Tag Archives: mission trip

Packing smart for your mission trip

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One of the most stressful things about going on a trip, whether it be a mission trip or just simply a vacation, is the packing process.

At least, it is for me.

It is so easy to get stressed out about possibly forgetting something or maybe even packing too much and having to lug it around everywhere. This stress might be even be multiplied for a mission trip, for if you forget something, you might not have access to whatever you have forgotten in the foreign country you are serving.

Never fear, though.

My mission trip leaders compiled a basic list of things to pack which I feel like could be applicable to anyone packing for a mission trip.

Here’s what you need:

1) Based on how many days you will be spending in your area, you will of course need a change of clothes for each day.

Side note: your leaders should inform you about the weather and what kind of work you will be doing, so you can base what you bring upon that. For instance, I will be playing with kids for five days and then going to a church service one day, so I will bring one nice outfit and shirts and shorts for the other days.

Also you of course can recycle outfits if you are going on a prolonged trip.

This also includes pajamas, tennis shoes and coats if you are going somewhere cooler.

2) Bedding. This will be different for each trip, for sometimes people will stay in homes or hotels. However, I will be staying in an orphanage, so I will need to bring sheets and things to put on my bed. I have heard about trips where there are no beds at all, so sometimes sleeping bags are a must as well.

3) Towels and shower things. Sometimes I find it helpful to make a completely separate list for toiletry items, for you definitely do not want to forget any soaps. Cleanliness is key, after all. be sure to bring shampoos and body washes but also shower flip flops if you want. This can also include sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste and any other toiletries.

4) Water bottle. This is SO important. In Mexico, you cannot even drink the water, so it is important for me to have something to fill up at a clean source at the beginning of the day. Some might travel to a place where the water source is a few miles away; in that case, they would definitely need a bottle to fill up when they can.

5) Other small items such as: Camera, drawstring backpack, journal, Bible, sunglasses and hand sanitizer.

6) Passport. if you are travelling to another country, you will not be able to go if you forget this. (Obviously.)

7) Fun things. I will be at an orphanage, so I plan on bringing fun things for the kids such as bubbles, candy and coloring books. This will of course be different based on your trip.

This list is pretty basic, but you would definitely be able to spend a week somewhere if you have these things in a suitcase with you.

At my school, this next week is spring break which is a huge week for mission trips. If that is you or if you are going on a trip sometime soon, please know that I am praying for you and so glad that you chose to have this experience!

Please pray for me as I finally embark on my Mexico adventure this coming week; I will be sure to post about how everything went!

Know of anything I left off my list, or have any mission trip stories to share? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

“I Just felt like I was called to do something.”

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One of my very best friends, Ellen Keathley, decided to take a huge leap of faith for next semester.
She has decided to spend 5 months on an overseas mission trip, and I was so proud and impressed that I knew this would be something perfect to share with you all.

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Here is a little bit about her story:

ME: Tell us about what you are doing next semester.
ELLEN: I am taking a semester off and going on a 5 month long mission trip in the fall. It is through a program called YWAM, which stands for Youth With A Mission. The first half of the trip I will be spending in New Zealand doing a sort of training camp to get me ready for the other half which will be somewhere in the South Pacific most likely. This trip has a medical focus, so I will get to provide medical treatment to the people in the islands that I go to during the second half. This is perfect for me, for I am a nursing major.

ME: Have you had any previous experience with mission work?
ELLEN: I have been on one mission trip before to the Dominican Republic this past summer. We worked there in the city; the guys built a bridge and the girls put on VBS for about 90 kids or so. We stayed at a camp for troubled teens as well, and when we got finished with our work during the day, we would help them too. Needless to say, it was hands down one of the best weeks of my life.

ME: Was it your work in the Dominican Republic that made you want to do a bigger trip like the YWAM trip?
ELLEN: I think that it was definitely part of it; I grew so much being in the Dominican Republic for just two weeks. I know that I will grow exponentially more by being in New Zealand for five months.

ME: What other reasons helped you decide to do this trip?
ELLEN: I just felt like I was being called to do something. Somehow everything just fell right into place; whether it was finding out that family friends had been on the same trip that I am going on or deciding that New Zealand was the trip for me and coincidentally my roommate is from there. Everything just somehow seemed to work out.

ME: Now that you know that you are going to New Zealand, how do you feel?
ELLEN: I am definitely nervous. It is starting to hit me that I really am going, but at the same time it is such an excited nervous too. I am looking forward to see what will happen, how things will play out and how God will use my faith.

I also cannot wait to see how God uses Ellen on her trip, and though I will miss her more than anything, I am incredibly proud of what she is doing. Keep her in your prayers!
What do you think about Ellen’s leap of faith?

“Christian mission trips don’t actually help.”

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While looking around for a video to share with you guys, I stumbled upon this one and decided to watch a bit.

Turns out, I watched the whole thing and decided to change what I was originally going to post for this week to discuss his points. It is strange because I agreed with some of the things that he said, but overall I think that he was a bit misguided.

Here’s a little overview of what he says:

1) His main argument is that the people who go on mission trips go with Bibles in hand to witness to the people in these foreign lands; he is appalled by this because he says that what we should be doing is coming with food and intent to build shelter and wells for these people.

The thing about it is that there are different kinds of mission trips: relational ones where the intent is to minister and then ones where the main focus is to feed the hungry and lighten their load by building bridges and houses.

A lot of times the relational trips that he is speaking of will go to Europe or stay here in America where people are fed physically but need to be fed spiritually.

Of course if someone is serving in the middle of India they are not going to just merely share their testimony; that person will get down into the dirt and really help the people there. They will work with the prostitutes, the lepers, and the hungry because setting an example is the best kind of serving there is.

2) His next point was that many mission trips are a week or two weeks long, and what good can you really do in two weeks?

This is one that I somewhat agree with, but I really think that it is just the way that you look at it. I will always stand by the fact that as Christians we are called to serve and to share our blessings with those who are not as blessed as we are.

For some that will take different shapes and forms.

Some will be lucky enough to dedicate their lives to missions (hopefully me), some will only be able to give money, and some people take a week out of hectic schedules and get to serve during that time.

What is important is that we are serving at all since that is what we are supposed to do, no matter how long we serve for.

3) He makes one final point that sometimes instead of raising all the money you need to go on a trip, why don’t you raise that money and send it over to someone who is already there?

Strangely enough this is the one that I agree with the most.

Mission trips are not for everyone. They are not for the faint of heart, and like I said earlier people can serve in different ways.

One thing that is kind of bad about our generation is that sometimes it seems like people go on trips because it is becoming a cool thing to do not because they are called to. If this is the case, then absolutely send the money to people who are already there, for you are not doing anyone any good if you are going just because you want that Facebook picture.

However, I do think that if it is something on your heart, go. Trips have the potential to be life changing, and God always provides.

I am grateful for stumbling upon this video, for it truly is thought provoking.
What are your thoughts about it? Share with me below.

How to choose the right mission trip

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Choosing a mission trip to go on quite possibly might be the hardest part of the mission trip process. There are so many people in need and so many places that need love; you might feel as if you are being pulled in many different directions. To help ease the confusion of choosing, I have compiled a list of things to consider when it comes time to decide where you want to go.

1. Feel out several different options.
The first step is to educate yourself on all the possibilities out there. Lipscomb, the university which I attend, held a missions fair that introduced around 27 different trips around the world. It could have been a little overwhelming, but it was good for me to see all of the different places that I could go to. When you are more aware, your heart is more susceptible to the tug that your mission trip will give you.

2. Find out the work that will be done on trips that you are interested in.
It is important to remember that wherever you end up, you will not be there on vacation. Instead you will be there to put your heart into whatever work is going on in that place. Because of this, it is so important to make sure you feel for whatever you will be doing. If you do not believe in or have a passion for what a trip is doing, it is not the one for you.

3. Allow yourself to be vulnerable to these trips.
I am going to an orphanage in Mexico called the City of Children in a little over a month, and I knew that that was the trip for me simply because I fell in love with the idea of loving on these babies and sharing God’s story with them. I allowed my heart to be tugged, and it was so obvious that that was the one for me. I believe the same thing will happen to each person if they are vulnerable.

4. Pray about it.
If you have done all of your research and looked into everything yet still do not know where to go, pray about it. You will be doing this work in the name of Christ, so it makes sense that you should consult him no matter what. Pretty soon it should be apparent where he is leading you, for he is unfailing and gives great advice.

At the end of the day, do not forget that wherever you go you are doing a beautiful thing in being the hands and feet of Jesus. No matter what trip you choose you are being a good servant.

Have any further advice for choosing a mission trip to go on? Comment below!