A common obstacle many potential volunteers experience to committing to medical mission trip is fear.

Fear is a powerful emotion that can stop even the holiest of people from moving forward. However, there is an antidote to fear: light. In the light of the truth, fear loses its power and its hold over us. In the light of the truth, we can begin to see more clearly how fear distorted our vision. Once we can see the path in front of us as it really is, rather than what fear told us it might be, walking forward becomes a much easier experience.

So today, let’s take fear out of its hiding place in the dark, and bring it out into the light so that we can see what is actually in front of us. Let’s look at some of the misconceptions that fear has convinced us might be the truth.

Fear Of The Unknown

The fear of the unknown is a big one for aspiring medical mission volunteers, which is understandable. When you’re going to a new place and coming-face-to-face with new experiences, new cultures, it’s natural to feel some amount of anxiety or uncertainty. 

This fear can be driven by a lack of information or understanding, and it can cause people to avoid unfamiliar places, people, or experiences. For some, this fear can be debilitating, preventing them from fully participating in life and limiting their ability to grow and learn. 

It’s important to remember that fear of the unknown is a natural human emotion, however, it is not necessary to be controlled by it. Instead, it’s possible to work through this fear by facing it head on, educating oneself, and with time and patience, one can learn to overcome it.

If fear of the unknown is holding you back from committing to a medical mission trip, let’s try to unpack it a bit. What exactly are you concerned about? 

Trying new food? Perhaps finding some recipes from the culture you will be volunteering with could be helpful. You can prepare some of their food for yourself at home, where you feel comfortable. You can also practice some radical acceptance by acknowledging that you do have anxiety in this area but you will make a conscious effort to be open to trying new things and learning to appreciate a new food or experience.

Are you anxious about whether or not you will be able to speak the language or understand the culture? These are very common concerns. Again, research will be your friend. Perhaps you can research the culture online or find a book at your local library to help you gain insight into this new corner of the world you’ve never experienced. You may also be able to learn a few key phrases of the local language through apps like Duolingo or programs like Rosetta Stone

Education is always a great resource when learning to overcome fear of the unknown. 

Fear Of Going Alone

Traveling to a new country without a loved one by your side is a stressful experience for anyone. It doesn’t really matter if the trip is only 10 days, either. Having one of your people by your side brings a certain amount of comfort when travelling into the unknown.

Many of our volunteers have experienced the discomfort of committing to a medical mission trip by themselves. However, it may be help to know that a common feeling for our volunteers, once they return from a medical missions trip, is that they have found new life-long friends.

When asked about how they felt about their experience serving on our medical missions teams, several of our volunteers responded positively

If you find yourself feeling afraid of traveling alone, we hope that you can rest assured that you will have a similar experience as many of our volunteers and that you, too, may find life-long friendships in your teammates.

Fear of Danger

Safety is a great concern for Mission Partners For Christ when we decide to travel to a location for a medical mission trip, both for physical safety and safety in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. We never want to jeopardize our volunteer’s safety. How we accomplish this is by staying alert to what is happening on the ground in our host countries.

We have developed close relationships with our partners in each of the locations where we plan to serve. This helps us better understand what the situation might be, and helps us make good decisions about the safety of our whole team.

More than that, we believe in a God who cares for us and protects us. While we can never fully account for every possibility that may occur on a trip, we can rest in the promises of a God who dearly loves each one of us like a Father. We rest in the comfort of prayer.

If you are afraid for your safety, know that this is normal. You are welcome to reach out to us with any concerns of an upcoming trip and we can let you know the steps we’ve taken to ensure your safety. 

Fear Of Finances

Fear of not being able to afford a trip is a huge obstacle for many of our volunteers, which is understandable! When you commit to traveling and serving with Mission Partners For Christ on a medical mission trip, you are also stepping out in faith that you will have the money to follow through.

We’ve heard some amazing stories from some of our volunteers who took this very same step of faith, not knowing if they could afford to go. Lo and behold, God came through for each of them.

If you are sitting on the fence about joining us on a medical mission trip due to anxiety around finances, perhaps this testimony from one of our volunteers can encourage you that, with God, all things are possible!

In summary, if you are experiencing any amount of fear or anxiety around committing to a medical missions trip, please know that this is normal. It’s not a sign of weak faith, it’s a sign that you are human.

However, we hope that you won’t allow fear to hold you back from doing great things for the glory of God.