Traveling abroad is often a brand new experience for people who attend our mission’s trips. We want to make the process simple to prepare you for what’s to come. So here is a list of 7 Things You Should Do On A Mission’s Trip:
1. Make a plan for how to get there.
Many people plan well for their arrival, but they forget an important detail…how to get there. Make sure you have a clear plan for arrival.
Plan for: Getting to the airport, what airline and flight number you are taking, who is picking you up at the airport upon arrival. Also, be sure to have the address (possibly translated) so that you can get to your destination as quickly and smoothly as possible.
2. Get to know your team.
You are going to be spending all day every day with your mission’s team once you arrive onsite. You want to be able to work together well and not have to begin introductions after you arrive. A team works best when they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and can put together a plan for how to best use their time during the trip. Plan meetings together before the trip, or, if your team is not local, form a Facebook group or chatroom where you can get to know each other online!
3. Be productive with your time.
The days fly by on short-term mission’s trips. It’s important to make the most of your time there. Do your research before you arrive. What resources do they have? What are the living quarters and medical treatment facilities like? Make a plan and stick to it! What goals do you have? What do you want to accomplish? Be sure to have assignments ready to give to the team so that productivity can begin right away!
4. Accept the culture.
You are not traveling abroad to push YOUR culture onto the people there. You are stepping into a new culture that you must accept and respect! Learn what is okay and what’s not acceptable in the local culture. Dress, speak, and interact appropriately.
5. Learn important words in the local language.
You will likely have a translator, but to build trust and connection, it’s always important to learn a few words and key phrases in the local language of the area you are serving. Plus, you may not always have your translator by your side. There could be one translator per a handful of people! You don’t want your lack of communication to slow down your progress while you are there.
6. Plan ahead for sightseeing.
You are overseas in an area that you may not ever visit again, so, of course, you will want to experience some sightseeing! Make sure you plan ahead or else you may leave the country never having seen its beauty. Yes, you are there to serve, and that should be your number one priority, but if you are close to some areas that you want to explore, schedule time to do so! This may look like trading off with a few people on your team so you can take an adventure one day while they stay behind and then swap out the next day!
7. Continue connecting.
When you return home, you will be changed. You will want to continue supporting missions, but you may not know how. Here is a post about 3 Ways To Continue Supporting Mission Trips Upon Your Return. Continue connecting to those you worked alongside while on your mission’s trip. No one else will understand your experience quite like them, and this will bond you together forever.