Some have asked me, wouldn’t it be better just to take the money spent on short-term trips and send it to the mission field instead? In some cases, yes. But many short-term missions trips are strategic and greatly help the national churches, missionaries, and indigenous people.
John G. Paton (1824-1907) served as a missionary in the South Pacific’s New Hebrides islands. As a successful young Scottish preacher, Paton determined to leave Glasgow to minister to this unreached people group. But most of his Christian friends urged him to do something more sensible with his life.
In a post last June, I shared a video about Steve Saint, son of one of the five missionaries who were murdered in Ecuador in 1956. Steve, who is founder of ITEC (Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center) was seriously injured while testing a design for ITEC.
Some years ago Steve Saint and I became friends. He came to our church within a week of the 50th anniversary of the death of those missionaries, and I interviewed him and Mincaye, the former warrior who was one of the murderers of the missionaries, but who later came to faith in Christ.
Missionary Bert Elliot (brother of martyred missionary Jim Elliot) went home to be with Jesus last Friday. Nanci and I met Bert and his wife Colleen in January 2006, which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the martyrdom of the five missionaries in Ecuador.
I'm not a big statistics guy, but sometimes statistics can be revealing. The following statistics are from the book 2020 Vision, by Bill and Amy Stearns.
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