Getting up the courage to take a medical missions trip can be a challenge. Just the thought of missions alone can make people squirm, so throw in the ideal of helping with medical issues can make it even more overwhelming.I want you to know that having fears are normal. Everyone has anxiety around their first trip. It’s ok.
To help battle the overwhelm and encourage you that you are the right person for God to use, we have developed 10 ways to calm your nerves before you leave for your missions trip!
Tip #1) Prayer.
Before you decide if a trip is right for you start by asking God what He thinks. If your nerves start getting the better of you, pray. It doesn’t have to be a long eloquent prayer. Maybe try something like this, “Father, the idea of getting on this plane and flying halfway around the world is freaking me out. Please calm my nerves so that I can serve you well.”
Tip #2) Sleep
Make sure you are getting enough sleep before your trip. Try to stay on your normal sleep pattern. If you normally hit the hay at 9 pm, stick to it. Being sleep deprived increases anxiety and slows down the thought process
Traveling solo or with a group of people you don’t really know can be nerve racking. Taking a friend along with you can bring you a lot of peace. Just having someone to share your hopes and fears with can go along way to helping you breathe a little easier.
Tip # 6) Ask Questions
When in doubt ask. If you have questions that you don’t see the answers to on our website and Google seems to be failing, email us and we will get back with you. There aren’t any bad or stupid questions. It’s ok to not know everything when you sign up for a trip.
Tip #7) Create a Prayer Team
The power of personal prayer is huge. The power of a group prayer is immeasurable. Just knowing that there is a team of people that love you, care about you, and are praying for you takes away so much of the worry. Be intentional about asking for prayer for your trip. Sunday school classes and small groups are a great way to get extra spiritual support.
Tip #8) Take Breaks
Intentionally spend more time with family and friends. Do some things that bring you joy. Getting out and moving is great for the nerves. Take a walk or a run, go on a bike ride or go for a swim. Take the kids or grandkids out for ice cream or to a movie. Connecting with loved ones lowers stress.
Tip #9 Ask For What You Need
Stress, nerves, or fear is different for everyone, and everyone needs different things to help deal with those emotions. If you are someone who knows you need more quiet down time then make sure you ask for it from those around you. If you need more movement or you need comfort food then make sure you ask for what you need.
Tip #10 Be Thankful
Choosing to be thankful for the opportunity to serve God can really lower the stress that comes with going on a trip. Give thanks to God for providing you with the opportunity to serve His people.
We have a lot of people ask what it looks like to do mission work in the medical field. We thought that a powerful way to show some of the many faces of medical missions is to compile our top 5 must see documentaries on the world health crisis. Most of these amazing stories you can find on Amazon. We have included the links to them where possible along with the descriptions that accompany them so you can choose which ones you would like to watch the next time you curl up with a bowl of popcorn.
Period. End of sentence– (a NetFlix original)
This Oscar award winning film seeks to end the taboo around menstruation in developing countries.
A Walk To Beautiful– (amazon)
This Emmy award winning film documents the real life struggles of women struggling with childbirth injuries.
Tapestries of Hope- (amazon)
Tapestries of Hope exposes the horrific rape of young women and girls by men with hiv/aids in Zimbabwe and highlights the efforts of one organization to protect and empower those young women.
Living in Emergency– (amazon)
This 2008 Oscar nominee highlights the stories of four doctors working with doctors without borders trying to perform life saving emergency care in some of the most challenging situations possible.
Hero with a Thousand Faces– (amazon)
This documentary gives an unfettered view of the Ebola crisis and the heros that came to stop it.
Ready to get involved? Email us at email@example.com for information on how you can help!
There are many things to consider before joining a non-profit on a medical mission outreach.
Deciding to travel abroad on a medical mission can be the best experience of your life, but you definitely want to know what you’re getting into and what’s required before taking the leap! Here are some questions to ask a non-profit before you commit to joining them on a trip:
1. What’s the location?
It may seem obvious to ask about the location of the mission you want to go on, but the details can often be overlooked! You will want to know how many clinics will be held during the trip, if there will be additional travel involved in getting to the clinic sites, where those sites are, and how many days each clinic will last.
2. Are there missionaries already working there?
Being able to have contact with any missionaries that are already serving where you want to serve prior to traveling can be a great resource in preparing for your trip. It is also a good idea to establish a relationship with them before you arrive. If there are missionaries already there, be sure to ask for their names and contact information.
3. What will the weather be like?
Knowing what the weather will be like when you will be traveling to an area can make or break your trip. You definitely want to be prepared with proper clothing in the event you show up during rainy season!
4. What type of travel is involved?
While you can count on a long flight to an overseas medical outreach, you will want to know what type of travel will be involved once you arrive. Make sure to ask how far you will have to travel from the airport, what method you will be traveling, as well as the road conditions if applicable.
5. What will the accommodations be like?
Knowing where you will be staying and what amenities are available are all important things to know. You’ll want to know whether you will have your own room or share, if a bed will be provided, whether there will be electricity and running water, and how far you will be from the outreach site. Additionally, be sure to ask if accommodations will cost extra, as sometimes they aren’t included in the cost of your trip.
6. What language will primarily be spoken?
Knowing what language will primarily be spoken where you are serving can help you prepare for your trip. You will also want to know if translators will be provided and whether there will be an additional cost for them.
7. Are visas required?
Many medical mission outreaches require a visa, and there is often an additional cost for this. Make sure to find out how to obtain this in time for your trip, as well as any costs involved.
8. Are meals provided?
Having to pay for meals can drive the cost of your trip up significantly depending on where you are serving. Be sure to ask before hand whether all meals will be provided in the initial cost of your trip. If not, find out what the average cost of meals are, as well as the availability and average cost for bottled water.
9. Is this a safe area to serve?
Some areas of the world will definitely be more safe than others. Be sure to find out how safe the area you will be serving in will be. If it is a riskier area, find out what measures will be in place to ensure safety (i.e. a security team and/or crowd control).
While this list definitely doesn’t cover all of the questions you could ask before committing to a medical mission outreach, we think it is a good start. What else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments! And if you want to learn more about our organization and our upcoming trips, be sure to check out our volunteer page.
Are you curious about joining us for our Burundi trip in 2020 and want more information?
If so, you are in the perfect place! In this second part of our How We Mission series, we are going to share everything you ever wanted to know about our upcoming 2020 trip to Burundi. (To read about the first trip in our series, click here.)
Our trip to Burundi, one of the smallest countries in Africa, will be 7/11-7/20. The majority of the population lives in rural areas which has lead to deforestation (overpopulation), soil erosion and habitat loss. Burundians experience a great deal of poverty, corruption, poor access to healthcare, education and hunger. In fact, the World Happiness Report of 2018 ranked Burundi as the world’s least happy nation. Join us on this medical mission trip as we bring joy and the love of Jesus to the people of Burundi. Here are a list of facts about the trip, we hope it will help you decide whether to join us! Of course, if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to contact us via email.
How much does it cost to join this trip? Do I have to pay the entire amount to secure my spot?
The cost for our Burundi trip is $2700. A $300 deposit is required within 2 weeks of registering for the trip to secure your spot and will go towards the total balance. Half of the balance is due 4/17/20, and the rest is due by 6/20/20. Additionally, there is a $100 application fee.
What does the cost of this trip cover?
The cost of each of our trips include meals, travel, and accommodations. If a tourism day is built into the trip, travel is included. Volunteers are responsible for the cost of souvenirs or other optional activities they wish to pursue.
How old do I have to be to participate in this trip?
For liability purposes, you must be 18 years or older to participate in a trip with us.
What are my responsibilities while attending this trip?
All we ask is that you are willing to serve as a unified team member and are willing to be flexible. We assign roles and and discuss more specific trip responsibilities during our first team meeting which will be held via zoom video conference. Additionally, we ask each participant to attend all team meetings, be on time during the trip and attend all trip activities.
What type of documentation do I need to provide to attend this trip?
All participants need to provide a passport with 2 blank pages and at least 6 months expiration date past return date of trip (1/20/21), a clear color copy of your passport, 2 additional passport photos, and a visa (this will be discussed during our first team meeting).
Furthermore, doctors and dentists must provide a clear copy of their medical degree, certificate or evidence of completing internship, CV, reference letter from employer, and a copy of current medical license. Nurses must provide a clear copy of their nursing degree, nursing license, a resume, a reference letter from their employer, and an official transcript.
Are there any vaccines or other medical requirements to participate?
All volunteers are required to get a yellow fever vaccine before they can obtain their visa. We also recommend you consider obtaining Hepatitis A and oral typhoid vaccines, as well as prescription medication to prevent malaria.
Are there any other requirements that I should know about this trip?
Yes. We do require a background check, and that you sign a waiver.
I need help raising funds for this trip. Can you help me?
You’ve just heard from a good friend that they booked their first mission trip. This is exciting news, but how do you best support them?
Raising funds, arranging travel, and serving during a mission trip itself can be emotionally and mentally exhausting, so the support of friends and family during this time is crucial. Here are four ways you can support your loved one on their journey:
1. Pray For Their Mission Trip
Prayer is probably one of the most important things you can do to support your friend or loved one during their trip! As Christians we know that prayer can move mountains. Don’t know what to pray for specifically? This post offers 31 ways to pray for missions.
2. Encourage Them
Being your friend’s greatest supporter will go a long way towards easing their fears of the unknown, and help them feel encouraged. A simple text message letting them know how proud you are of them will be enough to lift their spirits when the going gets tough. For an added dose of encouragement, consider sending a care package with them filled with notecards containing a scripture and encouraging word for them to open on each day of their trip.
3. Give Financially
You simply can’t go on a missions trip without funding, so supporting your loved one’s trip financially can be one of the best ways to help! Even if you can only give $5, every little bit counts.
4. Spread The Word About Their Mission Trip
Another way to help financially is to spread the word about your friend’s trip for them to help raise funds! When people are personally connected to a cause they are more likely to give, so share away! If you need help coming up with the words to say you can download our free fundraising letter template here.
What about you? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments. The more we support others with their mission work, the more people we can serve around the world!
Going on a mission’s trip is different than becoming a missionary. Missionaries have to learn an entirely new language, integrate themselves into a diverse people group, navigate cultural differences and more. But when you decide to go on a mission’s trip — even short-term — you can still take small steps towards immersing yourself into a new culture. It makes the experience much more meaningful the more you decide to learn about a new culture.
To immerse yourself into a new culture, you first have to spend a significant amount of time learning about the culture. There are so many ways to learn through internet searches, books, or talking with others who have been where you are going. Study the history of the place you are visiting! Find out more about the people you will be serving. Ask questions!
If another language is spoken where you are going, download an app like Duolingo and learn the basics before you travel! So many times those you are serving have to fill in the communication gaps, but you should make the effort as well. Learning the language shows the people there that you’re willing to put real work into developing relationships.
Use the language basics to develop friendships. This is a great way to immerse yourself into a culture — do life with people of other cultures and learn from them!
Speaking of friendships, a part of being a good friend is compromising. It’s easy to want things to go your way, but try following their schedule instead! Sometimes that means eating a really late dinner or possibly waking up early with the sunrise. Do things their way instead of trying to bring your culture to them.
Another important way to immerse yourself into a new culture is to drop your assumptions. We all go somewhere with preconceived ideas. Some of that could have come through the early research you’ve done. But be open to the fact that, yes, researching an area you are traveling to is important, but it doesn’t tell you everything! People are unique individuals and can surprise you! Go with the flow and observe real-life, day-to-day happenings upon your arrival and follow those! Live true to yourself while also genuinely honoring and accepting the culture you are visiting.
Observe. Be sincere. Ask for help! Be open!
Disclaimer: This article isn’t saying to pretend to act like you are someone you are not. Don’t pretend to be apart of a culture in a disrespectful way. Approach your new cultural experience in a way that says you know who you are and where you come from but that you want to learn about and experience their culture in a genuine and honest way while you are there.
Tell us all about ways you have immersed yourself into another culture. What was that experience like for you?