3 Long-Term Effects Of Short-Term Mission Trips

3 Long-Term Effects Of Short-Term Mission Trips

Mission’s trips are often short-lived, but the effects are long-term. It’s been argued that short-term missions are ineffective and often cause more hurt than help. However, if done right, there can be long-term, positive effects from a mission’s trip experience.

The Global Coalition said, “When done well, a short-term trip itself is just one piece of the broader, long-term journey of learning and engagement with God’s work in the world. Through this type of transformation, churches can better share the gospel. There is no greater success than the local body of Christ—on both sides of the short-term trip equation—declaring and demonstrating the hope of Jesus Christ’s reconciling work.”

Here are three ways a short-term mission’s trip can have a long-term impact:

1. Represents the global church.

The people who volunteer on a mission trip are the hands and feet of Christ. They serve others because of their love for the Lord! Giving time and energy in service of others is a reflection of God’s provision and love for His people. Introducing others to the love of God plants seeds that grow for years to come for both those giving and receiving care. The same God that is in the United States is also in all the other world’s continents.

2. Expands one’s worldview.

When we travel, our view of the world broadens. We delve into different cultures, meet new people, and see how God’s love stretches across the world and covers all people. Though different, we can unify through faith. Our respect and love for others expands when we walk in their shoes. Mission’s trips give us that opportunity!

3. Develop a love and understanding for missions.

My first mission trip was when I was in eighth grade. My heart for missions began to grow from that moment on and led me to financially support other people’s mission’s trips, give to mission organizations, and adopt internationally. Serving can look different for everyone, but going on a short-term mission’s trip can change people’s hearts to make a long term impact and keep serving in their communities and beyond. Many missionaries or non-profit service organizations began with a short-term mission’s experience. People’s heart for other cultures grew and they saw the need for change because of one short-term experience.

The Gospel Coalition said the following about longterm effects of short-term missions: “What happens after participants return home is typically the single biggest factor in whether a trip was ‘worth it.’ We need to communicate to participants that they have a responsibility to steward the visit well. They have an opportunity to support the believers and community they visited through their long-term prayers, monetary support, advocacy, and encouragement. And they have an opportunity to translate the things they have seen into faithful involvement in poverty alleviation in their own communities.”

For those of you who have been on a mission’s trip, tell us in the comments how the experience effected your life long term!

Sharing About Your Missions Trip When You Return

Sharing About Your Missions Trip When You Return

Sharing about your missions trip is a wonderful way to ignite a flame of inspiration that burns year-round

Whether you are a seasoned medical missions trip volunteer or about to go on your very first medical missions trip, one of the things you might be looking forward to doing once you are home is sharing about your missions trip.

There may be people in your church, workplace, family, peer group, or general community who are unaware of the different ways medical missions teams help or where we go. Some might be people who would be inspired to do more in their communities, homes or even overseas, when they hear about your story of how God moved through what you and your team did together with the people who were served. There are different things you can do to make it easier to share your story once you return home. We hope these three things will inspire you now, during the trip, and afterward.

Keep a journal

Keeping a journal is a brilliant way to have a record of the situations you encountered and how you worked through anything particularly challenging, how God was with you or someone else, and various other things like time spent with new friends or insightful moments and prayers. 

The act of writing before, during, and after the trip may serve to collect your thoughts, memories, and ideas into one central place where you can return to again to read and reflect or be inspired. It can serve as a note for future family members to read one day and get a glimpse of what it was like to serve as a medical missions volunteer. What you write in your journal can become a sort of “first draft” of what you will share with people in your church or community. 

Some good “before” trip journal posts could be questions or things you would like to notice or learn about while on the trip. During the trip, since you will be focused on serving more, you could jot down more of what you experience. Then after the trip, you could write about what you experienced and possibly also what you learned or what you would like to share with others.

Take lots of good pictures 

While you are on your medical missions trip, you may want to take lots of good pictures. If that sounds like you who enjoys having photographs to remember where you have been and who you have met, consider bringing a camera, batteries, charger, or battery pack with travel adapter (if needed). 

Though you will be working quite a bit of the time, there will be moments to snap photos of buildings, landscape, animals and plants, and you with your new friends and team members. This is a really fun part of it–all the people! Make sure you’re in some of the photos too. When you take photos, you will want to be mindful of privacy and how the photos will represent everyone involved in a respectful way. Your group leader is able to help you know if there are any other guidelines to observe. 

When you have lots of pictures, you will be able to remember the faces of the people you may write back to, the places you have been, and refer to it even years later when you want to pray for them or remember. Sometimes teams or individuals put all the photos together for use  in sharing about your missions trip to churches and other groups.   

Stay updated on the news of your team and new friends

Another great way to share about your missions trip is to stay updated on news of any changes or breakthroughs for your new friends overseas. When it is not unwise to do so, you can share the updates with loved ones, friends, or other members of your community–particularly those who already have expressed interest. People may hear the updates and praise God or go into prayer for them. They might also be inspired to one day go on a medical missions trip or somehow serve in a new way. You will have a friendship with someone who may also enjoy hearing about you.

Would you like to learn more about Mission Partners for Christ? You are welcome to visit and follow our Facebook page, Mission Partners for Christ, where we share encouraging posts and information. You could also head over to the FAQs page of this blog.

Stories of Answered Prayer In Guinea Pt. 1

Stories of Answered Prayer In Guinea Pt. 1

***Please note: to protect the evangelistic work and the Christian believers in this people group, we will not be able to share names of the people we encountered during our medical missions trip to Guinea. We will use initials. Believers live in persecution, often from their own family if they convert from Islam to Christianity. ***

God moved powerfully during our time in Guinea in February 2023. Here are just a few stories of answered prayer during our stay there.

Answered Prayer For Housing

In December, I was made aware that there was no hotel within 2 hours of community “K”. I asked God how would the Americans be comfortable? Our host said he would ask the mayor for a place for us to stay. I prayed for an indoor toilet. The team prayed and within one week I was notified that a man who owned a water company had a newly built home where he never stayed. It was available for us.  It had 3 large bedrooms, 3 bathrooms with running water, electric and area for our team to relax, eat meals, worship, pray and read the Bible together. This was a modern home in the middle of nowhere! 

Travel Needs Met

In June 2022, I had reached out to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) as we had flown with them in other countries.  The travel by road to community “K” would be very long and arduous for an American team. MAF assured me that they could fly us to city “L” and then we would travel 2 hours by rough road in 4WD vehicles. 

On January 10, MAF Guinea informed me that they were still in the process of obtaining government permissions to fly and without it, we couldn’t travel. In addition, they stated that they could fly us to city “L” on Feb 6. However, we were informed that they could not do the return on Feb 11 as they had no pilot. We didn’t want to cut the medical outreach short, so our team prayed for government permissions and for a pilot. 

On January 13, I was made aware that the government permissions were approved, and they found a pilot to fly us; this person was so committed to helping our team that he actually traveled to Guinea from Uganda for these flights!

On February 1, just days prior to our trip I was notified by MAF Guinea that their plane was grounded due to a customs issue. 

On February 3 (one day before our trip), the MAF Country Director had a meeting with the Customs Director to ask for temporary flight permissions for February. MAF Guinea referred me to another airline company that mostly did flights for miners. The cost was $4995 USD for one plane each way and it could not hold our entire team. Hundreds of people started praying! 

Finally, we saw our prayers answered and MAF received the temporary permission. We were the 1st passengers flying with MAF Guinea.  

Our USA team arrived in Conakry airport on Feb 5 and were welcomed by leaders of immigration and customs. It was a VERY smooth process at the airport. None of our luggage was opened or inspected, which was fortunate as that could delay us. 

We went to a very nice guest house for the night. Late the next morning we went back to the airport for our flight to “L” with MAF, where government leaders were waiting to greet the flight. 

“L” usually only has 3 flights at their airport per month. We traveled by rough road from “L” to community “K.”

We continued to pray for MAF full approval for all future flights. They received their full approval on February 15. 

An Unexpected Volunteer & Opportunities to Share the Gospel!

The American team arrived in “K” in the late afternoon on Feb 6 and our medical supplies traveled by road with pastors from our host’s church along with others to cook our meals-Victoria and Dian. Several interpreters also traveled by road from Conakry. In order to host this outreach, the Ministry of Health of Guinea required that Dr. S, one of their staff, serve alongside of us. 

We were prayerful that he would not show up as a Muslim during the medical outreach. He brought with him another Muslim MD, Dr. B, and 2 Christian Guinea eye doctors traveled along with them. These doctors were very humble and a pleasure to work with. We continue to pray that Dr. S and Dr. B come to have a personal relationship with Christ. 

During our first night in “K”, the spokesperson (known as the “superfect”) of the “K” people group came to our lodging to welcome our team. He was present and walking around each day during the medical outreach. 

During our international flight I prayed that every person who heard the gospel would accept Christ. I asked God to heal deep religious wounds, emotional abuse, poor self-esteem, shame, and fear. I asked for healing of infections, malaria, ringworm, wounds, deafness and blindness. I stated that I stood on the word of God and His promises!  I know my fellow team members and thousands of others were praying the same. 

We were able to bring 84 solar audio Bibles with micro-SD cards so they could hear the gospel message in their language.  

Each morning, we enjoyed Bible study, prayer and worship together. Some mornings we divided up and prayed for one other person.  We enjoyed delicious meals and enjoyed fresh goat one evening. 

On the morning of the medical outreach, we were short one translator for me. A man, age 55 (same age as me), came to the medical outreach for care. He was Muslim and spoke English. I “hired” Mr. D on the spot. Little did he know I would ask him to help me 4 days in a row. His wife had left him because he was poor and was now married to his uncle. I started sharing the gospel with him on the first day. He watched me pray for people that were deaf, people with large wounds, and for women that were unable to get pregnant.

Mr. D traveled long distances to serve with us and was very attentive to whatever I needed help with including packaging medication in our pharmacy. On the last day when a woman presented with complaint of unable to get pregnant, Mr. D asked me right away to pray with her. He didn’t accept Christ during our time there but stated he was open to it. He was given a New Testament Bible in his language and said he would read it. On Tuesday we served in village “M” Our host, Pastor Wilmont, shared the gospel openly via microphone prior to the start of the outreach. We treated 389 patients. One person accepted Christ, and three others were interested when they came to meet with Pastor Wilmont one-on-one. That evening, one previous convert came to our lodging. Team members Rosemary and Kim met with him along with Pastor Wilmont for a time of encouragement and prayer. 

Will You Join Us?

We know that God listens to our prayers and that prayer is powerful! With that in mind, we ask that you keep believers from Guinea in prayer for continued encouragement, sustained faith, and protection from persecution.

If you would like to join us on an upcoming medical mission trip, check out our Upcoming Trips to see where we’re going next!

The Unexpected Volunteer

The Unexpected Volunteer

A month ago, we were serving in an underserved, remote village of Guinea, Africa. It was a place where people were unreached with the gospel, and they needed medical care.

But I want to tell you about the visit of one specific man.

He came on the first day of our medical outreach. He came to see the doctor and get some medicine very much needed medicine. The interesting thing is that just that morning, I had shared with my partner that I was going to need a translator to help me learn more about my patients’ conditions and symptoms. We had already had several translators with us, but we were short one person.

That’s where this very special guy comes in; he just happened to speak both the local language and English.

So I had a short little interview with him, and I asked him if he could stay and he could help me. Essentially, I said, “You’re hired!” Much to our delight, this man stayed and volunteered his time for all four days that we were serving. We served in different area, so he had to travel quite a distance to come.

Let me tell you, this man was exceptional! Even when we weren’t seeing the patients, he was helping me in the pharmacy area by filling up little bottles with Tylenol and labeling them. From the minute he showed up, until way after we’re getting ready to leave, this guy was by my side.

So can you imagine? I was thinking about this recently as I pulled up to the doctor for a routine visit (don’t worry, I’m not sick!). Can you imagine if you were just going for a doctor’s visit, and you got recruited? Yes. And you weren’t being told about being paid anything because we’re all volunteers. And this guy decided to stay with us. It was wonderful!

Now he was a Muslim. He didn’t know about Jesus Christ but he was very committed to our cause. He was also a delightful person to serve with; we had so many laughs together. I also had several opportunities thatto tell him about Jesus Christ due to things that he witnessed in our free clinics. One example was when he witnessed me praying for women that were unable to get pregnant. The reason that experience was so meaning fun to him is because pregnancy is very important in his culture. Many men have multiple wives, which often sets up in a situation to feel inadequate if a woman is unable to get pregnant.

One other example was this beautiful 35-year-old woman who came to see me. She sat down next to me, and her family told me that she could not hear. I felt so sad for her. Can you imagine? Because hearing is such an important part of our life, right? We have to hear to have communication with people today.

So I put my hands over the ears of this woman on both sides, and I prayed for her. And she received her hearing back while my translator was watching. It was so incredible and wonderful! She just started praising God, she was high fiving me – I didn’t even know that they high fived and Africa!

And so this man who showed up for an ordinary doctor’s visit, thought he was going home immediately after his appointment, stayed with me the entire week. He got to see the power of God in action. Eventually, if somebody showed up, and they had a need that he felt needed prayer, like another woman who wasn’t able to get pregnant, he’d say, “Hey, aren’t you gonna pray for that woman?”

And I did. So it was a blessing.

I continue to pray for this man. It was wonderful to serve with him.

He’s like us. He has some relationship issues. He’s the same age as I am. But unfortunately, his wife left him because he was very poor. So I’m praying for him that God’s going to bring another wife that God’s going to bring private financial provision to him. Most important that He’s going to bring salvation to this man.

Would you join me in praying for this wonderful man? I can’t tell you his name, and I can’t show you his picture. But if you would pray for this man that served alongside of me in Guinea, that would be appreciated.

He’s got a New Testament Bible in his local language, so pray that he will daily pick up that Bible and God will reveal Himself to this man.

Want to know how you can get involved in upcoming medical trips and watch God’s work in action? Check out our volunteer page for all the details!

Mission Trip Update: Ethiopia 2022

Mission Trip Update: Ethiopia 2022

On October 1, 2022. eight Americans traveled to Ethiopia for a Mission Partners For Christ medical mission. They were joined by 3 Ethiopian doctors, a dentist, and a radiologist. On our team, we also had two leaders from Global Hope Network International and three missionaries with Great Commission Ministry Ethiopia(GCME), a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International.

We traveled by plane to Arba Minch where we stayed for the week. At our lodging, we enjoyed the spectacular hilltop setting overlooking the forest of Netch Sar National Park and two lakes in the Rift Valley basin. It was an incredible backdrop for our devotions, prayer time, 

and meals. We even enjoyed a coffee ceremony there and worship around the bonfire one

evening. Have you ever eaten Ethiopian food? It was delicious!

We served four and a half days during our time in Ethiopia, with three of the days being up in the mountains. The views were incredible. Unlike any we’ve ever witnessed on a mission trip!

The land was lush and most of the villagers were involved in farming. We enjoyed fresh

cabbage, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

The villagers were very welcoming to our team. On this trip, we saw more adults than children. Some stated their age was 40 but they looked like 60! We treated some severe wounds that brought us to tears. Those with tooth pain had their first-ever dental visit! Fortunately, our local partners are able to follow up on those that needed surgery and additional treatment. The total amount of patients we treated was 1895!

Speaking of follow-up, the Great Commission Missionaries are also following up on the 35 people that accepted Christ during our medical outreach. This month they also have a training for 50 people on evangelism and church planting in one of the villages we served.

Will you pray for revival to come to the areas we served?

Our missionary partners are also going out to surrounding villages and showing the Jesus Film on their tablets. The results have been incredible! God is stirring hearts. 

We usually take the team on a tourism outing at the end of the trip. We visited the 40 springs and took a boat ride to see the crocodiles. A highlight of the trip was sharing the gospel with our 2 boat captains and they prayed the sinner’s prayer and accepted Christ!

MPFC was grateful for the opportunity to once again return and serve in Ethiopia in another region. Our missionary partners have a very robust plan for the months ahead. Will you join us in prayer as they initiate prayer movements, training, and evangelism in the villages we served and surrounding communities?

We are so grateful for your prayers and support for this trip.

Just Say Yes: How God Overcame A Volunteer’s Fear

Just Say Yes: How God Overcame A Volunteer’s Fear

Have You Ever Been Afraid to Do Something Because of Fear? 

God had a unique and sure way to deal with my fear… and the answer came through participation on a short-term mission trip to Benín, Africa in November, 2021.

I had been to Africa once with Mission Partners for Christ. In October 2019, we had served in Ethiopia. Then there was a long pause on travel due to Covid. The Benín trip would be the first mission trip opportunity post-Covid, and I was so ready to serve again. But…there was a lot of FEAR about this trip.

In the forefront, was a fear of COVID and what that could mean for any of our team members. At that time, the travel rules were very strict, and if someone acquired Covid while in Africa, there was a likelihood that we would have to stay in Benín in quarantine, and I felt uneasy about all of the unknowns about this possibility. Also, I had some fear of Benín due to this country being the origin of voodoo. Honestly, I just didn’t have a good understanding of voodoo and if it could potentially impact or harm us.

I had prayed about the trip for weeks, and with every prayer, God’s answer was a solid YES, time after time! 

God Used Unique Ways to Speak to Me

A few times, I would receive a text from a friend with a Bible verse about a specific fear or worry I had expressed to the Lord while praying about the trip earlier that very day. He used friends reaching out to me, saying they had been prompted by God to send me a note, text, call or Bible verse.

I even reached out to a Missions Pastor, to ask for some advice. He had very wise words for me. He said, “Stop staying in safe places…How can you be effective when you just choose to stay safe?” So I committed to the trip, literally, on the last day of the deadline to sign up.

Then the fear actually became worse. There were times, I would cry and feel so anxious, every time I thought of the trip. It was a crazy spiritual attack and I was so aware of that, but it was still ongoing. So I began to fight back! I began to speak the name of Jesus out loud, just so the enemy had to flee. I also began to perceive that God was about to do something huge, if the enemy was trying so hard to discourage me from going!

Volunteering in Benin

The actual mission trip itself in Benín was an amazing and stretching experience, as each mission trip that I have served on, has been.

We set up medical clinics in 4 remote villages and treated 2,155 people in 4 days, and 243 people accepted Christ!!

We had an incredible team consisting of 10 from America, and over 40 African partners who served with us. We worked long hours, we loved people deeply, by God’s grace -we served well, and we gave until we were empty. I remember a team member on the last day saying, “I don’t have anything left in me to give…I laid it all out there.” That was the common sentiment amongst all of us.

Then we got on the plane to head home, and right away I began asking God to fill me back up again so that I can do this over and over again.

So Where Did The Fear Go?

Do you realize that not once while we were in Benín did I experience fear? My fear stopped exactly 3 days before we left.

And it was replaced with a deep sense of pure peace. Just calmness. Assurance in the Lord. Security. A knowing. Like the saying goes, “when you know, you know.” I knew deep down that we were going WITH God.

I fully believe that the prayers of people around me helped to wash that fear away, as many, many were praying for us! Also, just the process of feeding your faith and starving DOUBT. Why should I ever doubt or worry?

In talking with others who have a desire to serve on a mission trip abroad, but haven’t yet, I commonly hear people say that they “don’t know if they have what it takes?” Many say they’re hesitant because of how far the travel to Africa is? Is it safe there? Where will we stay? Concern over clean water and food? All of these are natural questions….but is this fear or concern enough to stop you?

Now, let me share what happened AFTER the trip to Benín! 

God Works Powerfully Through Medical Missions

Job 42:5 has come to mean a whole lot to me since returning from Benín. It says, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have SEEN YOU!” 

To me, this verse speaks about the conversion of knowing God with our HEAD, to knowing God with our HEART. Truly experiencing Him. 

Due to our work in Benín, God has opened many doors for the Gospel. Over the past 11 months, since we served there, many new churches have been planted. There have been so many open doors for the spread of the Gospel. Clean water wells have been placed in villages that we served in. Latrines have been placed in all 4 villages where we served. Missionaries and pastors have been encouraged and supported in their Gospel mission work. We have even seen 3 of the pastors receive motorbikes to enable them in their missionary work of spreading the Gospel!

To be able to fully comprehend ALL of the ways in which God is working things out for HIS purposes and HIS people in Benín, is what has allowed me a greater perspective of what these short-term trips are all about.

Some people will ask, “What can you really accomplish in one week?” The truth is, that the team is only on the ground for one week, but God is not working on our timetable! He is the master and creator of time. His word tells us “A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day” (2 Peter 3:8). So we may have eyes to see the perspective of what we need to do in one week, but God is not bound by that week.

He is setting a lot of things in motion during that week while we are serving, but really, that is just the launch pad for what is coming in the weeks, months and years to follow.  As I have often reflected on this trip, I literally am in AWE of how God used that week in Benín to stir up the Gospel in those 4 villages, and beyond.

And I have only mentioned what God did in Benin…I haven’t even talked about the spiritual growth that has happened to me since this experience, which has been, quite literally, a change in the trajection of my own Christian walk. I know now, why the enemy was stirring up fear. It is so obvious to me now. If he can stop us from going, he will do anything in his power to do so.

There have been several times since the Benín trip, that God has asked me to do something out of my comfort zone, and it only takes a brief reflection back on this trip, to give me the courage to say YES, and remember God’s faithfulness, on so many levels.

I want to encourage anyone who is considering going on a short-term trip abroad, just say yes!

Take a step of faith, and just trust the Lord to work things out. Nothing is too much in front of God, and there is absolutely nothing He cannot do!

Can’t wait to see you on the next trip!

– Rosemary Fisher, MSN, RN, FNP (Guest Blogger)