Helping others as a volunteer abroad is a blessing to be enjoyed. But it’s also important in missionary work to keep a perspective of discipleship so you don’t wind up being self-righteous or of the opinion that you are there to help and teach, exclusively. Because here is the one thing you weren’t expecting on your summer mission trip…
You will probably learn more about Christ from the people you came to share His good news with, than they will learn from you.
It is easier than you think to inadvertently view your team as the saviors or answer to prayer, and the people on the field as the poor people in need of you.
According to Steve Bremner, a writer for Relevant Magazine, “the people you’re going to minister to or work alongside are members of the same body of believers as you are. Even if they’re not Christians yet, they’re still people God loves and whom Christ died for. They are capable of making decisions and helping themselves in many ways, and if you can keep your pride from getting in the way, you can learn just as much, or more, from them as they can from you.”
Win Butler is the lead singer of the band Arcade Fire. He is married to fellow band member, Regine Chassagne, who was born in Haiti to Haitian parents. He says this about his experiences in Haiti:
“Well, going to Haiti for the first time with Regine was the beginning of a major change in the way that I thought about the world. Usually, I think you have most of your musical influences locked down by the time you're 16. There was a band I felt like changed me musically [in Haiti], just really opened me up to this huge, vast amount of culture and influence I hadn't been exposed to before, which was really life-changing.”
“Just the absurdity that you can go to a place like Haiti and teach people something about God. Like, the opposite really seems to be true, in my experience. I've never been to a place with more belief and more knowledge of God,” says Butler.
If you have been thinking about mission trips this year, Mission Discovery has the resources you need to research the right volunteer abroad opportunity for you. You might want to start with local or domestic mission trips before committing to an international one. Or you may feel ready to take the plunge and visit a country you’ve only read about or seen on the news. Whatever your plan, we can put you in touch with a team leader to make your 2014 mission trip a reality.