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July Activate Post: Small yeses, big impact


I stared at my computer screen as I tried to process what I had just seen. At first my jaw dropped, and then a huge smile spread across my face.

Last February, I participated in a short-term mission trip to Asia with a ministry that works to free young men and women from the sex trafficking industry. This organization had just posted a photo of a teenaged girl who had been rescued from prostitution and was now safely with their ministry. The organization was providing her with a new job, and she no longer had to sell her body for profit.

I met this particular young woman during the short-term trip I took earlier this year. Our team was doing outreach in bars and strip clubs. We sat down with a small group of women and heard their stories. We shared the gospel with them and told them about Jesus. When we left, we had no idea whether or not we had had any impact on the young women. Seeing this woman now freed from her life of prostitution made me consider the influence that our interactions and prayers can have on a stranger if we allow God to work through us.

Often, short-term trips, or even short encounters, leave us guessing as to whether or not we have made a difference. That is part of why long-term commitments in mission are vital. Long-term missionaries make an investment, build relationships, and train disciples. However, God can still use any opportunity, no matter how seemingly insignificant to us, if we are obedient.

Consider your own walk with the Lord. Did you accept Jesus as your Savior after hearing the gospel one time? Or did you learn about Christianity over a span of years and then commit your life to Him? While every believer’s walk is different, it is important to recognize that a small act of service may result in a huge difference in God’s kingdom.

My team and I were not in a place to spend years in Asia, but we were intentional about reserving a few weeks to serve God overseas. We were passionate about sharing hope with individuals trapped in commercial sexual exploitation, and we engaged in a lot of prayer. In this act of surrender, God used my team and everyone else who came before and after us.

God is the author of beautiful stories like the one I just shared. He makes them blossom and come to life. We, as His children, are equipped to do the work He has called us to do. Let this be an encouragement to never question the worth of something as small as a $5.00 donation or as large as a five-year commitment to serve cross culturally. It all matters when we are being the hands and feet of Jesus.

God will use you. He wants to use you to share and be a part of the amazing things He is up to in your community, in this nation, and around the world. But in order for you to be a part of stories like the one above, you must say ‘yes’ to the command that Jesus spoke in Acts 1:8. Let’s be His witnesses.

If you would like to learn more about how your church can become more engaged in short-term missions, email us at

Malory Sanvidge is the church ministry administrative coordinator for TMS Global.