Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Noble Task of Missions: A Case Study in Niger

The girls are married between the ages of 10 – 15 years.  Because they are children bearing children, often their frame just cannot give birth.  Some of these girls are in labor up to 10 days and if they don’t die in the process their babies certainly do and permanent damage done to the mother’s body.

I attended a men’s breakfast at the church we attend as a part of their mission conference.  A friend of mine, and former student, talked about his recent trip to Niger.   Cliff is a gadget genius and went to Niger, as well as some other folks from this church, to do some work at a Fistula Hospital in Danja (  As he told the story of the child brides, the reason for the need of this hospital it was so compelling I came home and watched a PBS documentary on this subject. The video clip is about 50 minutes long, but it is worth the time.  Some people merely condemn culture, others serve culture, in spite of its many flaws.

If I had ten lives I’d want all of them to be involved in missions.  Missionaries get a bad rap from secularist, even from some Christians.  I know we don’t do all things right but when I see, read and hear the stories of missions and missionaries it truly is a life worth living.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Short-Term Missions: It's A Life Changing Experience

I pulled this picture off of Facebook, it was produced by Experience Mission.  For a group that promotes short-term missions trips I thought it was pretty honest. 

Going to their FB page my eye caught the one phrase that drives me crazy.  One person wrote, “I went on a mission trip and it changed my life.”  It is the one testimony that every short-termer says.  I plead for originality, but it seems to be the only thing they know what to say.  No one ever says how it changed their lives, but going overseas for 10 days seems to have some impact.

A friend of mine in Nicaragua  wrote, “I maintain that short term mission trips, seminars, classes etc. (learning experiences) should be evaluated six months to a year after the event.  By then the shine has worn off and more of the truth might be evident.”  That’s a pretty good idea.   Maybe after 6 months that change of a lifetime will be more evident.