Read Part 1 of this series here.
Returning home after a missions trip isn’t always an easy transition. You’ve experienced a new culture, bonded with unique people, and maybe even shared the gospel in another language. You’ve been pushed out of your comfort, and your relationship with God has never been better. But as you drop your luggage on the floor and jump into bed, it hits you: you’re home.
What do you do next? Here are the final five tips to help you recover well.
6| Keep in Contact
While you might live in different ends of the country or different corners of the world, your team members will be going through the same transition. Your new friends are in the same boat, facing similar emotional and spiritual struggles. The relationships formed during your trip can thrive even if you’re miles apart. Technology is a wonderful thing, so use it well! Keep in contact with your friends and stay updated with the missionaries by signing up for their newsletters or communicating through email. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Keeping in contact and encouraging one another will help you recover even faster from your missions trip.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
7| Confront Your Problems
Whether you were away for two weeks or two months, your problems will be waiting for you when you get back. The harsh reality is that the broken relationships, secret sin, and hardships that were pushed out of your mind for the duration of your trip are now back in your life. By using your newfound spiritual momentum, you can tackle these challenges head-on. It’s essential to use these convictions to continue growing closer to God. Sometimes it takes an experience like a missions trip to wake us up to the problems in our life. My second trip to South Africa opened my eyes to my materialism and my stagnant relationship with God. Was it easy making changes and confronting the root of the problems in my life? No way! But it was worth it, and I think you’ll feel the same way.
8| Keep the Fire Going
One of the hardest parts of returning home from a missions trip is keeping the fire going. You’ve probably made some life-changing decisions and returned home with new convictions. It’s easy to fall back into the way life was before you left. Keep the momentum going by staying out of your comfort zone and remaining in God’s word. Implement changes in your life and act on your new convictions to keep pushing forward in your walk with God. Remember the words of Paul when he encourages us in Romans 12:11-12 saying, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” It’s up to you whether your missions trip is a mountain-top experience or the beginning of a life-changing journey.
It’s up to you whether your missions trip is a mountain-top experience or the beginning of a life-changing journey.
9| Find a Mentor
We’ve already established that you’ll have a lot to think about on your road to recovery. Finding a listening ear who will keep you accountable will be extremely helpful! Proverbs 15:22 tells us that “Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers, they succeed.” Look for someone who will provide godly counsel and accountability as you strive to keep the fire going after your missions trip has ended. An impartial listener who will help you transition back home, pray for you, and encourage you can make recovering from your trip even easier.
10| Search for More Opportunities
Even if you just got home, there’s a good chance you already want to go back. Returning home at the end of a trip often leaves us with a passion to keep serving. Sometimes, missions trips can even change what we thought our future plans would be. As you recover, pray for more opportunities to serve. In the meantime, be a missionary to those around you. While you may not be able to interact with those orphans in India or the sick in Uganda anymore, you can take advantage of where you are planted now by witnessing to your coworkers and praying for your unsaved friends. While you wait, use what God has taught you to be a missionary to those around you.
To read Part 1 of this series, click here.