Regularly I’m asked why I put so much value in missional partnerships, after all, people say, just give the money to overseas missions. They can make better use of it. For starters most of the money to travel is raised and it is given by friends and family who don’t plan to send it over anyway but that’s not the point I want to make. There is a partnership that is extremely valuable built around relationships and support.
We need each other. Our friends overseas have the best opportunity to reach their own country. They have the relationships and the strategy. They know the language, the culture and the history but they are often strapped to move into new territories without the financial support we can give. They can make a dollar go further in their economy than we can at home. But there is more. We can give encouragement by our presence. We can pray for the needs in person. We can learn about new opportunities. We can build friendships and establish trust which is vital for the sharing of strategic initiatives. These important component parts of partnership are best done in face to face settings. The mission goes further faster and more effectively when there is partnership.
Finally, there is this, when a mission trip participant returns home their story has a multiplied effect. They’ve no doubt been blessed to be a part of the ever growing story. They participated. And now they can share the passion and education they received in a way that goes far beyond what you could gain in reading a story online or watching a video. Compare that to just sending a check.
Let’s say a particular generation went on a trip, and because they did, they gave generously the rest of their life to fulfill the Great Commission. It can happen–it is just that life changing. But then the next generation comes along. If they give just because their parents or grandparents gave but don’t have their own experiences, when and if times get tough, you could expect the giving to drop off. Just sending the money rarely stretches from generation without personal experience.
This has been a great trip for me–one of the best. It was a different one than I expected. However, I think it was the one that the Lord had for me. I’m returning home renewed in spirit and more inspired than ever. I wish every Christ follower who has good health could have the same experience I’ve had with Project Partner and our partners in Asia that I’ve had. If we did we might see the Good News spread rapidly in the U.S. like it does over there.