A lot of people can debate on the effectiveness of short term trip overseas. I personally think they can do more good than harm if a team is prepared and trained beforehand properly. But too many times we see teams return to their homes after an intense week of serving and showing God’s love only to move on from that time and perhaps keep it as a fond memory.
Having lived overseas long enough to see multiple short term teams come and serve I’ve been able to see the outcome of when these teams come and go like a storm, doing helpful projects and trying to connect with people. One Chinese friend asked us a few weeks after a team had been there whether this foreigner still liked him. “Why would you think that?” I said. “Well I’ve messaged them a few times and they’ve never replied back so maybe they don’t like me anymore.”
In our hyper fueled society of always going going going, with our quick insensitive social media communication and looking for the next ‘feel good experience’ it’s easy for us to forget those people overseas who actually want more than just a couple days of friendship. For them it wasn’t just an experience, it was a part of their everyday life.
So much good can be done with short term teams, especially among the unreached of China because most of the people you talk with have never heard the gospel. So if you’ve ever been on a short term trip please keep in contact with the people you shared the truth with. Even if you haven’t communicated with some of those people for years, you could still be the only one who will ever share God’s truth with them.
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