Short-term work warms up the reception for missionaries at home.

By March 7, 2005

International (MNN)–There’s a new trend facing missionaries and their support network at home.

The trend involves both technology and short-term missions. Because the Internet connects communities more quickly, it is possible for a missionary and a supporting/sending church to keep in touch.

The growing interest in short-term mission trips provides a platform for people to go overseas and see firsthand what it is that missionaries do.

Evangelical Free Church of America’s Sherrie Johnson says this is a change that she has watched over the last couple of years. “Churches now are very interested in having more hands-on contact with their missionaries overseas, because I think more people are going over short-term. We have a lot of early retirees who give of their time and their energy. They come back and they stir up their local church.”

Johnson says the hands-on participation means relationships have been built for the missionaries to come home to. “There’s a great deal more understanding of their everyday life, what they live through, as far as the political situations in a lot of countries, and just the stresses and joys of missionary work. It’s not a second-hand thing, a thing that comes in a letter anymore. It’s more real.”

The trend supports other reports that show many workers decided to dedicate their lives to long-term work after taking a short-term trip.

It’s an exciting and unparalled time for Christian workers to take one step closer as a body toward the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

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