Typically, photos that appear as feature images for the blog posts are photos that I’ve taken myself or, when text-based, I created in Photoshop. Today’s photo, however, is different. For today’s photo is actually a combination of two pictures that I put together to make a single shot. This will be the cover image for the new book I’m working on:
Short Term Missions Success:
Defining Moments Toward Long-Term Growth
… but let’s wind the clock back first.
When the boys first began school, back in the fall – indeed when we first started talking about school – one key thing that sold Timo on the idea was that Dominic would always be around… a reassuring presence if you will. This made sense as Dominic was both older and had more French than Timo… he would be necessary in case our youngest found himself in a bind.
This is Timo, last Saturday afternoon exiting a laser-tag place where he attended a birthday party for a friend at school. He is now totally confident to get out, mix & mingle on his own these days. That is huge given that Timo was our “I don’t speak French” kid, upon arrival in 2015.
Sunday afternoon, following church and a function out meeting some neighbours in the community, we took Timo downtown to see a pastry competition that was taking place as one of the final activities in the two week long Jazz Festival. Six young pastry chefs, aged 18-22 had three hours to complete a traditional french pastry specialty on the theme of “Jazz”.
They were creating “Pièces Montées”, made by stacking cream-puffs in different shapes and holding them in place with caramelized sugar that stiffens up when cool.
Timo has an interest in baking and we wouldn’t be surprised if he were to want to follow in that path professionally… remains to be seen!
For as much as it rained last week, we’ve been having a bit of a heat wave this week.
This was the temperature last night at 11:00pm (roughly 82).
If you’re in the north and tempted to think that I’m gloating… remember that the good weather comes with a price… We’ve been mowing grass for weeks!
Short-Term Missions Success
So… here’s what I think will be the cover of the new book. I’m aiming to launch it in July in time for North American Youth Congress in Indianapolis where I’ll be attending with Soph & Dominic (they get to go thanks to the support of the General Youth Division – who pay airfare for missionary kids – and MK Ministries who coordinate all of that).
What’s in a name?
On one hand I hesitated to use the word success in the title because the question arises “How do you measure success in the context of short-term missions (STM)?”
I attempt to answer that in the sub-title… Defining Moments Toward Long-Term Growth; here’s my take…
STM participants are often not on the ground long enough to make lasting overall change in the country of their service. However, they may indeed have a significant impact on particular parts of the process of long term change… mini projects in the grand scheme for example.
“Take for example the H.O.M.E. orphanage in Guatemala, coordinated by Lynne Jewett. STMers come to work on various individual projects within the wider plan but only the long-term missions staff and local staff are there for the duration.”
Each time an individual takes part in an STM project… it has the opportunity of changing them. While some scholars say that such personal change can often fade within months of returning home, that’s not my experience. A long line of STM endeavors over the past 30 years has brought a great deal of positive, lasting change. And I wouldn’t trade it for all the tea in China (as my grandmother used to say).
In a Nutshell….
STM SUCCESS is achieved when we do as much as possible to maximize the chance that positive, lasting change takes place in the life of participants. This requires the participation of the STMers themselves, the sending organization as well as the sending church and supporters.
That’s all I’ll give you for today, but if you know someone that’s involved or wants to be involved in STM endeavours, please tell them about this book keep an eye open for it. It’ll be available on Amazon.
Thanks for being with me again today.
I’m thankful for your visit and for this time together.
Let what you read, inform your prayer for us and for France.
God bless you richly!
Great news on all fronts Mike. Glad to hear everyone is thriving. Those pastries are pretty awesome too. Wishing you much success with your new book. We had a bit of a heatwave here too but it has been raining all day today just when the schoolchildren want to get outside to play!
Thanks Brigid! As I respond to you it’s 11:20pm and still about 27 degrees in the house… I’m from Canada & not used to such temps but we all had a fun game of risk on the patio under the parasol this morning so the heat is a delightfully double-edged sword! 🙂 Is it Mother’s Day in Ireland tomorrow?
I do hope you survive the heat. Mothers Day was 26 April in Ireland. Not sure why it is different around the world. 😊
Same in Canada & Belgium where our moms are… I think France just likes to be the odd man out so to speak. 😉
well good for you! congratulations and best wishes. it is so good to hear your boys are well- I remember praying for them.
That means heaps Michele, thank you. The Lord is good and we’re glad to have reinforcements like you on the team.
Actually, I was thinking of you the other day when I was mowing at the church. We have a big old conifer tree on the grounds, under which there are three well-developed rabbit burrows (we always have rabbits scampering about in the lower field)… But… for the first time… I also saw the most beautiful red fox as well. I knew we had some in the area but had never seen one on the church property before. Here’s hoping Peter Cottontail is wary!