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Location: MInneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am now a simple Grandpa who's life is made richer as each grandchild is born. My wife and I have raised five children and the 30 year love labor of raising them has begun to yield sweet fruit..... And then there are fruits of 30 years in ministry ... I am a satisfied old man full of the joy of the Lord.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Short Term Missions

I am a huge supporter of short term missions. Over the years I have led teams of Americans on missions to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

I am no expert and I have no formal training in missions but I can say that it has been positive in many ways. Yet I have heard many opinions to the contrary. Mostly from career missionaries.

Most of the missions trips have been imagined and implemented through relationships that have developed here at the University of Minnesota. Ministering to international students yields big rewards. Relational missions is really all that I know. I have to have a reason to go to another country other than just sightseeing.

This sort of modest missional undertaking has resulted in many churches and works that continue on their own with indigenous leadership. But that is not the greatest reward. The greatest reward is in the changes in the people that we take with us from the US. For the first time they see how the rest of the world lives and they are changed forever. These same changed people are then seeded back into their local churches and bring positive growth to their own families. This is why I have taken my children on these short term trips. To help them grow up.

Truly, not much work gets done in the missions project. A little construction help, a little help in evangelism, a little help financially. But the main work is done in encouragement of the people who are laboring there and in the growth of the individuals who came on the trip.

Literally ten of thousands of these trips leave out from the shores of the US every year. They go to every place imaginable. The result is that the world becomes a little smaller. Your neighbors not so far away. Your growth in sanctification is assured.

This is one of the most positive things imaginable and brings me much joy. God's kingdom advances and the increase of His government will know no end.


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