Interested in a Short Term Mission Trip?
Writing about this has been on my heart lately and before I share what I've learned, I'm going to share a little bit about where I've been. This is the EXTREMELY condensed version.
So back in my freshman year I went to the mission trip fair at GCU and was floored by the options and community I witnessed. I just felt an urge to go somewhere, no idea where though. So I figured first trip, I'll just go for spring break, not a big commitment. Even if I hated it, it was only a week. So I went to the Philippines where I met Jesus in this radical tangible way and my life has been changed ever since.
Sophomore year I wanted to go on another trip just for three weeks but God said two months. So I went to India for two months and it was hands down the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. So some doubts came in. Was my interest in this selfish or was God actually showing me a bit of my purpose?
Junior year came and I started praying. My heart was broken from India, do I go somewhere else? Long story short, I reached out to an old friend who lived in Uganda to see if I could come visit and work for two weeks. So I did and again, was floored by God's work.
All of this is to tell you, hey, I have a little experience and I want to share it with someone.
So I highly doubt you would read this if you weren't interested in Mission work but I am going to address some of your questions and concerns about the decision to go on a trip.
First things first, Why?
Did you just wake up one day and think, "Oh traveling would be cool?" If so I don't think this is for you. A mission trip is more than site seeing or walking in the local's shoes. It is purposeful and it is a complete act of service that should be fully motivated by love. So analyze yourself. Make sure you are pursuing for the right reasons.
Cool , okay.
So we figured out you want to go to do something bigger than yourself. Now we are going to pray. What are you interested in? Is there a specific place calling your name? People? Problem? A few options are refugees, sex trafficking focus, education, medical, a little bit of everything. Not the entire trip will be focused on any of these one things but they can dig into an interest you have. God moves our hearts, learn to listen.
& Let me tell you, if you have no idea, IT IS OKAY. God loves an open & willing heart. Pray for leading and see what doors open because I promise they will. Meet with team leads, pray with others, reach out and explore. Take some steps & listen for God's will.
Now to the nitty gritty part of the process: FUNDRAISING. I know you just died a little on the inside. I've learned so much about God through this part of the process. He LOVES when we are in situations where we have to fully rely on Him and asking people for money is that kind of situation. Your trip is not just yours, its your supporters too. Invite them into the raw process, ask for prayer and work knowing people are supporting you as you go. It is so comforting in crazy situations that you are backed by prayer warriors who are asking for strength on your behalf. Do not fear this process! (I am going to write another post on this in more depth soon!)
Last thing. Your Team.
Your team requires a bit of time, patience and understanding. It gets harder once at location but before you leave, build something. Get together, share thoughts, build basic relationships, prepare for what's to come together. Not a single one of you would accomplish anything there without the others. Learn to lean into each other & encourage one another. I guarantee by the end of your trip, true selves come out and it can be overwhelming. Be patient (worth saying again) and love them. Some very beautiful relationships can come from such a vulnerable place.
This journey can be life changing just make sure God is your main focus, and everything else falls into place. I literally can't tell you how excited I am about your journey!
PLEASE: If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me!
"Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always."
1 Chronicles 16:8-11