Whether you’re a teen interested in going on a mission trip, or a worried parent with a child who has expressed interest in a mission trip, you’ve come to the right place. Sending your child abroad (or going abroad for the first time) can be intimidating, so here are a few resources to ease everyone’s mind.
A mission trip is a big responsibility. Here are a few questions to help you and your child determine whether they’re ready or not:
Are you going with your child? Will you child be independent enough that both of you can work?
If you are not going, has you child been away from you for an extended period of time at all? How did they cope with it? Were they homesick at all? If so, how did they handle it? There is no set time limit for how long is too long away from home – it all depends on the individual child and the circumstances they are in while away.
Can your child handle long car or train rides or flights? Have they ever experienced them before? Have they ever experienced them alone?
Can your child handle a substantial amount of physical work?
Can your child handle seeing extreme poverty and sickness in the locals at their destination?
Can your child handle new situations effectively without you? If separated from the group, would they know how to find help, or would they panic?
Does your child clash with authority figures (teachers, coaches, babysitters), or do they respect and listen to them? Would they be able to respect their leaders, peers, and those they are helping?
Is your child going simply for adventure? Or do they want to help others?
If your child is spreading religious beliefs, can they handle being rejected by some people?
Can they deal with exhaustion or homesickness in themselves and others?
Can they spend a lot of time with other people?
Can they handle accommodations being less than what they’re used to?
Consider all these questions carefully and evaluate based on your own judgment – you know your child better than anyone.
Check out the additional resources on the Amor blog.
There are plenty of sources of information when it comes to getting answers about mission trips in general, or a specific mission trip your child is interested in.
Mission Coordinators: If your child is going with a church or school group, there should be a mission coordinator in charge of the trip. This person will have information about location, workload, and safety. Talking to the mission coordinator can help ease many of your fears about sending your child abroad.
The Company/Organization Sponsoring the Trip: Your child may also be going with a company that sponsors and plans mission trips, such as Adventures in Missions. The website of this organization or company should have a blog, frequently asked questions (FAQs) section, or even some resources listed on their site. They may also have a number that you can call. This can be an invaluable source of information for children and parents both.
Short Term Missions.com: If neither of these options are available to you, try visiting the Short Term Mission website for some answers. This site has articles and FAQs about the mission trip process from beginning to end. They also allow you to browse mission trips and the companies/organizations that offer them, and save your favorites to come back and check out later.
One way you can put your mind at ease is by purchasing travel medical insurance. Your traditional health insurance will most likely not follow you or your child out of the country. If your child unexpectedly falls ill or gets injured, you will be responsible for 100% of the cost. A travel medical insurance policy can help cover the cost of medical treatment abroad.
Atlas Travel insurance is one example of travel medical insurance. In addition to covering treatment for accidental illness or injury, Atlas Travel also covers things like emergency medical evacuation if adequate treatment is not nearby; acute onset of pre-existing conditions; emergency dental for acute onset of pain or accident; and political evacuation. Click here if you want to learn more about Atlas Travel insurance.
Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. We are regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by Tokio Marine HCC – International Group.