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What? Why?

Travel is a major part of our culture, and most of us occassionally, if not regularly, go on trips. We take trips for a variety of reasons. We go on business trips, vacations, trips to obtain medical services or to meet family obligations. One unique kind of trip that you may not have taken is a mission trip. What is a mission trip? A mission trip can be defined as a trip with specific plans to benefit specific people or groups outside your culture. To better understand what a mission trip is, let's take a closer look at each phrase in the definition.

A Trip:

A trip involves traveling to a place away from your home, and in this case, it means staying away for a designated time and then retuning home. Taking a trip removes you from your regular, everyday activities and temporarily forces your attention on other matters. The fact that a mission trip takes place elsewhere is significant, because the distractions and comforts you normally live with are temporarily replaced with new experiences. Confronting new surroundings and situations can be quite a challenge, both physically and mentally.

With Specific Plans:

A mission trip is not merely a visit to another culture. Rather, a mission trip has a mission, a definite goal. Some mission trips have more detailed plans, such as a village trip to teach classes on drip-irrigation. For this trip, class materials, times, and locations would all be worked out ahead of time. Some mission trips, although they have specific plans, do not have as detailed outlines. A trip to help construct a church or school building in a remote place may not have a definite schedule. Plans for this trip would daily depend on weather, access to tools, and availability of supplies. Whether detailed or general, every mission trip has a specific plan.

To Benefit Specific People Or Groups:

Although a mission trip is rewarding to the people participating, the mission itself is to benefit others. All human beings have needs, but those needs are not met equally across the globe. To go on a mission trip is to extend part of your abundance to meet someone else's need. The needs that mission trips seek to meet are many. Some trips focus on medical needs, some on educational needs, some on spiritual needs. There are mission trips to train people on ways to make a living and trips to help clean up after a disaster. Other trips focus specifically on spiritual conversion or growth. In areas that have full-time missionaries, there are even trips to help relieve these workers for a time.

Outside Your Culture:

A mission trip is directed toward those of another culture. Working among another culture usually indicates traveling to another country, and most mission trips take place overseas. But mission work takes place close to home as well. Humanitarian or church work within your own culture is usually referred to as service projects or outreach work and is different from a mission trip in that no actual trip is usually involved. However, even though a mission trip focuses on another culture, it can take place within your geographical area. There are mission trips available to remote Australia, among aboriginal groups, and with inner-city youth, as well as other opportunities. Regardless of the distance traveled, a mission trip involves a trip with specific plans to benefit specific people or groups outside your culture.

 
The earth has enough for every man's need but not enough for every man's greed.~

Mahatma Gandhi
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