5 Essentials for Your Short-Term Mission Trip
As the end of school approaches, short-term mission trip season is almost upon us. In fact, many college students (including one of my daughters) are already planning summer mission trips.
Is a mission trip in your or a family member’s near future? If so, you’ll no doubt receive a list of essentials to take along. This could include items like travel-friendly clothing and toiletries; comfortable, durable shoes; sunscreen and insect repellent; a reusable water bottle to fill with purified water; tracts or other evangelistic materials, and of course, your passport.
But what about the items not on the list? As a mission trip veteran, I offer the following suggestions. Before you leave on your mission trip, make sure to pack your:
- Ongoing Relationship with God: Please don’t leave home without adequate spiritual preparation. As your trip approaches, spend extra time in the Word and in prayer. Ask for God’s protection and expect His empowering.
- Biblical Understanding of Authority: Every mission trip has leaders. Listen to them, follow their directions and hold them up in prayer. They’ll help make your mission trip great for you and the people you serve.
- Cultural Sensitivity: The good news you’ve come to share is the gospel—not the North American way of life. Different languages and lifestyles don’t equal diminished value. Ask God to show you the people you serve through His eyes and help you love them as He does.
- Willingness to Try New Experiences: Mission trips are full of new things—some pleasant, others not so much. Walk in God’s grace and watch Him empower you to taste that unfamiliar dish, tackle that uncomfortable task or enter the home so different from yours. When you step into unfamiliar territory, you’ll often find a blessing awaits.
- Openness to the Holy Spirit: The most memorable moments of almost any mission trip are the unplanned ones—the divine encounters only God could have planned. Listen for His leading and expect Him to do great things.
Pack these essentials alongside your passport and water bottles, and watch God turn your mission trip into a vehicle for His glory.
Marti Pieper’s passion to read, write, and pray makes her life an adventure. She wrote her award-winning book Escape the Lie: Journey to Freedom from the Orphan Heart with Walker Moore, president of Awe Star Ministries, a student missions-sending organization. Connect with Marti on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or at martipieper.com.