Everybody who has been on mission trips knows that the experience can be life altering. You’ll get to see countries you’ve never visited, eat food you’ve never tried, and see God move in people’s lives. Mission trips can have a huge impact on both the person doing the missionary work and the people being served. One huge impact for the missionary is the relationships that are formed during a trip.

Relationships of all shapes and sizes are likely to form when you volunteer abroad. Short-term mission trips and long-term mission trips usually lead to different types of relationships after the experience.

Short-term mission trips are typically an emotionally intense experience. This is a good thing because everybody needs to be on the same page and bring the same passion to the trip. It’s easy to meet new friends on a short-term mission trip and then forget about them afterwards when the initial emotions are gone.

  1. Exchange contact information with the people who you volunteer abroad with during these trips. Commit to pray for each other and ask about what’s coming up next in each other’s lives after the trip. This will give you something to talk about when you have an opportunity to speak months later.
  2. Make plans to do something together later in the year. If you both a have a love for sports, then plan to catch a baseball game in town. Go see a movie or simply grab a bite to eat. Making plans will will certainly help ensure your relationship will last beyond your time doing missionary work together.

Long-term mission trips seem like the perfect time to build relationships that will last a lifetime. However, missionary work can hard and it is understandable that people might want to move on with their lives after months in the mission field. Consider these tips to keep your relationships strong after a long-term mission trip.

  1. Plan a reunion for you and your friends from the trip. It could be at somebody’s house or at a fun event. The trick is to make sure you are intentional with your reunion time. Bring pictures and remind each other about your favorite memories doing missionary work together.
  2. Go on another trip with the people from your long-term mission trip. Make it a short-term trip next time. Spending time together on another trip will let you build your relationships in a new context. In turn, you’ll be creating deeper bonds for those friendships.

Even the best relationship formed during mission trips can be forgotten if you’re not purposeful about maintaining them. Visit www.missiondiscovery.com and plan your next trip today. Get ready to change the world and build relationships that will last beyond the experience!