Short term help, long term impact. That’s my experience of ‘short term mission’. It would be difficult to do an accurate count of the number of short term helpers our team hosted during our last few years working in a creative access location. The business we ran afforded our visiting English speaking friends abundant opportunities to engage meaningfully with local people, several of whom were hungry for truth. Contacts begun on a short visit (a few days, a few weeks, a few months) continued via social media for months, even years afterwards. Some of those contacts eventually embraced Christ despite the inevitable opposition and difficulty that brought into their lives. But not only were local people touched by our visitors, our visitors too inevitably went away richer for the cross-cultural exposure they had and richer in their understanding of the part they could play in God’s plan for the nations.
As the new AIM Europe Director, it seems fitting that my first opportunity to write the editorial for Connect is on the subject of short term mission. Together with my wife Jan, I have served through AIM in different roles and in different parts of Africa for the past 29 years. During this time I have seen short term workers play a significant part alongside career missionaries in forming the church of Jesus Christ among the peoples of Africa.
Read on for more examples of short term help, long term impact and how you can get involved…
Dudley Pate, European Director