Getting your feet wet

6 Feb 2017

There are lots of opportunities these days to go on a short-term missions trip.  Churches, youth groups, schools, campus groups – all run their own outreaches.  How awesome is that! At Pioneers Australia, we provide the next level of missions experience.  Our short-term opportunities are tailor-made for each individual.  From 2 months to 2 years, we place people into existing Pioneers teams all over the world, in all manner of ministries.

In this weeks’ blog we ask Leigh Pryse, our Pioneers Australia Short-term Co-ordinator, about the value and impact of going short-term…

What entices people to go on a short-term missions trip?

I think short term outreaches appeal to people who want to do something more, something different outside of their normal life.  They want to be involved more in sharing the gospel, and it’s a chance for them to see and experience different cultures and challenge themselves.

Every missions trip has at toilet story.  What’s yours?

In our old house, here in Australia, we had a toilet that wouldn’t flush properly. It kept leaking and we had to stand there for about a minute, flushing the toilet before it would stop. When I went on a trip to Papua New Guinea, there was no flushing, like there’s no flushing toilets.  There were lots of toilets that were just holes in the ground.  When we came back home, I actually appreciated and enjoyed flushing my old leaky toilet. It was my little reminder of where we’d been.

Does a short-term trip really make any impact?

Just today a missionary told me that they used to have short-term teams come when they were in Indonesia and it was really encouraging.  The teams brought a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and they built some great relationships.  So, short-termers can have a really positive impact when they are overseas, especially if they go willing to learn, open to serving, and are not judgemental. I think a short-term experience can also have a great impact on those that go.  I often see people come back with a renewed passion for God, for people and for the gospel.  They see the need people have for the gospel and how easy it is to share, to just make that an everyday part of life.  Also, having spent a lot of time praying overseas, they come back renewed in prayer. Sometimes people can come back with a clearer direction in life, seeing a bigger picture of what God’s doing.  I think that helps them put in perspective the Christian walk, and probably refocuses them to stay following God.

What if people are a bit uncertain about living overseas?

Short-term experiences can help people answers questions like:  Can I live in another culture?  Will I be able to learn another language? What about the foods I eat, the climate, humidity? Will I cope? A lot of people have these practical living questions, and a lot of the time I think they stop people from pursuing missions further. A short-term trip allows people to “get their feet wet” and spend six months or so in another culture.   Not just an initial exciting “honeymoon time”, or a holiday, but enough time to start to see what it takes to live there.  Short-term trips are fantastic for alleviating fears.  A chance to take one step forward without necessarily fully committing straight away.

Would you like to read some testimonies from some of our short-termers and/or connect with Leigh to talk about how to start your journey towards short-term? Click here to go to our Short-term page.


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