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Patricia Minarich
Mr. Mills
English IV
Date: 11 October 2016
Why Students Should Go On MIssion Trips Before They Graduate

An American high school student should highly be encouraged to go on a

mission trip before graduating in order to reach out to people in need. This will allow a
student to increase in maturity and to become aware of the global conflicts that one
might face later in life. The student will be able to go out into the world and to see the
devastation that affects all parts of the world. Even though it can be a heartbreaking
participation, it is a rewarding experience after all of the challenging work. Through
hard work and determination students will develop and learn new abilities that they did
not know beforehand. These new and/or developed experiences will help the individual
in the workforce. This experience will also teach students about the wide variety of
cultures one faces on the trip and teach them how to embrace their unique ways. With
numerous types of mission trips it is almost impossible for a student not to go on a trip.
There are many types of mission trips that a student can pursue, the three most
common are short term, long term, and community. With the wide variety of options,
even the most busy student can find a trip that fits their needs. The common type of
mission trip that a student will take is a short term mission during the summer months.
A short term mission is a mobilization of a christian missionary for a short period
of time ranging from days to a year (Adventures). These types of trips normally
happen during the summer and winter months and about roughly 400,000 students go

yearly (Christian Today). Students do not only help others on these trips, they also
help themselves. During these trips students eat together, work, stay up late, and get up
early together. This togetherness helps students to bond and open up about their daily
challenges (Youthworks).
The next type of mission is the long term.Long term mission trips are more than
one year involvement in the field (Onechallenge). Students take some time, usually
more than a couple of months, to go out into the field. This is a type of trip that takes a
student who is determined and capable of giving up some of their time. A long term
missions trip not only demand a student who is capable of these abilities, the trip also
calls for someone who is not terrified to step out of their comfort zone. From sleeping in
small room with strangers, talking to new people, painting a house, serving a meal, and
experiencing new cultures. These elements can push one out of their comfort zone
(Onechallenge). Most of these trips happen overseas in poverty stricken countries.
Each worker is placed into a group that has a specific task that can range from helping
children to building a new house. The most important in our mission is found in the
relationships we build, the seeds of faith we plant , the depths of hope we dig
(Brassie). In a trip a student can build relationships with people around the world. These
relationships can often times last a lifetime that can change another's perspective of life.
To someone who has little to nothing, just a simple friendship can place hope. To see
the hope in the eyes of the once hopeless, is worth the laborious work.
The one mission that every student can participate in is one in their very own
community. Community missions allow students to help out without traveling very far
and to still compile the same impact as if they were on a long term or short term trip. Not

only does volunteering help others it can also help the volunteer. It is proven that when
an individual volunteers it relieves stress, combats depression, and provides a sense of
purpose (Segal and Robinson). Volunteering can also help the community to grow
stronger together. With residents working together for a better cause, it teaches
individuals no matter what color, origin, or religion, humans are all the same, we are
human (Segal and Robinson).
Finding a reason to take the trip is also an effortless decision to make. Students
should consider their motives and willingness to serve. During the journey a student can
learn more about themselves and experience newly found skills. The new skills one can
acquire are communication, time management, and creativity. These newly discovered
skills can also prepare one for the workforce or in the real world. The most common
reason for most to go is the will and compassion to help the needy. The other reason a
student might pursue a mission trip is to awaken their spiritual walk with God and share
the gospel.
The major theme or reason why a person goes on a mission trip is to help others.
When one help others they show strong encouragement. When a student shows
compassion through a work it can show a renewal of faith to someone in agony. Actually
showing and doing something will leave a substantial impact and difference in that
person's life. Serving others is a healthy habit, once a student starts it is hard to stop
(Raymond). Some wonder why help others when they can not do anything to give back,
but to a students that does not matter. Knowing that one has done something that can
change another's life is enough satisfaction, it comes from the heart.

During a trip a student can discover new abilities and talents unknown to them
before hand. When a student is pushed out of their comfort zone they have to adapt
and think outside the box. Stepping out of a comfort zone can help personal growth and
help one to exceed above others. As children we are natural risk seekers, but as one
ages they learn to fear failure and hold back from their full potential (Gregoire). Failure
can cause a student to fear trying something new causing them to become closed
minded. A mission trip pushes a student out of their so called comfort zone. Once one
steps out his/her comfort zone they tend to repeat the trend and it becomes second
nature for them. A study in 2012 found that students who study abroad or travel to a
new place are more likely to be more creative (Therriault). A mission trip is the perfect
place for a student push past their comfort zones that will help them later on in college
and/or workforce.
The strenuous workload that is managed on a mission trip can help a student
prepare for the work one will face in college or in the job field. Mission trips will help
empower students to take responsibility and ownership of their work (Youthworks).
The work will improve students skills such as teamwork, communication, problem
solving, project planning, task management, and organization (Helpguide). These
characteristics are important for college students because an individual needs these
skills to effectively be a successful student to reduce stress and maintain a superior
GPA. Not only does a mission trip help a student academically, it also shows a potential
college that they are a well rounded student that desires to better their community. The
experience can additionally assist one on possible career choices. Experiencing new
possibilities can help a student discover job characteristics that they might want or not

want to pursue in the future. Students can learn if they would rather want to pursue a
career that is more hands on or one that is an office job (Helpguide).
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good
deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). God tells his people to let their
light shine and to show love to those who do not know love. The human race is to love
one another, not to show hate and judgement upon those less fortunate. For some
students, a mission trip is a chance to show their light through the devastation and show
the will of God through their work, and to awaken their walk with him. God is a caring
God that wants to share his love with all nations. And he said to them, go into all of the
world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). When an individual is on a
foreign field the presence of God is working through them to show compassion for
another culture (Grady). The compassion one shows to another going through
devastating times can plant a seed of faith for that individual. God gives us a strong
bond to work together for the greater good across racial and cultural lines
(Charismamag). Its is a duty as a christ follower to speak to those who do not know
him as their savior ( Stafford). Its is rewarding to see someone accept Jesus as our
savior, t is a privilege to share the gospel (Stafford). Mr. Stafford also claimed in the
interview that it is important to be exposed to the cultures that exist so that one may
become aware of problems that each group has to face based on their culture. The
exposure to the various types of races can help a student share the gospel to all the
people of the world.
When on the field a student is not only faced with the amount of work they have
to complete, they are frequently faced with the differences of culture. Understanding

and adapting to a new culture can take some time but with patience we can learn to live
together in harmony (Askamissionary). Students learn to desire and move toward the
ability to express love no matter what color, race, or religion. The differences makes
each individual unique. The uniqueness of an individual develops the diversity that is
seen around the world. Imagine a world where everyone is the same color,race, and
religion. The world would be a dull place without uniqueness. It is astonishing that with
seven billion people in the world, no individual is the same. All throughout history
societies of people have been faced with the reoccurring issues on how to deal with one
another (Livermore). It is easier for a student to engage in global society if an
individual approaches cultures with confidence and openness to new ideas. When
making friends in a different region you learn how others are affected by economic and
political decisions and how they learn to adapt to what they are given. With these
experiences an individual is better equipped to be a participant in an interconnected
world, and to interact with participants with empathy and understanding (Fox).
A French novelist, Marcel Proust, observed that the real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeing new lands but seeing with new eyes. He learned that by working
with other people, an individual can learn about another culture and that helps a student
to explore new ideas and prospects (Picardo). This experience with global and
international collaboration result in more well rounded students encouraging others to
see things in a different perspective ( Picardo). When seeing devastation and
destruction first hand, a student goes through a change, a change that cause one to
desire the will to lend a helping hand.

In a country where many do not like the idea of religion or religion oriented
affiliations, they will dismiss the opportunity to go on a mission trip. They believe that on
the trip the faith in Jesus will be forced upon them. They can not stand the idea of doing
anything in the name of Jesus. A more popular reason why numerous individuals do not
take the time to go on a mission trip is because they do not understand why they have
to help those who they believe are just leeching off of the government. While some of
the people one might encounter do leach of government programs, this is not true in
majority of cases. These excuses can stop someone from seeing the true meaning of a
mission trip. These trips are meant to reach out to others who need help in a time of
There are large amounts of organizations that are not affiliated with religion that a
non-religious individual can participate in to help others. A well known international
organization called Oxfam is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help others
directly through communities and seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that the
poor people can improve their lives and livelihood and have a say in decisions that
affect them (Takepart). This is just one example of the other millions of organizations
whose mission is to save those who are suffering. To take part in these activities will be
an awarding experience for all types of people no matter their religious ideals. These
organizations can also be found around a local community so that an individual does
not have to travel far or look hard to help a person in need. Working with nonprofit
organizations is a way to also know that an individual is helping people who are in real
need of assistance. When working with such organizations one can meet people who
are truly going through hard times and need assistance.

The last excuse many Americans use to get out of going on a mission trip is that
they are perfectly fine staying where they live. As Americans we like to think we are the
center of the world. We tend to be distracted by our phones, social media,and our
computer screens (Focusoncampus). With all this technology at the touch of our
hands, Americans love to believe that they can learn anything just by reading an article.
Even with all of this technology, it is not the same as going out into the field first hand.
The experiences one faces is nothing compared to what a computer screen can show
an individual. It is a once in a lifetime experience to see the smile of a child, to hear the
laughter of the depressed, or the look of hope in the hopeless (Collegeplus). As an
American it is best to get out there in the world and see the world through different eyes.
On the way back home it is rewarding to know that all of the hard work and stress
was worth it in the end. The memories that one makes on a trip will stay for a lifetime. To
go on a mission trip is a privilege that everyone should experience at least once. To see
the hope that one act of kindness can do to one person or to a group of people is worth
more than money or material possessions. If at least everyone who is capable of going
on a mission trip goes, imagine how much better of a place the world will be.


Works Cited
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Gregoire, Carolyn. "6 Reasons To Step Outside Your Comfort Zone." The
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John. ""What Are the Advantages of Long-term Missions?"" Ask A
Missionary, 2016. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.
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Raymond, Becky. "Give to Others: 10 Reasons to Help People in Need."
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@TakePart. "Top 10 Non-Profits Fighting Poverty." TakePart. N.p., n.d. Web. 17
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Guardian News and Media, 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2016.