It might sound cliché, but serving in Guatemala through Project Go changed my life. I was able to serve in a capacity I never thought was possible for me. I prayed with complete strangers in their homes. I formed indescribable relationships with the Buckner Guatemala staff. I experienced the warm hospitality the people offered as they went out of their way to make our mission team feel at home during our five weeks there.
I would encourage anyone who’s considering serving through Project Go to do it! Here are my top tips for making Project Go – or any mission trip experience – great.
- Daily or nightly team debriefs are key! Being able to debrief as a team at the end of the day is very important. Team communication allows each team member to hold each other accountable and not feel alone.
- Hang out with your in-country staff. When you have a free weekend, take the time to get to know the in-country Buckner staff and translators. Learn about their interests and how they spend their free time. The Buckner staff will become your best friends during Project Go.
- Wear a money belt. If you are serving internationally you’ll probably stick out as a U.S. citizen, and pickpockets sometimes target people who look like foreigners. A money belt is one of the best ways to keep your valuables safe and your trip worry-free.
- Try new foods. Trying new foods in your country allows you to appreciate the culture you are living in. The element of surprise in that first bite makes it that much more fun!
- Make a weekly prayer list. Pray with your team in the mornings about your day ahead. Start the day thanking God for the position you are in to serve him and the amazing people you get to serve.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you don’t understand. There will be many cultural differences between the country you visit through Project Go and the United States. Questions about these differences are perfectly welcomed and encouraged – just make sure you are respectful to the Bucker in-country staff when asking questions.
Kendall Tillman is a sophomore at Baylor University where she’s studying business and Spanish. She served in Guatemala this past summer through Project Go, a one- to two-month missions experience through Buckner International.
The deadline to apply for Project Go 2015 is March 1! Click here to learn more.