At first it was about seeing firsthand the dramatic effects of poverty and experiencing what it is like to be in a totally different culture, which as a young person, were important lessons to learn. The first few trips were so exciting, fun and interesting. They were also a good opportunity to practise some of my newly learnt ministry skills. However as I got a bit older and was considering mission work for myself, the whole excitement of travelling and learning some new sentences in different languages and eating new food changed to an interest in real cultural barriers, language barriers and struggles that missionaries might face.
I believe that no matter what stage you are at in life, short term mission trips can be for you.
If you are 17 and have no idea what is out there in the big wide world then there is a lot for you to learn; if you are a young adult considering mission work there are great things for you to learn too. If you are older and wanting to understand what your missionary friends are going though, and how you can pray for them and support them, then short term mission trips are for you. Whatever your reason for going, God can teach you many things and challenge you in many different ways, so be prepared to be adaptable, to be challenged and to be changed.