Short-term missions: Chance to love like God

The ministry team leaves after a long day playing at the Point of Impact Global Missions station located in the village of Chrucitas, Honduras. | Photo by Ebbie Davis

By Ebbie Davis, Photo Editor

After boarding the plane I knew it was too late to turn back. Here I was on yet an­other short-term missions trip.

Having com­mitted my life to missions, one would think I would be excited to go to Honduras over my fall break to serve the com­munity. Instead, a surprising bitterness overcame me.

I love missions, don’t get me wrong, but the term “short” has always tampered with my heart.Short-term missions, in my mind, was something that resulted in helping, preaching and then leav­ing. Where was the dis­cipleship?

“This trip will be differ­ent,” I tried to convince myself. “My time will be spent taking photos and creating a media project for my team.”

I thought, “I will just hide behind my camera,” which is unlike myself.

But after hitting the ground and see­ing that first child, I knew this trip was going to be harder than ex­pected.

“If I don’t get close to them, then they won’t get attached.”

My mind con­tinued to tell me to stay focused on pho­tos, while in the mean­time my heart was cap­tured by the first “Hola” and hug.

Sitting in my safe hotel room on the first night of our four-day excursion, I began to question God.

“Why? Why am I here?” I asked. “Am I here to love them and to leave them?”

I still didn’t under­stand why I was there. I couldn’t do this.

That moment is when God revealed his heart to mine. I was reading a passage in 1 John and God reminded me how he has called us to love as he loves. What an incred­ible concept, to love as Christ loved.

My mind began to won­der, when Jesus walked this earth, how did he love? His love was the purest, most selfless love imaginable, and here I was only halfway loving. I was using the gift of pho­tography, which he has given me to get closer to these people, as an ex­cuse to stay away.

When Jesus was on Earth, he discipled 12 men day-in and day-out, yet he traveled and preached to different vil­lages and different peo­ple every day. I began to understand why he want­ed me there: He wanted me to love.

Whether long-term missions or short-term, God calls us to love as he did. We have to have faith in local Christians to follow through with the discipleship in the areas we visit, but while we are there: we love.

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.