Since August 2010 I have been on 13 different mission trips to Prince of Peace Home for Girls in Guatemala where I also serve on the board of directors. Over approximately 4 years of leading mission teams I have come to recognize the value of international mission trips. Here are 7 values of engaging in international mission trips:
1. You are exposed to God in a fresh way. A change of pace + a change of place = a different perspective. You literally see the hand of God at work in the lives of the team members and in the lives of those that you come in contact with.
2. Eastside has had close to 70 unique individuals to travel to Guatemala over the last 4 years. One of the results of this many people being on mission with God is a more generous spirit in the life of our church. Generosity not only to the girls at Prince of Peace but generosity to those in our community as well.
3. Building relationships among church family members is another value of mission trips. When you spend seven days with people then you get to know them well very fast.
4. Exposure to poverty at a level which most people have never seen before. Most people in Guatemala live on less than $2.00 per day.
5. Faith is stretched and developed among team members. The majority of the 70 people at Eastside had never been on mission trip, let alone to a foreign country. Most team members had to overcome their fears in order to be on mission with God.
6. An attitude of gratitude is a BIG value of mission trips. Most people return from their mission trip thankful for the life which they have.
7. Spiritual growth in the lives of team members is another huge value of mission trips. In other words, God rewards their faith and demonstrates His faithfulness and goodness to each person each time.
What would you add to this list? Why is your church involved in international missions?