Thursday, July 28, 2005

Building in Mexico

In cities all over America, young people are hearing the call to service. Short-term missions is booming. Kids who've never picked up a hammer are traveling to Mexico to help build church buildings and houses. They'll learn to paint, pound a nail, and perhaps even mud a house.

Meanwhile, in the American teenagers' suburban neighborhoods, Mexican men paint their homes and mow the grass the teenagers otherwise would be cutting.

Something's odd about that . . . this observation from a radio host in Nashville brings up some interesting questions about short-term missions:
  1. Are short-term missions for those in the traveling group, for the people in the host area, or both?
  2. Short-term groups feel empowered by building something, but did they empower the hosts?
  3. Were there builders locally who lost an opportunity for a job while Americans built the house or building?

Last weekend I spoke at the Global Missions Conference and had a good conversation in my session with about 15 others who are interested or doing short-term missions. I'm working on a book on short-term missions with Anne-'Geri Fann that will be a survival guide for groups going on short-term trips. We hope to have it out by Spring 06.


At 8:33 AM, Blogger Greg Kendall-Ball said...

You were there, man? Sorry I didn't see you or say Hi.

I just read this article, today, and thought it may apply. I'll be interested to read your survival manual!

have a good one,
Greg KB

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Matt Elliott said...

So where's my advance copy?? I thought somebody was sending me one!


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