We’re continuing our series on reflecting on high school mission trips. Last week we heard from Cacey, a 20-something who looked back on her youth group mission trip experience to Belize. Read about Cacey’s joys, struggles, and hindsight reactions here. This week, we pick the brain of Beckah, another young woman living in Minneapolis. Beckah, unlike Cacey, had opportunity to go on a high school mission trip but decided it wasn’t for her. Read on to hear her enlightening perspective.
What can we learn from her experience?
1. Hi Beckah! Please explain a little about your perspective on high school mission trips as a teenager and why you chose not to go on one.
My grandmother is a firm believer in making a lasting difference. She has traveled extensively all over the world as an educator and humanitarian to make a positive, lasting change in the lives of people in need. Looking back, I still do not regret deciding not to go on my youth group’s mission trip. Even though all of my close friends were going, it was to a unique and beautiful destination, and my parents were encouraging me to go, it didn’t seem like kind of trip that would make a difference that would last.
2. How did your youth group advertise and talk about the mission trip opportunity?
Our youth pastor would always keep highlighting the fact that the group would be staying in a nice hotel near the beach, the outreach would just be in the mornings at different orphanages or retirement homes, and meals would be taken care of. To me, it sounded more like a vacation than a mission trip and after the group had returned, it still sounded that way to me.
3. Looking back, what would have needed to be different about the trips to pique your interest?
I think there should have been more of a focus on helping the community in other ways than just doing crafts with orphans and painting the nails of elderly women. Perhaps if we could have tutored local high school students, helped repair or construct a building, or assisted local farmers, I would have been more interested.