If you’re asking how to prepare for a mission trip then you’re well on your way to understanding that there’s more to ministering in a far-away place than just showing up with a willing heart. Although a willing heart is the first step. But history has shown us that even the most adventurous struggle to accomplish important mission work because stress and anxiety can show up unexpectedly when we’re not adequately prepared.
We applaud your determination in preparing for a successful mission trip experience.
1. Prayer Support
In a previous blog, we mentioned the importance of spending time in prayer. It is equally important to have others praying for you. The prepared missionary works with a team on the field and off, communicating needs and praises to supportive people back home. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working…” (James 5:16). The more people you have praying for you and the mission trip, the more effective you’ll be.
2. Raising Funds
Often short-term mission teams are expected to raise their own funds for travel to the host country and living expenses while staying there. If the church or mission you visit has a major project underway, there may be a need to raise funds for this endeavor, as well. Sharing the need of the people that you’ll be visiting with your support team back home creates awareness about what God is doing in other countries. It’s a way of spreading His glory, so go ahead and ask for assistance. Most people are happy to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
3. Packing for the Destination
Being prepared for the mission trip’s physical demands is a must. When tired, unsure, or worried, we’re never at our best. Add cultural stress to any of these challenges and your experience could be less than stellar. Talk to people who’ve been in the country you’re traveling to about terrain, temperatures, and weather patterns. Having more than one pair of comfortable shoes suitable for rough landscape, will keep you on your feet. Wearing climate-friendly clothing will keep you comfortable. Be mindful of communications on t-shirts and other clothing that can send a confusing message to hosts. Bring along clothing that’s not only fitting for the temperature, but also modest. People in many different cultures are offended by the summer clothing westerners find acceptable.
4. Preventative Health
Our fourth suggestion in preparing for a mission trip is to visit a doctor who specializes in international or travel medicine. You may require vaccinations or oral preventative medications that help fight against contagious diseases that don’t exist in your home country. Seek medical advice four to six months prior to your travels to receive the optimum protection and avoid becoming sick.
5. Foods Matter
The number five recommendation is to eat healthy before you head overseas. Load up on gut-healthy, probiotic-rich foods such as goat’s milk yogurt (also good for blood pressure) and apple vinegar (controls blood pressure and cholesterol). As you prepare for a mission trip, eating healthy foods prior to travel will keep you and your intestinal tract feeling great.
The above must-dos are just a few of the recommended steps to ensure your mission trip is a successful experience—one that accomplishes mission goals and fulfills that indescribable yearning within to reach the nations.
If you have advice to share with others who may be preparing for a mission trip, comment below!