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?
3206
views

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

Popular Right Now

5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
244380
views

Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Traveling Is Great, But Packing Is The Worst Task Of All Time

I'm probably taking this out of proportion...but hear me out!

18
views

When I was a kid, packing wasn't such a big deal. I had both of my parents with me, so if I forgot something, they'd just take me to the store and it'd all be okay. Now, I'm more or less on my own. Lucky for me, I have my fiance who calms my nerves, but he also insists on packing early when I'd rather put it off. If I'm going to be living out of a suitcase for long enough, why would I make it even longer?

I admit that I also procrastinate packing because it makes me anxious. Remembering everything I need for a weekend, week, or longer is so stressful to me, but I'm 99% sure I'm not alone in this feeling. Traveling is an anxiety-provoking experience that can be extremely draining. Every time I travel, even if it's simply a three-hour drive to Chicago or St. Louis, I come home exhausted! Maybe I'm a wimp, or maybe I'm onto something.

Getting out of our comfort zone is really difficult.

I know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's a huge leap of faith to do things that are outside of our normal, everyday activities. If you struggle with anxiety as I do, it's even harder to manage abnormal environments.

Don't get me wrong — I absolutely love vacationing. I can't wait to go on my honeymoon this summer! It's not the vacation that stresses me out but the preparation and travel. There's so much to get ready (especially for us women — am I right, ladies?), and I'm always scared I'll leave something behind I can't easily buy away from home, like my prescription medications.

Alongside the anxiety of my forgetfulness, I also am never calm in stress-provoking environments like airports. Everyone is rushing around everywhere, so even if I know that I'm on time, I get stressed out just being in a place where other people are stressed. I know airports have this whole "she got off the plane!" vibe thanks to Friends, but to me, there's nothing romantic about them...at all.

So, is traveling really worth the stress of it all?

If you asked me the night before I leave to go somewhere, I'd probably tell you no. But if you asked me when I got to my destination, I would say YES — traveling is so worth it! You get to go to a new place and try new things and stay at a hotel or condo that's not your house. Everything about it is strange yet exciting at the same time.

Take it from the most introverted introvert out there: traveling is worth the stress. The airports, cars, packing, and any other challenges are all worth it because you get to create memories that will last a lifetime — sorry, not sorry, for the terrible cliche. In the end, you're not going to remember the stress. You're going to remember the moment when you climbed to the top of that mountain or felt the sand between your toes. You're going to remember the people you were with, the memories, and the love and friendship you share.

Trust me, explore the world — it's worth the stress.

Related Content

Facebook Comments