These last two weeks have been really great. We have had a team that were able to stay for two weeks instead of one. I didn't know how this would work out, because we have never had a whole team stay longer than 10 days, but it has been a huge blessing! The people who came, have been ministering in so many ways. They have been doing the checkups on our cars, like changing the oil and fixing headlights and broken horns. They have been changing tile on my countertops that have been broken, painting fences, repairing showers, wiring in the houses, doing crafts with the girls almost everyday, leading devotions at night, ministering to local schools and even building a new pen for our animals. They have hauled lumber, eaten leftovers, and walked in a lot of mud, but they have not complained. They just keep looking for something else they can do before they go back home.
We have had so many teams come to help us with this mission and love on our girls. We have had construction teams, and evangelistic teams, medical teams, and teams who have just come to bless the schools and communities in anyway they could. They bring supplies for school, send rice supplements for the communities, clothes for the girls and all sorts of supplies through containers that are sent from the States. We have had teams come and bring finances to build large buildings, hire the locals to give them an opportunity to work, and replenish our tool shed. Teams have come just to encourage the girls and me.
There is a new book out right now about short term missions. I haven't read it, but apparently it is not a positive book on this subject. I was told it was the author thought that the monies for short term missions, like plane tickets, transportation in country and living expenses while the teams are here would be better spent helping local communities, or just sending the monies to the missionary. Through all these teams and iteneraries the main theme has not been about the money, it has been about relationships that will never fade away.
If the author contends that we should just stay where we are and minister in that immediate area, Jesus would have never left Nazareth. He would have made his finances in carpentry and sent money to the local Rabbi to help the widows and orphans. The excitement that was felt when he served the masses loaves and fishes wouldn't' have happened. His miracles wouldn't have happen if He hadn't made an effort to make a move in different areas. He didn't call attention to what He did, if fact He told the recipients quite the opposite. However the people who followed Him and learned from HIm, did the same thing. They obeyed and went into all the world to preach the gospel cast out demons, healed the sick, and told them that "The Kingdom of God has come unto you." They were told to preach everywhere, not in just there neighborhood. Jesus left a mandate to preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and in the uttermost parts. I heard a pastor say to "Preach the Word, and when necessary, use words". Many short term missionaries are not pastors. They are people with a heart to serve and to help and establish the missionary that is living on the field.
The people who come here, are kind and loving and love with abandon whether it is using the supplies they brought for our mission or our community, The team that is here now is doing that. They have encouraged me and my girls and the Honduran workers who labor with me. It is exciting to see how much they have done to bless our mission.
I wrote to a pastor the other day about how exciting it was that he and his team came down to bless our mission a few years back. They were totally prepared financially to accomplish what they set out to do. It gave me great joy at the way they came and spent everything they had in abandon for the One they came to serve. It wasn't a prideful thing it was a loving thing the way they blessed us. My girls and our community felt cared over. It wasn't the money, it was their heart. The Bible says where your treasure is your heart will be also. If we focus on the money, and not the heart behind it, we will not prosper, because people are not engaged. To be engaged you have to have relationship.
WE have teams who do not have a lot of finances. they sold chicken dinners, auctioned cakes, sold personal things on eBay, and did whatever they could to arrive here on the mission field to do what God called them to do. Because they worked so hard to get here, it blessed us in the extreme also. Either way God is glorified and the people get blessed.
Bottom line, short term mission is my heart even though I am here full time. My family wouldn't have gone into full time missions if we hadn't have gone on short-term mission trips. Short-term missions help some of us to put feet on our Christian walk.
I am called to the girls here, but also to the people who come on short-term missions. God called all of us to go, some just stay longer than others. WE are supposed to encourage each other daily and however that looks like to the ones who are hearing to go, we should encourage them do it.
If we, as a family, had stayed in our comfort zone, in our hometown in the house we built with our own hands, we would have never been as blessed as we have been. We would have made more money, we could have sent more money of course. WE were making money when we were living in Doerun, Georgia, surrounded by our family and friends, but we would have missed an understanding about obedience to God and all the relationships and a life that He has allowed us to participate in these last 20 years. He told us if we left family, and homes He has supplied for all of us and will continue to do so.
Verily I say unto you, there is no man who has left houses, brethen, or sister or father, or mother or wife or children, or lands for my sake an the gospel's But that he shall receive an hundredfold lands, brethren, sisters, mothers, children and lands, with persecutions, in this life and the one to come. Matthew 10:29, 30... All the above has been fullfilled in my life here in this life.
Blessing from the Short-term, Long-term Honduran MOM