Missions have been on my heart ever since I was a teenager and heard the amazing stories of missionaries who came back home on furlough. I love missionary stories. The main thing I learned from the missionaries as everything they did was all for the glory of God. At one point I thought I was going to be a missionary but life happened and I didn’t. But I still have a heart for missions so I donate to my favorite missionaries and I go on short term mission trips. Also, as one of my life goals I want to encourage as many people as possible to do the same, mission trips all for the glory of God.
For this writing, we want to share with you all of the ins and outs of mission trips. Hopefully by the time you finish reading you will be able to plan your first or next mission trip to a Spanish speaking country.
How do you know it is God and not the pizza you ate last night?
To know God’s will is one thing. To do God’s will is another. As modern day Christians, we don’t necessarily have a prophet among us telling us what the word of the Lord is so we have to use other methods. Some of us do get the blessing of having the Lord speak to us in an audible voice but that is very rare. If you pray every day and listen to the Holy Spirit inside your heart, you can always know where the Lord wants you to go and what you are supposed to do. According to scripture we are called to be His hands and feet, “bAnd you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8b NLT) We are to be His witnesses. We are to tell others of all He has done for us.
There are three (3) ways you can tell if God is speaking to you and to be sure it isn’t the pizza you ate last night.
- In your daily reading of God’s word and praying you come upon scriptures that are directing you to leave your comfort zone and go share the gospel.
- As you talk to other Christians and they say the exact words you have been praying without you asking them. This is another way of finding confirmation. For example, your prayer in your heart (where no one can hear you) has been, “Lord do you want me to go to Peru? I saw some pictures of the brown faced kids in a city where they had rocks all over the place and no grass. They had huge mountains behind them. But they had sad dirty faces and they were really skinny like they hadn’t eaten in a while. Is there something I can do to help them?” Then the following Sunday, when you didn’t know it, a missionary from Peru comes to your church and shows the exact same kind of pictures but tells of the work of the Lord. The missionary tells the congregation that they want to build a kitchen in the middle of that same area but they need money and workers to do it. Can you come and help us with this project? That is a sure sign that the Lord wants you to go.
- Lastly, on Facebook you see someone you know posts about an awesome trip they just took to Peru and were used by the Lord. And guess what?!!! It was in the exact same area you were looking at but it was with a different church.
Basically, the Lord will bring you multiple confirmations and the desire in your heart will burn so badly you can’t stand it and you know you must go. You must go immediately. Do not pass Go but do collect $200 or more to go on your trip.
Where do I go for a mission trip?
This is a great question. As Christians most of the time you will have something happen like in number three above but sometimes you will just have restless feet syndrome. You feel like you should be going somewhere doing something but you just don’t know the where or the what. Since we always want to do a mission trip all for the glory of God, we definitely pray about it. Sometimes though we will take and open our Bibles and wherever our finger lands that is our answer. I know some people don’t think that works but remember how they cast lots to find out what the Lord wanted them to do or to choose? Look in Leviticus 16:8, Numbers 27:21 and for the New Testament people, Acts 1:26. It is the same type of theory. So with that in mind you could print out a map of the world and with a blind fold on throw a dart at it and where it sticks there you go. For us at Homeschool Inspired Spanish we obviously look for Spanish speaking countries. Since you are looking at our blog and download club I believe Spanish speaking countries are in your future as well.
One of the things you can do to pick a place is ask your friends on social media to see where they have been. Ask them to share their experiences with you. Ever since we started Homeschool Inspired Spanish we have kept our ears to the ground to see if we can hear about good places to go. Places where people really, really need our gifts the Lord has given us.
Speaking of gifts from the Lord, you can use that basis to find a place to travel for your mission trip. Say you are a medical professional, well go where there are makeshift clinics. If you are an accountant like I am, you can go just about anywhere because most missionaries don’t need help in that arena since most of their tools will be donated. As accountants though we usually have great organization skills. We could find a group that is starting a new school and need help organizing their supplies, etc. Using your gifts from the Lord would definitely get you to do it all for the glory of God.
What missions group should I partner?
Wow! That is a great question! Mission groups are quite prolific. There are lots of them. Here are some ways we suggest finding them:
- Check with your church’s denomination. The headquarters should have a list of all of their missionaries as well as have a missionary director. For instance, my denomination, The General Assemblies of God, has Greg Mundis as the Executive Director of World Missions. If I were to call his office, I could get a list of missionaries who need help this year.
- Google search. After putting “short term mission trips” into the search there were 1,900,000 results that came up. Yes, I know that is a daunting number. Since I have been working with missionaries and short term mission groups I recognize some of the ones on the first page. Here are some we recommend: Youth Works, Youth With A Mission (YWAM), Jesus Film Mission Trips. These were organizations that were found through Google search.
- Through social media friends and family. Social media seems to run our lives right now but if it wasn’t for social media and modern technology we probably wouldn’t be able to get the gospel out as quickly or as inexpensively as we can nowadays. A few organizations I have learned about through social media are Crossing Lines International Missions, Tapestries of Life Ministries in Fabens, TX, and Mission-Minded Families.
Stick with us and you will be able to find out more as we do. We aren’t afraid to share. As always though we love to have you share your experiences. Please share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.
How much will it cost to go?
Some would say because you are doing it all for the glory of God it doesn’t cost anything but reality is different. The biggest cost of any mission trip is the airfare. The airfare depends on how far away you are traveling and what the price of oil is at the time the ticket is purchased. There are a few tricks to purchasing inexpensive airfare and technology has it in spades. While researching this topic I found a great website that had more than the normal book early methods. The Thrifty Nomads make a living at traveling cheaply. In their latest blog post a couple items popped up on my radar. They said,” You’re not crazy for thinking that a flight price has changed after searching it a few times in your web browser. Based on the cookies in your browser, flight prices do increase when a particular route is repeatedly searched, as the site wants to scare you into booking the flight quickly before prices get even higher. Always search for flights in incognito or private browsing mode to see the lowest prices.” I know a lot about computers but duh! I never thought about cookies in that way before. Read the full blog here. I for one was really impressed with their website and blog. It has been added to my favorites.
Now I know I haven’t talked dollars and cents yet. Are you sure you are ready to hear it? Okay since you are sure.
National mission trips can cost $129 to $399 plus airfare.
International mission trips can cost $695 to $1,200 plus airfare.
I hope we haven’t scared you away. One thing I have learned is if you are called to go on a mission trip the Lord will provide your finances 100%. Sometimes even at the last minute. It is a huge step of faith to go but remember it is all for the glory of God.
Do I need a passport?
9 times out of 10 you will need a passport and special shots. Passports are easy to acquire but I would encourage you to get a Global Entry card instead of a regular passport. They don’t last as long as a passport but that is because you need to be rechecked for a criminal background. The Global Entry card has a deeper check in your history and police record. The benefits are faster processing with customs, TSA pre-check entry in the United States, reduced wait times, and faster access in other countries. Just make sure when you get it that you have it activated before traveling.
So this is what happened to me. The first time I used my card and crossed over into Mexico I showed my card at the border and was happy with myself. I figured I would breeze through so fast I would break records. Well the border agent said my card was invalid. He must have seen the panic on my face. He said don’t worry you just need to go through to the secondary inspection area. Follow the signs. Well there was a sign pointing to the right which we followed. Then a big red sign started flashing at us, Stop! Stop! Stop! We did. Another border agent walked up to the car and said we had to go around and go through again. We weren’t sure how far we had to go. We crept around with the car. We weren’t sure where to turn so we stopped the car and got out to ask another agent. The agent came over and said back up and keep going straight before you turn. Just follow the signs. The signs were in one place and the arrows were in another. We found where to turn and I saw a new sign that says maximum speed 5 miles per hour. Oh now I get it! We went through too fast the first time. My friend’s car had a very high rpm in the engine so she actually had to use her brakes to keep under 5 mph. My friend was getting upset with the border agents because they made us do this a second time. I told her it’s okay. We are doing doughnuts over the border. No one else we know has ever done doughnuts over the border. We had such a good laugh. Now every time we cross the border we talk about the experience. The moral of the story: Make sure you activate your global entry card before crossing the border.
As you can see from the picture below the signs on the Mexico side are very confusing. Do we stop or advance?
To start the process for a global entry card, apply online at the Global Online Enrollment System. Everything you need to know about the global entry card as well as the Sentri card which is used to for just Mexico and Canada. It took me approximately 4 weeks from start to finish to have my card approved.
To start the process for an American passport, apply online at the US Passports and International Travel web page. I believe when I initially got my US Passport it took about 6 weeks. Don’t be afraid of the time listed on the website. Once you get started you will be amazed at how fast things happen.
Hopefully today you learned some new things about traveling for the Lord and got some of your answers. Please remember we are always here to help but we can’t help unless you tell us you need help. We aren’t mind readers. I tell my husband that all of the time because he forgets to give necessary details. Our experiences will always become your learning points. Thank you for reading our blog. It is our desire for you to hear our hearts cry. We want to go on mission trips all for the glory of God!
May the Lord bless you,
Michelle Rothwell, Owner
Dora & Diego Homeschool Spanish
Homeschool Inspired Spanish
Spanish from a Biblical-world view