I agree. Yes, there are definitely 'cons' to short term missions--especially where children are concerned--short term teams do bring life and energy to a project and encourage those of us who are more long-term.
#1 Amy (Homepage) on 2012-01-18 09:24
Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you for this post Ali. When Mark and I started with Mercy Teams in West Africa one of our mandates was to endear Mercy Teams to the ship and her crew. Glad you are encouraged and energized! Way to go Mercy Teams
#2 Nari Palmer on 2012-01-18 09:41
Ali, this was a great blog! I have also heard these criticisms of short-term services. It is very encouraging to read about how much they actually help the long-term workers and overall ministry. I pray God keeps bringing those teams to Mercy Ships. God bless you crew members and all you do!!
#3 Janis Taylor on 2012-01-18 10:39
Thanks Ali - if you don't mind I'm going to paste and copy this to our Connection Group - we have this exact debate all the time - your insight will make an impact, I'm sure and I appreciate your sharing your lives with us and all those souls you help! Blessings! Uncle Dan & Aunt Sue
#4 Sue Matlack on 2012-01-18 15:10
Hi Ali,

Thank you very much for sharing and encourage us.
Give Phil a big hug for me please, and another one for you.

Always in our prayers! GOD bless you!
#5 Ricardo Arocha on 2012-01-18 16:19
Thanks for this great post. I've heard many of these criticisms of short-term missions myself, but I think the critics are forgetting the intangible benefits of God's people encouraging one another for the work at hand! Some of my relatives are missionaries in various parts of the globe, and I know they are excited when short-term groups come through for a period, not because they think "FINALLY we can really make some progress" but rather because of the excitement and energy that the short-term groups bring.
#6 Andy on 2012-01-19 10:14
Ali- Thanks so much making me aware of Mercy Ships/Mercy Teams. I'll be featuring this wonderful article on the "Missions Monday" segment of my Facebook page ( this coming Monday (1/23). I'm hoping it will encourage some of my readers to consider a short term mission trip as a Mercy Team. Thanks for what you're doing for our Lord!
#7 Michelle (Homepage) on 2012-01-19 14:49
I first heard of Mercy Ships from another "random guy from RI" who was a short-termer. Shout out to fellow Rhode Islanders!
#8 Joy on 2012-01-19 14:56
You are (as usual) so very right in your insights. I have witnessed, through personal short term mission work (despite having had the same hesitation about donating the money instead), how it witnesses to so many. Besides the work done in the field, there is the effect on the participant's heart and mind and thus life, and it then reaches out to so many back at home as a result! In addition, I have witnessed that the long term workers have an effect beyond the day to day miracles that are achieved. The fact that the ship is in a country, serving the neediest there, and then the healed returning to their communities, combine to result in hope and faith spreading far beyond those patients, to so many more in the country. "Stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in
#9 Nicky on 2012-01-20 20:21
missing from above - not in vain! (From 1Corinthians). looking forward to more miraculous stories.
#10 nicky on 2012-01-21 12:13
Amen, Ali! Rob and I always felt encouraged by the Mercy Teams! It was great to get to know them and see how they just got about the task at hand no matter what it might be.... even sometimes when it wasn't what they expected! We remember a short term UK Rotary team members that came to Blyth in England to get the ship packed up and ready to go in just 4 weeks just after sea trials - they were essential to getting the ship sailing to Africa! We will try to encourage those who would join a Mercy Team in the future! There have been many teams throughout the years and they have all been such a blessing to the mission of Mercy Ships, the people of Africa and to the crew!! Thanks for all you are doing and we send our love to you and Phil!
#11 Denise and Rob Miller (Homepage) on 2012-01-22 18:01
Thanks Ali for posting these encouraging words for short term missions.
#12 Marnie on 2012-01-28 14:58
While it's easy to write a check, a check is distant. The experiences in the Mercy Teams become a part of the volunteers and they in turn become a part of the Africa Mercy.
The Mercy Teams are valuable for more than just their labor. By being hands-on and eyes-on, they increase their commitment to your mission and strenghthen the base of support that you have around the world. They become more than donors, they become missionaries for you.

#13 M. Morgan on 2012-01-29 01:27
Thanks for all the kind words Ali!! We, at Mercy Teams appreciate the shout-out.
#14 Debby Taylor on 2012-04-03 15:56
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