Jun2ThuJune 2, 2016
What is it about mission trips that flip students' me-centered worldview upside down?
How can a one week experience make students desire to meet the needs of people around them?
Over the past 23 years, we’ve seen God do this and so much more through mission trips. So what makes all this happen?
We think it's because we smash our comfort zones on mission trips by...
Seeing real poverty and brokenness
It’s said that “Empathy is the first step in taking compassionate action for someone.” That’s true for mission trips because we’re stepping into a new culture and into real poverty. Seeing someone struggle to keep a roof over their head or provide for their family can shake us, but it shouldn’t stop there. God uses this brokenness for others to change our hearts and impact the people around us.
Uncovering gifts and learning new skills
On mission trips we’re asked to do things we never thought in a million years we’d do... Like build a roof or lead Vacation Bible School for kids. But through these stretching experiences, we can see the gifts God has given us that we never even knew about. Maybe we even learn a new skill, like using a hammer (It’s harder than it looks!) and that’s empowering! Students see that they can do something to change the brokenness in the world around them.
Leaning on the strengths of others
Something amazing happens on mission trips when students learn to rely on each other. They bond. And working with someone they may normally not hang out with may be an unexpected blessing. They may just discover how each part of the body of Christ is stronger when it works together. Learning to love our neighbors will help us better love the people we serve on the mission trip and back home.
Realizing that our lives are made for something (and Someone) greater
Some people call it a “mountain-top experience” or a “spiritual high." But the truth is, God speaks when we step out of our comfort zones. Or, rather, we can hear Him more clearly when our focus is on Him. As students step out of their normal life to serve others in need, they realize that they are made for so much more. They realize how they were lovingly made by God and created for a specific purpose. This is faith turning personal. This is smashing our comfort zones.