Short Term Missions is the Key to Long Term Impact
In a healthy short term missions program, there are three groups that are most heavily involved:
- Sender/Support Team
- Short Term Missions Team
- Receiving Team
With social media, and the ability to continue relationships for years after a trip, many of the relationships forged through these 7-21 day trips last a lifetime. Many of our missionaries have gone back to visit, some of the receiving team members have flown here to visit, and the encouragement to and from the supporters has led to a much wider impact on the sending community back home.
New Shifts in Short Term Missions:
We are seeing that some of our team members almost become long distance church members, or small group members as they encourage their long distance counterparts for years after.
It is our desire for our receiving churches to assign something like a deacon to the project because the most successful projects come from major shared experiences, and many visiting teams throughout the year.
Our ideal model is for a receiving church to be vis
ited 8-12 times per year by different teams, with teams repeating the following year. Not all short term missionaries can return year to year, but some can, and those relationships are important beyond measure.
This model cements the relationships between Legacy International, the short term teams, and the receiving teams in such a way that it brings the likelihood for overall success up in a very big way.
Comfort Zone Challenge:
We recognize that just saying yes to going on a short term missions trip is a bit out of almost everyone’s comfort zone. That said, it is the desire Legacy International to help you grow a little each time you go. You should expect to feel stretched on your trip but not stressed.
Be ready to venture to the edge of your comfort zone and push a little bit farther. God will give you the grace, and He will not push you beyond what you can handle. We will not either.
Your key words for your trip will be given to you in your training, but they almost always include:
- Flexibility – Schedules are not always in stone, and there are often unexpected things that come up during an adventure. Instead of letting it be an irritation, look for ways to have it be a blessing in disguise.
- Love – Love God and Love others. This is a simple paraphrase of the Great Commandment, and it will hold center on your trip. If you are looking for God’s will on your trip as well as your life, live this out. You won’t go wrong.
- Relationship – Missions is so much more than the work. While everyone wants to complete a project they can be proud of, the time spent with your team and the time spent with the receiving team is so much more important that it can’t be put into words.
Typical Team Activities:
Teams are not just going to build, maintain and train on aquaponics systems. There is so much more. Each team will have a different level of engagement and differing experiences depending on the mission of the receiving group and their goals.
Short term teams could be doing an array of different tasks while on their trip. Here are some ideas of what may be in store:
- Building Projects
- Providing Aid in Construction Work
- Widows and Orphans Outreach and Cleanup
- Community Cleanup
Local Church/Missions Participation
- Worship Service Participation
- Camp Planning/Participation
- Prayer Meetings
- Local Shared Fellowship
Community Outreach for Children, Youth or Adults
- Sports Clinics
- Carnivals for Kids
- Traveling Beauty Salon
- Technology Training for the Elderly
What else? Well, it depends on the discussions between your leadership and the leaders of the receiving team. Legacy International is there to help place teams with the right levels of experience in the right kinds of locations and projects for maximum impact.
Where Do the Teams Stay:
Some groups will have the opportunity for home-stays with local church members, some groups may be staying in arranged housing and some groups will stay together in a base camp. Each group will be different, and housing availability changes with each location and depends on what time of year it is. Legacy International is there to help arrange the best options for your housing depending on the comfort of your group.
THE MAIN THING IS TO LOVE GOD AND LOVE PEOPLE!
– Focus on personal growth with Christ through daily spiritual challenges
– Focus on team unity and encouragement
– Build up the missionaries, pastors and body of believers in the area
– Encounter the culture through interpersonal contact and possible home stays
– Share the Gospel during meetings and relational opportunities
– Participate in worship services
– Participate in community events and serve as needed
– Participate in spreading the Gospel through meeting the physical need of hunger
– set up and/or maintain the local aquaponics systems
– Train missionaries, pastors and locals to set up and maintain the systems
– Participate in the hospitality of God’s provision
As You Are Going, Be Ready In Season and Out Of Season
No matter what time of year it is, be ready to give a defense of the Gospel. No matter where you are in your training or where you are in the world, God may call on you to share the Gospel, but God is always calling on you to live the Gospel.
What Locations are Available:
We are very interested in expanding our locations for 2016 and forward, but we are currently prepared to send teams in 2016 to:
YWAM base Guanacaste is our main area. The main ministry in Guanacaste is community outreach and Bible distribution (one for every household in Costa Rica). Be ready to continue to develop and expand the already existing aquaponics system at the base.
There is big interest in the Philippines. Already there are 15 churches that are extremely excited about entering into long term relationships and receiving teams. Our locations focus on Iloilo City and Butuan City. There are locals meeting and praying and talking and dreaming about the ministry opportunities associated with this project.
Ghana, West Africa
The opportunity in Ghana is very exciting. There are several churches around Konongo that are ready to have your team join them in reaching out to the community. The need in the area is very high, and the aquaponic system build outs will help directly with the needy and starving in the region.