Guest Blogger: Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

July 18, 2011

Okay, I’m off to Mexico.  During the final week of my absence, I’m still treating you to some exceptional guest bloggers and reposting some of my best content from the last year.  I’ll be tweeting and commenting as I’m able, but will be back full time on the blog July 25th.

I’m really excited about today’s guest.  She’s the whole reason I’m in Mexico today: Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.  Jamie’s a missionary in Costa Rica, and when she broke from her delightfully cynical attitude to feature Seth Barnes, founder of Adventures in Missions, it lit a fire under my butt.

When I asked her to guest post, little did I know that she’d write about how she had been praying for me…to have a disastrous mission trip.  Good ol’ Jamie.

If you don’t read her blog, you either don’t know about it, or you are an idiot.  Sorry, that’s just the way it is.  Here’s Jamie…

I’d Like to See How She Prays for Her Enemies…

Whenever I pray for short-term missionaries, I pray that their trip would be an absolute disaster.

Seriously, I do. I pray that all of their luggage would be lost, their money would be stolen, and, above all, their coordinated team shirts would accidentally catch fire.

I guess it sounds kind of mean when I say it like that, but I honestly think that’s what needs to happen in order for anyone engaged in a short-term missions experience to truly thrive.

It’s just that somewhere along the way, we’ve managed to make short-term missionary teams into something that more resembles tourists on safari.  We’ve given them an unofficial uniform of khaki pants and funny shoes from REI, and goofy matching t-shirts (designed in the hopes that people in the airport will see them and ask them what they’re doing so that they can be “evangelized.”) Then we load them up with supplies and money and luggage and we send them off to bless the crap out of everyone whose paths they cross.

But the best part is when we bring short-term teams to the ghetto. That’s where we put poor people on display, like zoo animals, so that we can marvel at how they live. We snap pictures of their dirt floors and scary outhouses. We mourn their kid’s dirty bare feet and bad teeth, and we delight in helping with their menial tasks. Then we build them a little house or throw a carnival for the kids, or whatever.  All as an opportunity to share the love of Jesus, of course.

Third world countries have been receiving these kinds of teams for many, many years now. And the result is a mutually exploitative relationship between Poverty and the Church. The church exploits the poor for a “feel-good” experience, and the poor exploit the church for material goods and services.

Everybody wins.

Ok. Everybody wins, but Jesus… *sigh*

The thing is, Jesus gave us a model for short-term teams.

He said (and I’m going way beyond paraphrasing here), “Pray and then go. But don’t take a bunch of crap. In fact, don’t take anything…

…Don’t make a spectacle of yourself on the way by stopping everyone in the airport to tell what you’re doing. When you get to where you’re going, stay with one local family and let them meet your needs. Get to know them. Let them feed you and clothe you, and let them give you a place to sleep. And in return for their hospitality, serve them well. Work your ass off so that your stay in their home will be worthwhile.  Oh, and don’t complain about the food, just eat it.”

So, basically, we do it, like, completely opposite of how Jesus did it.

We’ve taken an opportunity to learn to be dependant on God and others and, instead, made poor communities dependant upon us. We’ve taken the chance to become a part of a new family and learn a new culture, and turned that into a creepy 30-minute photo-op.  And where we could be serving under the head of a household (who best knows his own needs), we come marching in with a plan to “help” and the supplies to get it done, and we miss out on the gift of being a “worker worth his wages”.

I dunno.  Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like we’re missing the point with the whole short-term missionary thing.  Ya know?

So that’s why I pray the way I do.  My hope is not that the short-termer would be miserable, but that they would be dependent.  And not that they would be uncomfortable, but that they would be engaged in the culture.  And not that their corny matching t-shirts would be obliterated because they’re just lame, but…ok, yeah, that anyway.

All that to say that I’m praying for you, Matt.

But, don’t be afraid. I’m simply praying that your short-term missions experience will be everything Jesus wanted for it. And that you would return filled with Joy.

Will you join me in praying that Matt’s trip is disastrous in all the right ways?  Have you ever been on a disastrous missions trip, yourself?

59 responses to Guest Blogger: Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

  1. Awesome. Great post and something I’ve felt about short term mission for a long time.

  2. Oh yes, I have done 5 short-term mission trips. First let me say I had no intention of ever leaving the US of A for any reason other then to sit in the sun somewhere nice where they spoke English. Then I went to a meeting with a GASP, a prophet. He spoke planes “flying here and flying there” over me, “a financial plan” (like God wouldn’t ever want us to be blessed right?) and “writing” over me. He had the wrong guy, I was a success in business, was afraid of heights and a white knuckle flyer – oh and failed English 9 out of 12 grades… sure, God, very funny.

    A few months later I met a guy from Brazil on the sidewalk and prayed for him (which I never do cuz I am a sucky evangelist). We became friends, a turn of events allowed me to sell my business for big bucks (with a 6 year payment plan!) and one day I started to write an email devotion and my friend translated it into Portuguese. That opened some doors.

    Two years later I was on my second missions trip – the first was as you say, I took a suitcase and my friend. We went to churches, malls, on the street where all sorts of things happened, healing, salvation demons cast out – and of course ministry to the poor where we could just hang with them. I LOVED IT!

    Trip 2: I got the airport after 24 hours of flying and a non-English speaking guy met me. He handed me his cell phone. It was the interpreter, she couldn’t make it to Londrina! Perfect. I guess this may be a vacation after all.

    I stayed the 2 weeks and learned Portuguese and even preached a sermon in Engl-i-guese. There were a number of healings,and some salvations and God was awesome!

    The third time I went, I was the interpreter for an American team and we saw a lot of wonderful stuff! And the onto Norway and some other places!

    Love the prayers!

  3. I think the biggest component in short term trip for keeping them to become “spectacles” as you said, is having a long term relationship with the people you are serving. If you don’t have a partnership with churches on the ground, it is probably a waste of time and money.

  4. The best short-term mission trips I’ve been on are the ones I’ve “enjoyed myself” the least. I guess I hadn’t thought about that until now, but it seems like the less I “had fun,” the more I actually accomplished – hopefully in the name of the Kingdom and not as another example of this dreaded phenomenon we’re calling “poverty tourism.”

  5. Great post! I agree wholeheartedly with what you say. The only bad thing is that it makes my heart ache a little because I haven’t gone on a mission trip in 11 years. I’ve thought about that 3-week trip to Vanuatu almost every week, if not everyday, since then. Even though I think we did a lot of things right, I can just about guarantee no one there remembers us or what little impact we probably had.

    • Ah but is whether anyone remembers you a good measure of your impact? Nearly everyone is forgotten eventually. The richest people donate hospital wings and libraries to try to make people remember how important they were. But it’s not a real measure of the impact they had. :)

      • Gotta disagree with the library and hospital example. 100 or so years ago, nearly every public library in the right half of the country was bought and paid for by Andrew Carnegie. Prior to that they were mostly private affairs. Public hospitals rely on naming rights to solicit donations from the very wealthy. Both are worthwhile.

  6. Most of our ministry trips have been disasters, in all the right ways. Lost luggage, cancelled flights, serious injuries–including the time my husband was hit by a car going 50 mph (you can read that one in his own words at http://blogs.icta.net/slty/2009/04/10/a-story-worth-re-telling/), you name it, it’s happened to us. And every single time God redeemed the situation and accomplished His goals in ways we could never have imagined.

    I love the ad a short-term ministry ran on their website. They claimed to offer “Fully Planned Mission Trips.” Hah! Maybe God has it fully planned. (http://blogs.icta.net/mom/2011/01/fully-planned/)

    I’ll definitely join you in praying for Matt’s trip!

  7. This was so refreshing, and eye opening and well, convicting. Missions always need to be about God and about the people we’re serving. The type of trip you described is all about being Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Or sometimes we treat missions trips as bootcamp for our rebellious teens so that they come back thankful. Feeling good, being grateful, and having your life altered are all by products of what a missions trip can do, but should never be the purpose. Our purpose is to fulfill the great commission…to be obedient to His call. Bravo…

  8. I just don’t know what I think about this. I see both sides of short term mission. I don’t like the shirts. I know I’d never wear one. :)

  9. I’m glad to have learned that I’m not an idiot (because I knew about you already). But enough about me…

    I like how you throw out some weird idea, like praying for absolute disaster, and then tie it in with something Jesus said (or sort of said). As always, thank you for being blunt. It’s good.

  10. Ah Jamie. You leave me speechless once again and yet I feel compelled to comment because you’re a rock star writer so . . .

    Yeah. What she said.

  11. Never been on an official mission trip but I’m praying like heck for Matt and those with him.

  12. I’ve been on two short term missions in Eastern Europe and both were as guests of local churches.
    First we stayed in a hotel … no restaurant and no kitchen, no water for most of the day, cockroaches everywhere. It was an adventure.

    The best one was the one where we stayed with people in their house. We got to know them and that was awesome, even though our passports were taken in after a week filled with miracles and people giving their life to Jesus.
    We were told to “shut up” or go to jail and our host church was evicted from their building. We had the religious police on our heels all the time, even though it was 1998 and communism was no longer in power.
    Apparently the Ukraine Orthodox Church was not happy with us either.

    After we had left the country the local church told us a few months later they had grown three times and had a new, bigger building.
    It was scary but God blessed it so much! :)

  13. I just responded to this post, then deleted it. TWICE.

    • After futher processing, I decided to post my reply to one of Jamie’s comments on her own blog linking to this one. But I’ll post more here. Bottom line is I agree with what you’re saying, Jamie, but I’m also one who will always encourage missionaries, short- and long-term to follow where God leads them and to listen to what God wants to teach them. I can’t possibly pray for a castastrophe to hit, but I can hope that instead of a missionary to complain about everything that goes wrong (seen that happen) they will learn from every mishap and continue to strive to be the face of Jesus on whatever path they find themselves. I love your passion to change how we see S-T missions, I just hope your approach doesn’t create a trend towards discouraging STM altogether. That would be very sad for those who are getting it right. Thanks for making me think today.

  14. Thank you Jamie. Commenting is so easy when I agree with everything you said. I think that this post is an excellent partner for the picture you painted about missionary tourism over at your place. The first post is really snarky and biting in a “dang that’s good” kind of way. This one redeems the snark a bit. (as if that is necessary…snort)
    Personally I think you should think about penning a NJIMV
    (New Jamie International Missionary Version).

  15. Jamie, I’ll be praying! Awesome guest post. I pretty much I agree with all the above.

  16. I went to San Pedro Sula, Honduras a few months ago. We stayed in a hotel. I called my stm org and said “a hotel!?!?! shouldn’t we be staying in a church basement, or something?” They said
    “1.the churches you are serving don’t have basements. They are made out of cinder blocks and have dirt floors.
    2. The hotel we have chosen has security at the entrances, because San Pedro Sula is one of the most violent cities in Central America.”
    Oh.
    In fact, while we were there, one of the pastors was robbed and murdered the night before one of our teams went to his church. They were met by armed guards at his church.
    I also discoved that ever single place of business had armed guards; from the Wendys w/ a Barney Fife guard and a hand gun; to the gas station w/ a WWW guard and his AK-47
    I never felt safer. Not because of the guards and their guns (I was too astonished for it to register); but because of the peace of God, which guarded my heart and mind. I didn’t even realize it was happening.
    And yet, I never once felt unsafe.

    My trip didn’t suck, sorry Jamie. My trip rocked, Jesus was Glorified.

    Thanks to the world wide web, I get to keep in correspondance with people there, and get to continue ministering.

    Matt, I pray that you would be the hands and feet of Jesus.

  17. Yeah I once wore a bright orange t-shirt along with 100 other high schoolers in South America. It was probably painful to look at. But I agree, Jamie, a lot of times even the bad stuff ends up bringing some sort of benefit. So I will also be asking Jesus to have His way and make His heart known.

  18. love this blog Jamie and love how you point people to Jesus’ model.

  19. I’ll admit, I don’t usually read posts about mission trips or missionaries because,w ell, they are boring.

    This post was not. This post made me think and smile…like most everything you write.

    As a side note, since we are doing this whole thing the opposite of the way Jesus wanted us to, let’s stop calling them “short-term mission trips.” How uninviting, poorly descriptive, and generally lame a title can you get?

    Any suggestions for a new term?

    • i hear ya. I cannot even begin to tell you how difficult it has been to write about this topic repeatedly without boring everyone to death.

    • Intercultural Exchanges. That’s actually what they usually are.

    • Nicole and Jamie . . . I hear you about the term “missionary” and “short term missions.” I think there are so many negative connotations from the term itself and I usually just say we are here working for an NGO or a “Christian Humanitarian Foundation.” Yeah, that sounds just sooo much better, but I don’t know. “Missionary” makes me feel like I should wear koulatts and lead off a conversation with the Romans Road.

  20. You’ve got me rethinking my packing plan for Bolivia, Jamie! Excellent food for thought — I shared this with our team.

  21. That was great Jamie. Definitely made your point well, although I liked the one on your blog just as much.

  22. I see the intention behind this post and I appreciate the heart of its message. I’m going to Bolivia in 2 weeks to serve with World Vision. I’m scared. I’m humbled. I want to do my best for the Lord. I’ll probably be one of those people doing it all the wrong way.

    I wish I could say that this post inspired and encouraged me to do better–but honestly, I feel kinda discouraged. :(

    • Awww. Don’t be discouraged!

      The thing is, I don’t really think you’re going on a traditional short-term missions trip. My understanding (and I could be totally wrong) is that you guys have been commissioned by World Vision as journalists to help tell their story, to encourage sponsorship, and to highlight their presence in Bolivia. There’s value in that – and plenty of opportunity to be a learner and a “worker worth her wages”.

      If you’re feeling apprehensive and humble about it all, you’re probably already on the right track. :)

    • I know what you mean about being a little discouraged. My wife asked me how I had prepared my heart and my conclusion was that I’ve attempted to make myself a blank slate – no expectations, no ego. I’m just going to do what I’m told as hard as I can. That’s all you can do. You’ll do great! Are you going with the World Vision group? I thought I saw your name on the list. I’m envious. :)

      • @Jamie: Thank you for the encouraging words. I’m excited to be on this trip because of the concrete goals and specific ways of helping. My Mommy-heart hopes to bring relief and hope through the gift of child sponsorship. Your prayers for us would be greatly appreciated! :) Thank you.

        @Matt: i LOVE the idea of making myself a blank slate. YES! “Take my life and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to Thee!” Thank you, Matt.

  23. I am sure glad you talked about guest blogging here over on your site or I would’ve missed it. No, wait I wouldn’t’ve because you twittered about it.

    I was like, “Praying that the STMs would lose their clothes and reservations and stuff, wow that’s kinda harsh.” Ok I really didn’t think that, I really though, “Cool! Why haven’t I thought of that? Teach these people from going on poverty tours.” (kinda shows where my heart is, huh? I think I need prayer for that.) But then you bring up Jesus sending the disciples. Strangely I had never made that connection before (kinda like when I was still using dope and would be all tweaked out holding everything in my hands and searching for hours for something that was already in my hands–Obvious).

    So in light of that I really appreciate your paraphrase of the passage (Luke or Mark?) of the sending:

    He said (and I’m going way beyond paraphrasing here), “Pray and then go. But don’t take a bunch of crap. In fact, don’t take anything…

    …Don’t make a spectacle of yourself on the way by stopping everyone in the airport to tell what you’re doing. When you get to where you’re going, stay with one local family and let them meet your needs. Get to know them. Let them feed you and clothe you, and let them give you a place to sleep. And in return for their hospitality, serve them well. Work your ass off so that your stay in their home will be worthwhile. Oh, and don’t complain about the food, just eat it.”

    I can imagine that He would’ve said something quite like this if He had come today.

    Thank you.

  24. Ahaha! That was a funny post. I’m still going on a short term mission soon, and I’m stating in a hotel and will likely wear the matching shirt since we’re required to wear t-shirts and all mine are a little too “fitted” for the dress code. I like the way you think though. Jaime! Please don’t pray for my matching t-shirt to catch fire or I won’t have anything to wear, lol!

  25. I’ve been on 11 short term disastrous missions trips…sometimes the right way, sometimes the wrong way. It’s a trip called the World Race..you travel to 11 countries in 11 months, bringing only what you can carry on your back. and most people (including me) come into the trip to do short term missions the wrong way…like you described. and along the way they get screwed up. its kinda designed for that to happen. its awesome. but i have been that person taking pictures…and then i’ve been that person living with a family under their headship. i agree that the second way is so much better. i pray those ‘mean’ prayers all the time. because i do believe it is exactly what that short term missionary needs.

  26. I totally agree with you Jamie. I went to mexico every year on a short term missions trip through out highschool. The most amazing experiences came when our own agenda ran out and we ended up sitting around with locals.

    When we go to a culture that is relation and serve with materialism not much gets accomplished.

    (ok so I am going to link you to my blog now were I wrote the rest of my response) http://www.lovingyouliz.blogspot.com

    By the way if you don’t follow Jamie you should. She is real. And we should like real people.

  27. Jamie – I had a “disastrous” trip one time. We led a group to Guatemala. It rained – I mean RAINED – like monsoon rain. There was a swine flu outbreak and we had REALLY difficult team members. We saw and did things we never expected. So our plans were wrecked but Jesus has a different plan – which wrecked our lives. A year later we moved to GUatemala and now we are trying to figure out how to use teams in a “messed-up, wrecked” kind of way, while we love and serve the families around us.

  28. I am super glad you didn’t say “Short term missions suck because we become professional Christian Tourists and therefore we should stop doing it and that is the end of it.” Instead you gave us an alternative to do them a different way.

    I have heard the argument that short term missions may hurt the cultures more than they help them so lets just stay home and watch reality TV instead.

    I don’t like that argument.I think that short term missions can be very beneficial for all, if done in the right way. Going on short term missions when I was younger every year was the highlight of my High School career. (We probably did them the “wrong” way, and yet God still moved in amazing ways.)I fell in love with new cultures, with the people, and I was able to see how people live so differently than me. But it wasn’t just a gaping “ohmyGodtheyaresopoor…” It was a “ohmyGodtheyaresopoor and yet they seem more content then many Americans I know.

    All to say that if I had not had short term missions in my life, I would not now live a life where I want to learn from the poor and to see Jesus in them. I want to fight to see people who need justice to have justice. I want to give money into organizations that are doing things to fight injustice. And now, I am looking into being a full time missionary living “incarnationally” among the poor. None of that would have come if I hadn’t worn a stupid shirt and passed out tracks 15 years ago. But I agree with Jamie; let’s still go on these trips, but let’s be smart about what we give to the communities and opening our hearts to what they can give to us.

    I recently worked with an organization that moves into poor communities and has the attitude Jamie talks about here- letting them serve us and treating them as equals- as neighbors. One day I thought to myself “but what about Jesus washing His disciples’ feet? Aren’t I supposed to serve?” And yes, I am supposed to serve at times. But it struck me all of the sudden- why do I automatically assume that I am parallel to the Jesus in the story who washes the feet and the poor are the ones whose feet I am washing?

    Maybe sometimes they are the Jesus in the story and I am the one who has a bunch of proverbial selfish sludge on my feet that needs to be washed off. Maybe I need to look at the less fortuante as equals that I can learn from rather than people I should have pity on. Maybe I see a bit of Jesus heart that only they have when I laugh with them and eat with them rather than staying on the other side of the bread line.

    The almost 2000 verses in the bible that talk about loving the poor and loving them well and being loved by them suggest that this might be a pretty important topic. Thanks for talking about it.

  29. Jamie, you know your craft. Good job. I went to Venezuela by myself for five weeks in an orphanage without English speakers. You’d better believe that experience taught me a lot about life (and Spanish – by God’s grace, I speak conversationally fluent Spanish eleven years later, thanks to those kids). http://www.boundless.org/2000/departments/head_and_heart/a0000345.html

  30. When I went to San Pedro Sula, I wore the t-shirt. With p.r.i.d.e.!!! My org gives me one every year; so I wore a different one every day. And guess what, the Honduran pastors wore theirs too.
    My org also told us not to wear anything that we didn’t want to get filty, and I’m not a huge t-shirt fan, so it worked for me. I think it was also a safety factor. The gangs of S.P.S leave those ‘Jesus People” alone. The org gave us one to wear the day we left, telling us it helps w/ customs when they know we all belong together. There were no instructions to ‘Jesus smack’ anyone on the plane.

    The irony of your ‘don’t take pictures’ comments are that the Hondurans were CONSTANTLY taking pictures of US! And videos.

    Plus, I ate their food, while silently praying that Jesus would save me from gastrointestinal distress. Jesus DID. HA! I did not have a disaterous trip spent in the bathroom.

    I would like to testify that the trip can be meaningful and God honoring without being a disaster.

  31. I just wanted to say that I thought your intention and ideal for this post is excellent and I couldn’t agree more, but it was severly marred with a few choice words that were totally unecessary, and in fact, became blaspemous when put in Jesus mouth.

  32. I went with a team to Morocco in 2005. The church through which we went had (until Morocco kicked every non-Moroccan out of the country) a full-time missionary family and some friends with whom all teams stayed. This family shared a home with a local family, therefore, we stayed with locals and some who could translate both ways.

    We were told to pack no more than four or five sets of clothes, work shoes, non-work shoes (because it would be muddy), and our traveling papers. There were no matching shirts or anything! The focus was the people. It was the most amazing trip I have ever done, because the missions director told us we were following Jesus’ example (as you explained quite well, I must say!) and living out Isaiah 58 (The True Fast).

    Amazingly, the only luggage lost was on the way home and contained only some souvenirs! The way I see it, you truly know what you are saying, Jamie! God bless! Do good, Matt! (As in good works by the power of God!)

  33. Keep up the great writing and the great ideas.

  34. One time I went on a stm, got the runs and totally shit out a bunch of blood. It was an experience I will never forget nor would I want to.

    • Wow. Great story, Nate. What was the point of it?

      • It made me let go of my securities, and was humbling. I’ve always felt kinda invincible in the states. If I were to get sick like that over here, I’d just go to the ER and they’d fix me right up. Not really an option in the Philippines. It also taught me to fear God, yet fall more in love with him if that makes any sense. “He is not safe, but he is good,” sorta thing. I thought I was gonna die (ya know, crapping out blood for days on end and all…) but I got some antibiotics from one of the guys on the trip and when we got stateside, the doctors couldn’t even find anything wrong. They ended up coming to the conclusion that it was just a bad case of travelers diarrhea; though for years to follow I always kinda thought that there may still some sort of parasite living in my intestines. GOOD EXPERIENCE! :)

  35. Makes me wonder what ‘short term’ is. I remember when we first went to Nepal as missionaries in 1984, anyone doing one term of three years was regarded as short term, and somehow not really committed! (we ended up staying for 16 years).

    I agree with some of the sentiments, but the world has changed in so many ways. Time is short. Everything happens in blocks of minutes, not days or weeks or months. Why not mission? I don’t think it’s the time that’s the issue, but the attitude.

  36. I know it is October, but I just came across this and thought I’d put my 2 cents in–I don’ t have much time for writing like this. It is cynical and border line mean spirited. And, I’m not impressed by her hip use of words like ‘ass’ and ‘crap’. Gee! I said ass! That must make me in touch with the younger generation! It’s lame. Rather than offering a sincere critique and thoughtful alternatives, this blog comes off as a cheap shot against the sincere and spirit led efforts of thousands of believers around the world who engage in well planned short term mission trips (such as ours). She paints a caricature of ill-motivated ‘poverty tourists’ that is not at all representative of the vast majority of people who sacrifice time and money (and even potentially their own safety) to go to people and show them the love of Christ. I count this writer among the many who satisfy their need for self-importance by standing on the sidelines and taking cheap shots at those who are actually doing the work.

    • How is she standing on the sidelines…from her missionary post in Costa Rica? Also, you say her opinions are not representative of “the vast majority” of mission goers. How do you know? Right now, it’s just your word against hers. Thanks for the comments; I urge you to clarify.

      • I would definitely say this approach to praying for short term missions is very discouraging and disrespectful; and more importantly, not glorifying to God–and it is certainly not Christ-like in wording. If the vast majority of Christian missionaries have truly accepted Christ into their hearts, then the vast majority of these missionaries should be Christ-like in there motivations for doing the work that they do. Jamie is assuming quite a lot by saying anyone involved with missions should experience certain hardships in order to be effective and affected! With the Spirit of Christ living inside us, and renewing our minds daily with His Word as we build our relationship with Him; our behavior, actions, thoughts and words should become more Christ-like. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” Key is GENTLENESS and RESPECT. Christ has a humble spirit, and we are to let His spirit shine through us for others to see…we should be striving to embody those Fruits of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians 5:22. We should not be boisterous or obnoxious in sharing our faith (ie: ASS or CRAP–I’m pretty sure Christ would not speak to others that way!), but always be ready to speak gently and respectfully which is how the Great Commission should be presented.

        Jamie says, “Seriously, I do. I pray that all of their luggage would be lost, their money would be stolen, and, above all, their coordinated team shirts would accidentally catch fire. I guess it sounds kind of mean when I say it like that, but I honestly think that’s what needs to happen in order for anyone engaged in a short-term missions experience to truly thrive.” And she is right–it does sound mean-spirited; but she is very wrong about what needs to happen to anyone working in missions in order to “truly thrive”! We are supposed to be lifting each other up and encouraging each other and not in a mean way! I’m sure her heart is in the right place, but her method is way off!

  37. Jamie, Maybe it’s a generational thing. To quote you “nah”. I’m sure Jesus is working on your heart through these cynical and sarcastic ‘prayers’. I’m sure God has it all in control and only HE is to judge the motives of their hearts (even down to the many other reasons for the t-shirts). “Ya know”? What I pray is that you spiritually have your mouth washed out with soap and stop putting things in print that dishonor the Lord (*rap…as*). With the overt spelling mistakes (it’s dependent…with 3 e’s and no a);poor grammar and negative spirit, I am going to pray God’s will over you…because my ‘wish’ would be to have this entire blog erased as biased, poisonous, mean spirited and mis-informed.Guess according to Matt that makes me an “idiot” Too bad I won’t live long enough to see you both mature and apologize for this so called blog.

    • I never called you an idiot. Thanks for putting words in my mouth. I don’t think you’re an idiot but I do think you are way too sensitive to the actions and spelling of others. Lots of Christians are encouraged by Jamie’s blog. If you aren’t, don’t read it. Your wish will never come true, so don’t waste your time. Finally, I encourage you to read my post, “A Really @$*% Good Blog Post” for my thoughts on the real meaning of “bad” language. It’s way bigger and more offensive to God than your definition.