The Power of Short-Term Missions
“Since I was 10, I have wanted to be a missionary nurse,” Karina shared with me. “I chose nursing because I love helping people. Nursing gives me countless opportunities to provide help and hope at times when people are most vulnerable. Prior to coming to Thailand, I spent three years in intensive-care nursing. God blessed my work, and I was able to pay off my loans. This nursing experience gave me the background to transition into mission work. I discovered AFM’s website and applied for a nursing position in the Philippines. God modified my plans and brought me instead to Thailand to lead in health outreach.
“Now I am focusing on establishing relationships by showing people my genuine interest in them. As I do this, I am ever alert to opportunities to share and educate about health. Our team is developing programs and training based on simple principles that local people can use to run health expos and to provide practical help to others. In this way, Thai believers can catch a vision of how they can be involved in witnessing and spreading the health message in their daily lives and work.
“When I first came to Thailand, I was struggling. One Sabbath, we went on a church campout. Four people were baptized that day. One was an older woman with severe scoliosis. When she came up out of the water, I saw the profound joy on her face that comes from love for Jesus and hope in Him. In that moment, the Holy Spirit called me to take this vision of joy and share it with the millions of Thai people who know nothing of Jesus. The cross I was bearing became insignificant in the light of the eternal joy Christ wants me to share.
“I am deeply inspired by the faces of people when they first realize that God really loves them. I love giving Bible studies and seeing people respond to the word of God. Connecting with people by cooking a meal and sharing it with them brings me real joy.
“During my psychiatric clinical rotation in nursing school, I was challenged and inspired by the long-term potential for impacting the lives of children by addressing the whole family dynamic. Eventually I would like to be a counselor for at-risk children or youth. I want to do counseling with a spiritual focus because God’s love transforms people and gives them the ability to experience true joy and success in life. I pray for God’s continual guidance as I move toward this professional goal.”
Karina Brinckhaus is just one example of student and short-term missionaries who are serving with passion and commitment around the world. Because of her willing spirit, she is incredibly blessed in her ministry as God uses her as His messenger and agent of love.
You can have the same privilege simply by setting aside your agenda and opening your life to the incredible opportunities the Holy Spirit will give you. Will you join Karina by responding to God’s call? “Here am I. Send me!” (Isa. 6:8).