Okay, here are some of the stats from our recent medical ministry in Oaxaca, Mexico...
Over 100 patients seen.
3 different villages, [San Baltazar Guelavila, San Felipe Guila, and San Pedro Amatlán] served. Lots of medicine dispensed, nerves calmed, seminars on sexuality and home hygiene given and a few decisions made to try and and live for Jesus.
We awarded our first greenhouses, to be installed next month. We made some important decisions on our ongoing water well work in the area.
And, through MISSION Focused, we took, and presented, hundreds of photographs and portraits for the people of the villages we are serving.
All that is stuff that excites our supporters and those who serve on short-term mission.
Relationship. That’s right. Relationship. Because in the end, only those relationships, built on a foundation of Jesus Christ will remain.
While all of the stuff US churches do for others is cool, needed, and in some cases sought after like the golden goose, it is the day to day interaction that is most coveted.
Now, please understand that I know there is a place for both relief, and development. In fact, Adventures in Life Ministry is actively, and has been for over 20 years, in both.
We have given food away, rebuilt homes, paid necessary expenses and helped out in emergencies. We have built churches, trained leaders, and are currently working agriculturally to help locals in Oaxaca, Mexico put food on their tables.
It is just that what I hear time after time from our ministry partners, and from other leaders around the globe is that what really matters long-term is our time.
We are social animals. As such, we crave interaction. It is what we feed on. If you are pastoring over there, where ever there is, chances are you are feeling pretty alone, so a week or two or three with fellow Christians helps you feel connected to the larger body.
Also, when you visit, you are able to see first hand the need. This, along with the ministry of the the Holy Spirit helps direct you how to pray more effectively and boldly for the people and the ministry where you are involved missionally.
So next time you are on short-term mission, think about this... are you trying to be a human doing, or a human being.
The future of effective short-term mission might depend on it!