Article submitted by Gary Wadding, MVI Missions Coordinator
Short-term mission trips are exciting adventures into a world that is often very different from the place where you live. Simple taking such a trip is a great education for most people. It’s one thing to see a documentary or travel program on television, but it’s something entirely different to find yourself actually in the show.
Most trips have at least one specific objective, whether it be to assist a local congregation in building a suitable church building, evangelizing with the help of the local MVI representative, conducting a medical clinic for the underprivileged or some other project which would benefit the people of the area. These projects are always rewarding and fulfilling. The ministry will bear lasting fruit for many years to come.
Another wonderful blessing is one that cannot be planned or orchestrated. It is the opportunity to simply spend time with people. Just as you feel yourself placed in a different culture, they feel as though you and I are equally different. In the same way that you are curious about them and want to learn their ways, they also want to make a personal connection with you. Where we see this most often is among the youngest and among the oldest.
In some areas the older people have never seen an American, or even had their photo taken. Everything about you is a marvelous mystery to them. They may have preconceived notions based on false stories about people from outside their community. You may be used of God to change all of that. The young children are even more interested in everything about you. They are in the process of learning and growing up. They want to know everything, and time spent with the team members will often shape their opinion of Americans and Christians for the rest of their lives. A little bit of kindness, a moment given to show the photos on your digital camera, or the gift of some candy might open their heart to the gospel. The opposite can just as easily happen if they feel a lack of compassion and love.
Your short-term trip can possibly be the turning point in the life of a child, or the life of an older person. It requires no special training to simply be kind to people. Your genuine interest in them will be matched by their interest in you; and in turn, this may result in an interest in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yes, mission trips usually have specific goals or projects that are the aim of the trip, but your presence may be just as powerful as any work that the team might be able to do. Doors will be opened. Friendships will be made for a lifetime. You will be blessed as you go to be a blessing.
Call or email MVI Mission Team (407-859-7322) and look into possible short-term trips that will suit your interests. MVI has helped thousands of people just like you have a successful journey into the world beyond your own culture in a way that is safe, well planned and life changing.