This past summer, John and I took our three boys to the place where we met in 1989 on a short-term mission trip, a quaint Austrian village just outside of Salzburg. John was a college kid from West Texas and I was a high school student from Canada. If you know anything about those two places, you’d understand we had a lot of cultural differences so it was good that we met on neutral ground. We were in Europe with a team of young athletes who were combining their talent for sports and their love for Christ in order to share the gospel over the summer. This common interest in missions provided the foundation for a great future together and we were married four years later.
Our initial call
When we got married, I thought for sure God would call us to be the “goers” in the Great Commission to tell others about God. We quickly enrolled in seminary and attended information meetings about the process for a lifetime of mission together in another country. However, it wasn’t too long into our marriage when I realized, with great disappointment, that God didn’t have this in mind for us. Instead, he primarily wanted us to be “senders.” He wanted us to be the people who equip and send supplies through financially giving and through our work as mission directors with Adventive Cross Cultural Initiatives.
In both roles, we have seen a lot change in the last twenty years. There’s an increase in national ministers who are being raised up in their own countries—a very positive trend. However, in many of these countries, either giving to missions is historically not embraced, there are few Christians in the country, or there’s such poverty in the region that the ability to raise funds to do full-time Christian work becomes extremely challenging. We have also seen a decrease in support from North America – donors and donations are scarce.
Life as “goers”
As a result, we began praying about a way to increase our ability to provide for those fulfilling the Great Commission as “goers.” We asked God, “Is there a way to use what you’ve given us so that more people can benefit and enjoy multiple years of serving as goers?” Niteo Tours is an answer to that prayer.
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. In 2013 global tourism generated 1.4 trillion dollars in export. The trend towards spending on tourism is increasing in diversity and in total dollars. In developing countries, tourism is also cited as the key driver for social and economic progress.
Niteo Tours is based on the idea that if vacation dollars are being spent anyhow, why not funnel those dollars into worthwhile Christian work? Why not give people a first-class travel experience at a reasonable price and at the same time give travelers the privilege and opportunity of knowing their vacation dollars will support Christian work in the countries they are visiting?
Here are two examples:
Let’s say you want to spend part of your tropical vacation deep sea fishing in Guatemala.
Niteo Tours provides you with an experience of a lifetime, catching marlin, tuna, snapper and sawfish, in a comfortable boat with a knowledgeable and friendly guide and a guarantee of more fish than you could possibly eat. All at the same price as any other fishing excursion. By taking a Niteo Tour, however, you have the option to take some of your catch to a local village and provide the people there with a meal.
Let’s say you want to take a cultural tour in Tuscany, Italy.
Niteo Tour gives you the opportunity to spend your days learning about the culture, sample exquisite foods and wine, and explore a side of Italy often overlooked by tourists—all with a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide with over twenty years of experience. At the same time, though, your vacation dollars will help to support this same guide who leads tours as a way of supporting herself to serve in missions in a very expensive country.
Friendship, stories, history, culture, mission, and unforgettable experiences are all intentionally woven into the fabric of our company. If you are planning to travel, we’d love for you to consider Niteo Tours.
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