Why Going On A Mission Trip Is Nothing To Be Proud Of

Why Going On A Mission Trip Is Nothing To Be Proud Of

Instead of taking a journey across the world, why not just take a trip out your back door?
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I'm sure at some point in your life you've either been on a mission trip yourself or you've known of somebody who has traveled across the world to "make a difference." Personally, I think short-term international missions trips are a complete waste. I grew up going to church and hearing about mission trips. I even went on one to Philadelphia when I was in middle school and that's when my whole perspective on them started to change. Below you will find a list of reasons why I will never go on a missions trip, and you shouldn't either.

Something about asking people for copious amounts of money to go on a under glorified vacation just makes me cringe. Annually, around $2 billion dollars are spent on short-term mission trips. I couldn't even begin to count how many letters my parents got when I was growing up asking them to donate money for a mission trip. Every time I would see one come through the mail, I would feel personally offended. Could you imagine what this money could do for charities in the United States instead of using it as an excuse to travel the world?

There are so many people in the United States that are in desperate need of help. Instead of taking a journey across the world, why not just take a trip out your back door? No matter where you live, I can promise you there are more than enough underprivileged, struggling people to help. Whether they're homeless, veterans, or people impacted by a natural disaster- the list could go on and on- there is always someone who seriously needs your help. These people are our neighbors, so why don't we feel compelled to help them?

In my opinion, a majority of people who go on short-term mission trips do it to make them feel better about themselves. They like feeling like they've made a difference in some underprivileged person's life and feeling somehow connected to them because they spent two weeks living in a place that is much less luxurious than they are used to. I guarantee you that you won't see someone go on a mission trip and not post millions of posts and pictures on social media making sure everyone sees how great of a person they are. They want the attention and the satisfaction that goes along with the trip.

Going out to a different culture and shoving your religion down their throat is just plain disrespectful. If you really want to make a difference in people's lives, go live in their culture for a couple of years. Become a permanent part of their lives and show them that you accept them for who they are, regardless of what they believe in. The way you look at their religion is exactly how they look at ours. If somebody came to you from another country and started telling you about their religion and telling you that yours was wrong, how long would you listen to it? I bet not more than five minutes maximum. So what makes you think they should have to listen to you? Show some respect and instead of traveling the world to preach at people, sit down and learn about what they believe.

Going to these poverty-stricken, underprivileged cultures and telling them that everything will be okay, or will get better is only spreading false hope. When you leave and go back to your privileged american life, these people are still stuck where they are remembering all the empty promises you left them with. You give them a blanket of hope while you're there but then rip it away from them. Telling them that Jesus loves them will only go so far. Remember, you get to leave. They don't.

Finally, most importantly, and the biggest reason that I will never go on a mission trip is that they are incredibly selfish. In order to feel better about yourself, you travel to a foreign, more than likely dangerous country and leave behind family and friends that love you. When you leave to go help complete strangers, you could possibly leaving your loved ones forever. For what? The opportunity to travel the world and give yourself a false sense of changing the world? That's not okay in my book.

Next time you feel like you want to make a difference or change the world, why don't you start in your own neighborhood? You don't need to spend thousands of other people's dollars traveling to dangerous places to help people. You can do it here, in the United States. And it doesn't have to be for two weeks - you can do it everyday.

Cover Image Credit: Latter Rains

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10 Things You Know To Be True If You Live in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

"Take the B", they said.
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For anyone that is currently living in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and or has lived there, you know it's an *interesting* experience. From the various food joints, to the movie theater, everyone's love/hate relationship with Crazy George, Emmons Avenue, the B/Q trains, the new apartment complex that some people love and others completely despise, and everything in-between, there's no other neighborhood that's just like Sheepshead. You know you're from Sheepshead when:

1. You've either spotted Crazy George somewhere out on the streets or in a random location (usually in Dunkin' Donuts).


Don't get me wrong — it's not funny that he appears to have problems, but it's also not ideal that he goes into various stores harassing the workers. He's a one of a kind human being and I do wish the best for him and/or that he does get some help.

2. When it comes to Brennan and Carr and Roll n Roaster, you either love one of them much more than the other.

As much as I love Brennan and Carr's Gargiulo burger, I'm more of a Roll n Roaster person. Their personal pizza is nice and their fries are to die for -- and yes, I want cheese on that, please.

3. You either love or hate that new apartment complex that's in the works.

You know, this one at 1501 Voorhies Ave.

4. You've become used to the B and Q trains either being delayed, messed up, crowded, and or nonexistent.

"Take the B they said. It's express they said." If I told you how many times the B has gone local, out of service, and or on fire in Brooklyn, then maybe you'd hate it just as much as I do at times. Don't even get me started about how crowded it is - especially during rush hour.

"What about the Q train?" The Q's not much better. It has its times where it goes express in Brooklyn as opposed to local, which doesn't help if you're getting on/off at Neck Road or Avenue U.

5. You either go to UA Sheepshead, another movie theater or don't even bother with movie theaters.

Although going to UA Sheepshead is convenient, their prices are very special for just an average movie theater.

6. You either stick to shopping and dining along Sheepshead Bay Road and or Emmons Avenue or go elsewhere either in the neighborhood, other neighborhoods, or to the city.

While they're both convenient parts of Sheepshead Bay, there are other parts of the neighborhood to go to, such as Nostrand Ave. Sometimes, it's easier to flock to other parts of Brooklyn, but there are times where going to the city is worth the commute.

7. You either shop at Cherry Hill or avoid it completely.

While there are other supermarkets in the neighborhood, Cherry Hill is the only one on Emmons that is open 24/7. Their prices might be high for the neighborhood, but their prices could be much worse.

8. You remember when Sheepshead Bay High School was one school...

...and not an educational complex.

9. You're still low-key bothered about how the neighborhood recovered after Sandy.

I'm not going to say that it was the same after the hurricane. Although it didn't take the longest time to recover, that doesn't mean that damage wasn't done.

10. But regardless of how you may feel, by the end of the day, you're probably still super in love with the neighborhood.

It's an incredibly unique neighborhood. You can take someone out of Sheepshead but you can't take the Sheepshead out of someone.

Cover Image Credit: Curbed NY

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The 4 Best Travel YouTube Channels That Will Tempt You To Buy A Flight Today

No matter where I am, I find inspiration for travelling and engaging with adventure by watching these 4 YouTube vlogs.

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Do you dream of traveling every waking minute?

If you're like me, travelling to new places makes your soul come alive. So why aren't you traveling right now? School, work, bills, and other commitments pile up and leave us to stay put, even if only for a season.

When I'm between trips I like to stay inspired by watching videos from these YouTube channels. When I am ready to book my next adventure, I dive into these channels for research and tips. No matter where I am geographically, these four channels continue to influence and inspire my life as a globetrotter.

1. DamonAndJo - Hilarious and Trendy

Damon Dominique and Joanna Franco

shutupandgo.travel

Great for: Millennial travelers

Suggested video: Everything We Know About Travelling Cheaply (in 5 Minutes)

Playful and distinctive, DamonAndJo make hilarious videos for the millennial traveler. I encountered their channel during college when I was looking for advice about studying abroad. BFFs Damon Dominique and Joanna Franco met during college in New York City, studied abroad together in Paris, and went on to create a successful Youtube vlog chronicling their adventures. Their channel's motto is simple: "Shut up and go". The pair make travel videos with guests, together, and individually, keeping their content fresh and exciting. If you're looking for a laugh, travel advice, or even fashion and design inspiration (because they moonlight as style gods and trendsetters), then look no further than DamonAndJo.

2. Travellight - Best female solo traveler vlog

Jordan Taylor

travellight.me

Great for: Female solo travelers

Suggested video: Best Way to See the Great Wall!

Jordan Taylor is a female traveler who left the U.S. in 2016 to explore the world and hasn't stopped since. She has been all over Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East since she began her big adventure. I found her channel while researching for my first solo trip. She is a talented videographer and puts serious effort into producing quality visual content. Her videos include stunning landscapes, cities, wildlife, and waters, and she heavily focuses on her personal experiences and impressions traveling solo as a woman. Jordan's cinematography is stunning, but she remains completely honest about her encounters, revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Travellight is especially ideal for women considering traveling alone.

3. Gabriel Traveler - Down-to-earth and practical

Gabriel Traveler

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgZM50Ig7STDS0l6f_QnrXw

Great for: Conducting in-depth country research

Suggested video: Travel in Greece on $30/ a Day

Gabriel Morris is a solo male traveler who has traversed the world for over three decades. Who does that? Now middle-aged, Gabe has shown no signs of slowing down and continues to visit countries far and wide, making fascinating videos about the places he visits. I like Gabriel's channels because though he is the most seasoned traveler on this list, he remains humble by sharing his knowledge and expertise while maintaining a learner's mindset in his videos. His channel is simple and his videos straightforward, but content-rich and honest in depicting each destination. Check Gabriel's channel for inspiration and practical information from every continent.

4. Vagabrothers - for an in-depth lesson on history and culture

Marko and Alex

Vagabrothers on Youtube

Great for: Longer videos covering history and culture of destinations

Suggested video: Machu Picchu, The Lost City of the Inca

Brothers Alex and Marko started their YouTube channel in 2013. Since then, they have developed a successful business traveling the world and cataloging each place they visit. Their high-quality videos put PBS travel documentaries to shame. I found the Vagabrothers' channel when I was traveling a backpacking trip across Catalina Island in California.

Their videos dazzled me from the start, and I've watched their videos before every trip I've taken since. Each destination video is dotted with facts about the destination, tips for traveling there, and stories that captivate and inform. For Americans who want to spend more time traveling within their homeland, Vagabrothers is a wonderful resource. They have entire series on U.S. destinations from coast to coast. I recommend this channel to anyone who's looking for information-rich advice on how, when, and where to travel.

YouTube is an incredible way to share knowledge and inspire others to see the world. When you're saving up money and biding time until your next flight or road trip, look to these channels to be educated, entertained, and inspired. I hope you can enjoy the hard work these travel vloggers put into sharing their experiences online as I do.

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