10 Reasons to go on a Mission Trip!

Have you ever considered going on mission trips? If you’ve never served abroad, you should definitely book a trip! You’ll impact the lives of countless people and realize many changes in yourself. Need further convincing? Here are ten reasons for going on a mission trip from Faith Ventures.

1. The Gospel becomes more real.

Christianity dominates in the United States over other religions. With dozens of Bible translations and thousands of churches to choose from, it’s easy to be a Christian here. However, places across the world still persecute Christians. Some believers even die for their faith. The mighty power of the Gospel appears more real in the areas it’s least welcomed.

2. Materialism fades away.

After seeing how little others have, it really puts things in perspective. It makes you reevaluate your needs and reconsider how you spend money. Seeing how happy others can be with what little they have blossoms a heart of gratitude for the many blessings we already have.

3. You widen your worldview.

Something changes inside when someone realizes the world is bigger than their backyard. Going on mission trips will open your eyes to another way of life. You’ll learn firsthand how many issues aren’t black and white, but rather monochrome shades of gray.

4. You appreciate different cultures.

While overseas, you’ll experience an entirely different culture and a lifestyle you wouldn’t otherwise encounter if you stayed stateside. You’ll learn so much about how others live, what they eat, how they dress, what they celebrate… These experiences will make you more rounded and could raise awareness of minority cultures around you when you return home.

5. You learn to slow down.

Americans thrive on busyness. We have coffee for lunch and brag who got less sleep the night before. Smartphones beg for our attention and social media drives our interactions with the world. During mission trips, you get to disconnect from this craziness. Although you might suffer from withdrawal the first few days, you’ll probably find the disconnection refreshing.

6. World affairs become more significant.

If you go on a mission trip, you’ll become more aware when the country appears in the news. You’ll become more interested in the affairs that happen wherever you travel because you’ll build a personal connection to the place and some of its people.

7. You make lasting friends–and memories!

You’ll likely grow closer to the people you serve alongside, and you’ll have plenty of memories to relive: the funny, the misfortunate, the heartfelt, and the miraculous. Outside your personal journal, your mission trip memories will be captured best by those who went with you.

8. Your faith will grow.

We have many resources in the United States. This makes it easier to put our trust in what’s readily available. However, after serving where commodities like modern medicine aren’t readily available, you might witness an incredible miracle. After all, God provides in the craziest of ways–especially when the answer seems impossible.

9. It solidifies a call into vocational ministry.

If you’ve felt a calling into a life of international missions, give it a try! Serving in another country is a sure-fire way to test your desire and reasons for serving in vocational cross-cultural ministry.

10. You will continue supporting missions.

Research shows you’re more likely to continue volunteering and supporting missions after you go on mission trips. Here’s what Pastor Justin Mack at River Valley Church says about the correlation:

“When you go on a missions trip and see the needs and opportunities around the world, it gets into your heart. When missions move from your mind to your heart, everything changes including how you spend your time, energy and even your resources.”

As you can see, there are incredible reasons for going on a mission trip! The experience will open your eyes to another way of life and let you experience God in a whole new way. Combined, these will influence how you see the world and live your daily life.

This article was originally written and posted by Faith Ventures. For more information check out www.faithventures.com

Make a Joyful Noise!

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Psalm 100:1

When we think of noise we tend to think of a loud concert, a busy restaurant or maybe a monster truck rally. We are sensitive to noise, try to drown it out and, if possible, replace it with the soothing sounds of our favorite Spotify channel. In short, we really don’t like noise and yet the Psalmist commands us to “make a joyful noise the Lord”. So from Gregorian chants in the 9th century to the hard rock Christian sounds of Skillet, Christians have been making a joyful noise to the Lord in every musical genre and on every continent in the world, including Africa.

In Africa there is a noise that is undeniable that resounds from village churches and children’s choirs across every nation. The Bambara people in Mali, West Africa call it a djembe (JEM-bay), but we know this rope-tuned, skin-covered, goblet-shaped noisemaker as a hand drum. It comes from the name Anke die, Anke be, which translates to “everyone come together in peace”.  Wow! Who would have thought a noisy drum would bring people together in peace?

I, for one, can testify that when the hands of a skillful African drummer hit the djembe my toe starts tapping, my shoulders start swaying and all at once I’m “together” with my brothers and sisters in Christ making a joyful noise to the Lord. The djembe is less of a sound to my ears and more of a feeling deep in my bones. I can feel it in my chest as it comes alongside the rhythmic beating of my heart… and I love it! Yes, it brings me together with others in peace.

No doubt the djembe is loud and can distract and annoy us if we choose to let it. Or, we can let the pounding of the hand on that skin-covered djembe be a noise of joy to our soul and a beat of exaltation to the living God. We can add to it a shout of praise to Yahweh or a dance of thankful celebration for our redemption. I know for many of us this seems inappropriate or impossible in our local church context, which may be one of the many reasons Americans should visit Uganda!

In 2020 I invite you to leave the comfort of your theater seat in the church auditorium and take a seat on a wood bench under the tattered tent of a church-plant in the bush of Northern Uganda. There you can make a joyful noise to the Lord to the beat of their drums and experience what you’ve only seen online. Please check out our website and come make some noise in Uganda this year!