Human nature longs to be remembered – we all want to do something which matters – to leave behind a legacy – we want to be needed, to be important. Or is it just me…? We are surrounded by models of “great” individuals who made a difference on society; Isaac Watts, the Wright brothers, Einstein, John Newton, Martin Luther King Jr, even in the Bible we read the “hall of fame” in Hebrews 11.
Maybe you’re considering taking part in a STM. Perhaps you’re asking yourself this question: “Can I really make a difference by spending 9 days a year on outreach?”
The answer? No.
What about 9 weeks? 9 years?
Thankfully for me, as coordinator of Short-Term Mission (STM) for OM France, the point is not whether “I” can make a difference at all, but more about the difference that GOD makes! One of the things I long for is to see evidence of God at work through what I do – of course I want to be useful! I want my life to count eternally! So that at the end of my days I hear those precious words from Matthew 25:21 “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Short-term mission, long-term impact
One of my passions, after God and my family, is to see churches in France mobilised through STM to reach out to their communities and tell those that don’t know God the exciting truth that He loves them so much… I love to see the difference God makes in the lives of those involved in STM. Occasionally we see a non-believer turn to Christ, and when that happens, we rejoice! What’s more likely is to see God stirring the hearts of those who already know Him: to see different churches united in evangelising their towns; youth group energy ignited to put on a kids’ club; a long-haired teen touched to the core by the joyful smile of a special needs child he’s been playing with; others stirred to action when confronted with the realities of poverty. Each one responding in obedience to God’s unique call on their life – a call to be part of the difference He wants to make in our towns, in our churches and in our lives – all for His glory!
“Before, I was quite far from God. This week has brought me closer to Him, He’s opened my eyes”. Micaël, participant in a STM
So let’s leave behind a lasting legacy, in obedience to God’s call on our life – to quote OM’s slogan “Pray, give, go” – and make a difference!