God is not impressed with your Church’s poverty-porn vacation.

If you’re about to donate to your church’s missions program, STOP. Before you pledge a cent, it’s time to ask your church the important question – are the people going on this mission trained in sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

No? They’re just teenagers from the youth group? Then don’t you dare write a check to fund this trip – Jesus told us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, not spend money on a vacation to tour poverty porn. If you have a heart to help, charity starts with your own family, your neighborhood and your city.

Tell me this isn’t shocking:

“In Ghana, just as in South Africa and Cambodia, there has been a boom in unregistered orphanages. Last year, police investigated one after the rape of an eight-month-old boy and discovered 27 of the 32 children were not orphans. A government study found up to 90% of the estimated 4,500 children in orphanages had at least one parent and only eight of the 148 orphanages were licensed. Unicef officials said children’s welfare was secondary to profits and it is thought less than one-third of income goes on child care.” – Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do

More often than not, criminals deliberately keep orphanages and schools in squalid conditions, simply to get free labor and money from church organizations. Is that really what you want to exacerbate?

Too often churches, to make themselves feel like they’re doing God’s work, send completely unprepared teens and young adults to countries ravaged by corruption, poverty and famine.

100% of the time, corruption, poverty and famine have a strong spiritual component to why a country is in the predicament that it’s in. An unprepared twenty-something is walking into a spiritual battlefield with no armor.

What are churches even thinking?

People aren’t going to truly accept Christ and your unprepared Church missionary is going to most likely fall away from the faith as they’re mentally attacked by Satan.

Unprepared, short-term mission trips are by and large one of the most stupid, and most prevalent ideas that has come out of Western Churches today.

An unprepared missionary is no match for powerful fallen angels and archons who are in charge of various neighborhoods, cities and countries. It’s time for the body of Christ to get some discernment and start working towards equipping their own to put on the full armor of God and to pray without ceasing, so that they can withstand the schemes of the Devil.

If you have no prayer life, if you have no discernment, you’ll be no match against Satan’s most powerful archons in their own territory.

If Paul had to go up against the demonic gods of Asia Minor, and all the prophets went up against the demonic gods of Egypt, Babylon and Canaan – what makes you think that throwing a sheltered 15-year-old into the middle of the territory of the demonic gods of Haiti, Kenya or India is going to go just fine?

The developing world doesn’t need another coat of paint on a school or a bracelet for an orphan, they need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So let’s jump right in to today’s question:

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Question:  “Today’s mission trips by churches rarely preach or teach the gospel of Jesus Christ but mostly do humanitarian works. Why do churches waste their energies?”

Answer: Because most churches are filled with Pharisees who love to show their “righteousness” before men.

Most of the time this is little more than poverty porn and gives untrained youth ministry and other volunteer-tourism groups the chance to fill their social media with photos of them “helping” impoverished people. And by “helping,” I mean untrained teenagers doing a poor job of constructing a building or digging a well when that job could have employed a local to help support his family. The churches feel good about themselves and have the photos to prove it, and the locals stay poor as they expect handouts instead of tackling the issues, many which are spiritual, which led to them being in this impoverished state to begin with.

“1 Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” – Matthew 6:1-5

Just look at the other answers in this thread and tell me if this statement applied:

“My least favorite but most common response when asking someone about their micro-trip abroad goes something like this: “I was heartbroken to see how life is there. It really makes me realize just how good we have it. My life will never be the same.” (*Rolls eyes*)

If you truly want this experience — to change your world perspective, etc. — then at least call it like it is and admit you’re going on a self-fulfillment trip.Don’t call it humanitarian work when the only human benefiting from this experience is you.” – 7 Reasons Why Your Two Week Trip To Haiti Doesn’t Matter: Calling Bull on “Service Trips” and Voluntourism – The Almost Doctor’s Channel

Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the GOSPEL.” Not “go into all the world and give people free used clothing that destroys the local economy of weavers, seamstresses, and clothing merchants, so that your church appreciates how good they have it back home.”

Originally posted to Quora on July 5, 2018.