1) Turn every day into an adventure!
The Holy Spirit is your best friend... Every morning, as you read your Bible, ask Him: what do you want to show me, teach me and speak to me about today?
2) Expect surprises!
He wants you to say: Wow, what is this? You will find "Manna" on the ground, birds flying so low you can catch them and water will flow from the Rock! Bonus, favor, signs and surprises!
3) The word problem can not be found in a missionary's dictionary!
A missionary does not have any problems, only challenges. You will be stretched and you will evolve and grow through the challenges... Meet every challenge filled with joy and enthusiasm! ;)
4) Never frown!
A lot of things will be new and different. The food does not taste like home, scents, climate and the aspect of time are all different. But you will always smile and stay humble and thankful. Remember, that as you brace yourself at times, you will win the hearts of the people!
5) Live every second and enjoy the moment!
Dance, sing and let go! It will not harm you to be sweating, wet or hungry at times ;)
6) See the people that you meet!
There is no one unimportant enough that you not have time to see them in the eye. The children, beggars, waiters, taxi drivers - they all need your friendly eye. You can not be so stressed or focused that you need to be rude to the people that you meet. Let your eyes convey Jesus; let your handshakes and hugs be felt! Everyone should know and remember that they met a missionary with a heart as big as an elephant when they meet you...
7) You can always help one!
You can not help everyone but you can help one and mean the world for him or her. Be careful not to hand out your contact info left and right since in fact you are then creating expectations that you seldom can live up to in the first place... Do not make promises that you will not be able to keep... Help someone or a couple of people and yet keep in mind that money and things rarely help in the long run. But your t-shirt, hat or even watch can at times be a point of contact that opens up a heart, creates warmth and opens a door for the gospel. Your primary task is to convey salvations and Jesus! A baptism in the Spirit will make a big difference! :)
8) Enjoy the culture!
Soon enough you will be back home. Everything will be back to normal very soon. Do not whine over or look down upon the culture that you are about to serve. Instead learn to curiously ask about and enjoy the things that are different. We love to help people get free from stuff that is not Biblical or even down right demonic. The missionary is present in a place to convey the culture of the Kingdom of God!
9) Do not believe in ghosts!
Do not allow any ghosts in your head to play games with you during your trip. Thoughts like:
- no one wants to be with me
- I am not really part of the team
- he/she thinks I am no good
- I should not have come
- I don't fit
10) It is not about you!
You will survive longer than you think with out that counseling session ;). You went on a mission trip to serve and not be ministered to yourself. Your leaders are not your psychologists, therapists or simply there to solve your personal issues when you get tired... :)
11) Fill in where needed!
Never say: the responsible person has not done his/her job. Instead: yes! This is my opportunity to serve, fix and make it better! :) Fill in! Cover someone else! Carry the burden of someone else!
See you on the mission trip!
See you on the mission field!