Mission Trips Abroad for Young Adults

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Mission trips are a great way for young adults to have unique experiences in foreign countries while working toward something that matters. Many teenagers go on these trips and have life-changing adventures. So you’re researching mission trips abroad for young adults? But where to start? There’s a few things to consider when thinking about a mission trip.

Types of Missions

In general, there are two types of mission trips. There are outreach-oriented missions and service-oriented missions. Each organization will have different terminology, and perhaps subcategories of each one, but these are the two main categories.

An outreach mission will involve things like distributing tracts in the local language, getting to know locals, and sharing your own testimony. This is a more direct mission trip that can be both rewarding and difficult for more introverted teens. Another popular variant on the outreach mission is music and drama teams. These are mission trips that organize groups of talented individuals to go present musical programs and plays that share the evangelistic message. These trips go out to all areas of the world, so you can probably find an outreach trip to just about anywhere you want to go.

While outreach missions have one primary goal—witnessing—service missions have two objectives. Sometimes called humanitarian missions, these missions aim to help better the lives of people. This often includes building houses or shelters. If you’re willing to swing a hammer, then you can definitely find a service mission trip to go on. Plus, being younger helps on these types of missions since you’ve got a lot of energy to spare. Typically, these types of trips travel to third-world countries and poorer areas of the world.

Who to Go With

Once you’ve decided what type of trip you’d like to go on, you now have to find a group to go with. The best place to start is looking around at your local churches. A lot of youth groups organize short-term mission trips and it gives you an opportunity to go with people who you know and trust. Another great idea is to ask the missionaries that your church supports. Darren Carlson, of The Gospel Coalition, says, “[S]ome of the best short-term trips involve just two or three key friends sent by the church to visit a missionary in difficult place.” There are also plenty of groups out there that send groups all over the world; you just have to know where to look. Ask your pastor if he/she has any recommendations since they probably have affiliations with a group or will know about a good one. If you’re not having any luck, websites like shorttermmissions.com offer a search engine for trips. This can help get you hooked in with an organization. No matter how you find them, just be sure to do your research. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who scam a lot of money out of young people who are looking to do something good. Be sure to ask your parents and your church friends for advice when choosing an organization to go with.


Mission trips aren’t really about tourism, and you probably won’t have a lot of time to see the sights, so location is secondary to finding somewhere that you are needed. Don’t get disappointed if the mission trip is going to Belize when you really wanted to go to India; you will have an amazing experience no matter where you end up going. And besides, this isn’t about you, it’s about the people you’ll be helping and witnessing to.


There are two important parts to preparing for your missions trip: training and funding. Training is important because you will be put in situations that you have never been in before in unfamiliar parts of the country. Whoever you go with should provide the necessary information and classes in order to get you up to speed.  Training is important, and so is starting your fundraising early. Ask your church for a directory and use that as a starting point. Go to other churches in town, present your trip, and ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help as well. Another way to raise money is to ask locally owned businesses to sponsor you. You’ll be surprised at how much you can raise just by asking. You might consider setting up a PayPal account so that people can donate online as well. However you raise the money, don’t forget to thank and recognize the people who donated.

Hopefully, this gives you a good grounding for a mission trip abroad. If you have any questions about the mission trip process and preparing for your first mission trip, be sure to ask your pastor and church friends who have been on a mission before. Have a great journey!


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