An interesting analysis of the trend in Missions for short term lay missions over long term missionaries that go into countries and stay there, ministering to those who are there teaching the gospel and learning from those who are there. The trend is all over Christianity, not just in the LCMS.
Also missing...pastors who can provide long term Word and Sacrament ministry to those who are being born in Christ, who can raise up these Christians in pure doctrine, and help to train future leaders in the churches he plants and sustains.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for short term missions such as what Friends of Mercy hosts (and I also encourage you to contribute to them if you want to be assured that what you donate WILL actually make it to fund missions in the near future. They separate from the LCMS, and doctrinally solid as well).
My husband has been on a few short term missions, and it is still near and dear to our hearts. But short term missions work best when the people who are coming over to help with projects, etc. are there to encourage the missionaries who are there serving long term. They encourage them by their presence; they remind them that there are people back home who are praying for them and thinking about them, when it is such a temptation to feel alone; they give them contact with the familiar; and they help with work that desperately needs done. There is so much that can be done, both in the sharing of the gospel and in the social work aspect as well. God bless those who do contribute funds and time to go help those who are needy. God also grant that we have a better atmosphere for sending long-term missionaries out into the field to share Christ with the world as well.