Visits to the twinning community are essential in developing relationships. The goal is to experience a mutual sharing of the gifts of the individuals and to be humble as the travelers see the face of Christ each day of their trip. The timing and size of each trip needs to be balanced with the available financial resources.
a) Hopefully there will be one visit per year between the twinning communities.
b) A selection process with application form for each participant should be established.
c) Orientation meetings discussing hopes, culture, historical, social, political, and religious should be done before the trip as well as debriefing opportunities at the end of the experience. This is necessary to help them ʹunpackʹ the experience and put it into perspective. Sometimes a visit to a developing country can leave a parishioner with emotions with which they are not prepared to deal.
d) On the trip, there should be daily opportunities to have group reflection, journaling, with maximizing opportunities to get to know local people, personal stories, and faith journeys.
e) The individuals should be open to appreciate the gifts from the community as well as understanding their struggles.
f) From the twinning community, it would be advisable to have visits from the pastor and lay leaders at least once every three years and preferably annually.
g) This time could be used to get to know the people, personal stories, faith journeys. There should be time for mutual shared scripture/life.
h) Upon your return, take time to reflect as group to see where God may being calling you for your next steps. See the helpful video modules on “Bringing Mission Home” and “Integration of Mission Experience” at: https://thirdwaveofmission.