Medical missions trips can be a great source of inspiration, education, and even adventure while we serve others and release new blessings into their lives.
What we want to keep in mind though is that it’s not all about us or others. These medical missions trips are ultimately one way through which God’s love and glory is displayed. It’s not all about what we can get from it. While we are immersed in other cultures, nations, or regions, there are some things to remember that will help us shine bright as we serve others.
Be Sensitive to the Moment
It’s natural to want to remember the sights and sounds of the moments we spent with others. While we are on the medical missions trip, we can jot down notes to aid us in journaling and writing supportive fundraising content once we are home and take lots of pictures. We often want to be able to show friends and family how we were able to serve others and what it was like so they can understand the mission and support it. When we are photographing scenic views and momentous events or people, we want to be sure we have permission to include everything or anyone.
There may be some places we go to where we need to be especially sensitive in this regard, so if you’re unsure, you could always ask your group’s leaders, the person you are talking with, and study about the culture and any context or specific regional information you may need to know prior to going on the trip.
When we take pictures or write about what we experience on these trips, it’s important to have the right heart. We are not the savior of anyone.
How we present where we’ve been and what we’ve done is a reflection of who we are, so we need to go with hearts fully set on loving others where they are and serving them rather than making ourselves look good. Trust in the organization is built up with others when we show we honor and respect them and everything anyone does in the group can build trust.
Think of a time when you poured your whole heart into a meal for your family or friends. How happy were you to see the delight on others’ faces when they began to eat? Go back even further to the moments throughout the day as different people walked through the kitchen while you were cooking. Their questions and anticipation of the meal. The building excitement as those waiting expressed interest in the scents of the cooking food. It’s a joy to serve others.
Now imagine you are guests in a foreign place where such meals may be quite costly in time, resources, and more–yet a group of grateful-hearted ladies or gentlemen have sacrificed and worked hard to prepare a special meal for you and your group. They have given their all for it, and it may just be the best tasting meal you have sat down for in years due to all the love that went into it. They find it a joy to serve others too, and they look forward to you enjoying what they have put into it.
By being mindful of the various ways we can show our appreciation of all they have done, and being willing to try the foods or meals, we show our appreciation of others. We build trust too.
Show Interest in Others
You probably love to be listened to and it lights up your heart when you can tell stories and share what’s on your mind. That’s the way it is for people where we go too. Some things we listen to might seem out of the ordinary, but if we put our focus on listening to understand, we may learn something while at the same time conveying our respect and honor of others and their unique situations.
You may not always speak the language of the people where you’re going on a medical missions trip, and they may not speak yours perfectly either, so it’s a good idea to make arrangements for a reliable translator who has years of ongoing fluency in the language of the people. The internet connection or wifi in a place may be allotted only so much bandwidth too, so if there are any confusing phrases or words that cannot simply be Googled, the experienced translator will be ready and able to help you.
Are You Ready for the Next Step?
Though the focus of these trips is something greater than us, you can see there are things we can get from participating in a short-term medical mission’s trips. If you’re interested in learning more about our current upcoming 2020 destinations, have a look here.
Do you need some questions answered before you say yes? We’d love to answer your questions about joining our team. Click here to submit your question via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!