Friday Five: Mission Impossible!

In the spirit of my tasting escargot in France a few year’s back, (they were delicious!) here’s  this week’s Friday Five from Revkjarla of RevGalBlogPals:

I am in mission trip mode right now, as I get ready to take a group of youth to DC to do service work around hunger and homelessness issues. So, in that spirit, our FF is Mission Style! So here are your questions:

1) Have you ever been on a mission trip, as a participant or adult chaperone? What was it like?
As a participant and leader… basically plan that if it can go wrong, it will. For instance, we had ground transportation travel plans in France on the trains… and there was a train strike. Yeah. That was fun. I’ve been on choir tour/work camps/mission trips. I plan now on getting less sleep than I want, but all that I really ‘need.’ The most important thing is to support the local churches and help them meet THEIR mission goals. Everything else is just an assumption. 🙂

2) What is the worst thing that happened to you/your group on a mission trip (or retreat, or camp, or Habitat for Humanity experience, or something like that–hey, this is YOUR Friday Five, so you get to play it how you would like.)
Probably going through customs in a Two-Thirds World country, where I was alone as a single woman in a very anti-woman culture. I did not speak the language. They did not speak English. And had it not been for friendly ex-pats going through customs also, I would have been up the proverbial creek.

3) If money were no object, where would you want to go to help and serve? What would you do?
We’re also assuming time and energy and entry into the country is no object here as well, but I would like to go to areas where there is child prostitution and help with rescues.

4) What would be your advice to someone who will be sleeping in a gym with 20 other people for a week?
Earplugs. A good air mattress. And be the meanie who enforces quiet hours. Have some kind of group exercise or pre-trip knowlege base. (If you can, read a book together like Serving With Eyes Wide Open by David A. Livermore. It helps you go into a new situation thinking about your own cultural, ethnic and religious blind spots.)

5) Any parting thoughts, stories, or questions you have around the whole theme of Mission Trips?
What you DO is not nearly as important as what you LEARN. Our Western culture is task-oriented. For most of the rest of the world, it is experience-oriented. However, if you come home and it hasn’t changed how you think about yourself, your family of origin and your way of worship, then it was just another “feel good” experience.

5 thoughts on “Friday Five: Mission Impossible!

  1. I felt a lot of empathy for you entering that two-thirds world country after my experience of feeling abandoned in Moscow, even with two friends. Ear plugs are really a good idea, one I had, too. Great minds. . . . .


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