You signed up for a mission trip and you’re really excited, but then the trip is canceled. Now what?

It’s pretty normal to be disappointed when your mission trip is canceled. However, it’s important to be careful about how you react. If you feel frustrated, angry, sad, or any other negative emotion, take a step back. It’s important to remember that you’re in the middle of something bigger than yourself.  

Here are some things NOT to do after your mission trip is canceled:

Don’t blame the people who are organizing the trip. 

They have probably been planning this trip for months, if not years, and they want to go just as much as you do. Don’t be rude or upset with them! They are trying their best, but sometimes things happen that are out of everyone’s control.

Don’t blame God. 

Sometimes things happen for reasons we don’t know, and sometimes we may even feel angry with God because it doesn’t seem fair that the trip got canceled. Take some time to pray and think about why you may be feeling this way. Is it because you really wanted to go on this trip? Is it because you feel like God is trying to tell you something with the trip cancellation? Perhaps some lessons need to be pondered. Allow room for growth before you move forward.

Don’t stop praying. 

Sometimes, it’s easy to throw in the towel and move on from the situation when your mission trip gets canceled because you think God wants you to do something else now. However, keep praying! Keep asking what God wants you to learn from this experience or for which cause He is calling you. Keep asking what God wants you to do right now.

Don’t give up on your goals and dreams completely. 

Have you been wanting to go on a mission trip for a while? Do you have dreams of going overseas and sharing the love of Christ one day? It’s easy to give up when your plans didn’t work out, but don’t give up! And remember, maybe next time it will be your turn. Take this time to get involved in your church, community, or other low-key mission work. Volunteer at a local shelter, help out with the community, find an opportunity close to home! A canceled mission trip doesn’t mean you can’t do anything; it just means that there are different ways of serving God and others.

Here are some things TO DO after your mission trip is canceled:

Keep applying for mission trips. 

If you are still really interested in doing a mission trip, keep applying! Perhaps your first choice wasn’t the best fit for you, so try again. Take some time to look through options and find one that is interesting to you. There’s no need to stop just because one trip doesn’t work out.

Ask yourself what you can learn from this experience. 

What can you take away and use in your future mission trips? Sometimes we get too focused on doing a trip for an external reason (because parents or friends want us to, or because it looks good on college applications). Still, sometimes we need to change our focus and do it because we genuinely want to follow God’s call.

Start Fundraising.

If your mission trip was canceled for financial reasons, start fundraising! You can start by working a part-time job, asking family and friends for donations, taking up odd jobs around the community, or even starting a GoFundMe page. The most important thing is to take the initiative in solving the hurdles that were preventing you. There’s no need to stop just because one mission trip doesn’t work out.

If you still feel called to that specific mission trip, reach out. 

Ask the organizers or the mission trip organization what you can do to help or encourage them in some way. Maybe they would like your help on an upcoming trip. Or, perhaps this is just a sign that it wasn’t the best place for you, and you should look for another mission trip.

Search for other opportunities. 

If this experience taught you anything at all, it’s this: now is not the time to stop looking into missions. Perhaps your first choice wasn’t the best fit, but there are other ways you can still be involved with causes outside of your local communities. Maybe you just need to explore in different ways.

And remember…

Short term mission trips may get canceled for any number of reasons, but there are still countless other opportunities out there for you to follow God’s call. You can do lots of good right where you are! Don’t give up on the idea of serving just because this trip didn’t go the way you expected it to.