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Is it safe to go on a mission trip?

If you think it is safe to go on a mission trip, then you are wrong! BUT... this depends on your definition of safe. For yours and my purposes, I will define it in two categories.

1. Safety and security

2. Theologically

You are likely reading this blog because you stumbled across it on a Google search. Maybe you feel called to log term missions or your church just announced a short term mission trip to Honduras. in this case, I need to talk with your church because that is where my family serves. Just Kidding...............................not kidding. The real answer is that it all depends on the host country/destination and your personal perspective on safeness. Central America, South America, and Africa all get bad reputations for being dangerous places to visit. There is some truth to that but have you ever visited Atlanta or Detroit? The media and social networking post only the most negative stories. There are places on these continents that are dangerous to visit. Before I travel abroad, I always check for travel warnings form our state department.

Ask questions to your trip leaders or the missionary hosts about any concerns you have. In general, your church will be working with missionary hosts who know the ends and outs of their host nation. They will know where and when to go IF an unsafe condition arises. Typically these missionaries will not take chances with the safety of their mission teams. Here are some steps that can help mitigate safety risks on your mission trip:

  1. Pray and ask God if you are supposed to be on this trip

  2. Research the host nation and host ministry

  3. Read U.S. State Department warnings

  4. Consider Trip insurance in case of emergency evacuations

  5. Locate the U.S. embassy in the host nation

  6. Have a plan at home with family members who can help you if a problem arises.

  7. Complete the State Department Traveler's Checklist

Secondly, there is a theological component of short term mission trips that I think a lot of people miss. A misconception of why they are on a mission team to a foreign destination. IN my own experience and as a witness to countless others, we think that we are being sent o "DO some GOOD" for the people in the host nation. I want to warn you that what I'm about to say may shock you or cause you to REBUKE me :). Even though what you are doing on your mission trip is serving and helping others who live in the host nation, it is likely God did not send you there to save them. That is why he sent the host missionaries. HE likely sent you there to work on your heart. He will break your heart for what breaks his...I PROMISE! Most long term missionaries are called to missions after serving on a short term mission trip. For those who may be scared to live out your faith, this can be a VERY DANGEROUS trip for you. I would take all the necessary precautions to include the following:

  1. Search your heart for the real reason you want to go

  2. Read the Word

  3. Ask God why you should go

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