So, you’ve signed up to go on that missions trip you’ve been praying about for so long. That’s great! You’ll be amazed at the ways God will change your heart and use you as His hands and feet. But how do you prepare for something like this? It’s not quite the same as going to the beach for Spring Break, is it?
Doulos has five tips to help you prepare spiritually, culturally, and logistically. Read on!
#1: Spend Time in Prayer
It might seem like this goes without saying, but you are about to proactively do God’s work in a place where there is a deep spiritual need. Make no mistake: evil does not like Christian missions trips, and Satan will attack. Cloak yourself and your team in prayer. Ask specifically for protection as you travel and work wherever you are going.
#2: Be Culturally Informed
Especially if you are traveling overseas, do your research on societal norms, cultural preferences, and the history of the people you will be interacting with. For example, your team should not arrive wearing shorts in a village where exposed legs are considered sexually explicit. Additionally, learn how to greet people in their own language so that they feel valued and understood from the beginning.
#3: Bond with Your Team
Before you leave, try to spend as much time as possible getting to know the people you’ll be traveling, living, and eating with for the duration of your trip. Nothing can wreck Christian missions trips like tension or dysfunction among ministry team members! Take the time to pray together as a team before you leave, and deal with potential pitfalls quickly and gracefully.
#4: Pack Thoroughly and Early
If you wait until the night before you leave to pack, you will forget something — and depending on where you are going, you may not be able to find a good replacement for your forgotten item! Each country and region requires specific necessities, so ask your team leader for a list of things you should bring with you. Then, check with your teammates (especially the well-traveled ones) to see if they’ve thought of anything you haven’t.
#5: Journal Before, During, and After Your Trip
Before you leave, it might be helpful to write out some of your expectations, fears, and longings. You may think you know all of these things already, but writing them down could expose hidden hopes or anxieties that you haven’t yet identified. Once you better understand the contents of your heart, you can pray more specifically for God’s work in those areas. Get into the habit of journaling before you leave, and then continue during your trip and after you get home. You’ll be amazed to see the journey you’ve walked over the course of the whole process!
Interested in Christian Missions Trips?
Doulos has upcoming trips to India, Burundi, and Cuba. If you’re interested in serving alongside us in these places, check out our website for details. We’d love to have you come along!