Over the years I have seen short-term mission trips impact people’s lives in amazing ways. God always has a purpose for these trips in those people’s lives as well as the people’s lives they go to serve. My parents became missionaries because of a short-term missions trip they took. I knew others that became passionate to support missionaries financially. Other people were thrilled with the knowledge it gave them to pray more specifically for missions and the field(s) they visited. Lost people were saved through what God did through them, worldviews changed, and spiritual maturity took place. We are always thrilled when someone shows a desire to serve God in this capacity. A short-term missions trip can be anything from a week to a year. Ellie Ratter recently went to Tanzania for a 3 month short-term trip and it greatly encouraged, challenged, and inspired her. She also impacted those she was with for God’s glory and we are very thankful for her obedience to the calling she sensed from the Lord. Is he calling you to something similar? We pray you will step out in obedient faith. Ellie Ratter shares a short testimony of her time in Tanzania below:
“Shortly after I graduated from Grace Bible College, I went on a three month mission trip to Tanzania, East Africa. Before the opportunity was presented to me I had never given much thought to going on a mission trip, let alone Africa! In fact, I had never been out of the country or even on an airplane! I was searching for different options for work after graduation. I had a handful of different jobs that I would really enjoy to choose from, yet none of them felt right to follow and I couldn’t figure out why. When I was told about the possibility of serving in Tanzania, seemingly everyone and everything pointed to that!
My mission or job was to serve the Hodgson family by teaching their two oldest children (Naomi and Elijah). I did not study to be a teacher, so I really felt like I was living the phrase “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.” And He did! It was eye opening to be immersed in such a different culture, but it was also a lot of fun! Being in a place and a culture unlike anything you have ever experienced is a beautiful thing. Your worldview expands quickly and it pushes you out of your comfort zone, which is hard but SO worth it. I spent a lot of my time with the Hodgsons and some other GMI missionaries, but I was also able to see and experience some cultural things – such as a wedding in a village, a meal at a national’s home, and even simply learning what I could of Swahili so I could communicate with people on my walks to the Hodgson’s and elsewhere.
If you have ever considered going on a short term mission trip and the opportunity is available, go! If you have not ever given much consideration to doing a short term mission trip and the opportunity is presented to you, go! Experiencing a different culture and building relationships with other missionaries and nationals is priceless. And when you do go, make the most of your short time there by befriending some locals as much as it is possible and learn some of the language. There will be a lot that you have never seen or experienced, but you need to embrace it and let the Lord equip you and guide you – because He will!”