Two blogs ago I wrote a blog that brought out the negative effect of mission tours over local missions in our neighborhoods and towns. I want to clarify that those who go on such trips get to see many helpful effects on the ministry area they live in. I went to Honduras a few years back and that mission trip allowed me to be one on one with some of our church members and the training they gained in preparation for that trip translated into a bigger desire to do local ministry where they lived. It helped me see where our mission dollars were going and effectively minister hands on where it had just been long distance before. I was on what I feel is the best trip for hands on help to hurting people because I went on one where medical and dental assistance was given to people who would not get it otherwise. I saw doctors and dentists give of their vacation time because they cared. My oldest son was in pre-med and his life was impacted in a very positive way by being able to help as never before. Those who do this type of mission work usually put a pastor in service and help support his reaching out to others in that area. That ongoing connection with those in that country insure that people groups are not only reached out to, but given ongoing guidance through a pastor and the local church. From that connection we can “almost be there” because of the strong tie through the local pastor on site. You can be there without having to “be there.”
I didn’t want to leave the impression that I didn’t know about these mission trips and didn’t agree with them because that is just not the truth. I have been on such trips and the positive I got out of it was beneficial to my life and the life of those we helped. My earlier blog brought up a scenario that shows how the heart of reaching out can get out of kelter when not done right and that can impact the local church in our location in a negative way. This blog hopefully shows the positive impact when going on trips done with the right heart and the great help it is to the local church who sends these people out. I apologize for not clarifying about the good of these trips and hope this helps us see the whole picture.
The Pilgrimage continues….