Today we're sharing some helpful tips to get you ready for your short-term international mission trip! Mission trips are such a wonderful opportunity to see God move in unexpected ways, and to learn more about him and more about ourselves. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out!
1. Manage your expectations. Expect God to do big things, but also remember that a trip doesn’t have to be groundbreaking in order to be successful and effective. God can work in small ways, too.
2. Get lots of rest. Your trip will likely include long days that require lots of energy to pour out to others. Make sure you are physically and mentally rested before going into a very busy week. Eat healthy, get a good night’s sleep and make sure you get proper spiritual mindset before you leave.
3. Pack early. Packing can be a nightmare … if you wait until last minute. Do your laundry the week before and start packing several days before your trip. Pack extra clothes in your carry-on, bring layers and don’t forget to check the weather.
4. Check your attitude. Drop the “me” mindset at the door when you leave. Focus on others, get ready to serve and find joy in putting others’ needs before your own.
5. Be flexible. Plans will inevitably change on your trip. Be adaptable and willing to learn. Don’t get stuck in your own ways, but be willing to try new things. The only way to grow is to be stretched.
6. Pray. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” -1 John 5:14-15
7. Learn about the culture. Do some research on the country you’ll be visiting. What are the people like? What language do they speak? What customs and holidays do they have? Understanding someone else’s culture creates a bridge to build relationships.
8. Get to know your teammates. Your relationship with your teammates will determine the atmosphere of your trip. You’ll be sharing a lot of experiences and emotions with your group, so get to know your teammates before the trip to build unity and friendship.
9. Tell others. Don’t do this journey alone. Let others join in on the process and help you prepare for the trip. Share about the ministry you’ll be part of and ask people to be prayer partners with your team.
10. Learn about the ongoing local ministry. Your team will be most effective if you have an understanding of the local ministry you’ll be working with. Get educated, ask questions and be informed on the ministry’s mission, strategies and goals so that you can seamlessly join in when your team arrives.
11. Spend time in the Word. Without Christ working in and through us, we are useless. His is the power that changes, so spend time cultivating your relationship with him. Glorify him, commit your plans to him and ask him to prepare you to be used by Him with those you meet on your trip.
12. Get out of your comfort zone at home. Try something new. Practice doing something out of your comfort zone like eating at an ethnic restaurant or starting conversation with a stranger. Your trip will be full of opportunities for new experiences!
Interested in traveling with Buckner on a short-term mission trip? Contact us here to start planning!