Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Article - Short Term Missions

"Study Questions Whether Short-Term Missions Make a Difference", read the whole article for the answer here .  A few things of interest to me here:
-  ""The truth is that they don't have to come here to build homes. … If they come, they should come for the friendships, for the cultural exchange," says one Honduran NGO worker quoted in the study."   And... "What I would do would be to increase fees to hire Honduran workers to work side by side with the volunteers," says Peterson. That way, the money would be sure to be raised, third world workers would be given work, and North Americans could still participate in valuable cultural and spiritual sharing."
One solid reason that I'm not a big advocate of work projects.  Think indigenous.  Work projects never seem to catalyze local, culturally relevant leadership.

- "This study shows that short-term missions as done now are not having the impact that people think or want, even if done to levels of excellence," says Ver Beek. "If that's true, it requires a whole rethinking of whether or not we're going to do this, and if so, how."
Amen.  And actually, I don't really think what SPACE is doing is in line with typical short term missions.  I would like to think that we have a totally different perspective.

- Instead, the STM needs to be treated as one small module that augments a much longer and more intense course of learning.
We need to be careful that we don't compartmentalize missions versus non-missions.  We should be building disciples that follow Jesus.  Period.

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