Home > Uncategorized > Thinking of a Missions Trip?

Thinking of a Missions Trip?

If you are considering a short term missions trip, I think you should read this article.  (As a bonus, it quotes one of my seminary professors!)  I don’t agree with everything the churches are doing, but grateful for how they are starting to reconsider their methods.  It’s a good start, and a good start for me thinking about it as well.

We have had a tendency to be a little self-centered in our short-term missions, and it’s led to some interesting problems.

Some blunders include a wall built on the children’s soccer field at an orphanage in Brazil that had to be torn down after the visitors left. In Mexico, a church was painted six times during one summer by six different groups. In Ecuador, a church was built but never used because the community said it was not needed.

Worse than that, it seems to me that we often take jobs that local people could do and which would improve their economic situation.  I’m grateful for the way that many churches are starting to reconsider how they do short term missions.  We still need to do them (in fact, I think they are vital) – just change how we do them.

Read the article, and see what you think.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Angela Bandy
    July 20, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Four years ago I led a team of 12 from our previous church to Grand Bahama Island to do constuction on a church building. I have to admit, pretty much every thing that was described in the article happened with our group. I remember standing back and watching it happen, knowing full well that our intentions and attitudes were off, and yet felt powerless to do anything. Yet, God still blessed our efforts, despite ourselves. We came home and went about our lives as normal, then a week later, hurricane Frances hit the island where we were and destroyed much of it. We held a prayer vigil in youth group that night (there were 6 students in the group) and one by one, each one confessed their sin about their attitude and intentions on the trip (including some adults). We realized that these were real people with real needs who had become our friends, and we now truly felt their pain and the compassion we should have had all along. It was humbling and yet wonderful to see God’s incarnate plan finally revealed to the students, something I had failed to do. Praise God for the people we tried to help, for they ended up helping us far more in the end. Today, I believe most of those students have strayed from God. But I pray that the experience they had in the Bahamas will remind them (someday) of his awesome power and love for us. I know it did for me.

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