Missionaries are very important movers and shakers of this world. It is one of the most important things an individual or a group of dedicated people can take upon themselves. Mission trips are mainly meant to understand a land that others have not fully and properly thought of, understand and familiarize yourselves with the people on that land and the problems they face and if possible, do everything you can to lend a helping hand to those people; help make their lives easier or teach them how to do it themselves (share some of your knowledge with them).
However, even though a mission trip is aimed at understanding other people’s situations and helping where you can, it is possible to mess everything up with some simple things, some simple actions that can be easily avoided. Some of the missions that are meant for good end up leaving a bad impression instead. Below is a list of four of the most common mistakes missionaries make, mistakes you should avoid easily.
3 Pre Mission Tips and Advice
1. Avoid comparing the situation to the one at home
Most mission trips are to places where there is disaster or places where people are suffering. When you find yourself in such a place, you should understand that even though the situation in that place is worrying, the people there have been used to it and they already feel about it. It is, therefore, unnecessary to make them feel worse about the already bad situation by comparing theirs with the one at home. Instead, be quiet about it and try to show that you understand and are ready to help.
2. Don’t expect the locals to understand or speak your language
Your mission trip is probably to a place where the people have a different language to yours. In this kind of mission trip, you should expect the people to speak their native language only. This will help you prepare in advance; familiarizing yourself with some of the most common phrases that are related to your mission in order to help make the mission much easier and help the locals understand what you are saying.
3. Being inappropriate
Different cultures have different codes of conduct, from the way you dress to the way you relate to other people, physically and emotionally. You should expect the people you meet on your mission trip to be very strict regarding behavior and dress codes. Therefore, when preparing for a trip, you should first ensure that the clothes you bring to the mission trip are completely appropriate in any kind of culture and that they do not bring out a bad impression even though the reaction from the people back at home might be a bit forgiving.
4. Avoid exaggerated shock
You should ensure you familiarize yourself with the culture of the place of your mission. This is because the place you visit might have things that will shock you or maybe affect you causing certain reactions. These exaggerated reactions will scar your new relationship with your hosts and the mission might end up being unsuccessful instead.
These are very basic behaviors that every considerate human being should be able to understand before leaving for a mission trip to another country, a country with different cultures, norms and ways of life. You should understand that the way you express yourself in terms of respect to the people will define how your mission turns out.