This July I am planning to go on a mission trip to Utah. Whenever someone goes on a mission trip with my church, they are required to full out a questionnaire. This questionnaire includes general information, bu it also is designed to make you think about the upcoming trip with questions like "What do you hope to see God accomplish during this trip?" and things like that. One of the questions is, "what previous mission trips have you taken and what lessons did you learn on these trips?"
Although I have never been on a mission trip outside of the US I have been many places on mission and done many things on those trips. I thought I would share some of those lessons with you here on my blog. This is really more than I have room for on a form at church. So without any further ado, here are 11 lessons I have learned on mission trips to Washington & Oregon, Memphis, New Orleans, Kenosha WI, New Hampshire & Massachusetts, and Pearlington MS.
1. You will probably have experiences with the native wildlife.
2. The ability to make balloon animals will make you very popular
3. Not just anybody can rock a plastic visor
4. You better like playing cards or dominoes, because once the day's work is done there is nothing else to do. You will be playing cards.
5. Take lots of pictures, because one day in the future you may want to write a blogpost about all the stuff you learned and the points that have pictures are much more interesting than the ones without. (Seriously though, pictures are great because you will want to report to the people back at your church what it was like and pictures convey more than most of us are able to convey with words.)
6. Even if, like me, you have no actual discernible skills, you can always find some way to help.
7. Pretty much wherever you are going, [especially if you are going to the deep south] sunscreen & bug spray will be your friends.
8. Working alongside others you will probably come to know the meaning of Christian fellowship in a new way
9. Flexibility is extremely important, you almost always wind up doing things you didn't previously plan on
10. You will probably have to eat weird food or food you don't like. Just suck it up, it won't hurt you (probably)
11. There is nothing better for personal revival than a week or a vacation, or a summer spent serving others whether it is witnessing to them, trying to lead them to eternal life, or whether it is a work project and service of some sort.