Sunday, September 04, 2011

Why a short term mission?

I began to write this post to show you some of the pictures from one of the ladies (Tracey) who was just here on a short term team. I was not with them all the time in the villages and I often find looking at things through their eyes is refreshing, like cool water to my heart and a reminder of how once you are here a while you sometimes can “forget” what is around you.

And then I got this email from one of the men who was on the team. It is profound and full of insight and a wonderful challenge, so I wanted to share that with you as well. So enjoy both of these glances into Niger and the work of our team here.










Why a Short Term Mission – by Jim
Proverbs 3: 5,6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding: in all your ways  acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Helen Keller epitomized the adventuresome spirit, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Seeking the Father’s heart, developing a shared love, pursuing relationship, living beyond self, coming to understand ‘no respecter of person’ all are a result of my struggle to live God’s way and genuinely experience the gifts that he brings into my life.

He explains these gifts in Gal. 5:22 and Acts 10: 34 – 36 – affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity, willingness to stick with things, sense of compassion within the heart, conviction that basic holiness permeates things and people, ‘finding’ myself in loyal commitments, able to marshal and direct my energies wisely. I can’t achieve these ends reading a book or counselling with others. My nature is to learn by doing and so I if I am to achieve my relational goals I need to work – come alongside.

Short term missions have allowed me to touch fingers with an autistic Mexican boy, pray for a Mexican suicide survivor in his hospital room, pick fruit with a Leprosy affected person in China, hold a Chinese Down child in Banna, and now talk dreams and desires with an African man aspiring to achieve a welding ticket.

I have come to realize that God’s desire is not that I be who I am, but rather be the man that I am becoming. And so the ministry of reconciliation takes on an even deeper meaning to me. 2Cor. 5: 12 –21 …’a new life burgeons. God settled the relationship between us and him. He has called us to settle our relationship with each other. God has

given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. God uses us to persuade others to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ our friend now …. The Message (loosely). I see my task as to impact one soul at a time and I want to understand how that person approaches life each day.

When I first went on a mission trip I was overwhelmed by the requests for money or pleas for aid to escape. I flippantly spoke of how difficult it was to survive in my “arctic’ environment and that my lot was basically the same as the person requesting cash (no money left at the end of the month). I have come to see how shallow these arguments are.

Niger’s Sahel life is a daily encounter with malaria, cholera, dysentery, yellow fever, parasitic worms, starvation, heat, religious oppression, termites… and my lack at the end of the month is only evidenced in my current bank account – it doesn’t take into account my real estate, my investments, and all the social network provisions that I have put in place – and all the result of the happenstance of being born in this land. I don’t know ‘life and death’ as a daily reality except in coming alongside my brothers in a missions setting.

The subtle nature of sustainable NGO projects are beginning to make sense to me but only through walking those dusty roads.

I saw this somewhere

Watch you thoughts they become your words
Watch your words- they become your actions
Watch you actions-they become your habits
Watch your habits-they become your character
Watch your character it becomes your destiny

Short term leads to realization of destiny – pretty profound for a two week stint.



a well where the water is a long ways down, but a significant improvement over no well at all!


The blessings of an overcast day to keep the heat down310631_10150261216151887_696941886_7890454_125369_n

The streets lined with garbage312021_10150261223631887_696941886_7890528_1324056_n

life in a village of huts and animals


Giraffes in the wild – the Zoo will never be the same again!


The orange clouds of a sandstorm blowing in


Sunset over sand dunes



Di said...

This sent God shivers down my spine. This was a great perspective. What a mighty God we serve! Can not wait!

Angela said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Chantelle and thank you to Jim.

pugener said...

This excites me and makes me long for a renewed desire to live passionately and in the remembrance of God's goodness within hurt and suffering. AMEN!