The Cost of Short Term Missions

September 30, 2011

Many of you probably know someone who has gone on a short-term mission trip to a foreign country – perhaps through a church group or university, perhaps through some sort of international charitable organization. They go with the hope of “doing good in the world,” “serving others,” “making a difference.” But do these trips do any real good? Couldn’t the money which these visitors spend on aifare, accomodation and food in the host country do more good if invested directly into the communities which these visitors purport to “serve?” In the article that follows, Jo Ann van Engen astutely observes that these short-term mission trips often do much more harm than good:


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