Short Term Missions from the Perspective of a Long-term Missionary ~Joey Weed

Today’s blog article comes from Reach Out Orphanage Ministries’ Missionary Joey Weed.  Joey serves on the mission field in San Pedro Sula, Honduras along with his wife, Kellie, and their son Connor.  Joey is passionate about building relationships with children living in orphanages and about empowering local churches to take an active role in orphan prevention by serving families at-risk for abandoning their children due to poverty.  He is also passionate about creating opportunities for individuals to engage in meaningful ministry through short-term missions.  You heard from Joey in Giving Thanks In ~Joey Weed and A Season of New ~ Joey Weed.

I’m in no way considered to be a seasoned missionary. I’ve only been on the mission field now for close to 10 months. But in this time, I’ve been stretched in just about every way imaginable. It’s easy to see that God didn’t just take me overseas to help change a country, He also took me overseas to change me.

Since my family and I moved to Honduras, we’ve had the privilege of meeting many new people. We may never see some of these people again, but many others have become part of our extended family. Some live here in Honduras with us and share life with us on a regular basis.  I want to focus on the people we only had the chance to know for a short period of time.

One of the biggest lies I’ve heard here on the mission field is that short term missions are a waste of time and money. This couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, it takes a lot of money to bring a team overseas for a week. Yes, it takes a lot of planning to make things operate smoothly. Yes, the money spent on a team for a week could probably fund a single missionary for an entire year. And yes, there are times where the things accomplished might be less important than the things left undone. Even still, how could anything we do for the Lord be a waste of time and money? Will God not meet our every need (Philippians 4:19)?

Speaking from my little bit of experience, I have a whole lot of opinion on this. I’ve personally only been able to experience two teams through ROOM in the time I’ve been serving on the Honduran mission field, but I have also supported other teams through other ministries and organizations. Some things they all have in common are that they bring excitement, energy, encouragement and even new direction. Sometimes, it’s easy to get tired and lose focus. Unfortunately, just because we get tired, that doesn’t mean the enemy backs off so that we can have a breather. In these moments, it’s nice to have a group of volunteers that are refreshed and energized to capture the vision of what God is doing; people who jump in and get things done. Short term missions bring hard workers. Look at it like running: You have some people who run short distances really quick, and you have those that run long distances at a slower pace. They’re both doing what they’ve set out to do. In one way, it looks the same, but in another way, it’s much different.

Not only are short term mission teams able to accomplish a lot in a shorter amount of time, they become a long-term part of our team. Even at the end of the week when everyone goes home, what they experienced and the relationships they built built, goes back home with them to be shared with others who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, go. God begins to use a week’s worth of ministry to plant seeds. These seeds become long-term, life changing decisions. Overseas ministries typically require a great deal of support Stateside. What better way to build that support system than for God to use someone that has seen it, experienced it and has a heart for it? Not only that, but God may use this short-term mission experience to shape someone’s heart into a long-term ministry commitment.

 There are people everywhere who would help if they knew how. There are people who would go if they knew where. Testimonies from mission trips can impact the hearts of countless people and call them out of their comfort zone. Saying that short-term missions is a waste of time and money is like saying a good shepherd wouldn’t leave his flock to find the one lost sheep. It’s completely wrong to think that just one person isn’t worth every resource from another, if it means them finding Jesus. I’m a firm believer that God would do it all over again and send His Son, even if it was for one person!

To learn more about how ROOM empowers children and communities through the love of Christ, please visit www.makeroom.org

To learn more about the Weed Family missionaries, please visit:  https://supporttheweedsinhonduras.wordpress.com/ 

If Joey’s blog inspires you to get more involved in ROOM’s ministry, whether planning a mission trip, organizing a special event, or contributing in some other way, please email us at room@makeroom.org to get plugged in.  We can’t wait to hear from you!

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