I really shouldn’t be so proud of myself just for writing a post I said I’d write, but it is what it is. Follow-through is a weakness of mine.
There’s a lot of discussion going on about short-term mission trips and how effective they are or aren’t. (This post is especially thought-provoking.) Some people are all for them. Some are skeptical to super-opposed. Some (like me) say that it’s a tricky tightrope, and not all mission trips can be lumped together, because they’re not all alike.
I’ll be honest. It’s getting late, I’m tired, and my head hurts. I have a lot to say on this topic, and it’s extra-close to the very core of my heart. I can’t do it justice tonight.
Heather in Haiti (the post I linked to above) talks about us going on short-term mission trips where we hug on orphans and then essentially abandon them all over again when we leave. I’m so, so grateful that our orphanage in Cambodia is a happy, joyful place even when we’re NOT there. And that these kiddos love us as soon as they meet us and pray for us every day and write us letters.
Speaking of letters, I have 41 of them (all written on different colors of construction paper and index cards and whathaveyou) in a neat little stack beside my computer right now. Letters written by all of the older kids to me, Gabe, and each of our girls.
Like this one from sweet, beautiful Longdich.
Dear Mommy Marla,
Hello, Mommy. How are you? I miss you so much because you are my mom. I’m very happy because I can play with you. You can make me laugh and you can make me cry. And thank you for your love. I want to see your smile. God bless you and your family.
I pray for you and your family. I love you so much and Jesus love you too. Longdich & Marla.
Do you see why I’d move heaven and earth to go back and see these kiddos? And why I want so badly to take my own girlies with me? I’ll be honest. I have to make sure I don’t cling too tightly to this dream, if it’s not what God wants for us. It’s one thing to give up a little birthday money; it’s another thing entirely to hold loosely to a dream that means so stinkin’ much.
God, help me to delight myself in YOU and nothing less. To hold tightly to you and lightly to everything else. To trust that your plans are highest and best and will ultimately bring you the most glory and me the most joy.
Do you have any thoughts, one way or the other, on short-term mission trips? I love hearing different people’s perspectives.