Mission trips have, at times, received a bad reputation. For example, some think that it can take job opportunities away from locals, or that some people who take these trips feel that they are somehow above the locals for acting charitably, and can come across as condescending. These are not the norm of mission trips, however. There are many positive outcomes that can arise from these trips. Here are just a few.
Many people who have gone on mission trips, both here in the US and abroad, have been able to build long-term relationships with the people they work with. Some may keep up with their new friends via email or social media. These relationships can be reciprocal and benefit both parties. Some who have taken trips abroad have even started sponsoring local children to provide them with the food and education they need to help them grow into the best people they can be.
Also tied to building relationships is the bond that arises when churches work with a fellow church or organization over a period of many years. Individuals from both communities can learn about each other and their lives and uplift each other over the years, and this relationship can grow over time.
Many U.S. citizens tend to be set in their ways. Some believe that the American way is the “right” way. A mission trip, however, can help you level set this attitude. Learning about different cultures and different ways of life can open your eyes and mind to something new. This can be a positive outcome that will impact the lives of those who take these trips well into the future.
Benefit Local Workers
There are many expats who live abroad for years at a time. They may work in relative obscurity, as pastors and teachers in settings like churches, schools, and hospitals. These workers may sometimes feel like they are just plodding along, isolated from friends and families. They may experience frustration and depression because of a perceived lack of results. Those who take mission trips to assist these full-time missionaries can provide an uplifting experience for those who serve others in a foreign land. Even a thoughtful comment can provide a level of validation for those who work abroad serving others.