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How many camels would it take?

Published on December 7, 2018 under news
How many camels would it take?

How many camels would it take?

How valuable can one short-termer be to a group of people?  What is the worth of a friendship, of ongoing discipleship?  Worth is measured in different ways in different cultures.  One short-termer’s worth was recently measured in camels.

In northern Kenya, among the Rendille people, the most valuable thing they have are camels.  The camels are so precious that we instruct short-termers that they MUST NOT even take photos of camels unless they receive permission from a local person.  In the desert environment, where nothing grows and money is hard to come by, camels are the surest way to measure your net worth.

Leo, an AIM short-termer serving with the Rendille in Korr, connected really well with the group of young warriors he had been discipling.  As he was leaving, these young men gathered together to figure out how to help him return to Korr.  They calculated the cost in terms of camels.  They sat together to figure out, “How many camels would it take to fly him back to us from his home in Paraguay?”

At Christmas time we look for gifts of great worth to give to those dearest too us.  How can we show those we love how much they mean to us with a simple gift?  There are days for me when I forget what a gift a short-termer can be to an unreached people group, a missionary family, a local church or an ongoing ministry.  When I look back over the years at the short-termers who have come through my office, I am reminded of what a gift they have been to the work of AIM and to me.  As we look at the New Year and Christmas, may we be reminded of the great gifts that we have the privilege of bestowing on unreached people groups.  When we facilitate the work of a short-termer we are sending a gift of great worth.  We send the gift of friendship and encouragement to new believers in unreached area.  We send the gift of help and respite to a stressed out mom trying to home school her kids, learn language, do ministry and keep up with all of the housework.  We send the gift of teachers and dorm parents to schools just trying to keep up with constant change.  We send the gift of doctors, nurses and vets to give aid in challenging locations.  We send the gift of the gospel, Jesus and his Word, wrapped up in insecure, inexperienced but eager messengers.


So, in the dry and weary spiritual deserts that we find our AIM members working, we don’t measure our worth in camels, we measure it in short-termers.  They are the gift we have to give.  They are worth more than camels to the people they touch.


By PJ Holmertz, AIM Internationl Short Term Director



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