The Truth about Short Term Mission Trips
Below is a letter from a Pastor in Africa who is reflecting
on his perspective of short term missionaries. Pastor David is the founder of Father’s Divine Love Ministries in Jinga,
Uganda. His perspective is invaluable and underscores the value that short term
mission trips bring in not only sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the
whole world, but in active obedience to the Word of God when we as disciples
are commanded to “go ye” and “visit the fatherless and widows in their
distress”. We hope that this will be an encouragement to each one who reads!
I’m reminded of a disciple who thought pouring precious oil
on the Lord was a waste since they could have sold the oil and given the money
to the poor; and what did Christ think about that?
Even if you raised a billion dollars and gave it to the
faithful pastors in Africa and elsewhere, there would still be greater need
than before. Even Jesus, the most accomplished, the only incarnate missionary
to ever grace the earth's surface still left need after his 33 years here.
Therefore, no amount of money sent to us can equal what the Lord accomplishes
in the heart of the missionary himself within those 2 weeks called “short
term mission trips.” They are only short term to your earthly eyes because
you are governed by time, but to the Lord, before whom time bows, 2 weeks are
plenty for him to change the life of that missionary. We all must remember that
in most cases, the missionary is more changed and impacted than the African to
whom they come to reach out.
I have been hosting short term missionaries for 9 years now
and I have had the amazing privilege of seeing their lives changed over the
years as we continue to relate and partner in missions. When a missionary comes
over, and I recommend short term because we don't really have a need for long
term American missionaries in the first place, they get a first time on ground
experience, capture the vision of the work being done, and assess the
methodology and the integrity of the vision. They then return to America
stronger advocates who have had a real life experience with the work they
advocate for. They also return home more grateful and with a different view of
life especially pertaining the consumerism that is a cancer to many parts of
the world. I have visited America 7 times over the last years visiting for an
average of 2 months each time; but have not impacted American lives the way
their trips here have.
An African visiting America doesn't guarantee bringing
Africa to America. One way Africa disciples America is by providing a great
mission field and rich missionary experiences. Let short term missionaries
come, see the work, receive the vision, form partnerships, go home and become
active advocates to raise the much needed resources. Such a trip might cost
roughly $4,000 dollars; the life change however is priceless and the result
could be a lifelong partnership that goes on to touch millions.
Give me a thousand short term missionaries, God will touch
their lives here and they will be better disciples when they get back to
-Pastor David L. Zijjan
If you would like to visit Uganda and Pastor David we have a
trip to Uganda scheduled for this coming December 27 through January 8. You can
read more about the trip and sign up here.