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Apr 23, 2008

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Ivy

Michael, I couldn't agree with you more. I worked with some other folks in the West Bank (Bethlehem specifically) from 1983-1989. More often than not, those that joined us for a short term did more harm than good. It took time to become acclimated to the religious/political situation there. I always cringe a bit when I hear of those going short term. Peace.

Denis Hancock

I guess it all depends on how the short-term mission is planned and conducted.

This isn't something that can be slapped together. Team building, prayer, study need to be a part of any trip preparation.

Once there they need to observe and listen. An for those whose ministry involves making a lot of sawdust, take some time to relax and look around.

Groups I have participated in often have people who are not able to participate in strenuous work, but who CAN sit down and listen to people. These people are arguably the key people in the group.

For many, this is an eye-opening experience and one that leads to a life of true service.

Michael W. Kruse

I think this article does a wonderful job of identifying the potentially destructive impact of these. I agree with comments. Relationship and partnership should be the central aims and frankly I'm often embarrassed for the church.

Audio Bible

I think somethings that need to be added to the discussion here is the need for heart-language ministry and the need for a long-term, positive effects of a short term trip.

Many people and organizations continue to rail on the ineffectiveness of short-term teams, in fact there is a recent article in the Washington post {http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/04/AR2008070402233.html}.

But, truth is, there are lots of short term trips that go where large organizations do not, and now with the launch of the Every Church Every Village project by Faith Comes By Hearing, churches and short term teams can take heart-language audio Bibles to the field with them for free. The teams will be instructed on how to train locals to start listening groups where people gather to hear the Bible in their language, no interpreters, no preaching, just the Word.

The free audio bibles, called Proclaimers, are solar powered and have no moving parts, so they are a spiritual development tool for those who can't, don't or won't read -- which is about 70% of the world's population.

The project is underway, but the ministry is yet to officially announce it.

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