I think every person, especially every Christian, should go on a short-term mission trip once in their life. If I had written the Bible (and thank GOD, I didn’t!!), I would have put a short-term mission trip requirement right after baptism. Oh, wait, Jesus kind of already did that when He said, “Go.”. But I digress..
I just recently returned from a trip to India. I’ve been to several different countries on short-term summer mission trips over the past decade or so. And, honestly, this one wasn’t much different. Yes, I saw a new level of poverty than I had ever seen before. I saw a culture and heard a language I had never had any prior experience with. But humans are humans. Many do terrible things to one another, many are kind and generous, and they all need love.
When we are prepping and training for a short-term trip, we always talk about how we know our lives will be different, how we’ll be impacted in unexpected ways. But the thing I always forget about is what I call the “Post Mission Trip Blues”.
It’s when you’ve been in an “exotic” (to you) new place and been doing so many things that have impacted and changed people’s lives. You’ve spent every waking moment focused on others and what they need and how you can be a blessing to them. You’ve pushed yourself and sweated and been uncomfortable and eaten strange foods and had to use squatty potties (oh my). Then, after months of planning and preparation, your trip is over after just a few short days. You find yourself back in your own home wondering if that really just happened. The days you spent bringing the good news of the Gospel to the children of India are blurred and fuzzy and lost in the monotonous tasks of laundry and dishes and diapers.
It all seems kind of useless. I wonder, what on earth am I doing with my life? I should be out there, doing something, helping someone. But instead, my kitchen needs to be cleaned again. I feel like I should be doing more.
I don’t really have any answers. I know the cliche answers of my “mission field at home”. I know my work at home with my children is of great importance. I just forget about that low after the high of mission trips.
Have you ever experienced this?