Short Term Missions
Be prepared and stay safe so you can be effective and enjoy your trip.
If you are going on a short-term missions trip this summer, you want to be prepared. In addition to raising money, buying plane tickets, and getting your passport and visa, be sure you pack the essentials into your suitcase.
My Missions Experience
Some of my earliest memories are of going on a short-term missions trip with my parents when I was 6 years old. We visited my grandparents who were full-time missionaries in Irian Jaya, Indonesia. We also visited India, Israel, and England. When I was 12 we took 6 months of training with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Kona and Honolulu, Hawaii, and then help to plant a YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Penang, Malaysia. where I attended Dalat School run by the Christian & Missionary Alliance (CMA). We moved back to Colorado Springs for the rest of my high school years, but I stayed active in missions, going on 4 trips to Mexico, one to Dominican Republic, and 5 to Surabaya, Indonesia with Equip. I rarely got sick on those trips, but I was very careful to pray over my food, and very selective about the sources of my drinking water.
Short Term Missions Packing List
Once you are there, it is too late to remember what to pack.
Here are some suggestion as to what to include, besides the obvious
- Bring Your Own Pillow:Whether you are building an orphanage or performing dramas in schools, getting a good night's sleep can make all the difference, and you always sleep better on your own pillow:-)
- Carry-on Backpack: Fill it with what you want to do on the airplane. They are so much easier to carry than a small suitcase, and useful once you arrive
- Power Adapter: Whether you are plugging in a cell phone charger or a hair dryer, the power adapter will keep you from burning out your eletronics.
- Water Filter Bottle: Even if you plan on drinking bottled water, or if the water in the country you are visiting is said to be good, BRING A WATER FILTER BOTTLE. You won't regret it. They are lightweight, easy to pack and carry, and durable. You never know when you will: a)have bottled water that is itself contaminated, b)run out of bottled water (or just get tired of buying it and lugging it around), and c)be stranded somewhere you didn't expect to be that long because the car broke down and your only source is a ditch on the side of the road. 911water carries several brands of water filter bottles, but I recommend the Clearbrook Water Filter Bottle. Clearbrook has several sizes and types.
- Book to read:The long hours on the plane, train or automobile will find you searching for something to do, especially after the batteries have worn out on your phone.
- Journal:Write down your experiences every day. It will help you process your emotions, help embed God's lessons deep in your heart, and help you later when you want to recall what you learned and experienced.