Short Term Missions 

Short Term Missions are coming alongside a missionary to serve in a foreign country. Helping with daily evangelism and discipleships. It is getting “your feet wet” in an experience where you need to rely on Christ and other believers. It may involve Vacation Bible Schools, Medical Outreaches, teaching children
and ladies, making home visits, and seeing poverty that is difficult to describe. It is sadness. It is a joy!

It is sharing one’s testimony of their salvation through Christ with others. It may be helping the missionary using your “specific gifts and talents to build up the body of Christ”. It; may be sharing the load, two makes it lighter, and three makes it strong.

    What is the value of Short-Term Missions?

    I am happy to answer the question, says Lorraine. For me, it was the beginning of God’s calling on my life to serve as a full-time missionary. It allowed me to come to El Salvador multiple times.

    On one of my many trips, I was asked to do an internship. I was dropped off at a mission house, residing there for four weeks, alone, without a phone, without a radio or television and my beginner’s Spanish did not allow me to converse with the neighbors or have my needs known. I walked blocks and blocks alone to find a grocery store not knowing I was walking into dangerous territory. It was reality.

    If I could spend the summer in three Central American countries and still have the desire to move away from my parents and siblings, I knew that it was God’s calling and not a venture-seeking experience.

    Can one live without all the luxuries of “home”?

    Can one adapt to a foreign culture, a foreign language where many will laugh at one’s attempts to speak the language; can one adjust to the food; the “heat”, and continually rely on Christ to sustain? If so, then one is ready to serve. It is not for the faint-hearted. Many will go to the mission field and many will leave within one to two years. Spending an extended amount of time in a foreign land is a good test of one’s durability. A recent study by ABWE printed September 18, 2019, reports that 43% of the missionaries from 600 mission agencies did not fulfill their commitment. The single most common reason was that their support was not sustainable.

    Short Term Missions let one feel the heartbeat of the people. There will be many things that one will not understand and chalk it up to a developing country such as the banking system, or regulations that one can not readily find anywhere on the Internet. But it gives one a sense of the culture and the people.

    "Go, stay and serve"

    Loraine encourages all those who feel “called” to go and serve, to serve on an extended internship with a like-minded mission board. Several times interns have wanted to sell all they had and return to ES immediately after a mission trip. But after a short time “back home”, they have a different mindset.

    Wait a year, return for an extended amount of time, and see what the day-to-day is like. It is different than having a homogenous team surrounding one with an agenda for a week or two. It is the daily interruptions in plans, the disappointments, being separated from loved ones, and knowing that you can’t send or receive a letter or card. Coming to terms with the real-life conditions should reaffirm God’s calling and that serving full-time in missions requires a true love for the Savior will suffice to “go, stay and serve”. Once one is sure of their calling, they will take up their cross and follow Christ. They will experience the joy of seeing others receive Christ as their Savior, they will be willing to “make disciples”.

    Develop connections with those who are eager to see others come to Christ. Those who will support you in prayer and financially and work alongside you. Be grateful and thank God for all those who are ministry partners. When they send, pray, and give, let them know what “their part is in expanding the kingdom of God for eternity”!

    If you are interested in Short Term Missions as a family, church, youth group, college group, or Bible study group, please reach out to us. We will be happy to connect with you!