The World Missions Department seeks to engage every member and every church of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas in the work of evangelism and mission. We are working to be faithful to the Great Commission, Jesus Christ's command to "go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 28:19), and His Great Commandment "to love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39) and to assist the Missionary People of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas in their call to "proclaim the word and example of the Good News of God in Christ" (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 305).
A number of teams from the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas have developed relationships in regions where they have worked for extended periods. There are ongoing ministries that continue to expand in scope and purpose. Below is a list of ministries which typically send teams annually, and most accept additional team members.
Due to security along the border, the diocese does not sponsor youth teams to this area. However, ministry continues through generous gifts of our parishioners and adult teams. Mission activities include creative sewing projects for women, and support of El Buen Pastor and Church of the Resurrección's construction projects. More than twenty women have participated in sewing projects three times a year since 2008, learning to design and complete simple to ornate decorative items and garments. For information, contact Connie Bye.
This ministry offers VBS to all children of the area. Dia de Gracias is celebrated during the Thanksgiving season and includes a feast, games and prizes, and distribution of food and clothing. Las Posadas is also celebrated at Christmastime with food, music, games, and gifts, while Mary and Joseph's quest for lodging in Bethlehem is reenacted. For more information, contact Amanda Hagy.
This team sponsors micro-enterprise programs through a bakery and water filtration project established to produce much needed income for families in the region. Women's ministries offer topical conferences for women and craft sessions that highlight creativity and art. Vacation Bible School is conducted during summer missions in partnership with members of the local church. A fully-equipped clinic, partly funded by DWTX, serves the area and has provided opportunities for a medical intern. Senior clergy from DWTX share knowledge and experience with fellow clergy in Southeast Mexico. For more information, contact Rosine Carter.
For seven years, the “Threads of God” team has worked with over 50 women from more than a dozen villages in the Copan, Santa Barbara, and Intibuca regions of Honduras. They are assisting them in creating a sustainable micro-enterprise. Team members teach design, technique, and marketability while returning all proceeds to participants. Contact Terry Koehler for more information.
With a mission to provide holistic community health, Love Honduras veterinary teams vaccinate and treat parasites in large and small animals, vision teams provide vision testing and glasses for children, and public health initiatives including water cisterns and community development have been the hallmarks of this team for more than 30 years. Team veterinarians will train volunteers to be med-tech assistants. Updated rabies immunizations are required to join the team. Contact Dr. Riva Heron for more information.
Teams have established four micro-enterprises with low income women, including sewing, baking, and school supplies. The Manos Scholarship Program has a total of 70 students, including 50 in grades 7-12, and 20 students in college. In addition, they have 11 college graduates. Teams have fitted nearly 5,000 pairs of glasses in the last 15 years and improved the living conditions of families through the Casitas Project that repairs or constructs homes for families. Contact Patricia Perea for more information.
The Owen Project is part of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church's (Seguin) long-standing Honduras mission engagement. Laptop computers designed by MIT for rural Third World environments are taken to isolated mountain schools around Siguatepeque, Honduras, and other Latin American countries. The teams arrive in the country late in June or early in July and visit schools to train teachers and students in the use of the laptops that utilize curriculum developed by the Honduras Department of Education. Once students become adept at using the XO’s, they are encouraged to take them home to share educational opportunities with their families. Contact Sally and Mark Keddal for more information.
Texas Water Mission provides clean water solutions, offering clean drinking water to more than 50,000 Hondurans since 2003. The ministry also teaches water hygiene and conducts Bible classes with activities for children. Contact Samantha McLelland, or visit www.texaswatermission.org to learn more.
Since 2010, these mission teams have built houses for abused and widowed indigenous women and provided medical and dental care in the highlands of Guatemala. On the job training is provided for anyone with a giving and serving heart. Contact Dr. Lorena Rojas or Jorge Rojas for more information.
In 2009, St. George School and Church (San Antonio) began a relationship with St. Benoit Church and School in Mombin Crochu, Haiti. With assistance from the National Episcopal Church and St. George School’s Annual Chain of Love fundraising event, they have helped build a new school facility, a new kitchen, and made other capital improvements. The Chain of Love also helps fund students, teachers, meals, and other programs. Contact Keith Earle for more information.
Texas Water Mission provides clean water solutions, ranging from water wells to rain catchment systems, or spring boxes. The ministry also provides water hygiene training and children’s spiritual formation classes with activities. See Texas Water Mission in Navajoland and Honduras. Contact Samantha McLelland, or visit www.texaswatermission.org to learn more.
Since 2004, teams have worked with the Rafiki AIDS Orphanage outside Nairobi to fund and partner in various projects, including construction, micro-enterprise, farming, and various arts and educational events. Approximately eighty children live on the site that also has a school, barber shop, farm, bakery, and a small savings and loan office. Mission activities include Vacation Bible School, Youth Enrichment, and structural maintenance projects. Youth teams have participated in farming chores and built a tilapia farm. Contact Dr. Marthe Curry for more information.
Youth team projects include rebuilding deteriorating parts of the church building, establishing church gardens, and improving access to the church property. Other projects include building a food pantry and office/health screening addition, providing a weeklong Vacation Bible School, as well as building relationships with the Diocese of South Dakota. Contact Dawn McLendon for more information.
The Band & Bible Mission supports the brass band ministry of three Ugandan dioceses: Kampala, Bunyoro-Kitara, and Nebbi. Students learn to read music, musicianship, and instrument repair, in addition to spiritual formation rooted in scripture. A scholarship program overseen by members of the band has been established to assist students in completing their education and provides tutoring for students. This team is made up of experienced band teachers or members and travels in the summer. Contact the Rev. Eric Fenton for more information.
The Threads of Blessing ministry teaches embroidery and design, quality control, and marketability of tapestries, with more than 650 Ugandan women currently involved. Since 2005, the ministry has provided an annual workshop for women, encouraging positive self-esteem and spiritual growth. Threads of Blessing also provides instruction in basic business skills and explores and locates markets for the sale of tapestries. Contact Helen Schnelzer for more information, or visit threadsofblessing.org.
Mission teams from Holy Spirit Episcopal Church in San Antonio partner with Mision San Jose de Arimatea in Anasco, Puerto Rico for fellowship, strengthening relationships and increasing cross-cultural competency. The team is planning a joint family camp for members of both congregations in the summer of 2021 to join together in fellowship, Bible study, and cultural exchanges. This ministry is relatively new, having been initiated in 2018, and is currently exploring ways to relate and partner for mutual growth. Contact Gene Dowdy for more information.
House of Hope connects missioners with local organizations supporting recovery, humanitarian aid, and development in and around Barichara, Colombia. House of Hope's mission focuses on strengthening missionaries and those they will work with in mind, body, and spirit through daily service opportunities, worship, and deep immersion in the culture of northern Colombia. Mission teams will spread the message of hope found in Jesus Christ in a local jail, nursing home, rural schools, children's ministries, and on-site service projects. Contact Mary Hayden Manning for more information.
Pray for our teams and long-term missionaries working around the world and especially in Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, the Kurdistan region, Mexico, Navajoland, Uganda, and Puerto Rico. Prayerfully consider becoming a part of a team yourself. Pray for safety, strength, and resources.
A World Missions Prayer Group meets the first Monday of each month from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at the Bishop Jones Center (111 Torcido Dr, San Antonio, TX 78209) to pray specifically for the needs of missionaries, teams, and our mission partnerships. All are welcome to join.
The World Missions Department has assembled a Devotional Book to guide prayer and reflection for anyone preparing to Go! and serve on a mission team. The printable booklet includes a letter from the Rt. Rev. David Reed, prayers, daily devotionals for the 30 days leading up to your departure date, devotionals during the trip, songs, and space to journal.
With a global ministry touching many lives around the world, your contributions are greatly appreciated. Most of the places where we work suffer from economic and physical hardships in which the smallest amounts make the greatest difference.
Click here to make an online donation to support the work of the World Missions Department, or send to the diocesan offices (Attn: World Missions Dept; P.O. Box 6885; San Antonio, TX 78209). In-kind donations may be sent, or delivered, to the diocesan offices as well.
Kurdistan "Love for the Least" provides care to more than 400 orphans in Africa, the Middle East, India, and refugees in camps in the Middle East. Support for this ministry can be directed at lovefortheleast.org.
Open the World Missions Catalog to view a map of our global partners in mission. Effective Summer 2020, in-person mission trips are paused, in response to the global COVID-19 crisis.
To invite a World Missions presenter to your church, contact Marthe Curry, Director of World Missions, at email@example.com.
What are the age limits for mission trips? Youth trips are typically open to students from middle school age through college. International missions ask that team members are at least 18 years old.
How long are mission trips? Depending on the destination, longer trips (e.g. Africa) will take two or more weeks. Shorter destination missions can be done in one week.
How much does a trip cost? The greatest cost of the trip is transportation. Team members pay their own costs with home churches frequently helping out through fundraisers or special gifts. In addition to transportation, include in-country transportation, food, lodging, insurance, baggage fees, and team expenses. Approximate costs for missions of one- or two-week duration: Haiti $1100-$1500; Honduras $1000-1500; Guatemala $1500; N. Mexico $250; SE Mexico $1300-1600; Navajoland $450; Puerto Rico $1225; Uganda/Kenya $3000-3500; USA (youth) $300-500.
What special training do I need to join a team? Team leaders will host 3-4 training sessions prior to the mission. If you are selected for the team, you will receive the training you need. If, however, the mission is for medical, dental, or veterinary work, the team leader will train you to assist in non-procedural matters. Some construction crews need trained workers, but the team leader can guide you regarding experience.
Do I need special immunizations? Some international missions require certain immunizations due to environmental factors. Check with your team leader or your local travel clinic.
Do I need a passport? Yes, and your passport expiration date must exceed 6 months in excess of your date of return to the USA.
What about clothing? Your team leader will inform you of any taboos regarding clothing of your host country. For example, some countries expect women to wear long dresses, and no shorts are allowed for anyone. Tattoos are associated with gang members in some countries and are, therefore, taboo and should be concealed.
Short-Term Mission Guidebook
The World Missions Department has compiled a guidebook for use by all short-term mission leaders and their teams, using suggestions and materials submitted by experienced leaders of short-term mission trips and from selected materials. In 2020, the information included was expanded and updated. It provides insight into all aspects of leading and participating in a short-term mission trip from start to finish.
Prior to embarking on a World Mission Trip, all adults and minors must sign the Release Agreement, linked below, and give to the designated Team Leader.