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I'm NOT Going on This Mission Trip - What Now?

Maybe you are sending your son or daughter off on a mission trip. Maybe it’s a grandchild. Maybe it’s your best friend leaving to serve. Maybe your husband or wife is heading off to do Kingdom work. And you've found yourself not able to go on this trip… so what do you do while you stay behind?

It’s extremely tough to say goodbye to your loved ones, kids especially, entrusting them to someone else in a place that’s not their home. So, first of all, thank you for that. Thank you for trusting the Lord to take care of them and to be present along the way! Thank you for allowing them and spurring them on to go and spread the Gospel!  Right now you may need a reminder: God’s got this! He is faithful!

It’s hard because you miss them, but you are also excited because you know God is going to do awesome things with and through them. So, for those of us who have to stay behind at times, what can we do?

1. Encourage them

Encourage them before they leave, while they are there, and when they get back. Before they depart, tell them that you love them, that you are proud of them, etc. I know you are going to miss them and you should tell them that, but make sure your words aren’t stirring up too much sadness and regret for signing up for the trip. We want them to be excited to go and excited to come home!

How can you encourage them while they are there? 

  • Sticky notes in their luggage that they can find along the way. 
  • Pack a book they can read with a note from you stuck in it. 
  • Write a bundle of handwritten notes for each day they are away.
  • Send a new blank notebook along for them to write-down their experiences

2. Pray for them

Don’t worry… pray! When you feel anxious or a little worried, turn those concerns into prayers.

Some specific verses to pray: 

  • Pray that they would speak boldly to all they meet about Jesus. Like Paul asked to be prayed for, pray that any time they open their mouth, the right words would be given to them:
    • Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. Ephesians 6:19
  • Pray that God would do crazy, awesome things with/through them! Pray for strength, love, endurance, and wisdom Pray like Paul did – ask Him to do IMMEASURABLY more:
    • I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21
  • Pray that God and the people they are with have favor on them:
    • May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. Psalm 90:17

3. Be on mission yourself!

Sometimes we can get in the mentality that if we aren’t “on a mission trip,” we aren’t on mission. My friends, we are all missionaries! 

Some places you can be on mission everyday:

  • grocery store
  • babysitting 
  • going to work/school
  • caring for a friend/parent
  • Or even going to the mall 

Tell about the greatness of God every single place you go!

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Although you may not have raised support, sent out letters, or attended countless missions meetings like your loved one did, take the same perspective of being on the mission field into your home community! You will be amazed with all God can and will do.

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