By: Tracy Rubstello, CVM Short-term Missions Coordinator

As 2016 comes to an end,  we want to stop and celebrate what a rich heritage of short-term missions God has brought about through CVM.  God has called literally thousands of men and women – vet students, vet techs, veterinarians and non -vet resource people to serve through CVM in the last 40 years. Our short-term participants have worked with our national partners and local field staff to teach, train, and treat in the hopes of improving the quality of life for under-resourced communities around the world and across the US.  They have responded to natural disasters, taught in classrooms, trained and mentored vet students, and completed countless surgeries.

And all as volunteers.  The impact of their over 75,000 days of service over the past 40 years has been felt not only in the communities they have served – but in their own lives as well.  These volunteers have come away from their trips with a deeper commitment to the God they serve, a greater appreciation for cultures and people different from themselves, and a greater sensitivity as they have wrestled with issues of economic inequality and social injustice….and they are different people as a result.  I’ve had the privilege of bearing witness to this marvelous transformation in the world and in our volunteers for only the past four years…. but many of you have been a part of this movement of God through CVM short-term from the early days.

If you are one of the thousands of people who have gone out on short-term missions through CVM we want to thank you and recognize this incredible gift you have given.  If you have served as a sender by being a part of a CVM Short-Termer’s prayer or financial support, we want to thank you as well.  Such important roles you have played! Your generosity with your time, talents and treasures have been so encouraging to those of us on CVM’s Short-Term Missions Team. We have stood on the sidelines in joy and amazement as we’ve watched so many of you take those steps of faith – we have marveled at some of you who have taken those steps in the midst of significant life challenges, illnesses, and challenging circumstances.  Some at great cost to yourselves.  We’ve watched you as you’ve responded to God’s call, worked hard to raise the funds to go, and come back with your hearts on fire and your mind alive with the possibilities of how you can use your skills and gifts as veterinary professionals to express your faith in Jesus Christ.

But Short Term Missions is not about us…. It is not about you as participants…. it is about the God we serve and what He is doing in the lives of people all over the world.  He invites us to join Him in that work as we proclaim, model and glorify Christ as Savior and Lord.  It is about developing partnerships that build up those we partner with and are based on shared values that empower all members towards sustainable development.  It is about encouraging and calling out the gifts and abilities of those we go to serve, empowering them to discover solutions to the challenges they face.  It is about seeking transformation through mutual service and equitable participation.  All values which CVM holds dear.

CVM started 40 years ago with Dr. Leroy Dorminy going to Stockholm to discover that God was calling him to go to the Dominican Republic. And that rich heritage of going has continued these past 40 years through folks like you who have served, loved, cared and given and in return found your own lives, hearts, and worlds expanded and increased.  All those little steps of faith have brought us to where we are today and will continue to lead us out into the future to where God will continue to call us.  Thank you for the part each and every one of you have played in this amazing call to short-term missions through CVM.

And from each of us at CVM, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We are grateful for your involvement with CVM Short-Term Missions and your prayers for close to 500 volunteers that serve each year in over 20 countries on CVM Short Term Mission Trips. Please  consider making a donation to support this valuable ministry of expressing Christ’s love through veterinary medicine so that others can be helped to serve.

If you’d like to serve with CVM, please click here to read about teams that currently have openings on them for you to fill.

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