This week, around 500 Christian students from Waco, Texas are here in the Rio Grande Valley, on their spring break, for a short-term mission trip. Oasis Evangelical Christian Fellowship, the church where I am preaching this month, is working with 50 of these students in sharing the love and the Word of God with the residents of the city of Edinburg.
It is estimated that in the US alone, at least 2.4 million people go on short-term mission trips every year. Short-term missions has become a billion-dollar missionary enterprise. There are many critics who deride short-term missions as “glorified sightseeing” or “mission holiday.” They claim that these really do not make a difference; that they bring more harm than good. In the future, when I have the opportunity, I will address this issue.
However, at this time, I would like to commend my Waco friends for deciding to spend their week-long vacation for a noble cause. Each one of them spent several months raising the funds they needed for this trip. They could have gone anywhere–the beach, the mountains, to Costa Rica–for their spring break; instead, they’re here as witnesses for Christ. And since this group is partnering with several local churches, I am quite sure that they have already made a positive impact in the Valley. My wife and I consider it an honor to be part of their ministry, even if it lasts only for a few days.
The apostle Paul said, “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not” (2 Timothy 4:2).
As witnesses of Christ, may our intentions be clear: let’s be ready to preach the Word…even while we’re on vacation!
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