4 Ways to Prepare Family for Your Mission Trip

4 Ways to Prepare Family for Your Mission Trip

By: Kaitlyn Palmer

Not everyone who goes on mission trips is from a Christian household. For some it is a challenge to get your parents to approve of you going to church, let alone across the world to a third world country. Understandably, our parents can be overprotective and sometimes resistant to things like a mission trip. There is unknowns, potential dangers and a big world out there. Getting your parents’ approval and blessing can be one of the most difficult parts about going on a mission trip, whether your family is Christian or not.

Kaitlyn in Dallas on a mission trip. Used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer
Kaitlyn in Dallas on a mission trip. Used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer

I am definitely not an expert on this, but I have learned a few things. Here’s what I’ve learned on how to prepare your family:

1.) Trust God- This is the most important thing to do because when you trust in Him, then the preparation for your family will be easy. This is something I learned the hard way. When I going on my first mission trip to New York, I allowed the negativity from my family to outweigh the trust I had in God. God taught me how to trust Him in that time.

What the bible says about trusting God: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.

Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer
Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer

2.) Pray for your family- Pray that their hearts would be softened and they will allow you to go. Pray that whether they know God or not, they would understand a bigger reason for why you are going. This helped me before talking to my parents about going on my second mission trip to Scotland. I had never been out of the country before, so their answer would determine everything. Obviously the Holy Spirit softened their hearts and was able to spend two weeks in Scotland. (PRAISE!!!)

What the bible says about softening hearts: “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26.

Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer
Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer

3.) Be honest- Tell them the truth on the locations you’ll be going. Some situations are different than others, but on any mission trip you are guaranteed to go into some dangerous or undesired areas. Be honest with your family and share what you are doing there. Do not spend a lot of time on the location, but spend more time on what you are doing. When I went to New York, we went to Harlem for a few hours. Telling my parents that, was the scariest thing I could have done but I did it. Although they were reluctant, they did enjoy hearing about the good things we were doing in the community, like passing out food.

What the bible says about being honest: “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:10-12.

Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer
Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer

4.) Allow them to get involved- This can be difficult depending on your family situation, but do the best you can. It was hard for me. I think allowing my parents to help me fundraise money for my trip allowed them to see the good things about a mission trip and why I wanted to go. It permitted them to see that it is not a vacation or social event but something that can change the world.  Allow them to help you fundraise, go shopping for supplies, pray with you or help you pack. The more you can get family involved, the better.

What the bible says about listening to our parents: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

Kaitlyn in Scotland. Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer
Kaitlyn in Scotland. Copyright 2015, used with permission by Kaitlyn Palmer

These 4 things really helped me go on every mission trip I have been on so far and helped prepare my family. Every family and situation is different and you will find what works best for you. However, in any situation number one and two are the most important.

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