When Mission Discovery was founded in 1991 there were only a few of us short-term-mission-types to choose from. Today there are so may great agencies who’ve formed to mobilize the passionate youth and adult groups ready to explore what God is doing in the world through short term missions.
How do you choose from the list of so many opportunities. Not in any particular order, but you have to consider prayer, counsel from others and the passion of your group as real starting points.
The search term “Mission Trips” is a sought after term. There are actually agencies who are buying that term to be ranked at the top.
Organically we have ranked anywhere from number one on Google to 24. We think though that by the time you are searching, you know a general direction for your trip. Maybe instead searching generically the term “mission trip,” you search instead for “Jamaica mission trips” or “Swaziland mission trips” or “South Dakota mission trips.” Are we right? Maybe you are searching for a trip that offers VBS as a component or construction. Or maybe you look for a gender specific trip. The point, search for where God may be leading you.
I was recently with a group from Louisiana who called our office in search of a trip here in the United States. They knew they wanted to pull away from the international trip they had done for years to serve in a place where English was spoken.
Knowing what a friend calls, “your big why” helps direct you to finding a match for your group.
How do you know you are getting the best price?
A few questions help in that research. Simply asking, “What does your price include?” is the starting point. Make sure that if you are doing a construction project the supply money is included in your price. Some agencies post a price then ask for a donation of $100+ per participant for construction supplies. That’s ok I guess as long as you know that well ahead of the trip. You’ll also want to know about what the agency has as far as insurance on international trips. This summer we had a participant enter a hospital overseas and the bill could exceed $20,000.
One final question is about leadership. This may not be of great importance to you, but if I were looking at a mission trip, I’d want to know the experience level of the trip leader. Is this a part-time person. Does he or she have previous mission trip leadership experience?
I met a team from another well known agency in the Atlanta airport headed to Africa. I asked the leader of team about the group. They were a group of individuals who had only met a few days earlier and were headed to a country in Africa to do what ever God wanted them to do. It was both refreshing and scary to me. We trust God that He is always directing, and at the same time we have a targeted effort…construction…VBS….women’s conference, a real plan for the week ahead. Make sure there is a firm direction for the week you serve.
I’d love to chat with you about your mission trip search!