Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Preparing for a Mission Trip

Lots going on around here! Is there ever a time when things aren't busy? If there is, I haven't found it. We are beginning our spring women's Bible study, Children of the Day by Beth Moore, next week. Although I am looking forward to it, I miss the fellowship with women focused on God's word, I know it is going to take a lot of work.

I am also planning on returning to India in a few weeks. This will be my third trip, but I will be going to a new place. Mr. Wonderful has been there several times, I am looking forward to having this experience with him, the last time we were in different locations. Between Wonderful, Darling Daughter and me, we will be on numerous trips this spring and summer, I am thankful we get these opportunities, but it does take some planning.

First things first, every trip begins and ends with prayer. Praying for God's strength and direction as you prepare for the trip ahead. Prayer for wisdom in preparing if you have a particular responsibility, I have a teaching assignment in India. Know your material and be commfortable with it, you will be in an unfamiliar environment so being familiar with your lesson is vital.

Find out as soon as possible if you will need anything special or particular as far as clothing goes. In India we wear traditional Indian tops that fall past the bottom, scarves and always wear pants that cover our ankles. Tops and scarves were bought inexpensively on our first trip so I just keep them stored and get them out and launder before the trip. On a trip to Taiwan later this spring, we can wear conservitive western dress. It will be warm so capri pants it will be. Now that is not a problem, except for the fact that I try to keep my wardrobe to a minimum so I will need to pick up a couple of pairs. If I need something for the trip that I don't normally have in my closet or need more than what I keep I do a couple of things. One I purchase the item, say capri pants in order to replace an existing pair but keep them both until after the trip and then donate the older ones. Or I will hit Goodwill to purchase what I need. Plan on packing as light as possible and depending on how long you will be away, know that everything you bring will be worn several times. Laundry isn't always an option, so pack enough underwear for everyday!

Shoes, buy the most comfortable shoes you can find, comfort first, style second. They need to be easy on and off, lots of cultures it is not appropriate to wear shoes in the house and you don't want to have to fiddle with buckles or laces, velcro is great. Also wear the shoes all day, several times before the trip. You don't want to be breaking in a new pair of shoes while walking a couple of miles on a dirt road! Blisters are no fun!!!!!!!

I usually let my hair grow a little so I can get a pony tail before I leave. Let's face it a pony tail is the easiest hair style ever, electricity isn't always available, so being able to pull it up wet and go is beneficial to say the least. We usually travel carry on only, so the 4 oz or less bottles of shampoo, body wash etc is all you can take. I do take make-up, but just the basics, foundation, mascara and lip balm and I don't always use it! I am not there to be pretty!

These are just a few suggestions based on experience, there are many more things that I could write about, but most importantly you don't need as much as you think you do. Enjoy the culture and embrace it. I have eaten a few things that I am not entirely sure what they are, but even if I find it unpleasant, I am not sorry I tried it. You are there to serve, not be served!

What are your suggestions for packing for mission trips? I would love to hear from you!





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