Why we don’t say medical “mission trip”

Have you noticed it? There’s something different about the way we refer to the humanitarian aid trips Jewish Voice Ministries conducts multiple times each year. We call them outreaches rather than mission trips. There’s a deep and meaningful reason we choose not to use such customary words as missions, mission trips, medical missions, and medical mission trips.

Throughout the ages, people claiming to be Christians set out on “missions” to eradicate Judaism by forcing Jewish people to abandon their Jewishness and convert to Christianity as a completely separate religion. But Christianity has its very roots in Judaism, and professing faith in Yeshua (Jesus) – the Jewish Messiah – does not require denying one’s Jewishness. On the contrary, God’s covenant with His chosen people is everlasting (Genesis 17:7); Yeshua came to the House of Israel (Matthew 15); and the Gospel is for the Jewish people first (Romans 1:16).

For Jewish people, the word mission often harkens back to thousands of years of persecution, forced conversions, and violence toward Jewish people. When a Jewish person hears the words mission, missionary, mission trips, etc., this terrible history can get in the way of them hearing that Yeshua the Messiah is their Jewish Messiah, the promised fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. It is the very heart of Jewish Voice’s call to share this Good News with them, and we have no intention of “converting” them away from their Jewish faith, heritage, and culture.