Yes, I have even heard it from churches and missionaries before. “We could support more missionaries if we didn’t go on short-term mission trips!” The common argument is that it is more fruitful to “just send money.” I recently heard this again here in Costa Rica. But that could not be farther from the truth! If you have fallen into the same line of thinking, please read this entire blog. Let me describe to you the trip that I recently led to Guayabal, Costa Rica. Money could not buy what happened on this trip!
The plan was to help construct two new Sunday School classrooms (the children were previously sitting out in the sun) and do a mix of ministries involving women and children. The first day of ministry started a little slow. The men had begun digging and the sweat was pouring off. We were wondering if any women or children would even show up. So what do you do? PRAY! We prayed and immediately women and children started filing in the church.
It was so cool to see ministry begin to happen that does not happen unless you GO! Faith Fellowship had made empty pillows that needed to be stuffed and sewn, along with a Bible Study for the ladies that went along with it. Children were getting their faces painted, coloring, making crafts and hearing Bible stories. Some of the team members were braiding hair and one women on the team got some scissors and started giving free hair cuts.
Within 30 minutes it was clear that God was going to do amazing things in this local church through the short-term missionaries.
So here are a few testimonies…One women showed up to make a pillow. A simple pillow. After making her pillow and listening to the Bible Study she received prayer from some of the women. Her eyes were filled with tears as she put her faith in Jesus in that moment! She returned day after day, even getting her feet washed, massaged and toenails painted. She later gave a testimony saying that she had slept so peacefully since trusting Jesus for her salvation!
Another man came when he had heard in the community that there were free hair cuts at the church. While giving the hair cut, the short-term missionary felt that she needed to have a male team member pray with the man, but all of the men were working on the construction project. She told him to please return tomorrow to get edged up (since we did not have a razor with us). Guess what? He returned the next day, got his hair edged up and put his faith in Jesus Christ! All from a hair-cut given by someone going on a mission trip. He even returned the following day for the church service!
In a matter of six days, a local church literally was buzzing with excitement. A local church was given a boost from some people in the USA that decided that they would leave their comfort zone to go and serve. The local church now has momentum as it enters into a new season of being a lighthouse in the community.
It was not money that prompted a man and woman to receive Salvation. It was not money that brightened the light of the local church. It was ordinary people, stepping outside of their comfort zone to go, serve, and love in Jesus’ name.
Mission trips are NOT a waste! Come try out a Praying Pelican Missions partnership with a local church!