Often, we find that people are wondering how they can be involved in mission. Probably one of the most important ways is in prayer. In addition to prayer, coming on a short-term trip is a good experience. By being involved in a short-term team, people find that they can taste a little bit of what mission is like and they can take their stories back home in order to mobilize other people to pray or go into mission. During this past Christmas, we had a team come from Hong Kong. Having a team is always a great encouragement, not only for us, but also for the brothers and sisters in the small church. The brothers and sisters in the small church feel blessed when people are coming from overseas to serve the Lord together. People sometimes hesitate to come on a short-term trip because they do not know the language, which is essential when you are coming to serve in another country long-term. However, we find that coming on a short-term trip and displaying Jesus’ love to the Isan people by giving them a smile, being there for them, or by playing with the kids, is already a great blessing to them.
We know that language can feel as an obstacle, but we can also help translating. With this past team, we went to different schools to do Christmas outreaches. We find that schools are very open to have a team from abroad to teach English. In addition, we were able to have a big Christmas celebration where the Isan brothers and sisters invited their relatives and neighbors. We also had a very special baptism service at the church, in which the short-term team members were able to give encouragement to this new believer. Finally, the short-term team also helped to hand out tracts in different villages and they were involved in the Christmas outreaches at different church member’s houses; by giving their testimony, singing songs and by doing a play.
We hope and pray that this short-term trip was a great experience for them and that this team will come back to serve in mission again, either short-term or long-term.