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Jovanie Smith | Short Term Missions

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
August 1, 2021 1:08 am

Jovanie Smith | Short Term Missions

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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August 1, 2021 1:08 am

In this episode, Lt. Colonel Karol Seiler is joined by former Young Adult and Mission Deployment Coordinator, Jovanie Smith. In this conversation, these two discuss the benefits and possible pitfalls of short-term missions.


Series: SENT

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Words of Life
Salvation Army
In Touch
Charles Stanley
Words of Life
Salvation Army
Words of Life
Salvation Army

Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life and sends gladly care you all know all my survey know my way. Pay Chad for care. All the names you welcome back towards life. Embry Dake and today we are joined by Lieut. Col. Carol Siler, welcome back. Thank you and who are you, Cheryl Gillam, so I am God. Methane men were nearing the end of our seven-week series on missions. If you've missed any episodes. Be sure to subscribe words of life on your favorite podcast store or visit Salvation Army sound in this episode Carol was joined by Giovanni Smith. There is I actually call her JoJo to discuss short-term missions and at that time in the conversation. Giovanni was our young adult admissions deployment coordinator for the Salvation Army Southern territory and she had great insight into the benefits and possible pitfalls of short-term missions right. Giovanni worked for several years, organizing short-term mission trips for our young adults in the USA and abroad, and in addition to coordinating the trip she was involved in training the young adults and then debriefing them when they returned to introduce or sound intelligent little bit about what she does well hello everyone my name is Giovanni's a lot of people know me as Jojo. I currently work in the department as the territory of adult admission deployment coordinator I just tell people I just love young adults love advocating for them and also do mission trips and provide opportunities for young adults, and policies on mission trips will not shallow what I did. The long title tell us a little bit about some of the mission trips that you have coordinated so we have a program salvationist service Corps that happens every year during the summer and sometimes in the spring and winter for our one week trips so we said students, young adults, college students age 18 to 25 all over overseas or in states that we have send them far and wide little bit over to Fiji as close to sending them to Mississippi and they get a chance to work with Salvation Army's and other officers and partner up with the ministries there for your summer ministries. How many weeks are those so for some of those are six weeks so we usually divide our teams. We usually have between 45 team and they are made up between our biggest one is probably seven are our last team would be about 4545 member team and do they have any kind of training before they go yes so each applicant.

Once they are chosen they go through leadership orientation if they are chosen as a leader and that goes through what leadership looks like conflict, team management how to handle finances. We also have the rest of the members that come from T for team orientation. We get into spiritual formation.

What is it look like to spend time and listen to God and the cons in the aspect of missions and of course you're dealing with 18 to 25-year-old a lot of different personalities. Of course conflict come and go. There is a lot of stress. There's a lot of tension so understanding cultural awareness, understanding, team dynamics, conflict, how to handle that. How to handle stress, how to handle emergencies, how to not cuss your team member out because you're having a bad day, but learning how to communicate effectively. What are some of the benefits that you see. For those who are participating in a mission team. So let me start with the short-term want and I'll do the long term, far short short-term mission trips. I think the benefit is that we have a long-lasting relationship from our locations. Usually, the short-term mission trips are places that we've gone to every single year. There is a partnership with the Salvation Army. There is a connection with the local leaders in the location that we go to for our students that come through a one-week mission trip they are getting just a taste of what it looks like to serve what it looks like to be intentional. They get an idea of thriving in kind of building team dynamic. Now our summer long term mission trips you say the benefit of that is really shaping who they are shaping who they are, not only within themselves. What what they want for themselves but also who they are in Christ. There is a deeper connection to the Lord is a deep, deeper connection to one another.

I could even talk on my own personal experience and some of my experiences with SSC. I've had very life-changing experiences I have at my leisure. I feel like I became a better leader through SSC.

I became very aware of how I communicate how I share my thoughts.

You have a lot of people that served under exhalation service Corps that discover their calling. That's one who have gone to be Salvation Army officers. There are some that have specifically went to a location and that connected to their career. So there are some people who after salvationist service Corps decided to be social workers. They decide to be teachers, they decided to go into missions. One of my team members. My second year of salvationist service Corps. She decided to move to New Zealand right after healthy and she said you know she felt like the Lord really affirmed her to serve overseas and for long-term associate at she she I think she just moved back to the states, but she has been there since 2014 2013 2014 and it's it's amazing SOI. I think it's it's beautiful because I think SSC allows people to kinda dream big and see where they want to be in life.

Where do they want to go where is God taking them. Seeing that makes my heart happy and I know that they are walking in the plan that God has to one of the concerns that people have voiced about short-term missions is that they can do more harm than good times.

Perhaps the it's the way that the that the team or the individual carries out the responsibilities on the mission team. Or maybe it's just the fact that we are in and out so quickly. What you see as possibly some of the short some of the harm that a short-term mission could cause I think some of the things I think about is one we could get into a Savior mentality we get into the get go to the place and belike here we are here for a week. Tell us what to do. We got it for you and work out the second thing I would say would cause harm because it's a short-term mission. We immediately become disconnected from the beginning. We know that were going to be were coming in on a Sunday and were going to be out on a Friday. There's no need for us to connect with people. There's no need for us to even put energy into it.

It's my spring break I wanted I needed a sign off for my internship I needed you not want to go somewhere hot. There I think that that could be at heart when we are immediately disconnected from the community that we are serving. I think the third harm could be. We wanted Instagram or social media reach reality. We want to show people what they want to see and so taking pictures and being in front of a beautiful palm tree or just putting your location. Like Locke, I'm serving in California on serve in the Caribbean, but we we take that and we try to create this narrative that we want people to see and I think sometimes we could do more harm to the people around us we could treat a short-term mission trip as a vacation I've ever heard the term vacation. Mary yeah yeah that is that it is a or violent doll and tourism. Yeah another danger that people will not only that we go with that attitude, but that people will perceive that yeah so how do we avoid causing harm. So the first one is say we need to pick a location whether it's at home or overseas that we want to do life we want to walk alongside with that.

We want to stay committed to. I think that's what we need to do. We need to literally be connected to the hip to the people we are walking alongside with admissions number two. There needs to be a long-lasting computer communication that is long-lasting. People should not be hearing from us when it's time for us to come over for mission trips, we should not just be calm them like it's March.

We want to come in April or May always be staying in related communication with those who we we work with. We want to give update site hey how's everything going. How can we, how can we support, how can we pray we have some youth events coming up next year and you counseled what can we start doing to uplift you all that's how short-term mission trips continue to be long-lasting. We can't continue to look at it from the lens of vacation so another criticism that we hear from time to time is that the money that is spent on a short-term mission might be better spent if we just gave it directly to the mission.

For instance, it might cost $45,000 per person to send a team of 10 yeah so that money could that money be better used if we just donated directly to the place that we would be going there so many ways that we can we can look at this.

It could, but I really feel like you're also choosing to invest in those who choose to go on these trips to choose to go on mission trips. If I if you note. For example, for me. I started off going to SSC and now I'm the territory little coordinator who is investing in other young adults and college students.

I'm a lifelong salvationist.

I've been in my position for almost 6 years and and that's because my division at the time invested in me.

They believed in me. They they prayed and they walked me through so many seasons in my life and so sometimes just think about that sometimes just like you are choosing to invest in the young adult or that specific college student who's choosing to trust God in their next steps Giovanni, it's been exciting to hear all about what you been doing, and there may be people who been interested in learning more about you are following what you're up to you if you want to do that lesson. I have my own podcast is called a cuppa Joe podcast. You can find me on iTunes modifying my podcasts. I did pretty much talk about anything and everything and share the grandiose of who I am mission on his mission doing the most good means helping people with material will be to become a part of this mission every time you give to this operation Army, visit changements to offer your support and love to hear from you.

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