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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Ten Reasons Why Old Orchard Will Always Be My Favorite Beach

My home away from home.
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Everyone has a favorite vacation spot that will always hold a special place in your heart. Here is why Old Orchard Beach, is, and always will be, my favorite beach.

1. The Pier

A trip is never complete to Old Orchard without visiting “The Pier.” With endless possibilities for the day and night time, The Pier is home to numerous shops, five restaurants, live music, and a night club for those 21 and older. Oh, and did I mention it also has the best view of the ocean?


2. Pier Fries

I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of French fries, call me un-American, but I absolutely love pier fries. In business for over 80 years, Pier Fries is known for their fresh, never frozen, fries cut from premium potatoes daily. You can also choose to eat them with ketchup, vinegar, or nacho cheese, don't knock it until you try it, and trust me you need to try it.


3. Palace Playland

Holding the title of New England's ONLY Beachfront Amusement Park, Palace Playland is the reason why as a kid, I thought every beach was supposed to come with an Amusement Park. Palace Playland offers kiddie rides, family rides, and for those feeling more adventurous, coaster and thrill rides. If you’re feeling daring enough and seeking adrenaline, ride the Power Surge, but don’t say I didn’t warn you… Feeling like relaxing but still want a beautiful view? The Electra Wheel, aka, Ferris Wheel, will be more up your alley, with a beautiful view of the entire park and beach.


4. The Beach Itself

I would be remiss to write an article about why I love my favorite beach without mentioning the beach itself. With the sand and ocean stretching out for seven miles, unlike many beaches, no matter how crowded it gets, you can always walk and find a more secluded spot to relax at. Towards the middle of the seven mile stretch, you will find The Pier, a great place to see the waves better and take pictures, a tradition my family does every year.


5. Dickinson’s Candy

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Dickinson’s candy is the place for you! With two stores located at Old Orchard beach, (one right outside the pier and one past the train tracks up the street) Dickinson’s offers a tremendous variety of sweets including; salt water toffee, fudge, chocolate truffles, candy, and even specialty ice-cream. Dickinson’s Candy truly has it all and it all tastes delicious! Not only will you find some of the best, most unique sweets in Old Orchard, but you will also be greeted by various friendly members of their staff.


And if you’re feeling adventurous, take the Bean Boozled challenge for free! Spin the wheel to determine your fate and what color jelly bean you choose. Mine was either licorice or skunk spray…unfortunately I got the latter.


6. Fireworks

I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of fireworks, but there is something about watching them on the beach that truly enhances the experience. Every Thursday at 9:45 pm, a beautiful fireworks display takes place right by The Pier and Palace Playland, automatically giving anyone sitting on the beach a great view. Fireworks started on June 30th and continue until August 25th, so there is plenty of time to drive up and enjoy this amazing spectacle.


7. The Arcade

This huge arcade stretches across Palace Playland and holds the title of being one of the largest in New England. With over two hundred games and attractions, the arcade’s games range from classic such as skeeball and pinball, to more up to date, like crane games with plushies from the new movie The Secret Life of Pets, and a giant Connect Four. With so many attractions, this place makes it easy to spend a few hours, and dollars trying to win the perfect prize, like my rainbow giraffe that I totally won on my own! With some help from my boyfriend….okay, actually he just won it for me, but it’s still adorable.


8. Everything Is A Walk Away

As large as Old Orchard may seem with everything it has to offer, it is all conveniently located in the same area, providing easy access. The Pier, Pier Fries, Palace Playland, The Arcade, Dickinson’s Candy, and parts of the beach itself are all extremely close by and you will be sure to find something that catches your eye while on your way to your next destination.


9. Unique Wall Art

A hidden gem at Old Orchard Beach is the impressive wall art right across the train tracks. This wall art changes a bit every year and always brings something new and unique to Old Orchard. This year, a bright and vibrant Dory was added next to Marlin from Finding Nemo and now Finding Dory. You can also find 8- bit art of Mario in a frog suit from Super Mario 3, and various sea creatures. Whales, crabs, squids, even Spongebob and Patrick! You can find them all on this amazing wall of artwork!


10. It's My Home Away From Home

My address I live at may not be in Maine, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like I’m home when I’m there. Since I was born it has been a tradition among my family to go up to Old Orchard Beach and enjoy all that this amazing beach has to offer. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter if I stay for as long as a week or as short as a single day, whenever I leave, I feel like I’m leaving home and start counting down the days until I can return the following summer.



Cover Image Credit: Angela Renzi

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10 Pubs In Ireland You Need To Drink At On Your Next European Vacation

There's Nothing Quite Like An Irish Pub.

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As you may know, Ireland has an incredible range of beer products. That was something I was looking forward to on my epic vacation to the country. (A vacation I've written plenty about already).

Now I'm over 21 so I don't have to worry about buying and consuming beer, but for any readers who are in the purgatory age range between 18 and 21, Ireland is THE place to go to drink.

If you ever happen to have the fortune of visiting the beautiful country, here are 10 amazing bars and pubs where you can drink and have the best of times!

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