shortSome people aren't fond of short-term missions trips, for variousreasons. One that comes up often is 'You   spend all that moneyfor just a few weeks', 'Such a big investment for such a short  time'. Whenever I hear this  I always smile to myself ... I totally  understand that train of thought, well at least I used to. I  understand the  logic and the thinking around the money:  outcome ratio. I get it, I do. Well I used to. After having my life,  worldview, values and goals completely turned upside down and  inside out due to a short-term trip I no longer think that way. Yes  the money side of things is a big investment, but if you want to  get the most out of your  short term trip the biggest investment  should be the discipleship before, during and AFTER the trip.

That is the real investment and that is where you see the  outcomes in the returning teams. (Don't get me wrong short  term trips should have signifi cant benefi ts for the host community,  but just for now we are going to focus on the goers.) Too often  people see the trip ending once you have walked out of the  arrivals gate back home in NZ, but that should just the beginning.

Each year we take teams to Thailand for ten weeks and each  year we are refi ning our before, during and after investment in  the teams. This consists of a lot of cultural and ministry training  before we go. Trip mentors armed with deep refl ective questions  that commit to getting together with their mentee before and
after the trip. Each  day we are away  we have a team  time where each  member answers  a debrief question  that helps them to  refl ect on their day.  We spend a lot of  time during and  after the trip debrief  and refl ecting on  what we have learnt and how we are going to apply our new  worldview and learning's to 'life as we left it'.

A great resource that we use is a book called un•earth. It tackles  many of the re-entry issues people struggle through yet are  not always addressed or prepared for. Struggles such as 'I feel  different but everything else is the same', 'They don't understand  what I've been through', 'I can't stop judging people', 'People  have so much in NZ yet they are still so selfi sh', 'I felt so close  to God in [destination country] but I just can't feel Him here at  home', 'I saw so much need and hurt ... how can God allow  that?' Do any of these sound familiar? These are the voices that  haunt the short termer that demand satisfaction. Being able  to process these thoughts and questions is a big part allowing  the short-term experience have long-term effect. As the church
family cheering these people on, helping the short-termer  through this process is where the real investment comes in.  Who can you invest in today?

If you would like some help preparing or debriefi ng your short  term team feel free to contact

Charlie Shadbolt, GC3
Youth Director
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GC3 has copies of un•earth available to purchase for $15 including postage. If you would like to buy a copy contact the office This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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