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…
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.