Donor Login spacer divider Translate

Missions 101

A Note from a Missionary

Jun. 17, 2011By: Jeff AtherstoneAuthor Bio

It is not uncommon to be in a group of long-term missionaries and to have the dreaded conversation of short-term visitors pop up… soon a chorus of stories comes from all directions… the story of the visitor with no self-awareness… the story of the visitor who didn’t think they were “good enough missionaries” since they didn’t live in a mud hut… the story of the visitors who ate their whole stash (Starbucks, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc) from their last mail package… and on and on it goes…


Sad but true… I must confess to my own share of ranting and raving about short-termers…


Now at this point the Accountant will need to verify this… but I am not getting paid by TLI to say what I am about to say…


“I love TLI!”


The 2 teams we have received at Gaba Bible Institute have been a breathe of fresh air to this missionary who was ready to pull the plug on short-term trips.


First, they really are providing help that we need. The TLI guys teach our two-week intensive courses giving a much-needed break to our national staff who have just finished teaching a 14-week term. Giving them time to prepare for the next term. The TLI teams also go the extra mile to leave notes and resources behind for our national staff who do not have the research opportunities that the TLI guys do to prepare for these trips.


Second, they bring supplies that we desperately need. The worst thing you can say to a missionary picking you up at the airport is “Look I fit everything into my carry-on so I wouldn’t have to check any luggage!” There are so many things that we can’t get in Uganda… for Gaba Bible Institute specifically we need theological books. Whenever the TLI guys come they stuff their bags with Desiring God resources for the school and our in country partners. What a blessing to our staff and students!


Third, they have realistic expectations for their time in Uganda. After raising funds for months, getting shots and preparing for a trip to Africa many visitors are expecting to get off the plane and instantly see lions and meet Tarzan. The TLI guys come prepared having read two of my favorite books “Serving with Eyes Wide Open” and “When Helping Hurts” which lay a foundation for short-term missions and understanding the needs of developing countries respectively. They also come over with a mentor who has been to Uganda before who can help them prepare for teaching and lay a foundation for what to expect.


For the entire staff of GBI  - TLI is a huge blessing! A big thanks to everyone who has taken part in sending them our way!

Jeff is the Vice-Chancellor of Africa Renewal University. One of the greatest needs in Africa is the training and mentoring of pastors. Before coming to Uganda Jeff served as a Pastor at Cornerstone Community Church of Moorpark and has been involved in pastoral ministry since 1998. Jeff has a Bachelors Degree in Theology and a Masters of Divinity from The Masters College and Seminary. He lives in Uganda with his wife Christine and their two sons Noah and Kadin.

comments powered by Disqus
SubscribeRSS FeedEmail Subscribe
abortion, acts, africa, america, answer to prayer, arcc, asia, atheism, audio, bible, bible study, biblical theology, biography, book review, books, brazil, c.s. lewis, caliphate, calvin, calvinism, cameroon, charity, china, christian, church, church growth, church history, church planting, church polity, confession, conflict, contextualization, corruption, creation, cross, culture, da carson, dead church, death, delight, demonic, dependence, discipleship, doctor, documentary, easter, ebola, ecclesiology, economics, effectiveness, ego, elder, endorsements, ethics, europe, evangelical, evangelicalism, evangelism, evil, faith, faithfulness, false teaching, forgiveness, free books, funny, gaba bible institute, gay marriage, gifts, global christianity, global south, good friday, gospel, graduation, great commission, greece, greek, healing, hermeneutics, history, history of missions, honor, hot topics, humility, humilty, humor, hymn, immigration, incarnational ministry, india, indigenous, infographic, informal education, integrity, interpretation, invitation, isis, islam, jesus, jews, john piper, journal, joy, kenya, latin america, leadership, literacy, love, majority world, map, maps, marriage, martyr, medicine, ministry, ministry of tli, miracles, missiology, mission, missional living, missionaries, missionary, missionary care, missionary kid, missionary training, missions, mission sermons, missions methodology, moms, money, nepal, news, new year, nigeria, orality, parenting, partnership, pastor, pastors, pastor sponsorship, patience, paul, persecution, pictures, pioneer, pioneer missions, politics, poor, pope, post-christian, poverty, practical, prayer, prayer requests, preaching, pride, productivity, prophecy, prosperity gospel, quote, radical, reached, reconciliation, relevance, relief, resources, retirement, revival, romania, sacrifice, salvation, scripture meditation, sending, sermon, serving, shame, shepherd, short-term missions, singing, social action, spiritual life, sports, spurgeon, stat, statistics, stats, stewardship, stm, story, strategic, strategy, suffering, support, support raising, teaching, team, tennent, testimonies, testimony, tgc, thanksgiving, theological education, theological famine, theology, the west, tli, training, transformation, translation, uganda, unreached, update, video, west, western influence, when helping hurts, wisdom, women, worldview, worship, young churches
blog search