Mission Travel

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Although many missions have a similar purpose to spread the word of their religion, it's important to know exactly how these organizations strive to reach out to others.

Maybe they're disaster relief missionaries traveling to places affected by war. Or maybe their main purpose is to teach children English.

Whatever the case, consider looking at a mission's:

  • Goals
  • Motivations
  • Type of work they do
  • Countries they visit

After establishing a solid understanding of the organization, take a moment to consider your own purpose for serving:

  • What is drawing you to do mission work?
  • What are some possible setbacks?
  • Why are you interested in missionary work in the first place?

Be sure to contact trip leaders for more information and personal testimonies. The more you know, the easier it will be to find the organization that's right for you.

For more missionary information, check out 12 Tips for a Successful Missionary Trip!

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One of the most vital parts of a mission trip is the interaction between volunteers and the local people. Connecting on both a cognitive and emotional level is necessary in order to to truly understand another person's culture.

But how do you connect with someone from another country living by a different set of social standards?

In this situation, it's best research as much as possible about the place your visiting.

Consider looking up some of these topics:

  • Rules/ laws of country
  • Taboos of society
  • Living conditions
  • Appropriate gestures and attire
  • Language or native words
  • Social norms
  • Societal gender rules
  • Government and political influences

Remember, it's important to adapt an open mindset in order to see through the perspectives of the people you're serving. When it comes to missionary work, it's better to understand rather than to be understood.

Learn more about how to live in another culture:

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Be able to identify your own personal feelings, motives, and desires before your mission trip.

You'll be exposed to challenges and stressful situations you've never encountered before, so it's important to have a decent understanding of how you will possibly respond to certain circumstances.

Before doing missionary work, explore your personal strengths and weaknesses:

  • What talents/skills do I have?
  • How can I apply them on my trip?
  • What are my personal weaknesses?
  • Do any of these weaknesses threaten my ability to serve?
  • How can I overcome these?

If you're having trouble answering these, it's okay. In many cases mission trips are the key to self awareness, drawing out personality traits that would have been left untouched in a familiar setting.

Take advantage of these moments to document or spend some time mentally reflecting on what you're experiencing. Hopefully, you'll be able to see yourself develop over the course of your trip.

Remember, you are first and foremost providing a service to a community. Keep the focus on the mission, and you'll have a positive impact on others while learning more about yourself.

learn about travel health coverage

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Being sick is never fun, but when you're in a foreign country that doesn't have proper medical treatment available, an injury or illness can quickly become serious.

Mission trips can expose you to new disease your body does not know how to fight off. 

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent a medical emergency:

  1. Let your doctor know about your mission trip at least six weeks before you leave.
  2. Receive any vaccines required or requested before departing.
  3. Learn about the country's common diseases and medical treatment availability.
  4. Prepare prescriptions and other medical necessities in advance.
  5. Use your discretion when consuming food and water in the country.

Aside from health concerns, safety can be an issue in certain countries. Make sure you're up-to-date on the country's current events and social issues.

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Living in another country can be stressful. You're out of your comfort zone, all the while learning another culture and doing your best to connect with people you've never met before.

When you feel like the pressure is becoming unbearable, it can be beneficial to connect with family and friends back home. It can help ease the stressful transition by providing a temporary escape from the unfamiliar.

Share an address of your whereabouts so your loved ones can send you care packages, letters, cards, etc. If there's a chance to use Wi-Fi, consider connecting via Skype for a more personal form of long-distance communication.

Be sure to send letters or keep an active blog of pictures and descriptions of everything you're doing. It'll help keep your family and friends connected and up-to-date with news.

If you're in an area where communication is limited or you are unable to send/ receive mail, keep a daily journal to share with your family and friends when you return. Although it's not as beneficial as being connected with your home, journaling is great way to relieve anxiety.

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Your mission team will become your temporary family while you're working.

Sometimes, depending on where you go, they'll be the only ones who speak your language, adhere to similar customs, and experience the same feelings you will on the trip.

It's important to build connections with your peers before the departure.


  • Spending time outside of mandatory meetings and training sessions before the trip starts.
  • Connecting on social media.
  • Opening a discussion about personal fears and anticipations about the trip.

However, it's important to establish boundaries and refrain from seeking intimate relationships before and during the mission trip.

Not only do these intimate relationships redirect the focus of the trip on to personal endeavors, but they also welcome the potential for unwanted drama and issues to form within the team.

          learn about travel health coverage

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