Even though we're technically a short term missions agency, we like to think that the potential impact can be described as anything but "short".
When groups come to Philadelphia, they're not just visiting. Nor are they the sole force in healing brokenness here. Below is an excerpt from a blog by Craig Greenfeled that outlines the impacts we hope a group will be open to. Not only them, but I experience these insights, re-orientings, and discoveries frequently through the seasons of my life.
I'll leave you with his words...
1. Vision (or Exposure) Trips - a focused intentional time where we ask God to open our hearts to the plight of the poor. What the eye has not seen the heart cannot grieve over. So, it's natural that when people find themselves face to face with poverty for the first time, something significant happens. The rest of our lives are irrevocably shaped by what we have witnessed. We gain Vision.
2. Learning Exchanges - a time when our theology and understanding of the world is rocked to the core and deconstructed. When we travel as learners, eager to have our minds expanded and preconceptions challenged, we will not be disappointed.
3. Discernment Retreats - where we discern our vocation more deeply on the margins. To pursue a vocation in any field without the perspective of the world's poor - where God's heart and good news is centered, is folly. How can we be a banker for God, if we don’t know how the financial services industry affects the poor? How can we be an architect or planner for God, if we don’t know how the design of cities affects the homeless? How can we be a teacher, if we don’t bring the reality of the world's poorest to our students?
- Nicole Engelhardt, CSM Philadelphia Associate City Director