Labouring and Listening Together?

As a Christian missionary working in Moldova since 2007, this author has hosted many short-term missions teams. Consulting the missiological literature, it became clear that short-term mission, like Moldova itself, has been neglected by missiologists; and that, just as Moldova is a young country barely out of its teenage years, this is a young discipline also at a significant juncture. The vast majority of literature concerning short-term mission has been written from the perspective of senders/goers whilst the opinions of recipient cultures and host churches have seldom been heard or sought.
This troubling observation led this author to devise a “listening exercise,” based on interviews with 22 Moldovan church leaders experienced in working with foreigners on short-term mission. Whilst this research shows the significance of partnership and cultural sensitivity, good communication in the form of feedback is ultimately regarded as the most important factor, since through this other issues can be addressed.

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