LOL! I LOVE John Crist. You know, what I really don’t like is the relatively new phenomenon of the “youth mission trip,” which is basically VBS for teenagers. They spend a truckload of money on airfare so teenagers can gawk at poor people, take selfies, and maybe haphazardly hammer together a few outhouses. (And, of course, go sightseeing.) And then they put on a show for the church. How entertaining! It would be better to hire the locals to do any construction (locals are often desperate for work) and then spend the money on hardworking professional missionaries such as your parents, letting them come home more often to recharge their batteries.
Good point. Steve Saint (son of Nate Saint, who was killed by the Aucas) has a hard hitting missions film series on that. He grew up with the Aucas and tells it from their perspective. He also interviews Native Americans and Africans–very much in favor of the gospel, but as one African pastor says, “those teens come for 2 weeks to save us. God, save us from the teen missionaries,” or something like that. It actually inoculates us against the gospel when we think we can go to others who are spiritually richer than we are and spend the money on ourselves. Our missions committee watched Steve Saint’s videos together–very convicting. Thanks.
I have a ton to learn, still. I think I was hitching a ride on the backs of many Nigerien and other giants by being out there as a child and teen. I have a lot to learn from the nationals and the missionaries.
I remember one child who had cerebral malaria and never was the same after that. Another died of meningitis at about 4. (actually, Dr Jane Philpott’s daughter-current minister of health in Canada). I admire Dr Philpott and the others significantly.https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/jane-philpott-knows-the-sacrifices-of-public-service/article29389860/
I like John Crist too. I only found out about him recently.
Having said what I said about short term missionaries, they are the faltering steps of us Americans and developed country folks trying to step outside our comfort zones. The trip itself can be damaging to both us and the nationals we “serve.” However, maybe we can learn, too, from our mistakes. It’s easy to insulate ourselves by staying here, too, and saying “let them eat cake” by applying our standards to others.
You are probably more aware of the great need overseas than many; and I’ve been guilty of spending money here that should have gone overseas to the poor. But without being overseas, how do we really realize the need? Difficult one.
There are certainly short term trips done poorly and kids on well-done trips who are too immature to benefit from them. But the exposure to global needs and cross-cultural issues that short term mission trips can provide when they are done well often impact people for life, even though they are often a hassle for local missionaries and may only be marginally beneficial to locals.
Some of the people most invested in our “career” missionary work are motivated in their generosity because of their experience on short-term trips. And many of the people I work with who are career missionaries would point back to short term trips as young people as what opened the door and put them on the path to a life-long commitment. These trips can serve a purpose in the funding/sending system we have created, for better or worse. And honestly, the friends and relatives who pay for their airfare aren’t going to send that $50 they donated to help pay locals in Malawi to build a well in any scenario. They are going to spend it on things they don’t need like a few more lattes at Starbucks or some new throw pillows they saw on sale.
I always encourage young people to consider doing an internship with a missionary instead of a short-term trip though. It’s a more realistic taste of missions work and it helps avoid some of the more obvious negatives of short term youth group trips. Speaking of which, if anyone knows a young person with basic video production or video editing skills, social media savvy, or aptitude for app building who wants to come hang out with us in southern Mexico for a month or so, have them get in touch with me.
Very good. You are right. Thanks.
I think that you said you care for your elderly parents. I think that people like you and those who care for children and others, the least of these, especially without apparent thanks or appreciation, are among those who are the heroes, and true missionaries too. They are the last who will be first. Thanks for being good role models. C S Lewis talked about that in his heavenly vision in The Great Divorce.
Internships with a missionary are a great idea. Youth retreats are a great idea. I still have doubts about the youth mission trip. When I was part of an Evangelical church, it had a long relationship with an excellent missionary. Well, they decided to let him go for no good reason. What happened next? They started to have youth mission trips. And I don’t think these kids should be doing construction work, especially after learning about assassin bugs.
Besides, people used to become missionaries all the time without such trips.
I have mixed feelings on youth mission trips, but think there is some balance. I have come to see them not as particularly beneficial as evangelical outreach, but as educational experiences for youth who often have no idea how the rest of the world lives. Certainly, you need leadership that keeps things on track. I have heard it expressed that a youth mission trip should give as much monetary support to the local mission as they spend on the trip, which seems a good rule, but hard to accomplish, with air fare and such.
That was fantastic! I actually felt bad for the guys at the end, but I’m over it now.
I just learned about him today! Just found my next YouTube rabbit hole!
You should like his facebook page. I think he’s hysterical! Here’s more about him:
Thanks guys. I had about exhausted Tim Hawkins, who I also love.
More John Crist!
oh, that was a great one. I’ve seen and played that over and over in the past. thanks for sharing that one.
You should check out Nate Bargatze. He was on one of the episodes of Netflix “The Standups.” It’s not “Christian” comedy, but he grew up SBC and it’s pretty clean.
@beaglelady My all-time favorite John Crist is the Christian Mingle Inspector. Does not get old.
I really believe everyone needs to laugh more, so my husband and I try to watch at least one funny thing before bed. My kids are big into Studio C, which was a sketch comedy group that formed at BYU. Some of them are pretty hilarious. In honor of World Cup, everyone should watch Scott Sterling. It is delightful impersonation of British football announcers.
Thanks for sending our family down that youtube hole!
Must be a lot of inside jokes. That and the dialect kept me wondering.