It took me a second to remember what we actually did today and I don’t know what that means. Today seemed extremely long, and I’m not sure why. It might be because we started working at like nine and didn’t eat lunch till like two. Today was one of those really productive days but we really didn’t see the fruits of our labor. What I mean by this is we were doing a lot of early phase remodeling at the amazing 18 room house that Amber and her ministry are buying. Basically, we did a lot of demolition stuff and some painting. The work we were doing was essential but without some foresight and vision of the end result, it is difficult to be encouraged by tearing out a ceiling and making a total mess. Everyone seemed to have a positive attitude though and I didn’t really hear anyone complain.
The work we did on the house got me thinking about the value of short term missions work. At times, I get discouraged, only being in Honduras for a short week. If there’s one thing I’ve realized in ministering to others it is the importance of building relationships. This is why I am so encouraged with the ministries that we have been working with thus far. They have developed relationships with the people they are working with. I can sense the friendship and trust that has been established over time. It is amazing. But then I relate this to my experience on short term trips. There is just not enough time to build these types of relationships with the people we come into contact with. I’m a very relational person, so it is tough for me.
But what is the proper role of a short term missions work? I think today was a great example of how short term missions can have a long term impact. Without the work that our group did today, or the work that future groups will be doing, it would be nearly impossible for Amber and her interns to finish that house. We essentially were there to do the grunt work. It may be not as fulfilling as being one of the actual teachers who will eventually help educate various individuals who have no other opportunity for an education. This does not mean that doing the grunt work is less valuable than being a teacher. All work is God’s work. I feel encouraged to know that I helped paint a room that may be a future class room where students can get the proper education that they need to do something great with their lives. I think that’s pretty cool.