What’s it like to be part of a short term team? We asked two short termers about their experience of serving on a summer team seeking to share the gospel with Africans living in Malta.
Why did you decide to do a short term trip?
Joel: Coming to Europe to work among Africans has been a lot about testing God’s call on my life. I also wanted to see what was happening with migrants, and how God is working his purposes out in this move of people that he is busy with. How can the church give back to these moving people in this Westernised context?
Heidi: I came on this short term trip to learn about sharing the gospel with Muslims, as at home I work with a lot of Muslims. Here I can learn from the team leaders who are used to sharing the gospel in this context. I have a lot to learn, but I know I have to go and apply that in my life.
What have been the best bits about being on this team?
Joel: Growing up, everyone suggests that a man should pursue a career that makes you financially independent and enables you to support your family. But part of coming on a short term trip is support raising, admitting you can’t do it on your own, and financially giving to mission. It is amazing to see people partnering in support and prayer, reinforcing that Jesus is who he says he is, he is the provider.
It’s encouraging to meet different people too. To see people coming from different corners of the earth with different gifts and stories that converge into what Jesus has done, and then being poured out into different ministries. To meet people with experience in ministry and see their godliness, as well as families who have raised kids on the mission field, champions of the faith who admit to mistakes and who are vulnerable.
Heidi: Conversations here make me so excited about what God is doing. I was a bit afraid to start talking to people, but watching teammates doing it, and then talking to people myself, is so exciting; getting to share joy with people who haven’t heard it before.We just had a very natural conversation with a guy who was open to the gospel. As soon as he realised that we weren’t officials, and just there to talk, he wanted to know more about us, and ask questions. We planted seeds of the gospel and he actually listened to us. He was struggling with a lot of fear and uncertainty and didn’t understand forgiveness. He’s waiting to hear about and experience faith.
What have you learnt?
Joel: You have to intentionally look for opportunities in your life to share the gospel. This is not something that’s just for a two week trip. You’re not sometimes on mission and sometimes not.
Heidi: I work in a job where everything is about numbers and figures, but in life, everything is about relationships.
*Joel & Heidi’s names have been changed for security reasons.