Where Should You Go on Your Mission Trip?

ExpMis-Blog6

So you’ve decided to go on a mission trip! This is an exciting time of gathering ideas and interest from your students, but it can be overwhelming when you have the entire world to choose from. While this decision should be made with input from your church and students, as well as a tremendous amount of prayer, we think there are some questions that can help you narrow down what’s possible for your group. These four questions can help you narrow down where in the world you should go on a mission trip, but don’t be afraid to speak with a reputable mission trip organization for more input!

1. How far will you go?

For every group, there are some practical limitations to consider. This question can help you narrow in on a location or region. There are a few factors that go into answering this question including budget, time constraints, and desire to engage with language and cultural barriers. Generally speaking, the further you go, the more apparent some of these things may be, but none of these are insurmountable barriers! If you feel led to serve far beyond your borders, just know it’s going to take a little more time to plan.

2. What are your hopes for your trip?

There are a variety of mission trip opportunities that all offer unique value, both for your students and the community you are serving in. Taking stock of what you hope to do on the trip can narrow down some locations. If your group is handy and ready to jump into construction projects, hurricane relief mission trips or other construction-based trips are an incredible way to use and develop your skills. Not as prepared for physical labor? Urban mission trips provide great opportunities for relational ministry that can be incredibly impactful for everyone involved.

Are you hoping to engage in what’s happening in the headlines? Or embrace struggles happening in quiet corners of the world? There’s value in both, but we encourage you to look into options beyond what’s in front of your face. There’s value in returning to a community on the long-term path to restoration and there’s beauty in showing up in the wake of disaster. Reflection on what this should look like for your group can steer your decision in a healthy direction.

3. What do you hope your students take away?

Every mission trip should first and foremost be a positive experience for the host community, but the reality is, mission trips are also an incredible way to grow spiritually and develop leaders among your youth. So, knowing your students and what you hope they gain from an experience can provide helpful direction for your trip as well. Students often walk away from trips with a greater understanding and appreciation for new people and cultures, greater leadership abilities, and a deeper faith in the God who created and watches over all of us. While these can be fostered during in a variety of serving experiences, consider how exactly you hope your students will grow and make sure your mission trip selection will allow those experiences to take shape.

4. What happens after the trip is over?

No matter where you choose to go, consider the impact your trip can have on the big picture, rather than just focusing on what your team might accomplish alone in the short span of a week. Partnering with a community or organization over a longer period of time or going somewhere where long-term relationships are already in place will allow you to get the most out of your experience. If you’re feeling called to help in the wake of natural disasters, pray about your options and consider looking beyond what’s currently in the headlines. Places like Texas or Puerto Rico, where disaster struck a year or so back, are still in terrible need and are already almost completely forgotten. Rebuilding after disasters often takes years, even if we only hear about the efforts for a matter of months.

Need help figuring out where to serve in 2019? Speak with a mission trip support representative from Experience Mission today. Call 888-475-6414 ext. 1 or fill out a mission trip interest form.

Help Give Their Summer a Purpose!

A relief mission trip is a great way to add purpose to the summer and build unity with your students this summer!

Last fall, the southern coast of the United States—as well as several areas in the Caribbean—were devastated by the winds and flood waters of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. As images of the devastation splashed across the media, relief volunteers and resources rushed to aid these communities—gutting homes that had flooded, cleaning up debris, and helping to relocate families that lost it all. What seemed like a tragedy sparked hope in mankind and brought our country together.

Now, nearly a year after the devastation, resources have dried up, volunteers have dwindled, and families are still struggling to rebuild without the help that was promised to them. Thankfully, churches and mission groups are filling in the gaps. This summer Experience Mission will mobilize more than 1,000 volunteers (mostly youth groups) to serve in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

While most affected families in the area had their homes gutted (flooring and drywall included), many people are still struggling to find the resources (or time) to put their homes back together. Volunteer groups will be bringing hope to this situation by installing drywall and flooring, painting, and fixing up minor landscaping issues alongside local families and partner organizations around the area.

Groups from around the country are helping to bring hope to this region through construction projects and there’s still time for your youth group to join them!

Experience Mission trips are launching every week from May 20 through August 12, and many weeks still have room for additional volunteers. To get started, fill out an interest form for an upcoming mission trip! You don’t need to be highly skilled in these areas to contribute! EM will have staff and supplies on hand to ensure that your group will provide a meaningful service to community members. You might be surprised just how much you can learn from working together, meeting families in need, and being the hands and feet of Jesus for a week.