“The Ultimate Mission Trip Packing Guide.” – tips and tricks from Praying Pelican Missions missionaries on how to be best prepared for your mission trip and how to take the pressure off of packing your suitcase for a new culture, climate and lifestyle. Our heart is to remove the anxiety and focus from timeless questions like: “How much is too much?” and give you a few tips that we’ve learned throughout the years. Ultimately, we pray that these posts would be a resource for you as you prepare for your trip. We want to provide you with a few tools that can help you as you prepare for your trip of a lifetime.
22679.60 grams. 800 ounces. 50 pounds. This is usually the amount of weight that we are forced to uphold when we decide to go on a mission trip or any other sort of travel experience. So the question then becomes, What do we fill our 50 pounds with? If you are like me you sometimes tend to over-pack or over-think what you are going to need and it becomes a stressful situation of rolling & folding, squishing & manipulating every inch of space you can possibly find inside your suitcase. The reality of the situation, however, is that it doesn’t need to be stressful or difficult we just have to be smarter about the situation we are packing for and what we really need. So, I (along with a few others) have attempted to come up with a list of items that probably shouldn’t see the inside of your suitcase if you’re heading out on mission trip.
First off, Let’s talk about technology. Leave it. If you need to bring your phone for an alarm or maybe to use as a camera that’s fine but make sure that is all you are using it for. When God has called you to “Go” and to leave behind things that are familiar, it usually means there is something that he wants to teach you. If you become distracted by what’s going on back home or what level you need to get to on a game, you are most likely going to miss all that he has for you, trust me. In Hebrews 12:1 we read, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.” When you are on a mission trip, you have the unique opportunity to fix your eyes only on Jesus and step away from the busyness of your life. Embrace it.
Next Up, Nice Clothes, Hair Dryers, and Jewelry. Through my many years on the mission field, I have learned that these things are best left behind. My hope is that you have not gone on a mission trip attempting to show off all the nice things you have but rather to minister. With that being the case, if you are thinking of bringing some of your nicest clothes I would suggest not. Not only do they become a huge distraction for you but they are not necessary. Just like technology, they create an unnecessary distraction that takes away from the purpose of the trip. Instead of focusing on ministry you will be focusing on not getting dirt on your outfit or losing your jewelry and will miss what God is doing around you. I’ve done it and I have learned. There are so many ways that you can look good and feel good on a mission trip without bringing your best clothes. God isn’t going to care what you are wearing, he cares where your heart is at. If you need packing tips, take a look at our Ultimate Mission Trip Style Guide where we’ve put together some great tips on how to dress smartly without it having to be all you think about.
Lastly, The thing that I think is most important to leave behind are any feelings associated with pride, negativity, a selfish attitude, feelings of superiority, etc. In Colossians 3:12-15 we read, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” There is so much freedom and beauty in going on a mission trip with absolutely no expectations, no preconceived ideas about how you are going to serve them and bless them but go simply with the intention of building relationships and getting to serve alongside your brothers and sisters in Christ. If our hearts and minds are focused on other things, it becomes difficult to see what God is up to.
God has amazing plans for you on your trip and He is so proud of you. I am so excited for you and all that God is going to do in and through you. As you begin your journey, remember to focus on what’s important and leave the rest up to God. He will make sure you are properly packed and have all you need.
Check Out The Other Posts In Our Packing Series: