Author Topic: Thoughts on missions trips?  (Read 2393 times)


  • Magnum Stache
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Thoughts on missions trips?
« on: August 12, 2014, 01:50:53 PM »
Out of curiosity, how many here have gone on a missions trip through their church? I have not, my roommate is going to one in El Salvador in November and is looking forward to it, he has paid for it on his own. A few people I know in my church have been looking for contributions and I have avoided talking to them because I really don't want to contribute but don't want to tell them no.

I don't know if this is the proper place for this post, if a moderator needs to move it I understand.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Thoughts on missions trips?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 01:57:00 PM »
They're a lot of things that a 'mission' trip can mean. I would say that the most common type is you go somewhere, build a small building, and then feel good about yourself.

At least in the church that I attend, mission trips are typically restricted to evangelical efforts, and I have been on one which was about 2 weeks in Mexico. The church paid for my flight and we stayed with different people while abroad. It was a good experience for myself, and I was relatively a cheap take-along. I believe it was something like $400 for the whole trip.

Asking for money to take a 'vacation' to do something that several charities accomplish is useless in my sight.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Thoughts on missions trips?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2014, 02:09:12 PM »
I've been on different mission trips, but have never dreamed about asking people to help finance them. However, I have donated to others going. I think it's great for teens to go whether it's helping with building projects, orphanages or otherwise. It really gives them appreciation for the things they have. Years ago our 12 year old son commented how appreciative the children were and that, unlike Americans, there's no sense of entitlement.

Nowadays if I was going to donate it would be for services rendered--cleaning, yard work, etc so that also becomes a learning experience.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Thoughts on missions trips?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2014, 02:10:19 PM »
Back in high school when I was religious, I went on a missions trip with my church at the time to Vancouver, BC in the "slums" of the area. There is a a large drug trade and a lot of poverty there in the city, believe it or not. I and a bunch of other high schoolers toured some local religious sites for a day (a Sikh temple, Buddhist temple, and mosque - really interesting to learn about different religions), and then got to work with the locals.

A few things we did:
  • Cleaned an old low-income housing unit from top to bottom
  • Volunteering in two different local feeding programs - serving meals directly to homeless people
  • Walked on the street and saw people selling drugs right in front of our eyes - very eye-opening.
  • Worked at a homeless shelter where the homeless could sleep at night

I'd consider myself agnostic now. But the work I did on this trip was probably one of the most meaningful things I've ever done. Of course I applied my INTJ powers to the feeding program production line to make it more efficient ;-). But I really want to do this type of thing again someday.

Trip cost was $500 and I received donations far in excess (well over $1500) to go.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Thoughts on missions trips?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 02:12:29 PM »
The value in a mission trip is the affect on the go-er (tripper? attender?)

When you step outside your home culture and realize not everybody in the world lives like you, it give you a new perspective on yourself. In me, it developed compassion, and even empathy, for other cultural contexts. I recommend mission trips to everyone just for this purpose.