This book is for those who suspect that current practices of short-term missions are in need of serious reform.
It is a platform for STM practitioners and visionaries who are calling for better ways for the church to engage the needs of the world.
The essays here are intended to equip and inspire any who want to advocate for change, but may not yet know what change looks like.
In sharing their experiences, the authors hope to promote critical rethinking and creative reimagination about the ways that the global church might learn to collaborate on a new basis of coequality and mutual respect—for the good of the world and the glory of God.
Corey Greaves is Blackfeet, Klickitat, and Irish and lives on the Yakama Reservation in Washington State. He’s the president and cofounder of Mending Wings, a Native American, nonprofit youth organization. Corey desires to see Native youth and families restored to wholeness by the strength of Yeshua, and he seeks to bring reconciliation between the Body of Christ and Native people by addressing real issues, both historical and contemporary. He and his wife, Gina, have four children: Steven, Kathleen, Carissa, and Matea.
Andrea Sielaff works with The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology as a Researcher for Resilient Leaders Project and as adjunct faculty teaching Vocational Direction. In addition, she leads apprenticeship groups for MDiv students at Fuller Seminary. She was previously in campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, going on to earn a Masters in Counseling degree from Northern Arizona University.
Fr. Benigno Beltran
Fr. Ben studied Electronics Engineering at University of Santo Tomas, before joining the Divine Word Missionaries. He was ordained on June, 23 197 and received his Licentiate and Doctorate in Systematic Theology at the Pontifical University of the Gregorian. Fr. Ben was the pastor of scavengers in a garbage dump called Smokey Mountain in the heart of Manila from 1978-2008. During that time, he also taught theology at the Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay City. He is now engaged in the use of cloud technologies to educate out-of-school youth so that they can proceed to college, engage in entrepreneurial activities, or gain employment.
Gloria Kennedy is from Kenya and Tanzania. She has also studied and lived in America, Spain, and Thailand. She holds a BSc. in Business Administration, from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas. She is also a GIA Graduate Gemologist. Gloria considers her faith, family, and friends as most important to her. When not spending time with loved ones she can be found reading, sampling new cuisines, watching documentaries, and hiking.
Buken Onyango is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, and a loving family man from Kenya. A decade of volunteer experience has given Buken the skillset needed to successfully work with youth on diverse community projects. Buken's experience and passion led him to co-found the Maisha Yangu Organization, based in Nairobi, Kenya. The community based organization supports children and youth by creating a safe space for them to access academic and artistic activities provided in the center. Buken believes that in order for communities to thrive, individuals must be willing to play their part towards effecting positive change.
Boni is the President of the Board of Directors of Path from Poverty, a Christian non profit based in Seattle and presently working in Kenya. She has degrees from Geneva College, Seattle Pacific University, and Reformed Presbyterian Seminary where she completed a year long Mission Training course. Boni believes that mutuality, coauthority and deep respect for each other is crucial for effective, life giving transformation. The beautiful result is deep friendships and mutual empowerment.
Agnes is an accomplished, optimistic leader. She works closely with women and girls to help in poverty eradication. Through her work at Path from Poverty, Agnes has seen first-hand that empowering women and girls can bring transformational improvement in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. Agnes believes in team effectiveness, realism and humanism. She is always goal oriented. Agnes lives in Kenya with her husband together with her 2 children
Chad Isenhart lives in Tacoma, Washington and is the Director of Foursquare Disaster Relief on behalf of The Foursquare Church based out of Los Angeles, California. He has worked in humanitarian relief and development for over 12 years and has a Masters in International Humanitarian Affairs from the University of York in York, England. Chad has been married for 9 years to his wife Jordyn, and has 3 beautiful busy children. Chad live at the intersection of Matthew 28 and James 1:27, and finds it his joy to help churches around the world find ways to love their communities in ways they may never have thought possible.
Cyrus is the Global Outreach Mobilization Leader for Mclean Bible Church. In his role, he leads the Global Outreach by equipping, sending and caring well for all MBC’s missionaries since August 2017. Cyrus has served for 12 years at World Help (a Christian organization), strengthening national ministries and leading mission trips as Vice President and Africa Chief Strategist. He is originally from the Central African Republic (C.A.R.), where he met Julie, his wife of 32 years. He and Julie have 2 adult children, and 2 grandsons. Cyrus received a bachelor’s degree at Malone University and his Master’s degree at Liberty University. He has traveled and shared the gospel across Africa, Central America, Central and South East Asia
Casey Duthiers is an independent contractor supporting nonprofits through project management, marketing, and fundraising. She is a PhD candidate at Biola University's Cook School of Intercultural Studies. She lives in Atlanta, GA.
CJ Quartlbaum is a writer and speaker from Brooklyn, NY. He is the creator of Live & Labor. It is the platform he uses to equip the Church with simple teachings on living in the way of Jesus. He is a father of 3 and loves basketball, food, and reading about the most random things. You can follow him on the socials @CJ_Quartlbaum
Gena Thomas is a writer, a faith wrestler, a wife, and a mom. She and her husband, Andrew, have been married for 11 years and they have two children, a 9-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. Gena works as a program coordinator for the National Immigration Program at World Relief. She has been featured on NPR's Morning Edition and in Christianity Today among other publications, and published her first book, A Smoldering Wick: Igniting Missions Work with Sustainable Practices in 2016. Published in 2019, Gena's second book, Separated by the Border: A Birth Mother, a Foster Mother, and a Migrant Child's 3,000-Mile Journey unpacks the story of reuniting her Honduran foster daughter with her family after separation at the US border. Alisa & The Coronavirus is Gena's first children's book, self-published in April 2020.
Scott Bessenecker is Director of Global Engagement and Justice for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He oversees InterVarsity’s holistic mission through their Global Programs, Justice Programs and Study Abroad. Scott is author or editor of five books, including The New Friars and Overturning Tables. He hosts a blog and a few podcasts on his website https://www.overturningtables.com/ He lives in Madison, WI with his wife Janine who is a watercolor artist and has three grown children, Hannah, Philip and Laura.
Crystal Kupper is a journalist, marathon runner, mother and military wife currently stationed in Arizona. Thus far, she and her husband have parented seven children from four countries who arrived via birth, adoption, foreign exchange or informal foster care. Having lived in Europe and traveled to dozens of countries, Kupper is passionate about orphan justice, family preservation and deinstitutionalization, especially for children with disabilities. Her writing frequently touches on international community development issues and themes.
Lenore Three Star
Lenore was born on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where her father was born. Her mother is Minnecoujou Lakota from the Cheyenne River Reservation, S.D. Lenore received her B.A. from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Upon retiring from a federal civil rights career in Seattle, she moved to Spokane to be an active unci (grandmother) to her two takojas (grandkids), and later earned an M.A. through the North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies from Portland Seminary/George Fox University in Oregon.
Lenore speaks, writes and co-facilitates for the annual Journey to Mosaic, a faith-based racial reconciliation experience in the Pacific Northwest. Lenore also serves on nonprofit boards related to her interests in the local community (CupofCoolWater.org), Justice (Evangelicals4Justice.org), Indigenous issues (Eloheh.org), and a discipleship of creation care (Circlewood.online).
Jeremy serves as Pastor of Lavington Vineyard Church, a multicultural church of 25 nationalities in Nairobi, Kenya, where he has lived with his wife and three kids since 2014. He has a BA in Political Science from George Washington University, an MA in International Community Development from Northwest University, and a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Studies from Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology (AIU - Kenya). His studies have taken him to the intersection of social issues, global justice, theology, and the practical application of the good news of Jesus to everyday life. He loves sports, movies, and listening to podcasts while cooking or cleaning. As a social introvert, he loves hanging out with people, especially his family, but recharges best with a good book and a good cup of coffee, seated next to a crackling fire and his affectionate dog.
Ryan Kuja is a trauma-informed therapist & spiritual director. With a background in international mission, relief, and development, he is a global citizen who has lived in fifteen cities on five continents. Ryan holds two master's degrees from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology (MA Theology & Culture) and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling). His writing has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals as well as at Sojourners, Red Letter Christians, and Missio Alliance. His book, From the Inside Out: Reimagining Mission, Recreating the World, examines global mission through the lens of trauma studies, contextual theology, intercultural competency, and spiritual formation. Ryan lives in Holland, MI with his wife, Katie, and their toddler triplets.
Tom Rakabopa serves on the Missions Committee of Central Baptist Church – Harare, Zimbabwe, and is the Training and Spiritual Integration Coordinator for HOPE Zimbabwe Trust.
Emmanuel Karegyesa is a Pastor with the Anglican Church of Rwanda in Kigali Diocese and a community development practitioner with HOPE International in the East and Central Africa Region.
Stephanie Robinson is one of the co-founders of Konbit Haiti and currently serves as the Director of Research and Development for the organization. She's worked in Haiti for 10 years and within that time earned a Master's of International Community Development. She and her husband split their time between Haiti and the USA. She enjoys being on the water, reading, and spending time with friends.
Nathan Nelson is the Pastor of Mission & Outreach at Bethany Community Church in Seattle, WA.He has years of experience working in short-term mission on the side of the sending church and receiving organization. He holds a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in International Development & Urban Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary and Bachelor of Arts in Global Development and Sociology from Seattle Pacific University. He calls the Pacific Northwest home and lives every day in gratitude and admiration for his beloved wife Maci.
Howell (MA, Fuller Seminary, MA/PhD, Washington University in St. Louis) is Professor of Anthropology at Wheaton College, in Wheaton, IL where he has taught since 2001. He is the author of Short Term Mission: An Ethnography of Christian Travel Narrative and Experience(IVPAcademic, 2012), as well as a textbook on anthropology (Introducing Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective [Baker Academic 2019]), and books and articles on Christianity in the Philippines, anthropological research, and race in the United States. He lives in Wheaton with his wife, Marissa. They have three adult children of whom they are very proud.
Jay Matenga is a Māori theologian of missions practice who serves as the Director of the World Evangelical Alliance Global Witness Department and Executive Director of its Mission Commission. Jay's MA from All Nations Christian College explored mission groups through a post-modern lens and his doctorate from Fuller School of Mission and Theology developed this theme in post-coloniality. Drawing on his indigenous background, Jay believes that mutuality is the way forward for missions in diversity.
Clelie Eugene Cyrius works with Konbit Haiti as a leader of multiple programs. Using her degree in elementary education, she works with over 200 families in her native, Montrouis, Haiti. She is married and has one son, Samy. She is passionate about Jesus, children, and being a leader.
Sylvia Ramquist grew up in a missionary family, invested 20 years as a missionary in Japan, and currently serves in local and global mission leadership at Westminster Chapel in Bellevue, WA.
David Sanon has been a community development practitioner for 15 years. He has overseen multiple areas of water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and teachings in addition to helping local communities protect their water resources. As a development missionary, he has worked in both Haiti and its neighbor, the Dominican Republic. He is originally from Montrouis, Haiti, and has worked with the WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) programs with Konbit Haiti since its inception. He is on the leadership team for Konbit Haiti and works hard to make sure people have access to clean drinking water and training. He and his wife have been together for over a decade and have two children.
Danilo Cyrius was born to help communities create more autonomy in their lives. He is the current Director of Operations for Konbit Haiti and oversees a staff of 50 development practitioners and ministry leaders. He has a big heart for creating sustainable change in his home country, changing the narrative about Haitians, and supporting grassroots development. He uses his education and experience as a missionary on the island of Hispaniola to draw people in, minister to families in crisis, and encourage those recovering from disasters. He is married to Clelie, and they have one child.
Katende is best known as mentor to Phiona Mutesi, seen in the 2017 Disney movie, Queen of Katwe. Robert worked as a consultant, helping with the chess scenes, and assisting David Oyelowo (who played Robert) to achieve character originality. Coming from a disadvantaged background, he lived in the slums of Nakulabye before he made it to Kyambogo University, where he secured a degree in civil engineering and a Computer Engineering Degree from Kampala University. Later, he switched careers to social work through Sports Outreach Ministry and attained a master’s degree in International Community Development from Northwest University Seattle, USA. He is the founder of SOM Chess Academy and the Robert Katende Initiative.
Doug Volle is a graduate of the International Community Development master’s program at Northwest University. He participated in traditional STMs and desires to leverage that experience to help Christ-followers reframe how they view missions. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University and served 8 years in the U.S. Navy. He currently resides in Seattle, WA.
Emily is a communications expert, community development practitioner, and writer working in an international ministry setting. She finds many ways to combine her passions for cross-cultural learning, telling stories in ways that honor, and building copowering partnerships that lead to transformation. Emily lives with her two children and her husband in Oregon.
Rachel Nesbitt has a Masters degree from Northwest University in International Community Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Seattle Pacific University. She has a passion for photography and has captured images from many nations including India, a place she has a deep love and connection to. She has used photography as a means to raise money for ministries in the south of India and simply takes photos as a hobby. She currently resides in Ellensburg, Washington with her husband. Together, they have two baby girls. They are her full time job and her current photo subjects
Craig Greenfield is the founder of Alongsiders International, a grassroots discipleship movement of 8000 children and youth across Asia and Africa. He is the author of Subversive Jesus and the upcoming book, Outsider Calling. Visit his blog at www.craiggreenfield.com
Lisa San Martin
Originally from Seattle, Lisa San Martin has lived in British Columbia, Ukraine, and Argentina, for studies and service in missions-related capacities. She currently serves as the Director of Student Services for the MA in International Community Development program at Northwest University (a degree she also earned). She is passionate about helping the western church to better hear and understand voices from developing contexts.
Austin Robinson is the cofounder and Executive Director of Eternal Anchor, an NGO dedicated to alleviating the suffering caused by disability in rural Mexico and combating the systems and stigmas that prevent people with disabilities from being celebrated and included as valued members of the community.
Serving as Faith to Action’s Director of Engagement, Megan has a passion for mobilizing the Church around best practices in global development and advocating for vulnerable children. With a Master’s Degree in International Development, one of her favorite topics of
conversation is “helping without hurting” principles and best practices in Child Protection. She was able to live that out for 11 years at World Vision, leading their Child Ambassador Team, training and resourcing donors as brand ambassadors who advocate and fundraise for vulnerable children. Megan is married to Chris Pratt and though she’s proud of her Alaskan roots, she currently lives in and loves Tacoma, Washington.
Bonita Broadnax is a former Section 8 property manager for a private affordable housing company in Chattanooga, TN. Prior to property management, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA focused on alleviating poverty at a Chattanooga-based affordable housing nonprofit. Ms. Broadnax holds a Masters in International Community Development and has over twenty-five years' experience in cultural studies, inclusion and equity practices, and actionable solutions to complex social issues.
Dr. Brian Fikkert is the Founder and President of the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College (www.chalmers.org), where he also serves as a Professor of Economics and Community Development. Brian has published articles in both leading academic and popular journals and has co-authored numerous books including: Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty isn’t the American Dream (Moody 2019); Helping Without Hurting in Short-Term Missions (Moody 2014); When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself (Moody 2009).
Steve Corbett is the Community Development Specialist for the Chalmers Center for Economic Development and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Community Development at Covenant College. Previously, Steve worked for Food for the Hungry International as the Regional Director for Central And South America and as Director of Staff Training. Steve has a B.A. from covenant College and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Georgia.