Friday, December 21, 2012

Judgement from God? Sorry Dr. Dobson, I think not...

Accompanying all the publicity about the shootings in Newtown, CT recently have been the tragically cliche like responses of many on the religious right.

Almost immediately these closet theologians came out claiming the multiple deaths were evidence of God’s judgement.  Much like after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the tsunami that hit Japan, Facebook and Gmail lit up with messages exhorting us to return to God or face countless death and destruction until we got the message.

Dr. James Dobson, long a hero of conservative evangelicals had this to say on a recent radio broadcast... “...a lot of these things are happening around us, and somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now, but I am going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that's what's going on."

Often when pastors and leaders make an attempt to explain the mind and actions of God, they look to passages like this one found in Jeremiah 22...

Why has the Lord done such a thing to this [us]? And the answer will be “Because [you] have forsaken the covenant of the Lord [your] God and have worshiped and served other gods.”

Let’s not mince words here.  Clearly we can see in the teachings of the prophets a distinct warning from God that, in essence, He will not be mocked.  He wants His people to be holy and set apart for His purposes.  

In this understanding of scripture, Dobson, and others like him over the years, men like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and more recently Mike Huckabee have been correct in calling America to a faith rooted in a solid belief in God Almighty.

However it is precisely at that point where many in the evangelical community are now parting with a view that God is bringing these calamities, both natural and man made, onto us because of a lack of faith and/or trust in God.

The problem isn’t a lack of faith and trust in God.  The problem for the Dobson/Huckabee crowd is the fact that evangelicals have moved on.  

We are just not that into a faith where those on the inside determine, through some sort of external observation, who is and who isn’t Godly enough.

Let me give you an example.

A few years back the son of a very dear friend of mine in Mexico was riding in the back of a pickup truck.  While waiting at a stoplight in Guadalajara, they were rear ended, resulting in near total paralysis from the neck down for a previously young healthy 16 year old boy.

I will never forget walking with the father after that accident.  He grabbed my arm to ask me a question.  Hermano David, he asked with tears welling up in eyes, do you think my son is paralyzed because God is refusing to hear my prayers due to lack of faith on my part?

This man, one of my heroes of faith for his constant trust in God through the most trying of circumstances was questioning his faith.  Why?  Because a pastor had told him that God hears and answers the prayers of a faithful man.  Obviously, because he wasn’t getting the answer he desired, it was due to a lack of faith.

Just like an earthquake, a hurricane, a tsunami or even a mass shooting are due to a lack of faith and rejection of God.

Excuse me, but what a load of crap. 

But let’s for a moment, take this theological belief seriously.

What should be our response?  What would be the return to God that the prophets, men like Jeremiah, Amos, Zechariah and Isaiah, envision?

Jeremiah, like the other prophets, in that same passage where he admonishes us for turning our back on God, calls us to defend the cause of the poor and needy... that, he says is what it means to know God.  That he says, is the Good News!

That is the response we are called to live... a response of justice, love and mercy, to the least of these.  We are called to live the Good News, serving, rather than condemning others.  It is a call expressed over and over again in the prophetic literature of the Old Testament and affirmed by Jesus in the New Testament.  

Yet for some reason the response I frequently hear regarding returning to God from many on the religious right is to demonize gays, self deport immigrants without papers and cut welfare payments like SNAP and WIC.  I never hear them trumpeting God’s call to stand on the side of the poor or the least of these, proclaiming justice, mercy and peace.

I have no problem saying America and everyone else on the planet should turn to God, just as James Dobson and all the others have expressed.

I just have a problem that the way they seem to want that faith lived out bears little or no  resemblance to how the prophets and Jesus have called us to live. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

75 Innocent Children Killed Everyday... and who notices?

The killer walked in unannounced, like a demon stalking his prey.

One moment everything in the village seemed fine and then that tranquility was shattered as the killer took the little girls life.  No one saw it coming.  No one saw the demon leave

A few miles away, the scene was the same.

Little Bernabe was quietly sleeping in his mother’s bed and then the same killer who earlier in the day had struck down a beautiful girl named Lilia struck again, and Bernabe was gone.

And so it went across the hillside, one village after another until at the end of the day, 20 beautiful children with their whole lives in front of them were no more.

Yet this was just in one small country in Latin America.

Sadly, the scene was going to play out in exactly the same way around the world in a macabre reign of global terror against the “least of these.”

By the end of the day more than 75 children died at the hands of this insidious killer.

Sadly, few people outside of these impoverished villages were even aware.  Beyond a few close friends, few tears fell and not one world leader attended a funeral for even one of these young innocent victims, all of whom died before ever reaching the flower of their life.

There were no words calling us to action, no promises that we would not allow this to happen again.  There was no Huffington Post, MSNBC or any other media outlet leading the charge to stop these senseless deaths.  President Obama provided no words of comfort for the victims parents or their villages.

In fact, even though every one of these 75 children who died could still be alive today, not one Senator or Congressman has taken up their cause.

Perhaps what is even sadder is that while 75 innocent children died that day, the demon would strike again the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that.

And the deaths will continue.  Each year more than 25,000 children die of hunger and hunger related illnesses.  Many of these deaths could be prevented, if only we had the will.

While the deaths in Newtown, Connecticut have transfixed the United States and others around the globe, others are asking who is speaking for the rest of the world.  Who is speaking up for children with names like Bernabe, Abideme, Olufemi or Faiza?

If the deaths of 20 children in Newtown are reason enough to warrant 24/7 coverage from the likes of CNN, why not the 75 children that will die today, and tomorrow for lack of food?

The world currently produces enough food to provide every man, woman and child a daily diet of 2500 calories.

We could totally stop this stalking demon in his tracks if only we had the will.

Will you speak for the 75?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lumps of Coal? Never! 7 ways to bless the missionary you support this Christmas...

It’s Christmas and that means it’s time to think about a little extra for the missionaries we support.  After all, why shouldn’t they also get the joy of finding something special and unexpected in their stocking Christmas morn?

Lest you think I am being self-serving, okay, maybe I am, but this is not just about Adventures in Life.

Think of me more like the classic Macy’s Santa played by Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street. 

In the movie, Santa promises a red fire engine to a little child whose mom gets angry because she cannot find the toy at Macy’s or anywhere else.  Rather than make excuses for Macy’s, Santa sends her to Gimbel’s Department Store, a Macy’s competitor across the street.

He wasn’t doing it for personal gain.  The Macy’s Kris Kringle was just trying to be helpful.

In that spirit, here are my suggestions for some practical gifts that will bless your missionaries, wherever they are, in 2013.

1.  Miles.  No not Miles Davis, although that would be great if your missionary loves jazz.  I am talking about frequent flyer miles.  Give your missionary the gift of miles.  If he or she needs to come home in an emergency, knowing they have a low cost way to do that can be an incredible blessing.

2.  Comfort.  If your missionary has to travel a lot, get them a one year membership in their favorite airlines travel lounge.  Trust me, if you have to spend time waiting for airline connections, a chance to relax in these lounges can be a Godsend.

3.  Music. You can’t send them CD’s, but you can give them an iTunes card and that’s even better because then they can choose what they really want.

4.  Books.  No not the big paper kind, the electronic ones.  Get your missionary a Kindle or a Nook and set them up with an account balance so they can get their first books as soon as they power up.

5.  A vacation.  Call your missionary in Romania, or where ever else they may serving and tell them you want to them on vacation.  And then give them your condo/timeshare that you never get a chance to use.  Or better yet, join them and cover the expenses for the week.

6.  Phone time.  Many people serving in other countries use pay as you go cell phones.  Get their phone number and load them up with time.  This can usually be done pretty easily on-line.

7.  An online subscription.  Get them an online subscription to their favorite magazine or newspaper.  As more and more of these move towards becoming pay sites, access for those with limited financial means becomes even more difficult.

Now I know some of these are going to be out of reach financially for you as an individual, but maybe your small group could go in together and make it happen.

Imagine the blessing, and the encouragement it would bring to someone in the field to know that not only is a group of people in the US committed to praying for them, but that together they also made a material blessing possible?

Finally, let me suggest one more way you can bless your missionaries in 2013. 

Increase their support.  For many serving in other countries, it is impossible to clearly communicate the reality of living on support.  We need people back home to step up and consider even a $20.00 a month increase in giving for His world mission.

But let me challenge you on that potential increase in giving.  Save it up, and next December, make sure they get it.  $20.00, given monthly will end up going to the regular household and ministry expenses.  But a couple hundred dollars received next year at Christmas time will really help those missionary families you know have the ability to bless their families for Christmas.

So there you have it.  7 options, a perfect biblical number, for you to consider this year, and one bonus.

We have been blessed to be a blessing... Help make this Christmas season wonderful for the missionaries you know, pray for, and support.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 12, 2012

What's Love Got To Do With it... Everything if we really want to see changed lives...

Justin Martyr, a Samarian Christian, burned at the stake in Rome by order of the Prefect Rusticus  

Ask the martyrs.

You cannot force someone to believe otherwise if they have chosen to remain firm in their convictions.

No amount of yelling, demonizing, cajoling or even isolation will bring someone over to your side if they are adamantly opposed to what you believe.

So why try?

Yet that is exactly what Christians have been doing since Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority with Paul Weyrich in the late 1970’s.

The Moral Majority, making common cause with millions of evangelical believers, decided that the great moral failings of the American people could be righted through the political process and the passage of laws designed to police immoral behavior.

It all sounded too good to be true, and as it turns out, it was.

Albert Mohler, longtime head of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has called the election results from last week a “moral catastrophe.”

They are only a catastrophe if you believe the church ought to be in the business of trying legislate our views, instead of lovingly trying to persuade people that Jesus offers them a better path, not just temporally, but eternally.

I wonder if we Christians, tired of seeing people reject our worldview, have decided that the best way to bring people to our point of view is through the force of the ballot box.

Is it possible, because we have been unable to get people to see the world as we do, that rather than reconsider our methods, we have unwittingly outsourced Jesus to the politicians?

Have we decided that since we cannot persuade dissenters to our side, we are instead no different from the Roman Empire that wrote them off through execution?

Whatever happened to humbly considering others “as better than ourselves,” as the Apostle Paul called us to do in Chapter 2 of his Epistle to the Philippians?  How about having the same mindset as Jesus?

As followers of Jesus, we have an incredible message of love, redemption and acceptance.  The message of Jesus is not one of contempt, hate and disgust.  Yet for many, who disagree with our views, that is how we treat them.

As Christians, we celebrate the martyrs of our faith.  We marvel at how they stood up against the power of the state, bravely accepting death.  They are our heros... men like Thomas, Paul, Peter... women like Perpetua, Felicity and Joan of Arc... and of course, Justin, Ignatius and Origen.

Yet we have forgotten the lessons those great men and women of faith taught us.  Force will never win out in the battle for the hearts and minds of the committed.

If we want to convince others of the truth of Christ, and expect to see life change in people on a daily basis, we can’t force it, as the Pharisees found out.

Maybe, just maybe, if we looked to Paul’s admonition, we would not need the power of the ballot box, or any other kind of force to convince people, because they would see it in our lives.

Now that would be a powerful antidote to a moral catastrophe.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Going on Short-Term Mission? 10 things you must know before you leave...

I recently presented a workshop at The Forum, an annual gathering of the Fellowship of Short Term Mission Leaders.

As an on field host receiver, I was asked to talk about short-term mission from my side of border, or as one who receives teams.  Here was my somewhat lengthy title...

10 Things Every Host Receiver Wants You To Know Before Bringing Your Team.

So here they are... think of this as Dave's Top 10 for Short Term Mission Teams...

1. The pace here is different.  There are not many places in the world where the pace of life is as it is in the United States.  Stuff just doesn’t get done here on the same time schedule as it does back home.  And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

2. Make it about relationship, not project.  Come to be, not do... And generally, you’ll get to do.

3. Adopt the "When in Rome" attitude.  Be a local... eat, dress, & act like a local... Learn the culture...Be an American when you return home.

4. Don’t overwhelm us with people.  We need and want smaller teams for longer periods of time.  

5. It’s not wrong, just different.... Corollaries... You’re not in Kansas anymore and You are not all that!  Just because we do it differently on the field does not make it wrong.  Also, things are different here, because sometimes they have to be.  Finally, and this is hard for a lot of folks from the US, but many people from other countries are not quite as enamored with the US as we think they should be.  

6. We drive the bus... or what is important to you, may not be what’s important to us.  You read that right.  The field missionaries are the folks in the front seat.  We are on the front lines so trust us.  Need more on this?  Check out the US Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission.

7. Don’t be critical with us.  Offer us ideas and support, but remember, life on the field can leave us feeling pretty fragile, and vulnerable.  We know where we are failing and coming up short.  Just like kids, we sometimes need people to come alongside and love on us unconditionally.  Be a blessing!

8. Think creatively when you give.  If your host receiver has kids, offer to baby sit so they can have a night out, or a day without the kids.  Schedule your vacation in a way you can take us with you.  Our finances seldom allow us a break from ministry and many nationals are reluctant to use what little financial resources there are for this.  Get a time share from one of your church members and bless your missionary host once in a while.  You might also bring a few I-Tunes gift cards so we can get some new music the right way while we are serving overseas.

9. We will still be here when you get home.  When you get that plane for the ride home, remember, we will still be here!  Our ministry does not just happen when you are here, it is ongoing 24/7!

10. The major work has already been done!  That's right.  The book has already been written about our great missionary focus and we know how it ends.  God Wins!  Praise Jesus...

After I presented this list, I asked a few of the other receivers in the room if I had missed anything.  They said I pretty much got them all... at least the ones we could share publicly.

That list is probably another post...

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Adventures in Life Ministry... celebrating 20 years of short-term mission in Mexico...

Tomorrow on October 7th, Adventures in Life Ministry, a ministry I Co-founded with Grady Martine, will celebrate 20 years of mission in Mexico.

As I reflect, like many organizational founders, I wonder what our legacy will be.  I wonder how we will be remembered.  I wonder whether we will be remembered for our failures, or whether our successes will carry the day. 

In those early days, we had no idea what we were doing.  We were the poster children of bad short-term mission.  We were pretty sure we knew it all, even though neither of us could speak Spanish, generally pretty important in Mexico.

It was a good thing we had a loyal servant like Paul Lathrop alongside us in mission.  Because Paul, with his ability to speak Spanish and his knowledge of the culture of Mexico was a God send.  Paul was the guy who taught us how to order food, ask for the bathroom, and say con permiso and Dios le Bendiga, two central phrases for a Christian in Mexico.

It was Paul who was dispatched to literally be our eyes and ears, our window, into the culture of Mexico and her people.  In those days, short-term mission was just beginning to understand and talk about the importance of cultural intelligence.  Paul helped us start to be good at that even before it was seen as vital.

Paul was also the guy who had to make things good with locals when Grady and I, in our headstrong American way, overstepped the line, or just plain screwed up. 

One week, very early on in our ministry, we were working in a village called Santa Rosa, halfway between Tijuana and Ensenada, on the free road.  We were on our last day and the group with whom we were working wanted to have a campfire with marshmallows and hot dogs for the kids.

The First Church We Built In Mexico... Santa Rosa, Baja California
That's Paul on the far right

We gathered up a bunch of wood, built a huge fire, and the children of the village and our group had a great night together.  The next morning as we were cleaning up after the group had left, Grady and I noticed the father of Miguel, one of those kids, looking around in the tall grass for something.  

Naturally we sent Paul over to see if he could help.  A few minutes later Paul returned asking if we knew what happened to the big piece of wood that was laying in the grass over where Miguel’s father was standing.

As Grady and I looked at each other, we both knew the answer was in the ashes of the campfire.  We asked Paul why this piece was important and he said the hermano was waiting for a day off and was going to make a bed for his kids with the piece of wood that we had burned!

Thank God we had someone like Paul with us.  Someone who could explain that even when our ideas were wrong, our hearts were right.  Someone who helped us build the relationships necessary for 20 years of ministry.

When we needed to talk with pastors in those early days, Paul was there.  When our first ministry trip to Guadalajara was on the brink of collapse, Paul got on the telephone for two weeks to Mexico and pulled it together.  As our ministry grew to serve in Oaxaca, it was Paul who opened the doors and helped make that possible.

And it was Paul who taught us the value of relationship in ministry.  20 years after our founding, that is still a guiding principle of Adventures in Life Ministry.

Last night I was with a team that had served with us earlier this year and the team was going to be holding a yard sale soon.  To raise money to send to one of our ministry partners in Mexico.  Actually, to send money to one of their ministry partners in Mexico, because they went not to do something, but to build a relationship.

This weekend as Adventures in Life celebrates our anniversary, here is what our legacy looks like in Mexico… 17 churches built, 3 parsonages built, 2 Sunday school facilities built, kids and youth camps each year in Ensenada and Oaxaca, regular medical clinics held, a growing agricultural ministry, a local sewing ministry and much more.

But perhaps most important, are the thousands of interconnected relationships built on a foundation of Jesus Christ, not only in Mexico, but here in the United States also.  Just like those of that church that will soon be holding a yard sale to help their new friends in Mexico.

Thank you Grady for your help in founding Adventures in Life Ministry.

Thank you Paul for helping us see the value of relationship in short-term mission. 

Thank you God for 20 years of blessings in Mexico… may we have another 20 more. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Want to Support Long-Term Mission? Think short-term mission...

The Short-Term Team From First Baptist Salinas
with Adventures in Life Ministry in Ensenada, Mexico

I need short-term missionaries!

Yep, you read that right.

I am an on field missionary serving in Mexico and there is no way I could imagine doing ministry without a regular contingent of short-term missionaries coming to serve alongside me and my partners.

I say this because for years short-term mission work in general and Mexico in particular has been vilified by long-term in country missionaries, seminary and bible college professors, pastors, leaders, and even, in an effort to seem hip and knowledgeable about missions, youth pastors and seminary students.

It is a view rooted in ignorance and one that stubbornly clings to the idea that short-term work is still interested in being imperialistic conquering heroes as opposed to the learner servant models many short-term mission organizations are now advocating.

Gone are the days of “Here’s what we are going to do for you.”  That viewpoint has been largely replaced with “How can we support and encourage you in the work of God where you are serving?”

In short, short-term mission is growing into maturity and improving with age.  Like a fine wine.

In its infancy, the STM movement, arguably started under the direction of Carolyn Koons of Azusa Pacific University, was primarily about those people who got on the bus and headed south to Mexico across the border.  It was about giving US based Christians an opportunity to serve the less fortunate and hopefully, through that process, return as changed people ready to influence the Kingdom in their local area.

As the movement grew, Mexico, with its proximity to the US, became almost a right of passage for youth groups and college students trying to mark off a mythical check list of the prerequisites of Christianity.

Each year thousands of students served across the border not just in the program Koons founded, but through many other ministries like Amor, Spectrum, Yugo, Adventures in Missions, YWAM, and yes, my organization, Adventures in Life Ministry.

With that almost explosive growth came a host of problems along the US/Mexico border, that well meaning STM people then exported to other countries around the globe as the movement grew.

We can spend hours debating that statement, but suffice to say, any missiologist worth his or her salt can expound for hours on the failures of STM through the years.  Sadly, as the movement has grown into maturity, many critics are choosing to see the bad and ugly of the past without considering the good that is happening around the globe today. 

I am under no illusion, nor are my ministry partners in southern Mexico, that many gringos from El Norte are going to have a net positive effect on our efforts to share the Gospel of Jesus where we work in Oaxaca.  It is an area dominated by tribal and indigenous cultures, many of which still have no bible, or church in their heart language.

Given this reality we should not expect Americans to be any more productive directly evangelizing the Mexican people than we would the people of say, Vietnam.

But our work, and by extension, the Gospel of Jesus, would be severely hampered, if not halted completely were it not for the work and efforts of dedicated bands of missionaries that come to serve alongside us for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Here’s what effective short-term mission can bring to the table.

Encouragement for the local body of Christ... Nothing soothes the soul of loneliness like a Kingdom visit from God’s angels.  Work on the field is hard, tiresome, and most of the time, lonely.  Short-termers break up the monotony, come prepared to help, and are generally willing to do whatever you ask.  What could be more encouraging?

Recently I was at a church with whom I had worked many years ago.  At the end of the day one of the hermanas pulled me aside to let me know we could come back anytime.  I said thanks and started to walk away but then she grabbed me.  She wanted me to hear something.  Hermana Maria wanted me to know that even if we came and did no physical work project on their church, we should still come back.  Because our presence was a tangible reminder to them that they were not alone in the body of Christ.

It is amazing that even Jesus understood the ministry of presence when he went to heal Lazarus, but many in the church today have no use for the powerful ministry of just being there. 

Financial resources... Let’s be honest here, after salaries, a lot of long-term mission work is chronically underfunded.  You want to build a school, house or church for your village?  I’ll bet I can find a short-term team to help make that happen. 

The ability of short-term mission to respond to legitimate financial needs “over there” cannot be overstated and our failure to connect these dots is, in my opinion, poor stewardship of the resources that God has entrusted to us. 

Now, many will ask if it is not a better use of our funds to keep the team at home and just send the money.  There are two problems with this line of reasoning.  First and I am going to speak bluntly here, is that no church, faced with a potential $20,000 cost to do a short-term mission trip, will raise that kind of money and just send it.  Believe me, most of us on the field would welcome even 50% of that amount in a lump sum, but I have yet to encounter a church leader who when asked to pony up without sending a team sends the check. 

Second, we want people to see and experience our ministries.  First hand knowledge is what informs prayer and break hearts for ministry.  I can tell you all about my ministry, and so can any other missionary for that matter, but you will have a greater connection to, pray more effectively, and financially support the field if your eyes have personally seen what God is doing “over there.”

People resources... As an American serving “over there” I hear the admonition to use local labor.  But what those that advocate this approach fail to recognize is that frequently, Christian pastors and leaders do not know qualified, or trust the local labor many expect them to hire.  There is no Angie’s List or Better Business Bureau that you can use in Mexico, China, or most other countries to help you find quality honest labor for the work you need done around your ministry centers.

Let me give a very practical example.  I have a gentleman who has served with me on many of my mission sites.  He is an auto mechanic and I would trust him with my life.  On more than one occasion Rod has been able to find and fix problems with pastors’ cars that the local trusted mechanics simply were unable to identify or repair.

My pastors were 100% willing to pay local mechanics, and frequently, they already had.  Sadly, that money was wasted as the problem persisted until Rod, as part of a short-term team from the US arrived, correctly identified and fixed the problem.

Simply put, there are times when short-term teams are able to bring people resources and a level of expertise that the local area or church body simply does have.

Finally, short-term mission allows participants to explore whether God might be calling them into full-time mission service... In today’s world of short attention spans and instant gratification, the value of a short-term mission in the life of a believer cannot be overstated.

As missionaries and church leaders, we can argue existentially that Christians should not “use” STM as a way to explore and develop their faith.  We can argue, as I have, that we should be sending only the best we can on short-term mission.  And we can try and maintain that stance as thousands of young people leave our shores every year to serve around the globe.

But let’s get real.  We need to accept reality, work with it, and start developing a new generation of missionaries, using short-term mission as a spring board towards full-time Christian service either here in the US, or abroad as part of the mission of God to reconcile the people of the world to Him.

Short-term mission is here to stay and is an irreplaceable part of the mission of God around the world.  Whether those missionaries are going from our churches in the United States, Mexico, South Korea, or Brazil, the fact is that STM is continuing to play a vital part in sharing the Good News of Jesus.

I need short-term missionaries to help me and my partners in Mexico continue the work that we believe God has called us to do.  And frankly, we would be lost without the help of those dedicated servants of God who give of their time, treasure, and talents on short-term mission.

I suspect there are many others like me around the world too.

Does short-term mission have all the answers?  Not at all.  Has short-term mission been guilty of some pretty terrible missiology over the years?  Yes it has. 

But there is much good to say about short-term mission too.

Let’s not forget that.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

VBS Teams from Jesus is the Answer Short-Term Missions...

Have you ever wondered why no short-term mission teams from other countries come to America to do mission?  Well, so did Jesus is the Answer Short-term Mission and now your church can request a short-term mission team that will do for your church what American teams have done for churches around the globe for years.

That’s right!  We have short-term VBS teams waiting to come to your church and put on a Vacation Bible School for the children of your church and area.

Give people from such faraway places like China, India and Brazil a chance to serve God at your church.

Here’s how it works...

Our teams arrive on Sunday and depart the following Saturday.  You provide housing, food and lots of kids, and the teams will do the rest.  All you have to do is sit back and see how many children around your church accept the invitation to join the Kingdom.

None of our teams speak English, but that is not a problem.  Having learned from watching American teams for years, these teams are well trained and experienced.  And every team has one person who will translate the main message into English so your kids will be sure to understand.

Besides, the Holy Spirit makes the connection anyway, so even if no one in your VBS can understand a word the teams are saying, God will still be there and that’s what’s important.


We've used Jesus is the Answer a number of times... not only do they make mission easy, they help us feel good about our ministry.  Trust me, if seeing kids raise their hands and feeling good about your ministry is important to you, get a team from Jesus is the Answer Short-Term Mission to come to your church... 

Pastor Dave T., Smith Georgia


This is your chance to share the American culture with a small team of 15 - 20 short-term missionaries from abroad.

Know that in addition to the great Bible lessons these teams will teach, they will bring lots of cool crafts from The Alaskan Trading Company and will come ready to play American Football with everyone from your church.

Also included in this incredible package is cutting edge kids music kids with titles like Jesus Loves Me, Deep and Wide, & I Am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N!

With such quality music, crafts, story times and more, your church will be sure to draw a crowd for that all important invitation time at the end of the week.

What are you waiting for?


나는 선교사 목사입니다. 내가 당신을 도와 당신의 교회에 팀을 가지고 할 수 있습니까?  우리는 노래를 노래 예수에 대한 이야기를하고 필요한 건 뭐든지 할 것입니다. 그리고 우리는 당신의 맛있는 음식을 모두 먹고 불평하지 않습니다!

Pastor Tommy, 성경의 장로 교회, 서울, 한국


Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to serve missionaries from abroad while they are in your church!  You will be blessed as they tell their stories at the end of week of how God provided for all of their expenses, used them to share Jesus with the children of your church and changed their lives.

For more information, or to register to receive a group, just contact us at Jesus is the Answer Short-Term Missions.

Operators are standing by now... And if you call (634)723-SAVE in the next 15 minutes and book a team, we will have that team teach your congregation how to be better evangelists and be more effective at sharing the Word in America.

[Yes, it's satire, but all of these posts are derived from actual requests and experiences from the short-term mission arena...]