How to stay involved in missions after your mission trip
Returning home after a mission trip can be a real mix of emotions. You spent a lot of time fundraising, rallying prayer support, and making sure you had everything packed perfectly. And then all of a sudden, your week of serving is over. What now?
Mission work doesn't have to stop just because your trip is over. If God sparked something in you during your trip, you shouldn't stop pursuing it just because you're home. Here are 6 great ways to stay involved in missions after your mission trip:
1) Talk to your trip leader
A simple way to stay involved in missions after your trip is to let your trip leader know that you're available. Most people don't give much thought to staying involved after they get home because they get pulled back into their normal, busy routines. Trip leaders know this and don't often reach out to see if you want to stay involved, even if they have more ways to serve now that you're home.
By talking to your trip leader and letting him or her know that you want to serve even though the trip is over, you're opening up the possibility to stay involved.
2) Tell your friends about your trip
An easy way to stay involved is to tell others about your trip. A big part of mission work is encouraging others to get involved or sign up for a future trip. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says that, “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” What this means is that we are stronger together than apart. When we encourage others to serve, we are creating stronger teams that have the potential to create greater impact in the lives of the people being served.
3) Become an advocate
Sharing about your trip experience and what God has shown you doesn't have to stop with your circle of friends. You can tell others outside of your friends group through events at school, work, and church, and through social media. At this point, you're no longer just someone that went on a mission trip once; you are actively spreading the word about your experience and encouraging others to get involved.
Practically speaking, you could start with something as small as a Facebook group or hashtag to get the ball rolling. Small steps of advocacy could lead to bigger actions, like speaking to your church's youth group or encouraging a group of coworkers to get involved over a cup of coffee. ...Or even fundraising.
Every organization needs financial support. Water projects, orphanage projects, community outreach projects... they all cost money. You can be part of making those projects a reality by fundraising for them throughout the year. Fundraising for something like a water project in Africa is just like fundraising for your personal mission trip. You can sell custom tees, host a date night, or even set up a March Madness bracket pool. Creativity is key. A great fundraising event can grow awareness, raise funds, bring people together, and be a lot of fun.
If you're a full-time working adult or a student with a part-time job, you have yet another way to stay involved in missions after you return home using your income. It's easy to feel like your work matters when you're in a developing country, because you see the results. However, your work at home can be just as meaningful and helpful. By giving regularly of your income to fund the organization or projects on the mission field, you're actively staying involved in missions. Although it may not be as fun as traveling to a new country and working firsthand to complete projects, giving regularly is just as (or even more) impactful.
Perhaps the easiest way to stay involved in missions after you get home is to pray. Because it's so easy though, we often forget that it's powerful. Praying for the people you met, the projects at work, and the organization putting everything together is a great way to stay involved. Most of the time our prayers are focused on ourselves. We are not only supporting the mission field when we pray, but also cultivating a servant's heart in ourselves.
If God sparked something in you during your time abroad, don't ignore it after you return home. Be obedient to the nudge you feel in your heart to stay involved. You never know where a small step of obedience may lead.
Written by CJ and Teri