International (MNN) — CURE International is raising its standards for short term missions participants in order to increase effectiveness in the ministry.
CURE's Jerry Meadows says they are one of a few ministries beginning to make changes in order to have an especially large impact on recipients, not just participants, of short term trips.
"For too long, North American short-term missions have been focused on the ‘goer.' We need to reverse some things now, or come to a better balance, and be very concerned about the receiver in the other country and how we're serving them," says Meadows. "We've got to work on these standards of excellence to make it true that short-term missions is best for the receiver."
For an organization like CURE, raising the qualifications for applicants will likely mean a decrease in numbers. This is not a problem as long as "goers" are prepared and trained to work on the medical field, therefore able to do more relevant work than participants without medical skills. CURE has developed seven standards to decide exactly who is qualified and who is not.
"One of those standards is ‘everything must honor God,'" says Meadows. He explains that although this standard may appear obvious, it seems to be overlooked by some other ministries who focus more on the well-being of the servants than those who actually need the service. This will, most assuredly, no longer be the case for CURE.
In addition to new applicant standards, CURE doctors and associates will now be in charge of writing job descriptions and delegating tasks for the trips in order to complete the maximum amount of work possible in a short period of time. Meadows hopes that this way, "the impact isn't short term, the world view expansion isn't short term; the only thing short term is the trip."
Of course, CURE does still welcome those interested in their programs to look into them, but due to the specific medical nature of the organization, they will be generally more selective. However, CURE does have at least one more trip planned with people who may or may not be medically trained and may make exceptions to the qualifications depending on the situation.
If you have medical expertise and would like to serve with CURE, please consider doing so. For more information for possible participants or simply for curious supporters, click here.