going {what to know about your mission trip}

the outskirts of guadalajara, mexico.

the warehouses of hong kong.

the distant towns in alaska.

the trafficked girls in cambodia.

the church plants on the west coast.

the children of kampala, uganda.

the orphans in romania.

the students in china.

the athletes in south america.

going on a mission trip?

considering such an experience?

if you've been on a mission trip before, you can attest to the heart matter that you return home changed and hope, in some way, as to have made an impact. that's part of the reason why you're {going} or have gone.

shot records, visa application, packing list, emergency contact numbers are accounted for.

money has miraculously come in to fund the trip. your boss knows you're off those days.

what else are you lacking?

an amazing team of people collectively have contributed thoughts and perspectives that i bring to you as you are {going}.

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not-so-obvious tips:

leave valuables at home. they'll be there when you return.

write a prayer guide as a team or individually at least 30 prior to the trip.

{i've written one for you! click here or download from printables at the top of the page}

study the culture ahead of time. not that you're going to fit in, but you're not going on mission to stand out either.

buy one special souvenir or bring something tangible home for two purposes: to serve as a reminder to pray often for the people and place and to serve as a memorial of what God did on the trip.

let everything you do on this trip flow out of your heart for God so no one, no experience takes the place of God.

 carry major essentials in your carry-on bag. think: what if the only bag that makes it is the one on me? what do i most need? this list should include camera, documents, money, a change of under garments, basic toiletries.

any time you serve others, it disturbs the evil one. be aware in the preparation days that you could face discouragement and battles that are not against people, but against spiritual forces of darkness. call on God to intervene and give strength.

 know your story of how God rescued you. tell your story to friends before your trip. have a one minute version and a three minute version and cherish times you get to share the long version!

 do a "motives check" from time to time. why are you helping that person? does it benefit you or them? does it bring you fame or God glory?

what you and your team are doing is short-term. what the local Christian leaders and missionaries are doing is long-term. we are to partner with what they are doing. not bring our "american ways" to them.

you are poor yourself. materialistically rich, yes. but poor because of the Fall of Mankind. you and those who will be serving all need what only Jesus Christ can offer.

{this is a repost and a reminder as i travel to europe in a few weeks to see God at work there.}