church to church: could this replace short term missions?

i’ve blogged many times about my church’s partnership with a church in haiti, and how it’s impacting both churches. but it would be easy to be skeptical, and to think that a year after this thing began, things would be dying down to a simmer. nothing could be further from the truth. my church has been changed. in addition to the trip where i took our senior pastor (last may), there have now been 5 trips from my church, with at least two more planned for the next few months.

the biggest physical implication has been the launch of a medical clinic in the neighborhood of the haiti church. when my pastor (ed noble) and i first met with pastor edouard last may, he shared the vision of this medical clinic. in fact, he’d been paying a small amount of rent on an empty home for three years, hoping and praying for a day he could serve his community with this clinic. but he’d not had the funds to pull it off, and with the needs brought on by the earthquake, was not going to be able to continue paying the rent on the facility.

but that clinic is open and staffed today, serving the medical needs of that neighborhood, all in the name of jesus.

pastor edouard and a translator (a young pastor from another church) visited our church in san diego a few weeks back, and our church just went nuts. there was so much excitement and thankfulness in the air — so much presence of the holy spirit — as our congregation got to put a real life face to the connection that has been shaping us.

i’m writing this today because an article about our church and this partnership was just published in the la mesa patch, a local online news portal. even though i knew everything the article references, it was so encouraging to read it.

a tease from the article:

Dani-Jo Hill was one of 18 people traveling to Haiti for the latest of five mission trips sponsored by Journey Community Church.

While still in the United States, she met a Haitian and asked him, “What can we do to help?”

He said: “Build relationships and make them last. You can give as much money as you want, but eventually it will run out. Relationships last.”

our high school group will take their first trip there this summer, so this partnership is crossing all age boundaries in the church. in fact, our children had all used “haiti banks” to collect funds for a period of time, and got to open them up and present the funds to pastor edouard when he visited.

this is so much more than a missions trip. a close friend of mine, who leads a short term missions organization, recently said to me off the record: i think this kind of church partnership needs to replace our traditional approach to short term missions.

for more info:
our church “journey in haiti” site
the church to church site of adventures in missions (the organization that facilitates our partnership, and organizes our trips)
an adventures in missions video focusing on my church’s partnership:

6 thoughts on “church to church: could this replace short term missions?”

  1. Marko,

    I could not agree with your friend more. Churches need to partner with churches in other countries. Those churches know what their communities need. Our church has a relationships with churches in Belize (where we built a school last year and in Uganda Africa. In order to promote our missions efforts there we have brought several of the church leadership over to speak to our church. I just think it’s a better way to do mission work.

  2. I agree 100%… our church (www.graceplace.com/haiti) has entered into a partnership with a church in Carrefour, Haiti as well. We’ve sent one team down and another will head there this July.

    This is long-term, sustainable, and allows for relationships to develop and grow. We’re not just throwing money at a “problem,” we’re coming alongside fellow believers and promising to stand with them for the long haul. It’s an awesome way to truly live out the fact that the church is one body with many parts…

    Mike

  3. I LOVE THIS IDEA! – we have something analogis with a more urban church and it’s been great for our church! I hope that this begins to happen easier and more often.

  4. Can i be one of the friends you have in africa? Am born again fellowship in Kagala Pastor paul Musisi s church in Wakiso district in Uganda.Am a minister who ministering in sound. Am someone who love god love to worship him so it will be good to me to have you here in Uganda.

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