Three short-termers recently returned from mission trips in India, Central Asia, and Guatemala. Each had life-changing experiences. Part 2 of this story is about Cooper who served in a country in central Asia for seven months, teaching English and building relationships.
One Challenge is predominantly a mission organization that focuses on long-term missions that serve the local church. However, short-term missions are a crucial part of its ethos and allow persons to get acquainted with a variety of cross-cultural ministry in a tailored way. For each person on a short-term trip, the experience is different, often even for people going as a team and participating in the same ministry.
Part 2 – Cooper in Central Asia
What did he do?
Cooper served in a country in central Asia for seven months, teaching English and building relationships.
What were highs from the experience?
On each trip there were good moments and challenging ones, however, there is no doubt of the impact of the experience.
Similarly for Cooper, he says he encountered God in new ways while in Central Asia. By being on this mission trip alone, Cooper was able to grow in his faith.
“It was good that I was alone. It forced me to depend on God, forced me to look to him for guidance and advice instead of a team member. Our relationship grew beyond bonds.”
Cooper learned several things about the Lord and his relationship with Him. “I am loved by God. Heard by God. A child of God. He is mine and I am His. He is waiting to aid me in bringing Him glory. He is waiting for me to be audacious,” he says.
What were some challenges along the way?
Short-term missions are not perfect 100% of the time, lessons learned often come from the darkest moments. Cooper struggled with the policies and procedure he found in the “American-esk” churches he found.
“When in the more populated areas I would find American-esk churches. It broke my heart to see the spirit of God being limited by policies and programs. It was in the life together, 24/7 churches that I saw the hand of God work the most beautifully,” he says.