Even though summer is just now coming to a close, I know many youth ministry leaders are already thinking about short-term mission trips for next spring and summer. In light of that, I share with you a quote from Tim Ghali's Black Coffee Reflections blog. I noted this quote over a year ago and stumbled upon it again today and thought I'd share it because Tim offers a thoughtful rationale for what short-term mission experiences should be all about:
To be completely honest though, I join the many who have always been concerned with the virtues of the short-term missions experience. Looking back on the last five years however, I think our response to the concern has been part of what has made these opportunities helpful. We tell students that they need to share their summer with others. We tell them to be faithful with the opportunities provided on the mission trip and to allow their hearts to be broken. We tell them later, that they can’t care for the homeless in New Orleans or the HIV patient in the Bahamas and curse their mother under their breath and ignore the socially marginalized in their school. In leaving our zip code, God has taught us a great deal about the people in it.