2) for many people, exposure to missions is through short-term missions trips. i must admit that before i questioned the effectiveness of short-term trips. now, i know that much fruit comes from such trips..if done strategically. it saddens me to see trips that is more harmful than helpful..especially to the host missionaries and their target people group. ah, i digress…
more often than not, short-term trips serve as one’s understanding of missions. oh, but how different they are.
short-term trips (stt) are just that: short. in addition, they are sweet…short and sweet.
generally speaking, stt’s have a very specific focus and mission that are carried in a very precise way by the visiting team. though they can be immensely helpful in further carrying out the mission of the long-term workers living there…it must be understood that the stt’s are seeing just the “fruit” of the host missionary’s labor. for ex: visiting an unreached village and doing evangelism. this was set up by the host missionary…it took much time, trust, and toil to build relationships to even gain access into the unreached village. it took hours and hours of language study to finally be able to communicate with village leaders. it took much prayer and even fasting to seek God’s counsel in executing mission, both on a small and large-scale. and these are just the “bigger” things. the littler things would be more of the logistical such as admin preparation, pre-shopping, meetings, etc.
in addition, just as the stt was set-up by the long-term missionary (ltm), to some degree…the ltm will have to be responsible for continual follow-up.
many stt’s are outreach-focused as evangelism is of incredible importance. evangelism has its many challenges. but on so many levels, discipleship is harder. and i would argue that for many missionaries, though discipleship is a deep desire…it’s slow, so very slow. to put it simply, stt’s are generally more quick-revealing in fruit (through evangelism), but ltm are quite slow-revealing in fruit. and for many missionaries, they never see the fruit they long to.
yes, short-term and long-term missions is different.
and yes, both are worth it.