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Will My Mission Trip Change Me?

Chances are, if you return from your mission trip unchanged... you may have done something wrong. 

It’s no question that serving on a mission trip will change you. Maybe not physically, but emotionally and spiritually, you may come home a new person. You may feel like your spirit is lifted and yet, burdened at the same time. This is because you are energized and rejuvenated by seeing the global Church in action, but you are also wrestling with and questioning what God’s plan is for the world, how He is moving or what role you play in that big plan.

The emotions can be complicated. If you are struggling with culture shock, we recommend you speak with someone who you know personally who has experienced the same thing. (If you aren't sure of someone who has experienced culture shock, just look for another person who has traveled, done missions in the past or is from another country). But, along with some confusing feelings to sort through, you may also notice that you have some positive character changes as well!

 You may find that: 

  • When your food is late at a restaurant, you don’t yell at the waiter or ask for a refund. Gratitude for the food that you are able to eat replaces any frustration you may have. – Patience.

  • When there is a rain-storm that ruins your bathroom due to a leaky ceiling, you choose to renovate with gladness. The simple fact that you own a roof over your head is enough. – Gratitude.

  • When you look in the pantry and are tempted to say, “we have nothing to eat!” You choose to still your tongue and get creative - you know that statement isn’t true. – Truth.

  • When dealing with customer service reps or the general public and you are frustrated by a situation, you may choose to bring joy to the situation and react in kindness. There is no point in going through life angry, someone somewhere is going through something more difficult than you are. – Grace.

  • Your house seems more like a luxury condo than the quaint home you left. You may feel trapped by the overwhelming amount of stuff you’ve accumulated. Give it away instead of hoarding it. – Giving.
  • When the electricity goes out, you may laugh. You’ll remember that 79% of the world lives without consistent electricity. Instead of getting frustrated, rest in the momentary silence and memories that it brings. – Joy.

Your mission trip will change you in the simplest of ways, but also maybe in the deepest. Missions continually gives us a new lens to view the world with each day. When facing challenging moments with a new world-perspective, the right decision is often made very clear. Sometimes it just takes looking through a lens of patience, gratitude or truth. Of grace, giving, or joy. Other times it requires a lens of simple reality.

We aren’t perfect people, and some days you may fail miserably at seeing life with a world-perspective. 

But, we know that every day is a choice. You can either double down and root deeper into what you know is right and true, or give up.

Embrace the changes within your heart after returning home from missions and choose the harder path, that ultimately leads to a healthier life. A more God-honoring life where we choose to live with perspective.

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