I have been living and working as a missionary for over 2 decades. My ministry has brought me to islands in the Southern Caribbean, the depths of the Amazon and peaks of the Andes and the deserts of Northern Mexico. I have seen the sick healed, schools, hospitals, homes and churches constructed and lives transformed. There have been moments of suffering and pain, accented by sheer joy and adulation. All in all, it has been an adventure.
This adventure began at the age of 13 when I was invited by a youth pastor to join a short term mission team that was traveling to Manzanillo, Mexico to work with a local church. It was during this 10-day experience that my eyes were opened to a world that I never knew existed. I returned home, filled with a passion to know more, see more, DO more. I believe EVERYONE should go on a mission trip. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. MISSION TRIPS BRING GROUPS TOGETHER.
If you’ve ever been on a weekend retreat, you know how that experience can build community. Something amazing happens when we ride together, work together, eat together, explore together, get up tired together… “Together” is a powerful word. Think of “together” as glue – the more broadly it’s spread, the better a group will bond. Mission trips apply “together” to everyones sense of adventure, our desire serve, our daily experiences, our broken comfort zones and much more (including these things below!).
2. MISSION TRIPS BROADEN PERSPECTIVES.
It seems today we are more connected than ever with what’s happening around the world, but few of us have really seen what it’s like to live below the poverty line throughout the world. Or experienced the energy and exhaustion of a third world city. Removing people from their typical context helps them understand that the world is larger that their daily lives would have them believe. By beginning to understand another setting, our own context comes into truer focus.
3. MISSION TRIPS CHALLENGE COMFORT ZONES.
Beyond broadening perspectives, mission trips demand that people participate. Painting a house, playing with kids, serving a meal, experiencing a new culture – these are a few examples of ways comfort zones are crossed. But when coupled with intentional processing, mission trips have the unique ability to challenge a persons comfortable perceptions of God and the world. Faith steps beyond the doors of the church and demands to be applied to real-world living.
4. MISSION TRIPS EMPOWER PEOPLE.
God is doing incredible work through the Church. The energy, authenticity, fresh perspective and passion people bring are a vibrant part of any church. Done well, mission trips help individuals take ownership and initiative. Eyes are opened. Passions are ignited. Possibilities are exposed. Pursuits begin. Mission trips help people see what they are capable of.
5. MISSION TRIPS CREATE SACRED SPACE.
The Israelites used to build monuments by throwing together big piles of rocks to point at later and say, “That signifies God’s faithfulness in our nation.” For most people, mission trips represent a time and a place when God worked in and through their lives. More than a mere mountain-top high, these sacred spaces both anchor people in their faith and propel them forward in their relationship with God. Even in times of trouble, people often point toward their mission trip experience and say, “That signifies God’s faithfulness in my life.”
If you have been waiting for the perfect time to put together a team and go, NOW is the time. Click here and contact us to find out how you can lead a group on a mission trip and see lives transformed.