Okay, full disclosure, they weren’t all Spring Break trips. They were all short-term mission trips, where God took me out of my comfort zone to teach me something about myself while I was supposedly making a difference in the world. The question though, really, is what will YOU learn?
1. Always, always, always know where the nearest bathroom is. (Mexico 1989)
2. You are not the moral pillar of righteousness you pretend to be for the world. Maintain accountability. (Romania 1995)
3. Think before you speak. Ask yourself WHAT you are going to say, and—more importantly—WHY you are going to say it. (Bolivia 1993)
4. Road trip! Travel time is precious, don’t waste it. (Charleston, S.C. 2003)
5. Trust the local missionaries; they understand what’s happening around you on a whole different level. (Uruguay 2000)
6. Menial labor is meaningful labor. Don’t get down because what you’re doing isn’t “glamorous” enough for your idea of what missions is supposed to be. (Zuni Pueblo, N.M. 2011)
7. Respect and obey the authorities around you. God has them there for a reason. (Bolivia 1993)
8. Christian girls dig guys who are man enough to commit and go all-in for God. (Anchorage, AK 1992)
9. Be flexible. Be very flexible. (Jordan 2004)
10. The more you whine about changes to the schedule, the less people will trust you and want to be around you. (Brazil 2004)
11. The things you will see and experience on a short-term mission trip will blow your mind! (Anchorage, AK 1992)
12. “Where He leads me, will follow. What He feeds me, I will swallow.” Don’t let your precious sense of taste stand between you and the people you’re supposed to be reaching with the gospel. (Turkey 2008)
There’s a great story behind each one of these lessons, and the list could be twice as long if I wanted it to be. I love short-term missions. I love going and I love sending. There’s a lot to learn out there, and amazing opportunities before you. So… Is God calling YOU to go? Have you taken the time to really pray about that question? Talk to your local campus minister or visit onelifematters.org for more info on how you can get hooked up to go do something amazing for God. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something along the way?!