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3 Challenges for Those Returning from a Missions Trip

Encompass Global Worker Ralph Justiniano has been working with short-term mission teams for several years. Here are three of his challenges for those re-entering the lives they temporarily left.

1. Resist the temptation to judge others.

So, you have just returned from your missions trip and your heightened awareness of the powerful work of the Holy Spirit may be changing your values helping you redefine your goals in life. The trip could have reoriented everything and you are just so excited! Just know this, it may be a little frustrating that your incredible encounter with Jesus during the trip might seem completely incomprehensible when you try to share it with those who didn’t experience it. You may not get the kind of reaction you’re hoping for. But, don’t fret.

I encourage you to resist the temptation to be angry with those who don’t understand, and be very careful so that no spirit of judgment creeps in. Rather, try to be thankful and rejoice that Jesus gave you such a wonderful glimpse of His majesty! I challenge you to share your experiences in patience regardless of the reaction.

2. Share your experiences and become a mobilizer.

One important truth Jesus has taught me in the past few years is that there are no gifts that God gives us that are meant only for us, but rather all gifts are designed to be shared. Jesus gave you a wonderful picture of his glory on your missions trip to bless you, but it shouldn’t stop there. I encourage you to bless others by sharing your experiences.

One of the best ways for people to understand what you are experiencing is for them to go and experience the same thing. So, why not take advantage of that opportunity and encourage others to go on a missions trip. You may not realize it, but you can serve as a great bridge between your church and those you have served. So, I encourage you to mobilize people to join the cause of Global Missions.

3) Your mission isn’t over! Spread the love.

Just like a home is where the heart is, missions doesn’t stop when you change locations. Mission is everywhere! In the same way, you built relationships with the people you served on the missions trip, love and reach out to those in your hometown. There may be a distinction between global missions and local evangelism, but at the root of it all, God wants us to spread the supremacy of Christ for the joy of all peoples wherever you are.

Whether you are in Japan serving at a youth camp or drinking coffee at your local café, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good deeds and give glory to God!