You find yourself called to a medical missions trip, but you want to make sure you are prepared and equipped before you find yourself overwhelmed and in over your head. You may have all the medical knowledge needed, but what about spiritual knowledge? A great way to prepare before you leave on your trip is to not only prepare your heart but to prepare your mind with these eight book suggestions to read before your medical mission’s trip!

  1. Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence by: David Livermore

Although many are involved in short-term missions experiences all around the world, there’s always improvements to be made to the approach and practice of missions trips. Many times we want to bring our culture to other places in the world instead of bringing Christ and adapting to the culture that’s already there. This book will help the reader to serve with cultural sensitivity and intelligence.

  1. Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by: Duane Elmer

When the author went around the world asking what people thought about missionaries, the response showed him that Christian missionaries came across less than humble. In fact, they came across arrogant. Obviously, this approach was hurting their impact. Actions that were meant to be loving instead came across as pretentious and superior. In his book, Elmer gives advice about how to serve with humility and avoid misunderstanding other cultures. To serve effectively around the globe, read this book before your next mission’s trip.

  1. Multicultural Manners: Essential Rules of Etiquette for the 21st Century by: Norine Dresser

When traveling overseas, you will quickly learn that it’s not easy to understand the etiquette of a new cultural. This book will help address appropriate interactions around the world when it comes to greeting one another, hand signals that mean different things globally, and how to avoid embarrassment with each new interaction. This book is informative and will give you the courage you need to approach a culturally different community respectfully.

  1. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself. by: Steve Corbett, Brian Fikker

Donations and handouts are typically our response to poverty. It helps us feel as if we are making an impact without having to get our hands dirty. But what if our handouts and donations were fueling the problem? Poverty is complex and deserves consideration to truly alleviate the problem. Those in poverty need empowerment and ways to sustain themselves rather than relying on those around them. Sustainable change must happen from the inside out. This book will give you a new perspective on how to help alleviate poverty in ways that are long lasting!

  1. Medical Missions: Get Ready, Get Set, Go! by: Bruce Steffes

This book recognizes that medical missions are different than other short-term mission trips. Practicing medicine in areas with very little supplies in conditions that are less than ideal is difficult. This book will help those involved in medical missions trips know what to expect and receive tips on how to be more effective! Read the stories about the author’s personal experiences and feel more prepared with his advice and insights. This is a must-read book that can also be slipped into your pocket to take with you for encouragement on the field!

  1. Let the Nations Be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions by: John Piper

This book gives readers a biblical basis for missions, why it’s important for the expansion of the Gospel, and the importance to reach all nations! Preparing for a medical missions trip requires the understanding of the spiritual mission as well. Read this book to be ready for the spiritual work!

  1. Preach and Heal: A Biblical Model for Missions by: Charles Fielding

This book teaches why it’s important to both preach and heal. If you don’t meet the physical needs of a person, how can you expect he/she to accept the spiritual need? It’s important not to walk away from healing while leaving a person spiritually dry. Ministry must be balanced to be effective.

Preparing yourself for your medical missions trip is essential. Choose a few books from this list, and watch yourself benefit from the knowledge and preparation before your big adventure!

See you in the mission field!

Sheri Postma, RN
Founder & CEO
Mission Partners for Christ