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Rethinking the $3,000 Missions Trip
Image: Courtesy of Katie Norrell

Rethinking the $3,000 Missions Trip

When I learned that kids in my city couldn't swim, I started to rethink how much I'd invested in overseas missions.

Painfully thin for his age, Martin shivered uncontrollably by the side of the city swimming pool. He held his sides in a futile effort to keep warm. I was puzzled. A rare June heat wave had swept through Knoxville, and the temperature was pushing ...

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John pierce

July 31, 2013  10:03am

My church does both. Once or twice each year we send teams to Central America to engage in building and other projects, but we also minister in the inner city, not only of our own general area (Columbus, OH), but also of others not close to home such as Cleveland. But in doing all this, we don't neglect our own suburban area, either (where people are spiritually needy). I realize that not all churches have our particular set of resources, but I think that the Lord provides what is needed for the task(s) to which He has called.

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Rebecca M

July 28, 2013  2:39am

Excellent article. However, was any follow up made of the boy? or did he simply dissappear from the radar? God bless your efforts.

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Pete Dayton

July 27, 2013  2:33pm

Very much agree with you, Doug. I have mentored several inner-city kids and have transported them to swim lessons at the only inner-city pool in Knoxville. I was so happy that UT Aquatic club did these for free and amazed at how many kids in the community had never been in a pool! I wound up overloading my car for several summers with kids and had to turn down many due to a lack of transportation. I agree with Chany(above) in that every time I see a movie from a returning youth STMT and ending with a middle-class student from the suburbs crying because they had to leave a "new friend" from a third world country, I think how many kids within a 15 mile radius are dying to have a new friend which have access anytime. I also have felt the pain of losing one of my "Martins" seemingly disappearing overnight. Thanks for the article.

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Jim Ricker

July 23, 2013  7:38pm

Should we give up STMT's? Heck no. Should we consider our daily lives as mission? Heck yes. Serving those around us is vital.

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July 23, 2013  5:32pm

Thank you! In addition to these important points is the concept of attachment and trust. You were able to build a relationship with Martin over a long time, showing him how to trust an adult. Whereas, on short-term mission trips, real relationships with the locals can't be formed. For local children -- especially in orphanages -- the caring adults leave over and over again. It becomes more difficult for children to learn to attach to and trust adults with each successive mission group because of that.

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