Post-Mission Trip Scenario: What Now?



So you just came home from a mission trip. Now what?

Some people come back from a short-term trip with a spiritual high, a never-once-known bravado to make a difference in the world. Others just come home with confusion or even frustration. Some of us feel good after going on such a trip, others are disappointed in themselves. There are those who return uncertain what to do with the life they left, or the life they are coming back to. After spending quite a while in another place, some people experience some kind of reverse culture shock. They may be overwhelmed, feeling righteous, disoriented or even like a fish out of water.

Are you planning a youth mission trip? If any or all of these are true to you, don't worry. It's natural. Don't leave yet because this may be the actual spot where the Lord wants to tell you something.

The question is, how do you first process all the emotions you're feeling now? The first step is to simply identify them. How do you feel about the trip? What did you like most about it? What did you like least about it? Which part was the hardest for you? Do you feel that your prayers have been answered? What has God taught you? What are you plans from hereon?

Whether you feel like the mission trips for youth had been successful or not, there's a good change God wants it to have a purpose in your life. He revealed things about yourself to yourself; things about the people you were with, both other participants and the community you served; and what he wants for this world.

Whatever and however you felt or are still feeling after the experience, don't leave it unprocessed or un-understood. Think about them and reflect on them. Gather lessons from them. Then collect your thoughts and share them with others. In fact, sharing may be a crucial part of the whole experience. If your mission trip has changed you somehow, it is only right that you express your gratitude to the Lord and to those who supported you and prayed for you while you were away.

Finally, if you went on the trip intending to be involved in such an activity for the long haul, or if you returned with that intention, then you have to go beyond processing your experience. You might need a coach or mentor who can guide you as you seek to make the most of your new commitment. If you want to read more, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-ladd-bishop/intergenerational-worship_b_10108642.html.