Lesson #10 – Don’t Depart Early

One thing that I love about reaching out to others cross culturally is that God is continually teaching me new things.  Over the course of years, I have come up with my own TopTen Cross Cultural Lessons Worth Applying.  I wrote them down because I wanted to remind myself of these ideas and values during each mission trip and they have proven helpful time and time again.  I gladly share them with you over the next several weeks in hopes that they might be helpful for you and your leadership as well.  I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on these.  Maybe they will encourage you to write your own TopTen.

TopTen Cross Cultural Lessons Worth Applying

Lesson #10 – Don’t leave the country until you get on the airplane.

All of us get excited on our way to a short term trip.  We are looking forward to the faith adventure that we have been preparing for over the past months and we are anxious to meet old friends and make new ones.

I have noticed however, that sometime around 3/4s of the way through the trip you can begin to turn our heart and mind towards home.  It is natural in a way.  As we approach the final days of a trip, many of us are tempted (I use that term literally) to start wondering about what is happening at home, what awaits my attention, and how will I work through the piles of emails or Facebook posts that have gone unanswered.

Allowing yourself to prematurely dwell upon the “next thing,” whatever that is, takes your heart and mind off of what God has set before you and incorrectly sets these upon worries and wonders yet to be determined. (Matthew 6:34 and James 4:13-17).  When you do this, you start to start to check out and lose focus.  I think that is disobedience to the purpose and people to whom God has sent you.

So Lesson #10 to make the most out of missions is – Don’t leave the country until you get on the airplane.  In other words, keep your heart and mind focused on the purpose and people of your trip until you have boarded your return flight home.  Give it your all, and give it for all of your time in country.

Writing a daily update on MissionMakr is one way of staying focused on what God is doing each day. Tomorrow will always await you, but you only have today to make a difference where you are.