This is a hypothetical conversation between me, Mikel, and a typical Kossuthian on the vision for missionary field visits.
Mikel Berger: I’m looking for some travelers. I think you should make a trip. Have you missed out on two years of seeing the world? If you have, I’ve got a deal for you.
Typical Kossuthian: Ummm, Mikel, when did you become a Kossuth travel agent?
MB: When we added Field Visits to the 2022 Kossuth budget.
TK: What’s a field visit?
MB: A field visit is three Kossuth members visiting one of our global partners in the Great Commission.
TK: Wait. This sort of sounds like a short-term missions trip. Is this a short-term missions trip?
MB: Yes. It’s a particular type of short-term missions trip.
TK: Cool. Do I have to know how to paint? Dig wells? Hang drywall?
MB: Nope, none of that will happen on field visits.
TK: So, why do field visits? What will we do?
MB: Encouragement. You’ll do whatever is encouraging to the global partner, their family, and their local community.
TK: I’m confused. You’re the pastor. Aren’t you supposed to tell me what to do on a mission trip?
MB: Again, nope. If you go on a field visit, you should know the missionary better than I do.
TK: Umm, ok. So what makes me eligible to go?
MB: The people in our church that know a missionary best are part of the missionary’s Barnabas Team. We want someone from each missionary’s Barnabas team to visit their missionary every few years. An elder and a mission team member will also join them on the trip.
TK: Sounds fun. Also sounds expensive. How much is it going to cost me?
MB: Depends. Yeah, it’s not cheap to travel to the places where our missionaries live and work. But we don’t want money to be an obstacle. So the church is willing to cover a significant portion of the costs for you to go. But the actual price is your time: the time for the trip as well as the time leading up to the trip to form a deep enough relationship with our global partner that you can be an encouragement while you’re there. And there’s more time when you get back for sharing what you learned with our church family and helping us understand and better support the work being done amongst the people our global partner is working to reach with the gospel.
TK: Umm, yeah. Wouldn’t the missionary rather we send them the money instead?
MB: You can ask them. But I bet not. I’ve taken a couple of these trips already. The missionaries I’ve visited have said it has been well worth it. Would you like it if your friends made a significant effort to come see you? And you have a chance to introduce them to people that mean a lot to you and show them a place you now call home?
TK: Well, yeah. Sure.
MB: So you’ll go?
TK: Maybe. I’ll pray about it.
MB: Great. And while you pray about it, you can also read this article I found from a missionary that talks about these kinds of visits.
TK: Will do. One last thing: are you sure I don’t have to know how to paint?
MB: I guarantee it.