This post is all about mission trips!
Christian mission trips to Africa are a great way to serve others and help those in need. They can also be an incredibly rewarding experience for the person who participates. I believe mission trips are an important step in many people’s purpose journeys.
When I immigrated to America, I saw that people were genuinely interested in mission trips. People always asked me for advice and tips.
So, this blog is essentially my way of having a digital informational chat with you. Hehe.😂
I hope you will gain additional insight into your planned mission trip! In this comprehensive blog post, I have several important topics that you should be aware of. I start with a story and build on essential tips, tools, and strategies.
Ready? Let’s go…
My interaction with an 18-year-old missionary from Austria!
When I was 18, I was in Strathmore University, a Catholic University in Kenya. This was before I transferred to Liberty University in Virginia.
Strathmore University required that we complete 200 hours of charitable work. So, I got a children’s home for my charitable placement. The head of the children’s home was an American woman who was on fire for service. The children there were HIV+ and had been abandoned by their parents.
Shortly after my start there, I met a lovely 18-year-old Austrian lady who worked alongside me. We helped cook, clean, take care of the kids and do everything. I was excited because we were the youngest volunteers there.
This Austrian teenager told me she decided to be a missionary. Although her parents weren’t fond of her traveling alone, they eventually agreed because she had a lovely family hosting her. She had a phone and knew a lot about how to navigate and talk to the locals. I also got to take her to a local flea market for shopping. It was amazing! You could tell she was “set up” for success.
At this time, there was no Facebook, Instagram, etc. So, upon her departure, she gave me her Austrian address and phone number. I promised to write her once she returned to Austria…but I lost the contact information! I hope she is doing well!
I am starting this post to stress that she maximized her mission trip at only 18 years of age and planned her trip adequately enough to ensure a successful one! This doesn’t mean you will not have setbacks, but you are maximizing your chances for a smooth trip! You are anticipating any issues and how you can mitigate them should they arise.
Now here we go to the next point…
Why I recommend host families and churches
Based on the story I gave you… it’s no surprise that I say that having a host family or a host church can be vital to your success. These people will help you adjust to the new culture and surroundings and can also assist you in your ministry work or mission trip to Africa.
Here are some of the reasons why they are so important:
- They can help you with practical matters, such as finding a place to stay and getting around.
- They can introduce you to other members of the community, including church members and leaders.
- They can provide emotional support during difficult times.
- They can pray for you and encourage you in your work.
- They can be an extra contact that you can provide to your family.
If you are thinking about making a mission trip, be sure to find a good host family or host church before you go. They can make all the difference in your experience.
5 Myths about Christian Mission Trips to Africa!
People think that you can do better by staying at home and donating to charity. However, this is not always the case. Mission trips are often seen as a waste of time and money. However, mission trips can be an incredibly rewarding experience, and they can also have a positive impact on the world.
Here are the top 5 myths about mission trips!
Myth #1: Mission trips are expensive
While it is true that mission trips can be expensive, they don’t have to be. There are many ways to fundraise for your trip, and many organizations offer scholarships and financial assistance.
Myth #2: You can’t make a difference in just a week
This is simply not true. While it is essential to have realistic expectations, you can absolutely make a difference in a short amount of time. In fact, many mission trip participants report feeling more fulfilled and motivated to make a difference in the world after their trip.
Myth #3: Mission trips are only for Christians
Mission trips are open to people of all faiths! No matter your religion or denomination, you can find a mission trip that aligns with your values.
Myth #4: Mission trips are dangerous
Mission trips can be safe if you do your research and choose a reputable organization. Make sure to read reviews and talk to others who have gone on mission trips before committing to anything.
Myth #5: Mission trips are a waste of time
This is simply not true! If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in the world, a mission trip may be right for you. Mission trips can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both for the participants and for the community that they serve.
7 reasons why you should go for a mission trip to Africa!
If you’re considering taking a Christian mission trip to Africa, here are seven reasons you should go!
1. Share your faith
One of the most rewarding aspects of a mission trip is the opportunity to share your faith with others. As a Christian, you have the unique opportunity to share the gospel (even with fresh revelation) with people and introduce them to the hope that only comes through a relationship with God.
2. Serve others
Another great reason to take a mission trip is the opportunity to serve others. Many people in Africa live in poverty and don’t have access to basic necessities like clean water and adequate healthcare. As a member of a mission team, you’ll have the chance to help meet some of these needs and make a real difference in the lives of those you serve.
3. Deeper understanding & relationship with God
When you’re serving others and sharing your faith, you’ll be challenged to think about your own beliefs in new ways. This can lead to a deeper understanding of and relationship with God. A mission trip is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about God and grow your faith.
4. Relationships with other missionaries
You’ll be spending time with other Christians who share your passion for serving God and making a difference in the world. These relationships can last a lifetime and provide valuable support and encouragement. A mission trip can also be a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
5. Exposure to diversity and different cultures
A mission trip is also an excellent opportunity to see another part of the world. Africa is an incredibly diverse continent with a rich history and culture. You’ll have the chance to experience new things and learn about a different way of life.
6. Grow in your relationship with God
A mission trip is a great opportunity to grow in your relationship with God. When you’re serving others and sharing your faith, you’ll be challenged to rely on God more deeply. This can lead to a richer, more fulfilling relationship with Him.
7. Growth and development
Mission trips provide an opportunity for personal growth and development. When you step out of your comfort zone to serve others, you’ll learn more about yourself and what you’re capable of. This can be a valuable experience that helps you grow in your faith and as a person.
Examples of mission trips to Africa
Africa is a land of vast opportunity for mission trips. There are many different types of trips that you can take, each with its own unique rewards and challenges.
Here are some that come to mind:
Medical mission trips to Africa are some of the most popular types of trips that people take. These trips usually involve providing medical care and supplies to African villages and towns. Medical mission trip teams often work with local African doctors and nurses to care for the sick and injured. Medical mission trips can be enriching, as you can help save lives and make a difference in the lives of those most vulnerable.
Teaching mission trips to Africa are another popular type of trip. These trips usually involve working with local African teachers to help them teach their students English or other subjects. Teaching mission trip teams will often work with local African churches to help them spread the gospel. Teaching mission trips can be very rewarding, as you can help African students learn and grow.
Construction mission trips to Africa are another popular type of trip. These kinds of trips usually involve helping to build or repair African infrastructure. Construction mission trip teams often work with local African contractors to help them complete their projects. Construction mission trips can be very rewarding, as you are able to help African communities develop and grow.
4. Working with orphans or refugees
Refugee mission trips typically include working with local African refugee camps to help provide assistance and support to the families there. Other popular types of mission trips to Africa include working with African orphans and working with African refugees. Orphan mission trips usually involve working with local African orphanages to help care for the children who live there. Both mission trips can be advantageous, as you can help those most vulnerable.
5. Non-profit work or relief
One popular mission trip type is working with an NGO (non-governmental organization) that provides relief efforts in times of need, such as famine or drought. These trips usually involve going into the country to help distribute food and supplies, set up medical clinics, or help build infrastructure.
6. Church planting!
Another popular type of mission trip is working with a church planting organization. These trips usually involve going into the country to help with evangelism efforts and planting churches.
No matter what type of Africa mission trip you take, you will surely have a life-changing experience!
Requirements, planning, and packing list essentials
Although this isn’t an exhaustive list, here are some requirements you need to keep in mind:
1. Vaccination and visa requirements
When planning a trip to Africa, it is important to know the vaccination and visa requirements. Some countries recommend that you are up-to-date with vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, typhoid, yellow fever, and rabies. It is also recommended that you have a travel insurance policy that covers medical expenses.
If you travel to Africa, you may be required to obtain a visa. The process for obtaining a visa can vary depending on your country of citizenship. For most travelers, you will need to apply for a visa at your local embassy or consulate. Once you have obtained your visa, you will need to make sure that it is valid for the duration of your trip.
2. Sunscreen and mosquito repellent
One of the most important things to pack for Africa is sunscreen. The sun can be very intense in this part of the world, and you don’t want to get sunburned! A good quality sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 will do the trick. It would help if you also packed mosquito repellent, as there are many mosquitoes in Africa. A mosquito net is also a good idea, as it will protect you from bites while you’re sleeping.
Please note that some parts of Kenya and South Africa can get super cold! Be mindful of this because sometimes people get super shocked to find this out!
3. Digestive products
If you’re traveling to Africa, there’s a good chance you’ll be eating food that is new to you. This can sometimes cause stomach upset, so it’s best to be prepared. Florastor will help keep your digestive system happy and healthy as it is a probiotic that will help prevent travelers’ diarrhea.
4. Language translation products
Bringing an English-Local language dictionary or translation app is a good idea if you don’t speak the language in that country. There are many words and phrases that are unique to each country, and you’ll want to be able to communicate with the locals.
5. Practical or appropriate clothes
A lightweight sweater or jacket is also a good idea, as the evenings can be cool (this is in Nairobi). And finally, don’t forget a hat! The sun can be very strong, so protecting your head is important.
Cultural etiquette and nuances (East Africa focused)
East Africa is an amazing place with an incredibly rich culture – make sure you take the time to learn about it before your trip!
Here are a few things you should be aware of before you go:
Kenya is a former British colony, so some British influences are still present. For example, driving in Kenya is on the left side of the road like in Britain. The official language of Kenya is English and Swahili, but Swahili is also widely spoken.
Christianity is the predominant religion in Kenya, so many churches will be present. However, it is essential to be respectful of other religions as well.
3. Research about local customs
When traveling to East Africa, you must be aware of the cultural differences you may encounter. The best way to do this is to research the countries you visit and learn about their customs and traditions. It’s also a good idea to speak with someone who has been on a similar trip, or even better – someone from East Africa. They can give you first-hand knowledge about what to expect and how to prepare yourself best.
4. Be respectful
One of the most important things to remember when traveling to East Africa is to be respectful of the local culture and customs. This includes everything from the way you dress, to the way you speak, to the way you interact with others. In general, it’s always best to err on the side of caution – if you’re unsure about something, it’s better to ask than to make a mistake.
5. Poverty and hardship
Another important thing to keep in mind when traveling to East Africa is that there can be a lot of poverty and hardship. This isn’t something that you’ll necessarily see right away, but it’s important to be aware of it. Be humble and respectful when interacting with locals, and remember that they are just like you – they’re human beings with their own hopes, dreams, and struggles.
6. Be prepared to be stretched!
Finally, have an open mind when traveling to East Africa. Be prepared to be stretched- both mentally and emotionally. But also, be prepared to have your perceptions changed and your worldview expanded. East Africa is an incredibly diverse and beautiful place, and it has so much to offer. Keep an open mind, and you’re sure to have an amazing experience.
Security and emergency awareness
You know that portion of the post you don’t want to write, but it’s necessary? Yes…this is the part.
East Africa is a beautiful and welcoming place to travel to, but there are some things that you need to be aware of before embarking on your journey. Let’s go over a few:
When traveling to East Africa, it is crucial to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against crime. Be sure to keep valuables out of sight and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. It is also a good idea to leave copies of your passport and itinerary with a friend or family member in case you lose them while you are away.
If you are in an emergency while in East Africa, you should contact your embassy or consulate first. They will be able to assist you with any medical, legal, or financial issues that may arise. It is also a good idea to have travel insurance before embarking on your trip, as it will cover you in the event of an accident or illness.
One of the most important things to be aware of when traveling to East Africa is the risk of contracting disease. Be sure to consult your doctor before traveling for a check-up. It is also important to drink only bottled water and avoid eating raw food from street vendors (until you are fully adjusted). By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that you have a safe and healthy trip!
d) Embassy registration and contacts
When traveling to East Africa on mission trips, it is important to have contact information for your embassy. The embassy can provide assistance and advice if you are in an emergency situation. They can also help put you in touch with family and friends back home.
Here are some tips on how to stay safe while in East Africa:
- Avoid traveling alone. If possible, travel with a group or buddy system.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Keep your belongings close to you and do not leave them unguarded in public areas.
- Do not accept rides from strangers.
- Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash.
- Be cautious when using ATMs and only use machines in well-lit, populated areas.
- Make copies of your passport and other important documents in case you lose them.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts handy, including the number for your embassy.
- Pickpocketing and carjacking are unfortunately common crimes, so always be aware of your surroundings and don’t flaunt any valuables.
- Remember always to use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that your trip to Africa is enjoyable and safe. Feel free to review the safety trips on your embassy’s page. They typically have a list of what you need to be aware of.
Communication: internet and mobile services (East Africa focused)
When traveling to a foreign country, its important that you stay connected. There are several ways to stay connected in East Africa, but it can be confusing for someone unfamiliar with the area.
One way to stay connected in East Africa is through a mobile data bundle. These bundles are pre-paid plans that give you a certain amount of data to use each month. The cost of these bundles varies depending on the amount of data, but they are typically very affordable.
Another option for staying connected is to purchase a sim card. Sim cards in East Africa are not as expensive as they are in other parts of the world. These sim cards are compatible with local carriers/ networks and most offer unlimited data plans.
However, it is important to note that you will need an unlocked phone in order to use a sim card from a foreign country. If you have a locked phone, you will not be able to use a foreign sim card.
Internet providers in East Africa are also available, but I doubt you will have the need to be watching TV when there; I believe having a steady mobile connection should suffice. But just to note, numerous companies provide affordable internet plans that are perfect for staying connected while traveling to East Africa i.e., Safaricom.
Finally, if you are planning on using your phone while in East Africa, it is important to check with your carrier about roaming fees. Roaming fees can be very costly, and some carriers do not offer service in East Africa.
And that’s it, folks, Christian mission trips to Africa!
If you have any mission-specific questions, please comment below or use my contact form to reach me.
I hope this post was super helpful! Please share if it has really blessed you or helped you gain insight into your mission trip planning!
Success in your Christian mission trip to Africa!
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.