Short-term missions ministry is a multifaceted endeavor. There are many reasons people invest in short-term ministry: to disciple a next generation of mission worker; to accomplish a task; and to invest in local communities. For a One Challenge team in Southeast Asia, they’ve chosen to invest in short-term ministry teams that serve the long-term strategic goals in their ministry or that of national partners.
In December, the OC team invited an eight-person team of mostly medical professionals to serve in free medical clinics at 10 locations across the country.
In order to have the greatest impact, the team split into two separate teams. “By dividing into two teams, we were able to double the number of locations and the impact these clinics had for our ministry partners. It also gave us a closer personal touch with people. Over the course of five days of clinics, we served 1380 patients!” says Don*, an OC worker in the nation.
“Our local hosts arranged for the clinics to work in partnership with the local community health centers so the patients who are seen can be followed up by medical professionals in their own communities,” Don says.
Creating Long-Term Impact
There is a great effort made to see that the ministry is not just a week and then done. The national coordinators arrange an emotional and spiritual health consultation room as part of the service of the clinic.
This year, a local national doctor joined the team and traveled with them all week. “He was a great asset and shared a common heart,” says Mel*, another OC team member. “He has done many of these clinics with various organizations, but he felt our clinic was the best he’d worked with. It was the first time he had seen a consultation room as one of the clinic stations, and he felt it was the key to the success of the clinics and changed lives for the kingdom. He is already ‘on board’ to join us again next year.”
It’s in the consultation room that the long-term ministry impact is multiplied. “Trained counselors can pray with people who are ready to profess faith and are able to assess others who are seeking and willing to be followed-up by their local teammates,” Don says.
Relationship Creates Change
All this is done with the attitude of addressing pressing physical needs but taking special care of spiritual needs. “With strategic and deliberate planning, an ongoing reciprocal relationship between our guests (organized by a partnering organization) and our national ministry partners, and a prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit to bring fruit from our labors, we are able to bear witness to an incredible long-term impact of a short-term team,” Don says.
The team celebrated 396 people taking steps toward a relationship with Christ, and 510 more people who indicated an openness to hearing more about the Lord.
“We’re looking forward to hosting a different kind of team in March. The activities and strategic goals for that team will be different but, I hope, no less impactful for the long-term ministry of God here,” Don says.
Pray with One Challenge
- Pray for national partners in this Southeast Asian nation. Pray more people would come to know Christ through the follow-up of local believers partnering with us.
- Pray for the upcoming team in March, that they too would impact in the long-term ministry of this nation.
- Pray for the OC team as they seek more ways to spread in the gospel in their nation of ministry.
*Names changed for security purposes