For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me (Matthew 25:35-36, ESV).
Do short-term missionaries make a difference?
Recently, a short-term team from Peace River Bible Institute in Sexsmith, Alberta, visited Malawi. This team of students ministered to various groups, conducting 11 children’s programs, visiting 154 homes, distributing blankets for the upcoming cold season, offering 6 women’s ministry programs, providing 500 dresses for young girls, and holding puppet evangelism training, sports evangelism programs and youth teaching. The highlight of the trip was visiting people in homes and villages, learning about their lives and culture. It was a blessing to see the joy on the faces of those visited.
Do short-term teams really make a difference? Or would it be better for churches and donors to just send money? Experience teaches that there is no substitute for Christian men and women answering the call of going and visiting, whether in their hometown or in a rural village of a developing country. As Christians we cannot deny the fact that Jesus has asked us to actively go and minister to those who are in need. Short termers not only can minister to the people of a different culture, but can also be an encouragement to the missionaries there as they see the joy of ministry through the fresh eyes of the visitors. On the Malawi field a team even went specifically to repair ministry vehicles! No amount of money sent can buy the joy and excitement of ministering firsthand.
How Action International Ministries short-term teams impact lives in rural Malawi.
Over the past 8 years short-term missionaries like Dr. Gary have provided biblical training to rural church leaders. Gary has taught on many different subjects and has come to love the Malawian people. Others, like Pastor Brian, have come to bring different styles of teaching such as Walk through the Old Testament, to get leaders to enjoy opening up the Word of God. Each of these leaders also raised the awareness of the need for Bibles in the churches and in the past 2 years distributed over 1000 Bibles in the Ntcheu district alone. Another team from Port Angeles, Washington, also helped put on marriage seminars in villages.
Bringing the gospel of Christ to the children of rural Malawi has been one of the highlights of Action International Ministries (ACTION) Malawi’s ministry. People like Rich and Marla, and college teams such as Millar College of the Bible from Pambrun, Saskatchewan, and this year’s Peace River Bible Institute team have brought joy to the hearts of many of the Malawian children. The teams train leaders how to share their faith and do puppet ministry. There is a great need to take the message of the creator God and his love for the Malawian people, and the people are eager to receive the message. In past years Pastor Jon and his family helped with a Bible camp for 1400 children in Kuyenda village. He also did a creation seminar with youth in the Ntcheu district. Teaching that God had created all things in the 7 days of creation was something new to the high school youth.
Many people use the excuse that they have no training to do missions work and therefore would be ineffective in showing the love of God. But if one is willing to visit folks in their home, take them a gift, and show a genuine interest in their lives, it will do more for God’s glory than preaching any sermon or leading any Bible study. Jesus said “I was sick and you visited me.” Doing door-to-door home visitation has opened many doors to the hearts of the Malawian people. Not only this, but it gives one insight into the lives and hearts of these people. Another team did a building project for the needy, building 2 houses and remodeling several others in a 2-week trip.
Action International Ministries (ACTION) is a global mission agency committed to sending multinational missionaries who treasure Jesus Christ and minister His Gospel in word and deed, primarily to the poor. Our three-pronged strategy for urban ministry can be defined under three headings: evangelism, discipleship, and development.
ACTION currently has over 250 missionaries (and many other team members) in more than 20 countries. ACTION’s prayer target is for 221 additional missionaries to join us in the vital task of world missions, for the glory of God! Learn more here how you can volunteer or help support ACTION’s global ministry.
On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.