officially registered with the government and develop in all 17 Laotian provinces by 2020, and establish 100 churches and other faith communities by 2017. The mission currently has a significant presence in eight provinces and has 48 churches and 24 faith communities.

The mission focuses on congregational development, economic development, educational ministries, and leader-ship development. This includes training for church planters and equipping leaders and pastors for effective leadership in spiritual development and church administration, and rural and community leadership.
Leadership development also includes providing scholarships to young people to acquire secondary, vocational, or college education in various fields of study. Bishop Scott J. Jones of the Texas Conference UMC provides episcopal oversight for the mission.

Health and Safety: Contact your physician and review the vaccination recommendations of the Center for Disease Control at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/laos In Laos threats to personal safety are low. Nevertheless it is important to travel with companions and secure valuables. When traveling in the van the roads are curvy and some people use Dramamine to avoid motion sickness.