By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion
Summer is prime time for faith-based mission trips.
Many U.S. church groups — often including teens and college students — travel all the world this time of year.
I just returned from a Christian Chronicle reporting trip to Puerto Rico, where I followed a Kentucky congregation helping with Hurricane Maria relief work. While there, I noticed the news about unrest in Haiti, a country I visited just a few months ago to report on water well drilling.
Just weeks ago, I reported on political violence prompting the cancellation of dozens of church mission trips to Nicaragua. Not so many years ago, of course, ongoing concerns over drug cartels began curtailing mission work in Mexico.
Not too often, though, do major news organizations cover the impact of the dangerous world on church mission trips, even though there’s frequently a compelling story there.
That’s why I was so pleased to see CNN tackle that angle amid the Haiti unrest:
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All of my GetReligion columns (July 2018):
• As Jahi McMath — girl at center of life-support controversy — dies, coverage still haunted by ghosts. Published July 2.
• A side question re: that viral story about baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph in a cage: Which Bible to quote? Published July 3.
• ‘Church vs. Church’: New York Times delves into the biblical debate over immigration in Iowa town. Published July 9.
• New York Times’ 20th anniversary piece on East Texas dragging death is powerful, yet disappointing. Published July 11.
• U.S. mission groups stranded by Haiti unrest, and CNN — to its credit — reports on it. Published July 12.
• Friday Five: Fading way of life, ‘Submarine Churches,’ Chick-fil-A flash mob and more. Published July 13.
• Three weekend reads: Another #MeToo case for SBC, faith-based adoption and Bible teacher Jimmy Carter. Published July 14.
• Why ignoring a reporter’s call probably isn’t the best media relations strategy for a religious leader. Published July 16.
• ‘Will Roe v. Wade be overturned?’ Yes, do take the time to read this excellent piece of journalism. Published July 18.
• Too-perfect storyline: El Salvador criminal gangs gain respect of evangelical churches, let members go. Published July 19.
• Friday Five: Ethical question, ‘Uncle Teddy,’ faith-free aliens, Muslim swimmers and more. Published July 20.
• Hit piece or masterpiece? Digesting that Washington Post story on rural Baptists who voted for Trump. Published July 23.
• Dog bites abortion critic: New York Times goes behind the scenes with Roe v. Wade opponents. Published July 24.
• ESPN writer explains what made Dale Murphy special, on and off field, and sort of avoids a ghost. Published July 25.
• What’s chewing gum got to do with it? Paper delves into why transgender teen was denied Communion. Published July 26.
• Friday Five: Trump Baptists, Roe v. Wade detractors, Catholic sex abuse, top Bible app and more. Published July 27.
• Hey First Baptist Dallas: Your pastor’s a real dolt, but your church isn’t all that terrible, paper says. Published July 30.
• Why Texas Sen. Ted Cruz getting a haircut wasn’t just news — it was, believe it or not, religion news. Published July 31.