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Nah, John S.  Rethinking Short-Term Missions Paradigm.  Pasadena, CA:  Fuller Theological Seminary, 2000.  (Dissertation).


Case study of Del Cordero Mission Agency, a Korean American Christian group that sends short-term missions to Oaxaca and Baja California, Mexico.  No scientific study or survey, but does describe some interesting aspects of Del Cordero's short-term trips:

a)      Live-In Approach:  All participants are encouraged to get to personally know one specific Mexican person (Del Cordero  calls this "Amor una persona"), and to sleep at least one night at the home of a national.  -pp.166-67

"Before a missionary can preach what may merely be perceived as their own brand of morality, it is important that they first take time to listen to the stories that their audience has to tell of where their walk in life has carried them.  This cannot be done without living with the people." -p. 167

b)      Beggars Instead of Givers:  In order to make a first impression of humility, rather

than of condescension or superiority, participants' first act is not to hand out

anything but rather to ask people for a glass of water, ask for help learning

Spanish words, ask if they could help cook, etc.  Because of this approach,

nationals accepted the participants very quickly.  -pp. 167-68

c)      Sacrificial Servanthood:  Participants spend part of their trip in training before

      they actually go out to proselytize.  Training includes getting up at six in the

      morning and doing strenuous exercises, memorizing books of the Bible, group

      meetings, etc.  -pp.169-170

d)      Creative Forms of Communication:  They used the handicap of language as a way

to actually form relationships, since they could ask nationals to help them out with vocabulary, etc.

e)      Indigenous Leadership:  They always find a local church to work with and try to work with local lay leaders as well.  -pp. 172-174

"The paternalistic and colonialistic attitudes of the Western missionaries, unfortunately, are still quite evident in the eyes of marginalized groups, and if we cannot be sensitive to this point, we also forfeit our privilege of testifying to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  For the SMT [sic.], the focus was always Jesus Christ as Lord, not our own customs and cultures, and never our own ethnocentric understanding of God."  --pp.173-174