I have worked with a lot of volunteer teams in the last 8 years living overseas. Most of them do a tremendous job. As I think about these groups that do well I see several things in common for those who do well. I am going to break these up in three different post for your reading enjoyment. :)
They pray a lot before they come
They prepare a lot before they come
They seem to pack these things for the trip
Don’t forget to pack:
1. Your Bible – Trips can be a great time to hear from God. I know you will be experiencing some long days but try to make some time to read the scripture each day before you go out. I like to recommend people read the book of Acts while they are on a mission trip. Idea: I have heard of some people who give their bible to a person that they really connected with at the end of the week as a gift.
2. Your Journal – I think it is great to write something each day about your trip. What is God teaching you? What is He showing you about the people? How does this apply to the place where you live? Idea: Write down some specific actions points that you can do once you return home. Chances are there are many people groups who live around you in your own city.
3. You prayer supporters back home – You really need good prayer support when you come on these trips. My challenge to each group is to have at least 7 people committed to prayer for them each day. Ideas: I have seen people create a prayer calendar for each day that they are gone. I have seen people blog about that trip as they go and put prayer requests up. I have seen people create a google group for their prayer supporters which offers more security since it is password protected. The point is to enlist friends, family members and your church to prayer for you specifically for this time.