Baar, Corrie L. "Short-Term Student Missions and the Needs of Nationals." Ph. D. diss., Denver
The author interviewed nationals and resident missionaries in Ghana and Rwanda about their opinions of STM
groups that work in those countries.
She also interviewed representatives of five STM-sending organizations (Youth for Christ, Pioneers, Child
Evangelism Fellowship, The Navigators, and Taylor University's Lighthouse program) about the role
of nationals in their plans/vision .
"Yet they [sending organizations] are only one perspective of a multifaceted issue. The assessment of nationals and career missionaries must also be considered." (p. 45).
Most of the 13 national interviewees were positive about
STMs. They said STM participants often
attracted lots of extra attention to local ministries (mostly because of their
novel appearance), and were good construction workers.
However, many also said that they wished STMers spent more
time interacting with nationals instead of with each other; that,
whether positive or negative, a large part of the reason STMers attracted
people to their rallies, Bible studies, was simply their white skin; that
STMers should do construction, not evangelism, because there wasn't enough time
for real evangelism; and that they wished STMers learned more about the host culture ahead of
The 4 missionaries interviewed, and the author, had negative or serious reservations about STMs. They felt STMers tended to be culturally
insensitive and a burden on the missionary.
Of the 5 STM-sending organizations surveyed, the author found that
some focused more on the lives of nationals while others
focused more on the lives of STM participants. All, though,
apparently felt they are doing God's work, since they continue sending
students on STMs.