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Mission projects change lives

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Short-term missions (STMs) changed my life. They’ve played a huge role in helping all five of our children to grow in their faith. Their STM experiences did what we could not do as parents.  They learned that the world is not about them. They learned how to minister. They learned the b…
By Seth Barnes

aaronShort-term missions (STMs) changed my life.

They’ve played a huge role in helping all five of our children to grow in their faith. Their STM experiences did what we could not do as parents. 

They learned that the world is not about them. They learned how to minister. They learned the big picture of what God is doing in the world and how to join him.

 
STMs are the reason I started AIM – I wanted to see young people have more opportunities where God could use mission trips to change their lives. If you’re a youth leader, parent, or discipler, you have to have STMs in your tool kit to be effective. I can’t say it strongly enough – your young people need to be on a mission trip this summer – it’s worth whatever sacrifices that may be involved and is far more valuable to their development as a whole person than any academic experience or camp you could offer them.
 
Here’s an example of a life recently transformed, because of short-term missions. Aaron Darlington writes about his experience in Uganda and how it changed his life:
The majority of our ministry here is
relational discipleship. We have partnered with Bugolobi Church of the
Resurrection, a local Anglican church with a rock solid faith. We spend
a lot of time ministering to, and with, the youth (12-24). We partner
with members of the church and evangelize the local communities
door-to-door. Each home presents a fresh and distinctive opportunity.
In each place, my main desire is simply to love the people. This looks
different to everyone. I feel as if I could write a full blog about
each experience.
 
In one home, God had me fall in love with a three-year old girl named Blessed.
She played with my hair and bracelets and clung to me with tiny
clenched hands. In another, the Spirit led me to confront false
religion with my only weapon, the Word of God, and to proclaim the
divinity of Jesus. At another home, I hoped to inspire a man and his
wife by sharing that the Bible can be their guide for everything-that
it will be the lamp under their feet and a light to guide them, that it
will teach them how to be a good husband or wife and how to be good
parents, etc. And as soon as I finished, they opened up with a
million questions and struggles, and we spent several hours pouring
over scripture in a sort of marriage counseling Bible study session.
 
And finally, in many others, God had me simply love on the people by blessing them, praying for them, listening to their struggles, and sharing my own. It’s
very easy to fall in love with the people of Uganda-time and time again
they opened their doors and welcomed me in as one of their own. There
is much hurt in this place, but God’s grace is abounding. It will be hard leaving.
 
I’ve got countless stories of how short-term missions change lives in the past 20 years. They activate people to the kingdom.
 
How have short-term missions changed your life?


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