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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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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4 Realizations You Have After A Year Of Spending Two Hours A Day Commuting To And From College

Having a friendship with your car may sound odd, but when you spend almost two hours a day in it, you begin to form a bond.

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Although dorming seems like the best option for freshmen to get used to their new home for the next four years, it isn't the most appealing choice for everybody. When you're a homebody like me, the choice between commuting and dorming has a clear answer. Who would want to give up the comforts of home when they don't have to? However, there are some downsides to being away from campus. Having a 45-minute commute has taught me so much even though it has only been a week.

1. Your time management skills will improve drastically

When you commute, your day must be planned in order to avoid traffic and get home on time. You also have to schedule times to eat, do homework, and socialize. This being said, it is much more difficult to be spontaneous. Friends will make dinner plans or ask to hang out when you're already off campus on your way home. The fear of missing out is a real problem, but planning ahead of time still lets you have a social life.

2. Other people will pity you

Whenever I tell people about my commute, I always get words of pity. Of course, it seems disheartening, but you can't let that get to you. There are always pros and cons to everything, so thinking about the benefits of commuting rather than the downfalls will help you feel better about your drive.

3. Your car will become your best friend

Having a friendship with your car may sound odd, but when you spend almost 2 hours a day in it, you begin to form a bond. My car (named Ulysses) and I have been through a lot on the road. From rogue raccoons to crazy drivers on the highway, your car and you will have seen it all. Your car is your trusty steed that will bring you to school and home safely. As long as you trust your car, your car will trust you back.

4. It's nice to sleep in your own bed

At the end of the day, being home is where I feel the most comfortable. The feeling of your own bed and having the privacy of your own room really have their perks. Also, nothing in the dining halls can beat a homemade meal. Some days, I feel that I should've dormed and that commuting wasn't the best option, but being able to be where I feel my best makes the hassle of commuting worth it.

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