As a founding partner of Niteo Tours, I’m often asked: “How does a vacation like Niteo actually invest in missions?”

 

The short answer is

Niteo identifies strategic and effective mission partnerships in the countries visited. We look for creative ways to invest travel dollars into these mission partnerships.

 

The more complete answer involves a much longer and intricate storyline. Literally every tour has had “mission stories” that creatively go far beyond what we could imagine when planning the itineraries. 

 

One “mission stories” is a recent example involving my business partner, Jeff Whittle. His story, as told below, encouraged me. I hope it will encourage you, as it illustrates the ways an enjoyable vacation can accomplish a “world of good!”

 

 

Jeff’s story – “Dream Vacation”

My family went on Niteo’s “Monarchs and Colonial Mexico” tour in February of 2018. It was a bucket-list itinerary, and we all had a great time. What I didn’t realize, though, was that God was setting in motion a plan.

 

 Juan was a guide-in-training on our tour. Juan was (and is) the pastor of a small local church. He is also the director of a community center called NOE (New Opportunities in Education), one of Niteo’s strategic ministry partnerships.

 

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Jeff & Kim Whittle and two of their girls on their first visit to Mexico

 

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Juan Peralta of NOE International

 

One afternoon during our tour we visited the NOE center where Juan works in Morelia. NOE offers practical tools, like English learning, sports and the arts, along with spiritual investment.

 

The company I co-own (Ecclesia Construction) seeks to honor the Lord in all of its business activities. It gives ten percent of its profits to support Christian ministries. After becoming acquainted with NOE International, I felt like the Lord wanted us to support their work in Mexico. Our company began sponsoring some of the children served in its after-school programs. 

 

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Students my family and I met at the NOE center Juan directs.

 

I was so impressed with Juan that I invited him to bring his family on a visit to the Carolinas. Not too long after Juan’s visit, my oldest son spent several months volunteering at the NOE center run by Juan.

 

Dream Team

Another NOE program I found intriguing is what they call their summer Dream Team.  Kids who work their way through the senior level of NOE’s English program and demonstrate excellent character throughout, qualify to spend a summer break in the USA.

 

For twenty-five years, the Dream Team has gone to Portland, Oregon. But we lobbied NOE to add another Dream Team group to our Charlotte, North Carolina region.

 

This summer our company was blessed to sponsor the first-ever Charlotte Dream Team. We look forward to adding more Team members next summer! The stories from the kids and the host families about how God used that month to touch hearts has been more than encouraging.

 

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2019 Charlotte Dream Team. Our family hosted Andrea (center).

 

All of this started because of a vacation to Colonial Mexico!

 

It’s true that Niteo Tours provides incredible vacations. The money spent helps ministries in various ways.  And sometimes—as illustrated in Jeff’s story—a Niteo tour can lead to deeper relationships with locals, guides, and ministries that create long-lasting impact. These are the reasons Niteo exists!

 

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