Our son is enthused about participating in a mission project this coming summer with some other young people from our church. It's in another country that's supposed to be fairly safe, but do projects like this really do any good? They'll only be there two weeks.


I hope you’ll encourage your son and support him in this endeavor. After all, God has apparently opened the door for him to be part of this project, and you should be grateful that he wants to be involved.

Do short-term mission projects like this do any good? Yes, they certainly do. For one thing, they can be a great source of encouragement to the people being served. The churches in that country (which you name elsewhere in your letter) are mostly small and struggling, and they’ll be greatly encouraged to meet committed young believers from another country. They’ll also profit from their practical help because their country is very poor and they have few resources.

But projects like this also can have a great spiritual impact on those who participate in them. Most have never been in a poor nation; most also have never realized the challenges that Christians face in places like this. They also may never have realized what God wants to do in the world — and how He can use them to do it. Jesus said, “Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35).

Pray not only that God will keep your son safe, but also that He’ll use this experience to help your son see the world the way God sees it. The greatest thing we can do for our children is encourage them to give themselves to Christ and seek His will for their lives.