An Overlooked Purpose of Short Term Mission Trips

Last week we had a group visit from our home church in Florida. In the opinion of most, this group wasn’t that impressive and wasn’t going to make much of a difference for the ministry in Mexico City. Why? Because it was just one couple.

Doug and Debbie had planned on coming with a group from Gulf Coast Fellowship, but for various reasons, the group dwindled each month until it was just them who were willing to come. The size of the group left me, the organizing missionary, with very little options. So the purpose of the trip changed.

Instead of figuring out how much Doug and Debbie could do to minister to Mexican young people or Seminary students, they decided that the main purpose of their trip would be to minister to our family. I’m sure the week they spent here in Mexico made a difference on eternity. Let me explain.


Missionaries are supposed to be strong. They aren’t supposed to have many needs. Missionary kids are supposed to be perfect little angels that never need extra attention and get along in their new culture like fish in the water. But we aren’t like that. We need to be ministered to just as much as everyone else (sometimes more), but we’re not always on the radar of those looking to minister. Fortunately, Doug and Debbie came to invest in our lives and, in turn, our ministry.

Since I’m not a handyman we have some things around our house that need fixing. Doug came and fixed those things for us. Janell and I don’t have many opportunities to go out to the movies, so Doug and Debbie watched the kids so we could go out together. Our kids don’t get to spend a lot of time with grandparents, but the time they spent at the park with “Mr. Doug and Mrs. Debbie” while they were here helped them get some of that attention they need.

Doug and Debbie also spent time in class with our youth ministry students. Doug preached in chapel and went with me to a youth leaders’ meeting. But the time they spent with our family and the encouragement they were for us made a bigger impact on our children and on us than the time they spent “doing ministry.”

Please don’t overlook the little things that you can do for those who are serving overseas. Those little things seem insignificant to you, but they can be a life-changing encouragement for the missionaries. It’s amazing how encouraging it can be to have someone install a ceiling fan or fix your sink for you.

2 Responses to “An Overlooked Purpose of Short Term Mission Trips”

  1. Dottie May 2, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    I want to thank them for coming to visit…and be there to help you and have fun with my grandchildren..One day, I would like to come and visit..Love you,allXOXO

  2. Dan Waggoner May 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    Thanks for this encouraging message as it once again points out that whatever is done for the Lord is always worthwhile and we never know who might be touched in our meager efforts. Meager but from the heart to serve Him and that is all that counts, nothing else means as much.
    Dan Waggoner

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