Are Mission Trips Good for the Soul?

Are Mission Trips Good for the Soul?

by Susan Neuhalfen

Many area churches spend a portion of their summer on mission trips. It’s the one time when entire families or older kids can take the time for a trip, and many view it as more rewarding than a typical vacation. The thought of going on a mission trip conjures up pictures in the mind that are both scary and exciting. So what are some of the reasons your family or your teenager should participate in a mission trip?

Mission trips will take you out of your comfort zone
So often we get comfortable in our suburban bubble. Sure we volunteer, make our donations but actually being among those in need is a different kind of giving.

“Getting out of that comfort zone is a huge step for many,” said Jake Jarrell, Student Minister at BridgeWay Church. “Trusting that God will use you and going where there is need can be life-changing.”

We better realize the needs of others globally

Living in a free country with all of the creature comforts, we forget that there are people all over the world without the basics of clean water and shelter. Not only does it feel better to help accomplish this for a village, it makes a person grateful when he or she returns home.
Guyer Coach Michael Eddy says that every time he goes on a Hoops for Hope mission trip, he is amazed at what he takes for granted. Hoops for Hope works with churches all over the world teaching the kids basketball skills but also teaching participants that everyone has a purpose in life.

“We have so many amenities that we take for granted,’ said Eddy. “I’m grateful for them, but I also see how easy it is to be happy for the simple things. The kids at the camps have taught me that.”

It expands the view of church
So often parishioners are caught up in a church rut. Go on Sundays, tithe, serve on a committee…it’s good to be faithful in the routine, but sometimes it’s good to change up the game and be the church outside the walls. In Ecuador, the students at BridgeWay actually go into the community to talk about God. They travel door to door which is difficult especially for teenagers. Luckily, the community is receptive to their efforts.

Missionaries Form Lasting Bonds

It’s true of any trip. When traveling, it’s easy to grow close to fellow travelers as your circle is limited. However, a trip that is life-changing means forming lasting bonds, not only with other missionaries, but those that you meet there.

For Coach Eddy, Hoops for Hope has helped him form bonds with many of his students as well as the kids they help.

The trip ends, but the mission does not
According to Jerrell, teens have a passion that you don’t necessarily find in a lot of adults. As a result of their work with those in low-income areas, they have a tendency to come back wanting to do more. Jerrell has seen firsthand how his students become more selfless and start becoming more active in community service.

“God surprises you with how he grows you in the situation,” said Jerrell. “We do the same trips multiple times and every time I see that it’s changed lives.”

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