You may not be familiar with the concept of “mid-term missions.” It’s pretty simple, though. Think of it as longer than a typical mission trip, but not exactly a one-way ticket either. A typical mid-term trip usually falls somewhere between two months and two years. Before you dismiss this seemingly unfeasible leave of absence, let me urge you to consider a few of its merits:
Benefits of Mid-Term Missions
On a short-term trip, local partners rearrange their normal schedule to accommodate your group and make the most of your limited time. On a mid-term trip, you are forced to come alongside them in their already-existing daily routine. This enables you to identify ways to serve them that they may not even see themselves.
While going mid-term certainly doesn’t come without challenges, it can also be uniquely rewarding. It’s difficult because it brings you well out of the proverbial honeymoon stage. When you’re two months in and you’re homesick and you’re tired of rice and beans and the once glamorous cultural differences start to annoy you… then you really have to count the cost and keep your eyes fixed on Christ.
But with such trials comes the potential for great reward. For when you come to the end of yourself, you’re forced to either actively depend on Jesus or give up. If you endure, you might find that Christ catapults your walk with him to new heights. On top of this personal reward, the longer you stay, the more potential influence you can have in the lives of others there, and the more time you have to see some of that ministry come to fruition.
Perhaps you’ve been on a short-term trip and are now considering full-time, long-term missions. By first going on a mid-term trip, you may get a better idea for how to prepare for the challenges of an indefinite cross-cultural move.
A Worthwhile Trip
For many, there are some great natural breaks that allow you to easily go mid-term. Think gap years before or after college, full summers between school, studying abroad, international internships, etc. But even if you’ve passed most of these common opportunities, say, with a full-time job and a family, don’t count yourself out for mid-term; it may be just what the Lord is calling you to do. Even at great cost – or might we say, especially at great cost – going mid-term could be one of the most worthwhile trips you ever take.