Everyone loves a holiday, and enjoying a well deserved break is the Biblical thing to do. However, sermons on the pulpit over the years might have piqued your interest in the field of missions, where you trek off to faraway lands where the living conditions are challenging, accompanied by an assault on your senses: primarily taste and smell. Surely such unsanitary living conditions are no place to bring your wife, let alone the young children in the family, or is it? Here are some reasons on why you should make your next family holiday a mission trip.
1. It is Biblical
A family that grows together spiritually will be able to withstand challenges and remain strong when the storm of life hits. Not only does it expose everyone to what the Great Commission is all about, it will also expand your horizons to experience different cultures, which is something that you would do while on a regular holiday anyway. Why not make a difference in the lives of others who are in desperate need of the love of Christ compared to walking through tourist traps that would normally end up with a bundle of fridge magnets and snowglobes?
2. It is often (far) more affordable
While there are avenues to minister to the rich and famous, the proportion of the poor and destitute around the world is a whole lot more, and this is where you and your family’s presence will be able to make a far larger impact. Do not be surprised that the total cost of the entire mission trip for a family might end up to be a fraction of what a comfortable holiday would be. Most of the time, you would have to put up in decent living conditions that are nowhere close to the standards found at hotel franchises such as The Four Seasons or The Ritz, but the warmth of the people and hospitality received tend to surpass that of such established brand names. Moreover, you would find that mingling with the locals would often lead to them giving you a gift from the little that they have, and if you would like to get a bargain from the bazaar, they are able to help you nick fantastic deals without getting ripped off.
3. You learn far more than a tour
A holiday itinerary that sees visits to museums, art galleries and zoos are certainly informative and should be part and parcel of life, but all of such information can also be obtained via encyclopedias, reference books, and the Internet. Why not have a more enriching experience when your next holiday is a mission trip, as you step into the shoes of the downtrodden or marginalized, developing your sense of empathy while having your heart broken by the things that break the heart of God? It can be quite a steep and shocking learning curve for some who have long lived in comfort, oblivious to the brokenness around them, but there is just something about being jolted to the reality of life elsewhere that jigs the soul into action.
Your children, especially, will see just how blessed they are when they return home, and these precious experiences will definitely be able to help them see the world in a totally different way. The next time they see someone who is different from them, or less fortunate? It will not result in avoiding such people, but rather, they would most probably reach out to them and be an instrument of Christ’s love.
Hence, if your church has a mission trip planned this coming summer, how about choosing that over a trip to Disneyland or Vegas? Alternatively, there are always mission agencies that do have programs lined up for different tastes throughout the year on a global basis. You might want to give Operations Mobilization, YWAM, STAMP, and OMF a try if you do not know where to start. It is extremely rare for anyone to return from such trips unchanged and unmoved.