Here is a short list of possible overseas mission agencies that can increase results many times over most short- and long-term American missionaries for the cost and effectiveness of nationals over Americans.
In deciding where to give, one must look at the goals or results desired. Our goals are to give for evangelism, discipleship and church planting with some social emphasis and particularly in areas where the gospel is seldom heard.
Since there are many groups having American missionaries who have specific expertise and take short-term trips overseas, how does one differentiate between potential donor recipients?
The following story may best illustrate this. A long-term American overseas missionary questioned a national mission leader. “How do you find such strong national leaders when we have trouble finding any good national leaders?” The national leader replied “The short-term American missionary we work with trains us and then goes home.”
There are many stories and much evidence that the money given to send American missionaries overseas was not always very effective giving. The same is true at times for national missionaries. Giving to several agencies is like investing in several stocks for diversification.
Regarding funding nationals and minimizing dependency, David Garrison of the IMB asks “What sort of things fit into the category of primary evangelization? Missionaries to unreached people groups, Bible translation and distribution, gospel literature production and distribution, radio broadcasts and other evangelistic media ministries, church planter training centers and material, and new leadership development programs all require external funding to get underway” (1).
(1) Garrison, David. Church Planting Movements. p. 267.