While we are there we will be working with 3-4 ministries/orphanages. There is some controversy surrounding short-term trips and whether or not we can unintentionally do more harm than good. I am aware of the arguments, many of them valid and deserving of discussion, and yet I think there are still good reasons to go… but not in ignorance! Not with a God-complex or any sense of superiority, thinking that we will somehow change the world. And not to make ourselves feel good by "helping the poor". Let's face it, many of the "poor" are spiritually rich and many of us who are materially rich live in spiritual poverty. All of us, as fellow humans have gifts we can give each other.
I once had a pastor (who was, and still is a long-term missionary) who used to say that it is easy to "throw money at a need", but there is nothing like taking the love of Christ to others IN PERSON. Sometimes flesh and blood speaks louder and means more than a mere donation in the offering plate. Your PRESENCE, and the presence of God's Holy Spirit within you has more life-giving POWER than your dollars. Short-termers aren't going to change the world or alleviate poverty or impact much of anything on a LARGE scale. The impact is smaller, more individual, more person to person and not always obvious or tangible, and yet it is still REAL. Nothing we do as humans will ever be 100% perfect, with 100% perfect motives, and 100% perfect results. But God is the MASTER of taking broken, imperfect things and making them into something beautiful, He is the MASTER of taking five loaves and 2 fishes and feeding the THOUSANDS.
So as Mariah and I embark on this trip, we are under no illusion that we will change the world. Leaving any God-complexes behind, we are going to simply offer our