Guest Blogger Short-Term Missions: Is Traveling Becoming Obsolete?
When it comes to Christian crowdfunding, some wonder about this one. These days, we could send supplies, money, and Bibles and save resources by not having people travel. We could just skype, send videos and email to express our Christian love to brothers and sisters and the rest of the world. Certainly, there are times that it may be necessary not to send someone. But there are a number of benefits to going on mission trips and helping to send others.
Whether you're considering traveling overseas or you're thinking about helping to fund a trip for someone, here are a few thoughts.
Nothing Like the Human Touch
Sure, short-term missions can be expensive when it comes to travel costs. No one can deny that.
But one fact cannot be overlooked. There is power in Christians traveling from the far reaches of the world to encourage others. To offer hope during a natural disaster, war, hunger, health crisis and spiritual starvation. When someone in better circumstances reaches out to help the hurting and struggling, they demonstrate the very heart of Jesus.
He didn't stand aloof from the physically and spiritually needy. Instead, he reached into the dirtiest and most hopeless lives bringing incredible hope to humanity With all the available technology and resources, there will never be something more touching than the impact God's children can personally have on others. (Except the actual touch of God himself). Often, God uses his children made in his image to be his touch. To display his power and be his hands and feet of comfort to the world.
Give Send Go is honored to facilitate Christian crowdfunding to be the hands and feet of God. We know that knowledge of the gospel is only the first step. Action is a necessity. But it's not something we have to do as much as something we get to do! God, in his mercy and kindness, invites us into something more than salvation. He calls us to bring light to a dark world.
Going Changes You
If you travel on a short-term mission trip, you’ll likely come back a changed person. This is overused but no less true. Most in the church have heard a group give a presentation of their mission trip upon returning home. Something you'll typically hear at least once is that those who went expected to impact others. But what overshadowed that expectation was how those going were changed for the better through the experience. Maybe those "going" saw a level of poverty they never experienced before and had to come to grips with what was really important in life. More earth-shaking than that may have been seeing Christians in poverty and distress with more joy, faith, prayer and action than they had. All of a sudden, those traveling from "wealthy" countries were confronted with something that couldn't be ignored. True wealth is far more than monetary wealth. In fact, monetary wealth is the least of the blessings God gives. Sure, God will use you to make a difference. But He's way too efficient to stop there. He's going to work on you, the traveler, as well!
So, are we in danger of travel for short-term mission trips becoming obsolete?
The priceless interaction of Christians and world civilization will always be needed. Whether you plan to go or help send someone to go on a mission, the work you do and the giving you provide will impact God's kingdom for eternity. The expense is small in light of what God can do. It can be difficult to measure the impact that will happen. Some of it won’t be fully known until Heaven.
As you go, ask God to do exactly what he wants with your short-term mission trip. He’s even more excited about you packing your bags than you are!