Category Archives: Short Term Missions Trips

Are short-term missions trips effective? What about all that money “wasted”?

The effectiveness of short-term missions trips has been debated for a long time. Many people think short-term mission trips came into existence in the past 40 years. Actually, Jesus sent out his disciples on short-term missions trips. Today many people argue about the cost. Is it worth it? Watch the video below and you decide.


10 Resons Why Short-term Missions Trips are Effective.

In recent years there have been a surge in short-term Christian Missions trips that often seem more like an adventure vacation than an actual missions trip. Raising thousands of dollars to go and do Christian missions to the Bahamas or Fiji certainly sounds like a donor sponsored vacation. What a scam! Or is it? Years ago missionaries went to beautiful places only to be buried a few months after they arrived. Knowing that suffering and death were a real possibility, the had to weigh their desire for adventure, beautiful scenery, their commitment to Christ and sharing the Gospel, and the cost in terms of their lives.

Short-term missions is hard work!

In today’s short-term missions activities, laying down one’s life for the Gospel is highly unlikely, and yes the surroundings can be beautiful, but the missions work can be exhausting and hard. Have you ever been to Africa? Have you seen the plains and valleys of Kenya? Phenomenal scenery, gorgeous landscape, and old cemeteries filled with missionaries. Some went to Africa for a few weeks, others for a lifetime.

Mixed motives can always get in the way of Christian service. Whether in your home country or overseas, missionaries can sometimes feel guilty that their desire to share the Gospel is also mixed with their craving for adventure. Every missionary is guilty of it. If they weren’t filled with some sense of adventure, they wouldn’t be a foreign missionary! God can use the mixed motives of man to accomplish His purposes. It is not for us to judge for God knows the heart. And through short-term missions trips, God will work not only through a person but also in their own life. Many missionaries today can testify that they may have had some desire to escape from their current job, had a desire for adventure, sought to be stretched spiritually, or went into missions due to outside pressures.

If it takes a “missionary vacation” or an “adventure missions trip” to get Christians away from their televisions, computers, cell phones and other distractions of the modern age, then great! They will see and experience things that they never would have otherwise and their lives will be altered in some way. Will they make a big impact? Probably not. But that is why it is short-term. It has a minimal impact for yes, a lot of money, but do you know that most modern day missionaries did some kind of short-term missions trip before they committed to career missions? It is a new thing that God is doing and let’s work with Him and not against Him. Encourage short-term missions regardless of the motives. Leave that up to the Lord to sort through.

10 reasons why short-term missions trips are effective:

1. The person who is going will have an impact upon the place where they are going. Some kind of positive impact.
2. Donors will learn something new about the destination location as well as the person going.
3. Some prayer support will follow the person to the foreign country. Prayer always has an impact.
4. If a person is acting in obedience to God, He will be pleased.
5. Blessings abound for those who not only go, but also send.
6. The money given to send someone probably would have been spent on frivolous other things.
7. Short-term missions experiences can lead to long-term service in missions.
8. Going to a foreign country makes you more appreciative as a whole.
9. It gets people out of their comfort zones. Are you in yours?
10. Short-term missionaries can reinvigorate long-term missionaries by bringing in new enthusiasm for the work resulting in new inspiration and vision.

Short-term missions information

Adventures in Missions

Legless Man Encounters Messenger of Hope.

What do you do when you are confronted with a fellow human being who has no legs and who has been reduced to begging on the streets in order to supplement the small disability pension he receives from the government? As a Christ-follower, what do you do?

Hillary from the UK has lived in India and knows that some beggars are owned by a syndicate and others purposely maim their own children to profit from begging. So how can you know who is genuine? Well, for Hillary, she doesn’t think it is for her to decide. She feels it is simply being compelled to show the love of Christ without making any judgement of why or how the beggar came to the decision to beg. God knows his heart and Hillary’s purpose was to be the hands and feet of Jesus, whether she thinks beggars deserve a handout or not. After all, didn’t God shown His mercy and love to us, when we least deserved it?

Hillary got to know Gregory’s story because she took the time to show interest and reach out with God’s love. He lost both of his legs in a train accident as a child, 40 years ago. He isn’t married, has no children but lives with his 78 year-old mother in Split, Croatia. He takes the bus home at the end of the day. The proceeds of his begging on the streets of Split help supplement his small disability pension. He wears leather pads on his stumps and walks with the aid of two very short sticks. Kneeling beside him they were eye to eye. In his broken English, he told Hillary that he believes in the Bible, but not in “the Church”.  Like most Catholics, his faith is based on doing good works and hoping it is enough. As Hillary spoke of her faith in Jesus, she tried to explain that we can have assurance of forgiveness and eternal life because of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  She asked if she could pray with him and his eyes teared up – Hillary’s overflowed. Hillary prayed that God would bless him, that her Heavenly Father would lift up Gregory’s spirit and provide a job for him so that he could hold his head up high. They spoke some more and Hillary asked if she could fetch him some water as it was hot and he had found only a small patch of shade. He said it was OK and pointed to the money in his bowl, but Hillary declined and soon returned carrying a bag with water and the makings of a sandwich. She also returned with one of the local believers. They gave Gregory a book about Isus (Jesus). Hillary asked him for permission to take a photograph of the two together explaining that she knew many people who would pray for him. Hillary asked him for his address so that she could send a copy of the photo to him, to remind him that she would continue to pray for him. Hillary gave him her address and asked him to send me a postcard now and again, to keep in touch. He was happy with the idea!

So, don’t just glance at this photo in passing – stop and pray for Gregory.  And next time you see someone on the street begging, remember they are only people like you, with dreams and struggles who would be blessed by a specific prayer for them. So dare to ask, “If you could ask God for one thing for you personally today, what would that be?” Take time to listen to their heart and then pray with them. You will both be blessed and who knows what God will do with this act of kindness?

Rescue the Perishing. Stretch Out Your Arm.

She can’t be more than two years old. Her clothes are bright pink. Her hair’s a mess and her eyes are filled with longing. She’s looking at me from a few feet away and I notice how close she is to the edge. The danger so close never crosses her mind. Suddenly the ground begins to give way, as the edge of the overhang breaks apart. I jump with an outstretched arm hoping to catch her but I’m too late. From the edge I can see her falling deeper and deeper into the darkness, the longing in her eyes never fading.

I opened my eyes to darkness and slowly put the pieces together. I’m in my
sleeping bag with people around me breathing heavily as they sleep. I’m in a mountain village and have been dreaming. I’ve just spent the better part of the last day with a bunch of children. Finally it all comes back but what does the dream mean? In this Muslim country in North Africa there are probably thousands of villages similar to the one I stayed in. They’re very small and many of them very remote. To get to this village we had to travel for two hours from a smaller city by taxi. The second half of the trip was through mountain switchbacks on a dirt road not much bigger than the taxi. Often times you could see straight down over the cliff simply by looking out the window. Many places are even more remote than this though. Within these thousands of villages there are tens of thousands of children, probably more.

In the city where I live the majority of the population has never heard the
Gospel, however, there are local and foreign believers here. In the small places there may be no one in the village who has ever heard the Gospel. No one has ever prayed for these people specifically. No one may have ever traveled there who knows Jesus. As I spent time with the children of the village I was in it was impossible not to notice their desire for attention. The older girls were singing and dancing to get your attention. The boys wanted you to see what they had done and praise them for it. The little girls wanted to be held and swung around in your arms. Their faces were filled with longing.

What happens when no one ever tells them how to fill their longing hearts
though? We spent a few hours with them and tried to love on them as much as possible. Even that was not enough to remove the longing. The truth is that only Jesus can fill those empty places in their hearts and in ours. Who will tell them though? Who will reach out to the thousands of village children in this country and their parents and families? I felt convicted by the dream I had. Most of the people here are standing very close to the edge and they don’t even realize it. Instead of always moving toward them to pull them away I am often caught standing and watching. Forgive me, Lord. When the edge gives way and they fall I’m not going to be able to catch them. I hope that the faces of these children remain etched in my mind for a long time. Each of them is precious in God’s sight. Unfortunately, many of them may never have the opportunity to even hear about the love of Christ, to know how precious they are. They may slip away into the darkness without ever knowing where to find eternal hope.

Consider going to North Africa to be a messenger of truth.  Begin to research missions trips. Countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Yemen, Jordan and Mauritania are in urgent need of Christian missionaries who will bring the Good News. Will you be one of them?

International Missions Trips for 2011

Go on a short term missions trip to the Mediterranean region this summer and tell your story! Watch the video of Transform 2011 to find out how!

Transform 2011 is a ministry outreach of Operation Mobilization.

Clay, the Gospel and a Potter on a Missions Trip

The oldest Potter in the world is God Himself.  He formed Adam “out of the dust of the earth,” and made Adam “in His own image.” He has passed that same spirit of creativity on to us, and it was a joy for Chuck to share that message with a group of children in rural Moldova.  Chuck’s church partnered
with Operation Mobilization (OM) and traveled to a small village near the Romanian border, to work with a local pastor and the OM Moldova team in a children’s program. 

Unsure of where to get quality pottery clay in Moldova, Chuck brought the clay with him. Getting two 50lb boxes of clay through customs was an interesting challenge, but he got through!  With help from one of the Moldovan translators, Chuck taught the children some basic exercises and shapes, and then let them use their imagination to create what they wanted.  Chuck also met Peter, a local potter, and they spent some time sharing together.  A good sized block of the clay was given to bless him and his work. The OM Moldova team then took another block of clay to a similar children’s program at a church in another small village. The pastor’s wife there, an artist herself, was very appreciative, since she finds it difficult to obtain quality clay. 

Next year Chuck would like to return again with another opportunity to minister to children of various ages and continue to build bridges to share the Gospel message. If you are interested in arts missions trips, contact OM Arts International.

Christian Music and Dance Leads to Newfound Joy

photo by Sharaya Drake
During a recent OM Arts outreach in Slovakia with the Bill Drake Band alongside an OM DanceLink performance, Mary had the opportunity to lead a woman to Christ. Months before Mary’s mission trip, she
prayed that the Lord would use her to reveal the heart of God to someone. Mary was part of the outreach team that accompanied the OM Arts missions trip.

Towards the end of the concert, Mary overheard a man loudly saying “Katolícka!” while pointing his finger at the woman.  She appeared to be in her forties, wore dark clothing, and sat lifelessly on a plaza bench.  More notable however, was the empty, blank look on her face. Apparently the man was chiding the woman for being a Catholic and praying to Mary, Jesus’ mother.

The man asked Mary to speak to her. Her name was Aranka. Mary, having come from a Catholic background, knew how sensitive one could be when one’s beliefs, true or false, are challenged. Gently, Mary explained to Aranka the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Aranka listened carefully, asked Mary questions, and stated bluntly that she had no joy in her life. Mary told her that if she had Jesus living in her heart she would know true joy. To Mary’s surprise and delight, she promptly asked how she could get Jesus into her heart! Mary reviewed the Gospel essentials and asked if she understood and believed, and Aranka indicated she did. Then Mary prayed that God would reveal Himself to her. Mary excitedly told her that she had now passed over from death to life and she was now a part of the family of God. The two women briefly talked about praying, reading the Bible, meeting with other believers, and Mary gave her information about the local church.

Aranka thanked Mary and for the first time during their encounter, Aranka’s face softened and then she smiled.

Excelling in arts in missions
imagine – illuminate – impact!