It’s just for a few years…

“It’s only for two weeks.”

We were having a team dinner, preparing for a mission trip to India. Each of the seven of us had been able to serve overseas on short-term mission trips before. Every one of us was expectantly looking forward to what God had ahead. One team member said someone told him they would pray for him. As he thanked them, they went on to say, “that you will come to your senses and not go.”

We had a hard time understanding that thought process. Yes, some people are afraid to fly. While some embrace the thought of new, to others, the thought of anything unfamiliar is frightening. And that’s okay. People are afraid. God helps us overcome.

But to pray that someone won’t go support brothers and sisters in their work for Jesus – we couldn’t wrap our heads around that thought process. I still can’t.

And honestly, we really couldn’t quite understand anyone not wanting to go on at least one short-term mission trip.

Our partner addressed the unfamiliar. The uncomfortable.

“So what if you don’t have hot water or your electricity isn’t good. It’s just for two weeks.”

That really resonated with me.

I was reminded of 1 Peter 2:11 where we are called “sojourners and pilgrims.”

And of Hebrews 13:12-16 “So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”

And I thought of Paul in prison. Singing.

He knew – it’s just for a few years.

Near the end of his life he told Timothy, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
1 Timothy 4:6-7

He endured. He ran well. He fought hard. He poured himself out for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was beaten, imprisoned and stoned.

It’s just for a few years – “There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”

    Poured out.

Can I say that?

A short-term mission trip to stay in a comfortable bed, eat good food and serve with people I already know and dearly love isn’t sacrifice. They are the ones living sacrificial lives. It isn’t always a kind place to people who are sold out to Jesus. And my friends there are totally sold out to Jesus. They pour out their lives in service of the Master. Some of them literally.

But they get it. They know it is only for a few years.

Do you feel that passion? That call to live like we’re only here temporarily so discomforts don’t matter? If so, kneel with me, imploring God to utilize that intensity to add to His Kingdom.

If there is no yearing within, be bold enough to ask Him to give you a vision of now in the scope of eternity.

How can I pour myself out for the glory of the kingdom of God? What is my sacrifice of praise. Where can God use me today that will send me to bed tired tonight?

It’s just for a few years.


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A recovered prodigal and expert breeder of dustbunnies, I'm a wife and a mother who just wants to live all-out, whole-heartedly, full-tilt boogie for Jesus. Living life with abandon combined with the daily regimens of life can be hard - that's where grace comes in. Oh, I love the balance of grace.
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A recovered prodigal and expert breeder of dustbunnies, I’m a wife and a mother who just wants to live all-out, whole-heartedly, full-tilt boogie for Jesus. Living life with abandon combined with the daily regimens of life can be hard – that’s where grace comes in. Oh, I love the balance of grace.

4 thoughts on “It’s just for a few years…”

  1. I love this Angela, this is very persuasive and powerful. Thank you for sharing this call to do more for Jesus. I am cheering you on! Keep sharing and keep inspiring us. Thank you for joining the #RaRalinkup with Purposeful Faith; we love you!

    1. Thank you Kelly. I have felt such an urgency about this lately. Have I spent my day well? I appreciate your encouragement. You are a great reminder that we are a team and stronger together than on our own.

  2. ANgela, you have been very blessed to have a heart and burden for missions and evangelizing both here and at home. I do however think that the answer to your question is more complex. First let me disclose that I have gone on short term mission trips as well as have been a full time long term missionary. I would most likely still be a missionary if it hadn’t been for an ex bf, aka Mr Wrong, who literally brought me back to the US. perhaps more thoughts on that later. So I do see how this whole issue is very complex. I have a friend who was a pastors wife for 20 years who is dead set against all short term mission trips and the reasons she gives and the real life anecdotes she tells sure can be persuasive. just like everything else in our culture there are many different approaches to short term mission trips and therin can lie the harm. Many churches are big enough and financially well off these days to arrange their own trips. While well intentioned many of the leaders of these trips do not have the expertise or experience needed. So these well intentioned do gooding trips often turn out to be offensive hurtful and even harmful to those that the trip intends too help. There are so many motives for people to take these trips, but are they really God’s motives? Well I have to leave that up to God and the individual. Some of these motives do however include cheap international travel, a desire to expose youth to people who are less fortunate, different cultures, etc. that in itself is not a bad motive, but perhaps a mission trip is not the best way of doing this. Others want to feel like spiritual heroes who have braved hardships and dangers to take the gospel to the less fortunate or help the poor, etc. others go in order to feel good that they are contributing and helping others. These are not bad motives, but when combined with ignorance, naïveté a senses of cultural and spiritual superiority can be devastating, harmful and offensive and actually hurt the cause of Christ. ok, here I myself might become a little offensive, but I did my overseas work as an American evangelical. Americans tend to be very naive about the rest of the world. Often we think that our prosperity, form of govt way of life and brand of Christianity make us superior to the rest of the world. They also often believe that evangelicalism is the only best form of Christianity when in the actual 2000 years of the history of Christianity it is only a recent and localized phenomenon. There are subtler reasons for missions too. Not only do some want to spread their brand of Christianity, but I bed within it their political and national ideals. These are actually very human tendencies but obviously not what was meant by the great commission. What we are clueless about is that some of theses countries were evangelized in the first century by the apostles when our ancestors were still barbarians in Europe and that Christianiny is not new to them, what they really need and want is humanitarian aid, etc. we also mistake physical poverty with poorness of spirit when the exact opposite is often true. People don’t need or want to be preached at or lectured to or looked down upon. They don’t want our second hand charity just so that we can feel better about ourselves. They want what we all want. They want to be treated as equals with dignity and respect. So even though major sins of established traditional mission boards have been recently been brought to my attention and even though I would no longer idealogically fit in with them, my personal opinion is that Obviously not everyone is called to missions work and that missions should be under the supervision of the wise and experienced. It should be approached not impulsively but with prayer, heart searching, screening accountability and appropriate education and training. Long term missionaries used to be trained in the culture language and mores of the places they were going. They were rigorously screened to see if they genuinely were called of God to go the distance, they were usually initially supervised by the experienced. Generally you can’t just barge in preach a few sermons, hand out some tracts and used clothing and go home and expect that you have done a great work for God. Often it takes years and years of living with and loving and sharing your life with people, building relationships and trust to bring people to God. And if you can’t love and respect your neighbor or the people on the other side of the tracks if you are not willing to share your life with them and see them as brothers and sisters, how does a person expect to be effective on the mission field? So I guess my point is in my opinion the answer to your question about why doesn’t everyone go on a mission trip is that no everyone should, not everyone is called, and not everyone who is called has been prepared yet, spiritually or intellectually. Thanks be to God that you are.

  3. We have this one life to make a difference, to live all in for Jesus and I don’t want to waste it. You inspire hearts TO MOVE with this post. Keep going and keep writing. Your words are important. We are blessed by you through the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith – thank you for joining it.

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