Why do I have to fund your mission trip / VACATION??

JB0704

Senior Member
...and how will the money, alone, bring the gospel to them? Who will disciple them?.
The assumption is the local resources in Honduras are faith based.

...I know what you're getting at. But it also sounds very much like a "throw money at the problem" type of solution.
In a way, yes. Think of all the money and all the people and time as one big pot of "good stew." How do we use all of that "good stew" to "feed" the most people?
 

gtparts

Senior Member
You're letting accounting logic supercede a calling from what I can tell...that's how. At least that's how it reads to me.

If God calls you to minister to "this one"....whether it makes debits and credits line up is of no consequence.

I am not suggesting that either you or I is called to take the gospel to "this one" (that I don't know)...but someone is (that I DO know)...and someone will waste their money by your logic because the parable of the talents apparently tells us that's an unwise investment.
How much is the airfare for a round trip to Honduras? Seems to me money stretches far there. Perhaps we could stay home, send the cash, and feed a family for a year.
I think you miss the point. Just throwing money at the issues faced by the poor in this world can be done in a very sanitary way. But part of loving and reaching others for Christ demands relationship. Till you actually do the will of the Father in a way that builds relationships, until you get some dirt under your fingernails, sleep on a concrete or dirt floor, work side-by-side with those people, you cannot know or appreciate what it means to the people ministered to. When you hold a sick or malnourished child in your lap or finish building a home for a homeless family of seven who could never do it for themselves, there is a connection made with them and with our own humanity.

Going yourself may not be the most efficient or the most cost-effective way to "solve the problem", but the problem is more than fiscal poverty. The need is for hope, for human touch, to find out that others do care and value you. The love of God is best expressed by investing yourself in others, not in a check sent to a p.o. box. Staying home and writing a check when you are fully capable of going yourself is also highly unlikely to transform your heart.

I know personally. A number of years ago, I was made aware of the callouses forming on my heart. I prayed for God to change my heart, to make me sensitive to others, to love as Jesus loves. I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I was, thank God.

As for investing Jesus in others, it is always a bargain, regardless of the cost.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

- Jim Elliot -
 

dawg2

AWOL ADMINISTRATOR
Thread starter #123
Many of the trips to South America are to Honduras. The average wage there for a year is a roughly $1000/year there and the majority of people in the rural areas live in mud huts with dirt floors. There is an organization in Honduras that depends on church groups to come in and help mud walls, lay cement floors, and put up roofs. The groups typically spend a week in a village and that is typically the only "help" the village gets for a year. So you may sit back in your comfy chair here in the u.s. and call it a vacation, but if you actually went on one of the trips and worked for a week, you might see things a little differently. If you have never actually been outside of the U.S. (or for some people Georgia) you don't have a true appreciation for what poor is. Putting up a tin roof our pouring a concrete floor may sound like something we do in our shop out back, but for much of the world a concrete floor in their house is something special. If you don't want to give them money don't give them money, but you might want to actually go on one before you say the people going on them are going on "vacation." Much to the contrary, they are probably doing more manual labor in that week than you will do in a year. When it the last time you hand mixed cement or mudded a wall?
You obviously did not read my last paragraph. I lived and worked in Latin America and am very familiar with exactly how life is in those areas. I have stayed with indian tribes that lived on sandbars in the middle of the ocean where water had to be paddled in with a cayuga. I have trekked into the Darien jungle that most Americans have never even seen pictures of.

Like I said, there are some missions that I support and have participated, but there are some that to me look like nothing but a "poor-tour" so someone can say "I saw it."
 
In a way, yes. Think of all the money and all the people and time as one big pot of "good stew." How do we use all of that "good stew" to "feed" the most people?

So, then, it's ok to spend the money for the flight for the first person to go and be there. What about the second? The third?

I assume, at some point, we start to see diminishing returns from sending the next person over? How do we know when we've reached that point?

What about the restoration of those who are there long-term? Any value in sending people short-term to "relieve them", give them some one on one encouragement and help them get bigger projects done more quickly?

Any personal value to those who go short-term? Obviously, mission work is focussed on those being served. But does the servant get any benefit from it? How do you feel when you know you've really helped meet someone's need? Is it a different feeling than had you given them money to solve their own problem? Do you think that feeling is an accident?
 

gtparts

Senior Member
So, then, it's ok to spend the money for the flight for the first person to go and be there. What about the second? The third?

I assume, at some point, we start to see diminishing returns from sending the next person over? How do we know when we've reached that point?

What about the restoration of those who are there long-term? Any value in sending people short-term to "relieve them", give them some one on one encouragement and help them get bigger projects done more quickly?

Any personal value to those who go short-term? Obviously, mission work is focussed on those being served. But does the servant get any benefit from it? How do you feel when you know you've really helped meet someone's need? Is it a different feeling than had you given them money to solve their own problem? Do you think that feeling is an accident?
Good words, HF.
Many long-term missionaries started out as short-term missionaries. Had they missed the first opportunity to serve, they may never have found their calling.

I have long wondered how many Christians have lived their whole lives without a real sense of their calling. I guess if a Christian doesn't do anything but take care of himself and family, he can feel like he has done what he was "called" to do. Others find their calling by stepping out in faith, attempting, in His strength, things they would have never tried otherwise.
 

JB0704

Senior Member
So, then, it's ok to spend the money for the flight for the first person to go and be there. What about the second? The third??
Yes. Maybe. Maybe.

I assume, at some point, we start to see diminishing returns from sending the next person over? How do we know when we've reached that point?
Yes. When the overall mission becomes hindered. Remember, I do not see it from a one man perspective, but a global perspective.

What about the restoration of those who are there long-term? Any value in sending people short-term to "relieve them", give them some one on one encouragement and help them get bigger projects done more quickly?
Absolutely! But, this is before the diminishing returns, and a necessary part of the process.

Any personal value to those who go short-term?
Yes.

How do you feel when you know you've really helped meet someone's need? Is it a different feeling than had you given them money to solve their own problem? Do you think that feeling is an accident?
When I help somebody, I feel as if I am doing my job. I help as often as I can, but I should do more. When I do help somebody, I always feel very strange when they say "thanks." I don't like it. I feel it is our job to help. And, ultimately, I am not serving the individual, but God.

It is a different way of looking at it, but I have spent a long time "getting dirt under my nails" on domestic "missions." I feel very strongly about service, and feel miserable when I am not serving in one way or the other. But, I do not do it for the thank-you's. It makes me very uncomfortable because I do not see it as a personal accomplishment, but instead, part of the priviledge of being a Christian.
 

JB0704

Senior Member
JB,

I think this is just one of those issues where you and I don't see eye to eye.
Could be, but I don't see that we are disagreeing too much either. We just emphasize different parts of the process.

Either way, it's good to kind-of but heads again :cheers:
 

Ronnie T

Ol' Retired Mod
JB,

I think this is just one of those issues where you and I don't see eye to eye.
I think it's perfectly acceptable for you two to disagree.
It isn't important that the two of you be God's stewards in the same way.
Neither of you are wrong. You're both right.
 
Ronnie....I thought I told you this already.

I'm always right. JB (and anybody else who disagrees with me) is always wrong. Can we sticky this or something? People seem to keep getting confused on the rules.

:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
 
You just need to do what you feel led to do. If that is to give, then do it. What or how they spend the money on is between them and god. But, you did what you were supposed to do and it's out of your hands.
 
Went to Peru on a mission trip in 2010. I guess you could call it a vacation since I took my one and only paid vacation week of the year to go. Was really eye opening and I doubt I slept 15 hours the whole trip because we were so busy doing ministry. I can definitely see a concern of funding people who might be looking for a free ride or who might have the wrong motives for going, we had a large group that went with us and i'm sure there were a few who were just along for the ride and didn't really care about spreading the Gospel. As mentioned already prayer about the individuals will let you know to give or not give. God is certainly capable of turning their own hearts towards him and his work.
 
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