Well friends, I'm going to go on a mission trip to Guatemala in the very near future, and I'm so thrilled for the chance to tackle on of the things on my bucket list. I'm going with my dad and my sister, and I feel so blessed I'm going to get to share this experience with both of them.
The preparation for a mission trip seems to be almost as intense as the mission itself - and maybe that's the point. I've established that I need to prepare in four very different but equally important ways.
1. I need to pack my bags - This may seem obvious, but unlike other trips I've taken in the past, I have to be very careful about what I pack and how I pack it. I need to make sure that the clothing I bring can get dirty and be donated or disposed of once I'm done with it. I need to diligently spray all my bags and clothing for bugs. Finally, I need to lightly pack only essentials - and on this trip, essentials include some high protein foods - like peanut butter and beef jerky.
2. Physically - I need to be prepared from a physical standpoint. I know that I'll eat less protein than normal and I will be doing manual labor in the sun. Considering the combination, I need to make sure my body can handle the demands of the trip. Before departure, it's imperative that I get all the proper immunizations and medications I will need on the journey.
3. Prepare My Loved Ones - Leaving my family will probably be the most difficult part of my preparation for this trip, and I need to prepare them, and myself, for our time apart. This will be the longest amount of time I have spent away from my children and of course, I will miss my husband.
4. Spiritually - Finally, I need to ready myself spiritually. I'm not entirely sure what to expect on this mission, but I know that if God has called me to this part of the world and these particular people, he will do work on my heart and spirit as long as I am open to His grace. In preparation for the trip, I've started praying and meditating over Scripture and inspirational quotes from the saints. I've been compiling verses and quotes, and I'm sharing them with you below. If you or someone you know if about to embark on a spiritual mission, please share these with the traveler before they depart. These meditations are centralized around three themes: travel, service to others, and spreading the Good News.
Scripture and Quotes for Meditation Before and During a Mission Trip
"The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps." Proverbs 16:9
"Then you may go on your way securely; your foot will never stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you rest, your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:23-24
"If I take the wings of dawn and dwell beyond the sea, Even there Your hand guides me, Your right hand holds fast." Psalm 139:9-10
"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom Shall I send? Who will go for us?' 'Here I am' I said, 'send me.'" Isaiah 6:8
"Go on your way: behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves." Luke 10:3
"He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness." 2 Corinthians 9:10
"[Remember] the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back." Luke 6:38
"Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to Me." Matthew 25:40
"Let each of you look not at your own interests, but to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4
"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2
"It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially." St. Francis de Sales
"Love the poor tenderly, regarding them as your masters and yourselves as their servants." St. John of God
"Remember that the Christian life is one of action; not of speech and daydreams. Let there be few words and many deeds, and let them be done well." St. Vincent Pallotti
"May I not come before You with empty hands, since we are rewarded according to our deeds." St. Teresa of Jesus
"The poor do not need our sympathy and our pity. The poor need our love and compassion." St. Teresa of Calcutta
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." Matthew 28:19
"For I have sent you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you." John 13:15
This list is not to be all encompassing, but it should encourage you to take hold of your spiritual journey before you begin a mission. If you have any scripture or quotes from saints that you meditate over before your embark on a spiritual mission please feel free to share them below and I will add them to my list.
Also, if you have a prayer request please leave it for me in the comments or send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to spend some time in prayer for you while on my mission.