The reasons I’ve seen for someone choosing to go on a short-term mission trip are wide and varied. I believe most of them are valid and a strong reason to say “yes” to being a part of a mission team. This list includes my personal favorites.
1. First, and foremost, go because God has called you to go! I tell people frequently that I will never try to sell them on a mission trip. I believe that urge to consider going comes from God planting the seed in your heart. It’s up to you to respond. He is asking you to serve in a way He doesn’t ask of everyone – to serve in Uganda! He wants you to be His hands and feet in Africa. How will you respond?
2. You are wondering if God wants more of you. Maybe you are at a place in your life where things have gone well. You’ve achieved a lot of your personal goals and have started to wonder “what’s next”? Or “is there more for me to do”? Joining a mission team can help you answer those questions.
There is nowhere like the mission field for God to show you how He wants you to serve. It doesn’t mean you will be called to permanent service (although that can happen, too!) It may mean that you return home and become a champion for helping kids in Uganda. Or you may come back having made a decision to devote more of your resources to the local church in the US. Some come home and simply share the needs with friends and family and their response provides much needed support for families in Uganda.
Chances are that yes, God does want more of you! Being a part of a Uganda mission team can show you a multitude of ways to accomplish that.
3. We all have times in our life when we need to take a step back. There is nowhere better to do that than Uganda! Our friends there love to remind us that “Americans have the watches, but Ugandans have the time”. Life in Uganda is slower and enjoyed at a much more relaxed pace. In the US, we are consumed with “busyness” and efficiency. In Uganda, much more importance is attached to relationships. No hurry in Africa!
It doesn’t mean our days and evenings won’t be busy, but you won’t be there long before you notice the pace is just more measured. It may even be frustrating at first, but you will soon see the benefit if you allow yourself to get past the notion of “how much can we get done today”? Slow down and enjoy the journey.
4. It’s time to broaden your horizons. I encourage team members to not pack their bags with the attitude of recreating their life in the US in Uganda. Embrace the culture and be changed because of it. You will learn more than you think you will. Our friends in Uganda are proud of their country and love that we are committed to visiting them every year. It is good to see how others live, even in a country wrought with poverty.
5. I need to make friends with people I would meet no other way. It happens. Every. Single. Trip. I look at the list of people who have said yes to going and think “wow – this is an eclectic group!” And each time, we may only have been together for a day and it becomes obvious it is exactly the team God wanted to work together. I’ve seen friendships formed on these trips that are now over ten years old and it’s hard to imagine any other way that relationship would have started.
Serving together and sharing what we see every day can form a bond like no other.
It’s similar to a secret that we all know and just can’t explain to anyone else. You will
rely on these team members when you return, especially when you feel like no one at home understands. It’s one of the connections that Connect to Uganda values and has watched change lives.
6. You may need a change of heart. Maybe you don’t even know you need an attitude adjustment, but you find yourself being a little more cynical and jaded in your view of the world. A mission trip can help open your eyes to a lot of positive things, even in a country with such extreme need. There is so much good there! And that can give you a platform to share that news with others. Find a way to restore your faith in humanity; let this experience open your eyes to new things, new views, and a new perspective of how service can change your heart.
Whatever the reason you are considering a short-term mission trip to Uganda, I encourage you to not ignore it. Let it out and process the reasons why. Share your questions and C2U will do our very best to answer them. We are committed to laying the foundation for a great, safe experience that can give you the tools to change your life. Spend some time considering the possibilities. You may find some clarity - and find yourself on a plane in July!