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Knowing What and How to Pack for a Mission Trip

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If you’re packing for a Christian mission trip, it can be difficult to know what to bring or, maybe even more importantly, what not to bring. By understanding what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be going, you’ll have a better idea of how to pack for your travels. Start by asking yourself the following questions.

What Does the Airline Allow?

Different airlines have varying luggage policies, so make sure you triple-check your plane tickets and research the airline you’re flying with. You’ll need to know how big your bags can be, what the weight limit is, and how many bags are included in the price of your ticket. Some airlines don’t include any baggage in the ticket price. If that’s the case, you’ll need to have cash or a credit card in hand, depending on the payment policy of the airport.

Is Your Clothing Culturally and Climate Appropriate?

The company that organizes your short-term mission trip should provide you with a list of appropriate clothing. Ask about swimwear, sleepwear, graphic t-shirts, the length of skirts, pants, shorts, and tops, as well as what people in that country wear to church. You may also need to cover tattoos in certain cultures. Also, keep in mind the temperature and humidity of the location. A hot and tropical climate in a Muslim nation may require you to wear long sleeves and pants, but be smart about it and leave clothing made of heavy materials at home.

Are Your Belongings Sending the Wrong Message?

You are an ambassador of your country and you don’t want to present yourself as materialistic and vain. Aim to blend in with the people around you. If you’re traveling to a poverty-stricken neighborhood, it’s not appropriate to bring along your diamond rings and expensive cameras. You want to exercise humility. In the same vein, it’s advised not to bring gifts to shower on middle-class or even poorer communities because it increases the poverties of community, being, and stewardship, as well as undermining local assets.

What Items Might Not Be Available?

Knowing what items will be or won’t be available on your short-term mission trip can drastically influence how you pack. For example, a developing country might not have your allergy medication. If you think the host climate will affect your seasonal allergies, it’s best to bring it with you. Also, consider access to a washing machine. If there aren’t any, you’ll need to pack extra clothes.

If you’re interested in serving others through an Alaska mission trip or another Christian mission trip, In-Motion Ministries can help. We provide a list of ministry opportunities so you and your group can find your best match. Contact us for more information today.

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6 Things You Might Not Know About Short-Term Mission Trips

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An estimated 1.5 million people from the US participate in short-term mission trips each year, spending upwards of $2 billion in the process. That’s a lot of people and a lot of money. The question is, does it really help? If teams contribute to feelings of inferiority or superiority or perpetuate the cycle of poverty, they may be doing more harm than good. By learning to alter your thoughts about short-term missions, you have the chance to be more effective and support positive change. Here are six things you might not know.

Developing Countries Need Partners, Not Heroes

When traveling to a foreign land, remember that you are not a hero. By allowing yourself to foster a hero or god complex, your good works will be diminished. Developing countries need long-term partners to foster growth and learn to support themselves. Short-term heroes need not apply. By focusing on encouraging gospel work and glorifying God over our own experiences, short-term ministry becomes an unselfish venture.

We Are All Poverty-Stricken

If your trip makes you grateful for the money and material items you have because those you helped had so little, you’re missing the point. Everyone is poor in some way. You may have material belongings but suffer from spiritual, physical, or systemic poverty. Acknowledging our need for God is the only way to heal ourselves and serve others.

You Should Do Things With People, Not For Peopl

Just because someone lives in a developing country doesn’t mean they can’t do things for themselves. Instead of offering to paint a wall, invite them to help. Everyone needs a sense of self-worth and equality.

You Should Always Know the History of Where You’re Going

Understanding historical context is just as important as the immediate context in short-term mission trips. Before traveling to another country, you should look into the history of the country or neighborhood. Study the role the United States and the Church have played there. Find out what their current issues are so you can give them exactly what they need to succeed.

Raising Money Long-Term Is Better Than Contributing for a Week

Money may not be everything, but it certainly helps. Used wisely, it can make a huge difference to the country you’re visiting. So, don’t just fundraise for a one-week trip. Keep up the momentum and try to match every dollar spent on that trip to continuously serve that country over the course of the year.

Reciprocal Relationships Breed Learning Opportunities

Building personal relationships should always be prioritized over completing projects. Sharing information about your family, your needs, and your pain helps others understand that not everyone in the United States is rich and happy. Be open to being honest and vulnerable and willing to ask questions about their culture. It’s the best way to learn. Along the same lines, don’t take pictures of kids in situations you wouldn’t want your own children to endure. Show respect and come home with names and stories, not photos of random kids.

Short-term missions are special and important, and shouldn’t be discouraged, but going into it with the right mindset can help you make a bigger difference. When you’re ready to leave the comfort of your home and be among the people, following in the steps of Jesus, In-Motion Ministries can help you get there. Check out our ministry options for an adventure that suits the talents of your particular group.

Nicaragua October 18 – 30 Home Featured Mission Trip Locations Current Missions Nicaragua October 18 – 30

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Nicaragua

Join IMM for a week in the jungle surrounded villages of Nicaragua, encouraging the believers in churches, engaging in children’s ministry, traveling by boat and sleeping in tents. This is an exciting experience unlike any other! The team will fly first into the neighboring country of Costa Rica and travel to an Island in Lake Managua Nicaragua, returning to Costa Rica before heading home.

This mission trip is suitable for families and those wanting an adventurous experience in Central America.

Trip price does not include cost of flight to training location.

Dates: October 18-30
Price – $1,747.00

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