Module Seven: Short-Term Missions and Wise Global Engagement

OVC Essentials Spring 2020 Module Seven: Short-Term Missions and Wise Global Engagement

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    • #64593
      Leah St. Pierre
      CAFO Staff

      Discussions about short-term missions best practices can sometimes be very personal and contentious. Did you have any personal reactions to the content this week that you’d be willing to share? What stands out to you as the most critical consideration or principle as we consider engaging globally on a short-term basis?

      OR

      Share an idea for a short-term mission trip that would abide by the standards of excellence we learned about this week.

    • #65657
      Lesley Harper
      Participant

      Hi friends

       

      Just a quick note as homeschooling 7 Royal Treasures in lockdown is super challenging, but short term missions have had a pivotal role in our own calling to the mission field, when we went to work with Mozambican refugees under OM when I was just 19.  During our years pioneering YFC in Moz, and setting up orphan care projects under them, we were so blessed financially and practically by some church teams who committed to long term involvement with us and with the kids.  They helped us build stuff, helped train care-givers and some rural pre-school teachers and brought stax of equipment, books and even hand-sewed clothing that really blessed us and the kids.  They prepared through in-depth and challenging Scripture study, asked the kids the really hard questions about the need to take up the Cross and sacrifice, and relinquish many of their rights and privileges in order to minister to and relate to kids from backgrounds of extreme poverty and neglect in rural villages in Mozambique.  They were on the high end of the short term Missions team spectrum.  Then there were some others, notably some large school groups from South Africa, who were not really prepared and were just here to have a holiday and feel good about ‘doing good’, but hurt the kids by treating them as ‘unclean’, eating separate, and much better food in front of them, without sharing, disrespecting the local care givers and leaders and generally being spoilt brats … We almost never allowed another short term team near us.  Has anyone else had an experience like either of these ?  Any tips or pointers?  We have Zambian missionary friends who take short termers but never allow them any contact time with the kids at all, to prevent any unmet expectations or other drama from happening.  Do you agree with this strategy?

    • #65691
      Pam Taylor
      Participant

      I am so thankful that this topic is included as part of this course. Although I have never participated in short-term missions, I have many friends and family who have engaged in projects across the world. The content this week that included valuable information on how to properly plan and implement short term missions was new information for me. If I am to be completely honest, some of the short-term mission trips and projects that I have heard about clearly did not apply these critical steps. Too often, short-term missions can be portrayed as more of an opportunity or experience for the person attending rather than the recipients. To me, the critical idea that I hope will become widespread is the concept that we need to equip and teach rather than simply go in and solve a short term problem such as housing, etc. An additional concept that I feel is often overlooked is being very cautious in maintaining the dignity of the children and families and to promote attachment. This is really powerful information that I plan to share with many.

      • #66176
        Ana María Sanchez
        Participant

        Thank you so much for sharing Pam,  I believe we all have had that awakening moment where we realize the complexity of STM because it´s not something that you see at first sight or something that we learn in school. So I believe that talking more about this with our family, church, friends, and community in general, can help to bring some understanding around this topic and even guiding others to have that awakening moment earlier in life; but also approaching this topic with grace and a humble hearts,  understanding that mistakes are part of the journey so from my perspective, it´s more about being willing to evaluate our programs, activities, and decisions along the way so we can keep learning from our mistakes in order to serve better and enjoy our ministries as we improve.

    • #65692
      Wayne
      Participant
    • #65700
      Trent Taylor
      Participant

      When I first started this module I had some preconceived ideas about short-term mission trips. I have seen numerous churches go on short-term mission trips and they ended up being vacations for those involved. After the work this week my perspective on short-term missions trips has changed. If all churches abided by the standards of excellence then there would not be so many misconceptions about short-term mission trips. When thinking about the most critical consideration for short-term mission trips one word came into my mind, attachment. So many churches forget about the attachment piece when it comes to helping vulnerable children. In the work this week it was said that the goal is for the children is to attach to the primary caregiver in their life and not the volunteers. If we plan to help the children and their primary caregivers to thrive after we are gone then that child needs to become reliant on their primary caregiver. There are many churches who do this the right way, and I do think short-term mission trips are very beneficial if done properly. However, there needs to be more churches that follow the standards of excellence. I am so thankful for the information this week. It has really changed the way I view short-term mission trips.

      • #66405
        Carlos Ramirez
        Participant

        That’s a good point Trent Taylor, I agree some of the Churches and the short-term teams need to know about attachment so they would know how to get involved in the community and attach to the environment.

    • #65844
      Olivia Milliner
      Participant

      My short-term missions experience is small, so I didn’t understand the gravity of this topic until this week. I went to Jamaica for one week when I was 21, and I only have this experience to draw from. While there, we focused on building a house in the community of the partnering church, so we had limited interactions with community members. This being said, the neighborhood children who came to the job site every day were in tears on our last day. Even with no purposeful interaction and limited engagement, they became attached to the team who would smile at them and play games in the front yard. The content of this course really opened my eyes to the long-term ramifications of this. The “Helping Without Hurting” videos have really forced my thought process to shift from “doing for people” to “doing with people”. While my heart is still pulled towards fulfilling a need, I feel reassured in focusing on sustained community empowerment through the local church, rather than acting in “reaction”, such as Nicole said. The content of this week will truly shift my ideas on missions from here forward.

      • #65864
        Amber Allan
        Participant

        I’m so glad you posted this story Olivia. I think the example you shared is something to be considered. We can adjust the focus of our trips and focus more on the development of the community, but I imagine we’ll still struggle with situations like this. As followers of Christ, we’re called to treat everyone with dignity and grace. Christ made everyone feel seen, loved, and heard regardless of age, race, or status. Therefore, we’re called to do the same. On a trip or at home, we’re called to love the people and children that surrounds us. So can we truly protect their hearts when it comes to good-bye?

    • #65863
      Amber Allan
      Participant

      I think this whole topic first needs to be saturated in grace as we all stumble through and re-write what we thought we once knew to be correct. I have personally been studying this topic for the past year and what I have found in conversations is that more often than not someone is either totally against STM or totally for them. From my perspective, neither one of these radical sides is the ideal place to be. The resources this week seemed to be very neutral. I appreciated their neutral tones for it was a clean look at the facts and the things to be considered if exposing communities and children to foreigners.

      I think the most critical consideration might be motives. Attachment, safety etc. are all so important but if we first focus on the motives of the individual/group/church then we can better trust they will care for the community/children in a way that is glorifying to God when they’re on the ground (if they even go through with a trip). This isn’t something that can be easily measured but focusing on it and talking about our purpose and motives behind a trip, both individually and shared. may prevent a lot of the damage that could be done. More tough conversations in churches surrounding trips, greater focus on pre-training, and more care into the planning and purpose of trips are just a few of the things we can do all as a whole. Meanwhile, as individuals we need to taking a good look at our hearts and be willing to submit to God’s will in the process even if that may look different than what we had hoped for.

      • #65911
        Debbie Douce
        Participant

        Amber, I agree with you, that a critical consideration is the heart of why the team wants to come. Having a “This is not about me” perspective will facilitate greater health from the very beginning, starting with prayerful preparation, clear purpose throughout, serving at the ministry site, and once they reach home. I think we can know it has been a successful experience when we are able to identify positive fruit both directions, on the field and back home.

      • #65948
        Mindy Russell
        Participant

        I agree sister! The pendulum swing from production to process is so important. As leaders in orphan care we need to lead out in these hard conversations, and emphasize that these trips are not about “me”.

      • #65953
        Connie Becker
        Participant

        Thx Amber I agree with you! In all of life I have observed when something has a problem we in our misguided fallen nature have a tendency to swing the pendulum all the way to the opposite. I’ve seen it in schooling, medicine and with STM trips. God always has a good balance. I do believe there is a lot to learn from each other with the Lords wisdom and grace!

      • #65980
        Emily Tiner
        Participant

        such good thoughts, Amber I completely agree with you. I think the huge part there that you said is being open and willing for God to shift us in one way or another even if it looks different than we hoped. Because that means humbling our own prior views and perspectives and understandings of things and being open to new information, new revelation and research. I think it’s so good to have these tough conversations because it helps us push aside our own agenda’s and align more fully with what God intends and where His heart and strategy lies.

      • #65981
        Emily Tiner
        Participant

        **I think I accidentally posted this in a reply but this is supposed to be my main post and I don’t know how to fix it! So sorry!

         

        I think one of the things that stands out most to me in this week’s content is upholding the dignity of the people being visited. In that video, helping without hurting, the woman mentioned how they’re able to work, but when they’re given something for free, it makes them begin to expect people to just come and give them things for free and it also lowers their dignity.  I think a lot about the situation in Haiti after the natural disaster happened and so many organizations and missions trips were going in and just giving truckloads of food year after year, truckloads of shoes, etc.; that the local business owners and farmers really began to suffer because their jobs were being taken away (unintentionally of course, but still nonetheless). I think that’s when I began to not like short term missions trips because I was seeing the negative impacts this type of thing was actually having on the people. And these organizations thought they were doing a good thing but in the long run, they were hurting the people more than they were helping. But then, thankfully, I started working at Compassion International and saw how there are ministries out there working really hard to do short term missions well, with the standards of excellence mentioned in the content this week and it helped me begin to see that there is a beautiful balance. That God wants His global church to truly be a family that cares for one another and transcends borders but doing it in a way that empowers and dignifies. I think that is something that really gets me. The importance and goal of teaching and empowering the people locally to be able to care for and sustain their own communities to thrive with longevity without you being there.  To teach them that they have everything they need in them already. So almost like teaching a man to fish analogy. When you give a man a fish, he’ll continue to depend on you for fish and the cycle continues. But teach him how to fish and you have just helped a community thrive for generations to come. Especially when it comes to children. Because no one can care for a child better than the people and the church that live there locally and grew up in the culture can. I think what was talked about in our Zoom meeting really hit me too when she mentioned how important it was for the guardian and the people that are with the children every day, to be the hero. I learned so much this week and I feel like I put so many thoughts down just now while processing but I’m so thankful this week’s content was included in the course. It’s something I’ve become so passionate about and want to learn as much as I can about how to care for others across the world, well and with excellence.

    • #65912
      Debbie Douce
      Participant

      Casa Adalia is a discipleship and training home for young women and their children who have been rescued from vulnerable situations. Just recently a work team helped us enlarge a much needed storage space and build a room for therapy and mentoring. It was a very practical and needed project that would not have happened otherwise. Several of the team were experienced construction workers and were able to problem solve creatively when there wasn’t the local Home Depot to make purchases. I think next time I would like to see how the young women might be included more in serving WITH the team.

      Something we work hard to communicate and create is the reality that there isn’t a “them” and “us.” We are all uniquely created by God in His image. There is tremendous value in interacting with those who we think are different but in many ways are the same. My favorite short term teams have been those who  intentionally joined with our women and their kids to become ONE team, all working together, learning, sharing in the tasks. This takes tremendous preparation, teaching, and intentionality to work well. An example is when we helped a local church provide a kids’ program as a way to encourage greater community involvement. During the games for the children,  we provided a teaching for the adults in the community about a topic the pastor felt was relevant and needed. Our young women helped to facilitate the games while their children also participated, and one of our girls shared her story of transformation with the community. It was powerful and beneficial for everyone.

    • #65915
      Heather Hall
      Participant

      Thankfully, the overarching themes of this week were not completely new to me, as I have been confronted with many of these concepts over the last 10 years or so.  When I first learned of a lot of these concepts years ago, it was a bit deflating because my experience and exposure to what missions was like was so much the opposite—fast solutions were the priority.  Now, as I have had a chance to think on and explore these concepts through reading books and watching documentaries, talking with career missionaries, and having some training in Community Health Evangelism, I now understand that a slower approach is much wiser and has a greater potential for long-term impact.

      I would say that the top two most critical principles to consider would be to have local leadership decide (or at least be heavily involved with) what activities are done and the second would be to know what stage of need the community is in (i.e., relief, rehabilitation, development).  Regarding the first principle, I think it is so important to constantly be a learner, especially when working in a cross-cultural situation.  Leaders in the communities will likely be the best experts in knowing what is going on in the community and what is best for the community, so I think that their input and heavy involvement is critical to any long-term success.  In addition, they will likely already know what has and has not worked in the community and can really save you a lot of time and resources.  Regarding the second principle, I think thoroughly assessing what a community truly needs and what stage of need they are in is vital.  This knowledge speaks so much to what exactly needs to be done and how it needs to be done.  In addition, this knowledge helps ministries know when and where to pair up with local ministries and when the needs of the community exceeds their capacity to partner.  Combined, I think consideration of both of these principles will help lead mission efforts toward a more positive end for everyone involved.

      • #66026
        Ryne Isaac
        Participant

        I agree that one of the keys is to involve local leaders. In my experience of leading trips where we’ve been working for the past few years is that it can be difficult to get those leaders to tell me what they actually want, not just what we want to hear. I need to continue to push for an environment where they not only feel like they can be honest, but that we need them to be honest.

    • #65916
      Heather Hall
      Participant

      Debbie Douce–I think you hit on something significant in that in order to become “one” with the local ministry, it requires intentional preparation.  I think that is one of the most significant steps that we often miss.  Especially with the culture in the US, we often want to do anything and everything without much investment or sacrifice.  I think if we had a more intensive STM preparation process, we would not only see a change in the number of people willing to go, but we would hopefully also see a significant change in the current view of STMs by nations we work with.

      • #66382
        Mandy Haffer de Ramírez
        Participant

        Heather,

        Yes! The preparation piece is so important. I lead short-term teams for a time in Nicaragua and consistently saw a huge difference in teams who took the time to do pre-field training and the teams who didn’t. Teams with a united purpose can make a much greater impact and can have a much more positive impact on the community rather than a potentially harmful one. One of my favorite pieces of training (on-the-field) was leading teams through simple Spanish and culture lessons, essentially giving them tools to put in their tool-belt and empowering them to engage with locals. 🙂

    • #65947
      Mindy Russell
      Participant

      My job at Project Hope Worldwide is as the Director of Missions. My whole purpose is to connect volunteers to what is happening in the field for each of our sites.

      First, I am tremendously grateful for CAFO and for the free resources available. Because of those, I was able to utilize the SOE standards of excellence as well as the Wise Short Term Missions materials. Though not perfect, I think that even before this course I was able to apply many of those principles in developing our program.

      The case studies gave me great help in defining the purpose of our trips. Our trips share elements of vision, storytelling, and caregiver support trips. We have modified our strategic initiatives to include community development, caregiver support, and more intentional and informed interactions with our kids.

      I am so excited to dig deeper into CAFO’s STM pilot course. I am thrilled for the opportunity to know better and do better in STMs for our kids and our organization.

    • #65950
      Connie Becker
      Participant

      Personnel reaction to this weeks studies!
      I was a little concerned Before we started. Couple of years ago I went to CAFO (It was great) but I had a break out group with a leader HIGHLY and EXTREMELY critical and condescending of anyone who did short term missions that let anyone see their children! She didn’t even try and see what we were doing. I didn’t feel this with these studies and felt Nicole had a balanced view and how to move forward.
      Most critical consideration when engaging in global Short Term Missions. Protection of children and attachment issues. Making sure everyone who has any connection with child is a safe person. Trip is in the best interest of the children by empowering care givers, church and community to be able to help the children. Help daily in country and also trip team members the harm that broken attachments can do to children.

      Idea for a Short Term Mission Trip that would abide by the standards of excellence learned this week. I talked to the pastor over our children and the village! I asked how we could best care and help the church, village and caregivers when we come over. Their suggestions: AIDS testing, help with building a mud hut for an elderly man living outside, nurse and pharmacist train on good health and a conference on Living a Godly Life.

      One suggestion! Last week there were several testimonies on how the principles helped them. If you could have testimonies from the areas trips go to. Like an Ugandan share how when helping hurts. One lady shared a little last week and I would love to hear from them how it hurts them and what helps.

       

    • #65982
      Emily Tiner
      Participant

      I think one of the things that stands out most to me in this week’s content is upholding the dignity of the people being visited. In that video, helping without hurting, the woman mentioned how they’re able to work, but when they’re given something for free, it makes them begin to expect people to just come and give them things for free and it also lowers their dignity.  I think a lot about the situation in Haiti after the natural disaster happened and so many organizations and missions trips were going in and just giving truckloads of food year after year, truckloads of shoes, etc.; that the local business owners and farmers really began to suffer because their jobs were being taken away (unintentionally of course, but still nonetheless). I think that’s when I began to not like short term missions trips because I was seeing the negative impacts this type of thing was actually having on the people. And these organizations thought they were doing a good thing but in the long run, they were hurting the people more than they were helping. But then, thankfully, I started working at Compassion International and saw how there are ministries out there working really hard to do short term missions well, with the standards of excellence mentioned in the content this week and it helped me begin to see that there is a beautiful balance. That God wants His global church to truly be a family that cares for one another and transcends borders but doing it in a way that empowers and dignifies. I think that is something that really gets me. The importance and goal of teaching and empowering the people locally to be able to care for and sustain their own communities to thrive with longevity without you being there.  To teach them that they have everything they need in them already. So almost like teaching a man to fish analogy. When you give a man a fish, he’ll continue to depend on you for fish and the cycle continues. But teach him how to fish and you have just helped a community thrive for generations to come. Especially when it comes to children. Because no one can care for a child better than the people and the church that live there locally and grew up in the culture can. I think what was talked about in our Zoom meeting really hit me too when she mentioned how important it was for the guardian and the people that are with the children every day, to be the hero. I learned so much this week and I feel like I put so many thoughts down just now while processing but I’m so thankful this week’s content was included in the course. It’s something I’ve become so passionate about and want to learn as much as I can about how to care for others across the world, well and with excellence.

      • #65992
        Olivia Milliner
        Participant

        Thank you for sharing your reflections on this! I’m so glad there are people out there with their eyes in this perspective. Previous to this course, I had nothing but inspiration from STM, but I can see now that the problem lies in such attitudes about “my vision” from “my work” in the world. When it shifts to the glory of God’s kingdom and uplifting whole communities, the whole perspective changes. Thank you for the important work that you do!

    • #66027
      Ryne Isaac
      Participant

      My reaction is pretty simple…this is hard! It’s hard because it involves people. To really create these environments there is a lot of education that has to happen for team members. My experience has been that people go with great intentions and want to help, but can often do that in an unintentionally costly way. We need to continue to create environments where people can help without hurting and educate about why we do things the way we do them.

      • #66162
        Margaret Hoffer
        Participant

        Ryne,

        I agree that it is hard!  As a trip leader, this is something I constantly struggle, how to do the work well, without making mistakes, which at the end of the day is impossible.  I love how Jason Johnson always says that we do the best with what we know and when we know better we do better.

    • #66165
      Margaret Hoffer
      Participant

      I have been leading mission trips for several years now through my church.  A little over a year ago I was asked to join a small nonprofit in Ethiopia as the trip and volunteer coordinator.  In this role, I was looking at and evaluating our trip process.  To do this better, I set out to start learning more about trips.  Around the same time, we were in the middle of officially adopting our son, who had lived in an orphage until he was 17.   As I started to learn about the harm done to children through orphanage visitation, which I had participated in, I was a little skeptical.  I went to my son and asked him about it.  His response was heartbreaking.  He was adamant that I not allow volunteers in orphanages and shared that every experience with a volunteer was “a week of excitement and a lifetime of sadness as yet another person leaves you.”   This caused me to start to feel real guilt over the trips I had not only been on, but led.  Eventually, I was able to get to the point where I realized, while I could not change the past, I could direct the trips for our nonprofit in a positive direction that serves to support caregivers and focus on fellowship instead.

      • #66323
        Philip Douce
        Participant

        Margaret, thanks for sharing so openly about your process with STT’s. I can understand some of your feelings as I have/am walking through some guilt myself. Over the last 18 years we have had many teams come through and visit the boys we work with. I did have some hesitation and for a time really limited teams from visiting. I felt good that I was somewhat sensitive to potential “mutual using”. I also realize now more than every the negative effects STT’s can have on kids. I am getting up the nerve and maybe the words to go back and talk to one of the boys in particular who graduated from our program, is married and on “doing well” but… I believe he was really negatively impacted by in and out relationships from STT’s. Thanks for sharing and so glad you are working towards healthy process with your ministry. God bless

         

    • #66168
      Alyssa McIntyre
      Participant

      I really appreciated this week as this is a subject I’m slowly becoming more passionate about. Short-terms trips are so embedded in Christian culture and essentially a “right of passage” for many high schoolers growing up in Christian circles, but their impacts can be devastating and I believe it’s time the church as a whole really begins to reconsider the purpose of many of these trips.

      I loved everything Nicole had to say and appreciated her honesty. One piece of her discussion that stood out to me was the talk about the children who aren’t getting cared for. She pointed out that even these children will benefit more from long-term ideas. Although it’s our nature to immediately want to clothe/feed/hold these children doing so only short-term is ultimately useless when it’s time to leave. She said we need to “think bigger” and that choosing to invest in long-term solutions is reacting out of logic and faith. This made SO much sense to me when I thought about it. I am quick to believe that the best way to fix a terrible situation like that is to just do what I can right then. But my faith ought to reflect my God who is capable of so much more than 2 weeks, or even 2 years worth, of food and clothes. God is capable of changing hearts, raising funds, providing caregivers, finding families, and many other better solutions. Choosing to move towards those solutions demonstrates what God can do, rather than the little I can do.

      I also thought briefly about the fact that most of the trips I took, especially in youth group, were not out of country. Yet the same principals apply- but I think this is often where we believe we can find the “exception”. My youth group takes an annual trip to LA to help with a VBS- a trip that I believe would benefit from many of the suggested solutions. Again, this is about the reasons for going, which aren’t necessarily around the local people or caregivers right now.

    • #66175
      Ana María Sanchez
      Participant

      I have been reading “Love Does” and the Author mentions how many mistakes the disciples made while walking with Jesus and even after he rose, even though they were slow to learn, they kept referring themselves as: the ones whom Jesus loved.

      Grace is such a hard thing to give to ourselves. I believe that not always, but often the polemic behind STM goes around the fact that it´s hard for us to assimilate that we have hurt or we are hurting the people we are trying to help. It s necessary to address this topic form a place of grace and humility for ourselves and for others, understanding that we all have made mistakes and we gonna continue making mistakes along the way, because that s our nature, and God knows it, still, He chooses us.  I believe there’s still a lot to talk about and figure it out when it comes to STM, so having an open mind, grace and humble hearts can help during the journey of falling, shaking off the dust and keep trying.

      • #66297
        Katrina Brown
        Participant

        I really appreciate your post and wisdom in approaching STM’s. I love how you’re sharing that the disciples made many mistakes, but yet still remained in relationship with Jesus.

        It looks me many years to give myself grace. I went on several mission trips when I was younger to orphanages and not until years later did I learn about everything we talked about in regards to attachment, child protection, etc. I carried guilt for many years, until someone spoke truth to me reminding me that those trips where the start of my advocacy for better, thoughtful practices around caring for children because of what I experienced. God gave these “mistakes” a purpose.

        I just love your approach and heart in this: “…having an open mind, grace and humble hearts can help during the journey of falling, shaking off the dust and keep trying.” I think this is such a beautiful approach in understanding we can try our best, ask for grace and wisdom, and do better the next time.

    • #66296
      Katrina Brown
      Participant

      This can really be a really hard topic carrying guilt, confusion, or even sadness. I have seen short-term missions done really well along with other ways that should maybe be changed/adapted. As we went through this topic, I was reminded of a missionary and his approach to STM trips.

      A friend, who is as a missionary in the U.S., serves as a bridge between communities in other countries and church communities in the U.S.  He goes back to the same regions over and over so he has relationships with all the chiefs and they talk about their present day needs along with their hopes for their communities in the future. He organizes mission trips using people’s skills in the U.S. and matching them to needs in these other countries. For example, for a while he was inviting agricultural teachers on trips so they could teach communities about their soil, landscape, and sustainable farming. He also has connected plumbers, engineers, contractors, and many other professions to partner alongside communities to teach and build water wells, structural buildings, etc.

      I was reflecting upon these types of trips and they are not your typical trips that support the “orphans” and so it leads to the questions of how is that benefiting the child/children? I think that this course has taught many of us that when a community and family is thriving, then a child is often also able to thrive. I really like the idea of using short-term missions trips to build sustainable change with a long-term orientation that impacts a child’s life and their ability to remain within their family or community.

    • #66320
      Philip Douce
      Participant

      Appreciated the information and heart of this module. To not throw the baby out with the bath water. However, rethink and retool the process starting from the motivation. I like the idea of starting from scratch recruiting a team, challenging and inner-reflection of motives, exploring the importance and principal of engaging with the missionaries and on sight ministry and planning something together with the ministry site leading. This seems exciting to me. I can see a team coming together to do ministry together which would use and value the strengths of the visitors, ministry and on site project or ministry.

      I have already share some of the valuable and practical resources with our missions pastor and look forward to further discussion when we move back.

    • #66381
      Mandy Haffer de Ramírez
      Participant

      Short-term missions has been a big part of my work role for the better part of the last several years, both from on the ground in Nicaragua and a virtual administrative role from Honduras. While this week’s topic was something I am very familiar with, I hadn’t previously considered it from the OVC perspective. The content was super helpful, thorough, and enlightening.

      An idea that came to mind as I was reading through the Wise Short-Term Missions document was specifically on the idea presented relating to social workers. The idea was for years down the road, once we have established relationships with community social workers, to have a team come down with a partial focus on learning about the deep issues of our city from social workers, and a partial focus on encouraging, praying for, and caring for them. There would need to be a strong emphasis on empowerment, and giving locals the voice to share about the greatest needs and challenges. It would be especially powerful if some or all of the social workers were people of faith.

    • #66404
      Carlos Ramirez
      Participant

      For me personally Short-Term Missions are very important for the work of God. I have seen many teams come down to Honduras ans it’s really hard seen people coming for around 20 years and that they are not able to learn a little bit of Spanish or be able to learn about the culture, just giving things out. I think that for a team that want to do mission fist has to learn about the community that they are going to so when they go to their place they will know about the community and their needs and that would be a huge impact for the community because they will see that they are interested and that they are taking time to invest in the community and the culture.

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