Why a mission trip is the best way to spend your summer vacation

Ashley Worley

As you pack up to leave school for the summer, you’re guaranteed to get asked this question: “What are you doing this summer?” 

You want an answer that’s different or unique. But really, you aren’t sure how to best use two months away from class, professors, a schedule, and your usual circle of friends. 

What if you didn't have to choose between doing something meaningful and having fun?

Maybe many of your colleagues are off to internships and career experience to pad their resumes, but this isn't the only ways to make your summer meaningful. What if you didn't have to choose between doing something meaningful and having fun? What if you had the opportunity to have an impact on someone for eternity? 

From many experiences serving on medical mission teams, in my humble opinion, the best way to spend your summer is showing God’s love to others by taking a short-term mission trip

How a mission trip shapes you

James, Jesus’ brother, wrote that without action, our faith stagnates. Our faith becomes something we talk about, not something we experience and live (James 2:14-26). 

Going on a mission trip will change you. The faces, the sights, landscapes, food, smells, the conversations, and experiences will stay with you long after you return home. You will go to serve, but, no matter, what, you will gain far more than you will ever give away, and like a rubber band that has been stretched, you can never return to who you were and how you think prior to a mission trip. Giving of yourself is an experience you won’t forget. 

Just as Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many, missions provides us with a unique opportunity to do the same (Matthew 20:28). 

Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. Mission trips provide us with a unique opportunity to do the same. 

Maybe you can travel to Africa and encounter someone who isn’t that much different than you, and all they need from you is a conversation — with the help of a translator — or to kick a soccer ball. Maybe you are faced with someone who has recently escaped genocide, and the experience marks you because you are able to tell them about Jesus and see the light of hope in their eyes.  

Psalm 96:3 tells us to “Declare [God’s] glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” What better way to do that than to spend a week partnering with churches and Christian organizations to share the Gospel with people around the world?

How a mission trip shapes your view of God

Who you are when you return from a mission trip will beg the question, “How did you spend your summer?” Traveling to a new place allows you to see more of God’s heart and His creation. It gets you out of your comfort zone, away from Instagram and SnapChat, and allows you to become more of who God intended you to be. Additionally, it allows you to make real friends in an adventure that will bond you for a lifetime. 

I met some of my best friends when we sat close together as a male elephant charged our safari bus and a male lion roared over his pride. Another of my good friends I met while serving students in Daytona Beach for the summer. I have even made a “pit stop” in the midst of Cape buffalo or a few monkeys because when the bus stops and nature calls, you have to answer.

These are just a few adventures God has allowed me to experience through short-term missions. Don’t let excuses hold you back from discovering what God might want to show you. You are not too young (1 Timothy 4:12). And you are not unnecessary (Matthew 9:35-37). 

God will provide the money for you to get you there, and He will provide job opportunities when you return that no internship could have opened the doors for. I’ve had several jobs because of the people I met on mission trips. Step out on faith, and trust God to be faithful to His promises.

Now is your time to “go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel” (Mark 16:15).

See where NewSpring Missions will be this summer and sign up for a trip at newspring.cc/missions

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