N. Africa (MNN) — How much impact can a short-term mission team have in an area in the span of a week? A lot when their visit and work sparks questions about why they are doing what they are doing.
This is exactly what Charles Debter of Global Aid Network hopes has taken place this week in N. Africa.
"We have a good size team–more than 50 participants, who are working actively and reaching out to demonstrate the love of Christ through medical missions, through dental work, through eye care. And they're really going to be caring for thousands of people," Debter said. Though the specific location of the trip was withheld for security issues, Debter assures us that the team is not in any physical danger.
Since the trip began on March 25, the medical team has performed cleft lip and palate surgeries, and the eye care team has held vision screenings.
Even though the team is not in the area long enough to form relationships with the locals, Debter said he hopes their presence will spark questions: "The hope is that people will [naturally ask] questions and enter conversation that would lead to a sharing of the person of Christ."
When people ask the team why they traveled so far to help, they can share the hope they have in Christ–a hop that others can have, as well. This curiosity is important in an area where what is said about Christ is restricted.
As people ask questions, the short-term team will guide the inquirers to the long-term missionaries in the area, who can continue the conversation and have the chance to form lasting relationships. Ultimately, they hope these individuals will hunger for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Please pray for safety as the team returns from Africa tomorrow. Pray also for the long-term team to take advantage of the opportunities the short-term team created.
For the future, GAiN hopes to establish more long-term teams in this area of Africa and to plant churches. To support them in this endeavor, click here.