Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mission preparations: Next time, I would...

Hindsight is great but late, so better than gaining your own is getting someone else's hindsight before you need it!

This is a post for those things that, while we were away, we'd say, "Next time I do a mission week, I will....."
If you are going on a mission trip and making preparations, I hope this helps!

> Learn more Spanish.
Developing relationships with the kids and people you are working with is an amazing step. Speaking their language can only help with that! I had a little app (available at Amazon for Android) that would translate both ways - you could speak into it and it would respond. That was helpful but doesn't compensate for real conversations.

> Take more activities for the kids.
At the Manuelito Project we were given a lot of time to spend with the kids, often in small groups. Sports provided a great way to interact with many kids, but not all. Crafts, toys, song and dance is another way. Preparing some in advance (cutting shapes) is good.

> Take something for the first night.
We were tired by the time we arrived, after being up through the night, traveling then touring the place, and awash with emotion, there's not much energy for the first night. Not much is expected - after we arrived and took a tour, the kids at MP presented to us and then we hung about. This would be a great time for an opening night game or small party!

> Be prepared to lead a church service.
We were asked to do that on our 2nd day. We were able to hand the message part of that to Rob, a preacher on our team, but if we hadn't had Rob, we would have had to do it. Next time I'd take a lesson from a Sunday school class. We also had a great book of devotions and songs provided to us by World Gospel Mission so we had the hymns to sing. A CD to go with it would have been great!

> Take more of each item for the kids
We knew how many kids lived on the project, and we thought ahead to take something also for the child of the US missionaries. We didn't think about kids of the other staff that might live on site or visit a lot, or just general visitors, like siblings of any of the kids. So I'd take at least 6 to 10 more of everything.

Supplies: coming soon.

Anything else? If you've been on a mission trip and felt there was something you would take next time, what would it be?

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