I was excited to learn last night that one of my children is going on an overseas short term mission trip next year.

When my children were teenagers, about ten or so years ago, they were all involved in children’s outreach missions over the Christmas holidays at the coast. It is encouraging to see them still involved in this type of ministry. One of my other children was involved in a trip to central Australia earlier this year and two years ago my husband went on a similar trip to the outback.

I think short term missions are very valuable. They expanded our comfort zones, force us to trust God in unknown situations and help us to understand how God works in different contexts. They also provided the opportunity for us to share our faith. Sometimes in practical ways by running a program for children or by building, painting, renovating property that is used for mission. And sometimes by speaking up, maybe explaining why we spend our time and money doing such things.

When we see other Christians living out their faith in a different context, it grows our own faith. We start separating our culture from our faith and realize that some of the things we thought were Christian are actually cultural.

I suspect that one day God may want me to go on a short term mission, which will be a challenge given that I don’t like tents or camping. I like hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, soft beds, and having a roof over my head!