The long term impact of short term

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Josie* recently spent three weeks in a Creative Access Nation following several short term trips to different parts of Africa. Here, she chose to utilise her physiotherapy skills to build relationships, as well as to consider where God might be calling her to serve long term in the future.

Focused on the gospel

This trip was my first to this country but the plan is that I’ll return regularly to the same place to build relationships with the people there, with the hope of reaching them with the gospel. On this visit I spent time working in the Physiotherapy department in a local hospital and some time helping with training and care for a girls’ running group.

“I believe it’s these interactions that are the most effective way of us sharing Christ…”

Sometimes we can get so focussed on the skills we have gone out with that we miss the really important parts. My lack of language there meant the physiotherapy I could offer was limited but it also meant I spent all my time with one of the local physios. Despite the language difficulties, this gave me a chance to build a relationship with her. Along with a couple of others, we went shopping and for dinner together, pretty similar really to hanging out with girls at home. One of the most surreal experiences of my time away was sitting in the home of a local Muslim family, wearing a traditional outfit for guests to a wedding, getting my makeup done by my friend. These activities, although so simple, meant so much in terms of relationships. I believe it’s these interactions that are the most effective way of us sharing Christ, following his commands and example – to love others.


Caroline Bell shares about the impact of her short term trip:

I have been interested in mission for many years and decided to take a year out of my medical training to investigate what involvement in mission in the future might look like. I didn’t want my horizon to switch from involvement in mission to buying a house and settling in the UK. So I went to Adi, a rural village in the Democratic Republic of Congo to work in the local hospital alongside the Congolese doctors.

This time has really confirmed my desire to be involved in long term mission in the future. I don’t know what this will look like, or when it will be, but I’m excited to see how God will lead me. I learnt so much during the time I was away. I learnt what it is to rely on God, desire him more and really depend on him day by day. I definitely love Jesus more as a result of my time in Africa.

Considering the future

Please pray for me as I hope to continue my friendship with this girl, and as I try to learn more of the language from here in the UK. Please also pray for me as I look to the future and what God wants me to be doing. I love Africa and at times it’s tempting to leave life in the UK and just go and live in Africa. But I don’t think the time is right for me to go, at least not yet. I want to be a wise woman of God, so please pray for wisdom for me. I am considering future trips but ultimately I want to follow God’s plans and not my own.

If you get the chance, I’d encourage you to go, experience Africa for yourself, see what God will do in you and through you. And experience the people of Africa, and you might just find that the place and the people capture your heart, the way they have captured mine.

*name changed for security

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