The following are some thoughts that I noted down as I was on a mission trip to Guatemala. They are not in order of significance, only as they came to mind.
- Prayer and spiritual preparation should be done before you depart. God does not want to do a great work of holiness in your life; He is sending you to preach to the nations.
- Weigh your bags before you go â€“ there is nothing worse (ok, thatâ€™s an exaggeration) than getting to the airport and having to pay extra, or move stuff in between suitcases in front of everyone. But it is a huge distraction.
- Have a team meeting before you go â€“ people are comforted by information â€“ even if you have to change the plan, gentle changes are more preferable than drastic snatches in direction. Let people know what you know.
- Take a jacket â€“ there is nothing worse (ok, thatâ€™s another exaggeration) than being cold on the six hour trip to the airport, then cold at the airport, then on the plane, etc. when you know you have a jacket in your suitcase and it is just out of reach.
- To have friends, you have to be a friend. To be apart of a team that is fun and that has personality, you have to show some desire to know team memberâ€™s names, share your own stories (preferably funny), and have a desirable personality.
- Wherever you are, be there and be there with all your heart. Donâ€™t look backward or forward to anything, be in the moment for the whole trip. God brought you here for that moment. If you are â€œany where elseâ€ you are going to miss it.
- Be a servant and the flexible. In the field things change constantly. Part of submitting is â€œgoing with the flowâ€ even when things change or go off the itinerary.Â When God moves, donâ€™t try to control it, just follow.
- Fellowship is special on the mission field â€“ friendships are formed quickly and last forever.
- You will get tired and it is ok to rest. In fact, you should build time into your schedule for it.
- The way to open the heart for the gospel is to serve â€“ This was the example that Christ showed us. Jesus was concerned for them as a people, and as persons not numbers of â€œconvertsâ€ to brag about at a â€œreport session.â€ If you love them first, they will listen to what you have to say. Donâ€™t do one at the expense of the other.
- Americans have too much stuff â€“ it is possible to be happy with very little. It is just wrong for us to have so much and not to do something with it to bless the nations. We have shows like â€œHoardersâ€ while the nations go blind because of malnutrition. Their bellies swell from parasites, and their homes are little more than dirt and cardboard. Donâ€™t forget what you have seen when you go back home.
- Donâ€™t â€œpreachâ€ at those who havenâ€™t been or didnâ€™t see what you saw. Itâ€™s the Holy Spiritâ€™s job to convict and send, itâ€™s your job to testify to what you have seen and heard.
Just some thoughts.