We asked Larry and Patty Morehead, former missionaries in Bolivia, to speak a little about their experience on the field, as well as their perspectives on short-term mission trips, how to use diverse talents, and how the Lord played apart in their time in Bolivia. Here are Patty's thoughts.
You have your part in the Great Commission
My name is Patricia (Patty), I was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in the heart of South America.
God has blessed me with an extraordinary husband, Larry, who loves God with all of his heart, all of his mind and all of his will. Not only that, but he serves in missions and is willing to do so for the rest of his life, (something I obviously made sure of before going out with him)!
Together, we served God through Youth With a Mission, serving, discipling and through the power of Jesus Christ, helping to see the lives of kids and teens who are on the streets of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, transformed for almost 10 years. We know that God is preparing us to one day serve Him in other nations as well.
I’ve come to realize that God is not looking for people who are able to pass an extraordinary exam of supernatural ability, or a test proving they have never failed, because I wouldn’t have qualified or passed either. He is only looking for people with obedient hearts, that trust in Him, who are willing to be taught and transformed by Him, trust him with their daily decisions, throughout the frequent character tests along the path of life.
Working as a missionary couple in Bolivia, we received volunteer, short-term mission teams for 7 years. Having all those different groups during this time was something extraordinary. The boys and girls who were ministered to were left with their lives impacted in ways that we could not do. They waited anxiously for teams to arrive and when they left, they would talk all year of them and ask when they would come again.
Short term missions transform the life of the participant as well as the people who receive them. We have been on both sides as we also took teams to 7 different countries.
The missions teams we received encouraged and motivated our team and the kids we ministered to, helped with construction, and took our boys and girls on special retreats. Teams often used music and theater to minister, and would walk in drainage canals and underground tunnels to try and get kids off of the streets.
There was no person, from any of the 25 teams of different countries that we received, that did not have much to give. Each member had special talent given by God who delivered and blessed the people who ministered.
When it was our turn to bring teams to other nations, we discovered that in order to avoid frustrations, those who go must prepare themselves, study the culture of the place where you are going, study the language to have phrases to communicate, be willing to try different foods and pray for a heart willing to give as to receive.
When they asked me if it is better for church to send money or send a team, I would answer that both are important. The money helps to develop specific projects to help the ministry of that country, and sending a team helps the church to have its members find their purpose in the great commission. It benefits the ministries/organizations in doing the local project in a cooperative and obedient way, as well as being globally impacted.
And now, God gives us all the time this great opportunity to be together to extend His Kingdom. Do not wait any longer, sign up for a short team missions, find out where you can get involved, and find your purpose in the great commission.
“Go and make disciples of all nations to the ends of the earth”.
Larry and Patty have devoted so much of their lives to the betterment of others, and are incredibly supportive of those who want to do the same. Look out for future blogs detailing ways to get involved with what’s happening in Bolivia!
Yours in hope,
The Ecclesia Project