The Personal and Societal Benefits of Missionary Trips to Third World Countries

Everybody is capable of going on a mission trip, but not every single person lets the experience change their heart or open that person’s eyes to the poverty in this planet. Although, studies show that participations in a mission trip tend to have lower levels of materialism and a greater appreciation for other cultures; some studies even show a difference in Christians who have been on a mission trip versus Christians who have not. (“Short-Term Mission Trips: Are They Worth the Investment?”, 2-3).

Mission Trips are not only beneficial to the areas being helped, but also to the people who are involved in the work: by giving a person a sense of fulfillment, revealing the poverty, need of love and compassion, and making connections with people who are in need.

Granted, a plan is needed to go on a mission trip, figuring where help is needed, getting the money to fulfill the need, gathering a team that can fulfill the need at hand, and as well as the want to do something incredible.

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An estimated 2 billion dollars per year is spent on mission work (“Short-Term Mission Trips: Are They Worth the Investment?”, 1). A church planning to go on a mission trip has to come up with the funds within the church. Involving fundraisers and asking people in church to help finance the trip. The church as a whole gets to participate by giving towards the trip (“Short Term Mission Trip Information”, 2).

Figuring out where to go is one of the most important factors of going on a mission trip; finding an area in desperate need of help, love, and compassion is something to always keep in mind.

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Also “plan as if nothing has been done in the past, go as if no one has gone before” (Mathews, 19). Many people can clearly see the need in places such as Uganda, the inner cities of the United States, and a lot of other third world countries, but many Christians say they are “called” or meant to go to a certain country (Morton). The people who are meant to go to a certain country “are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes” (Davis, XI).

Generally speaking, when going on a mission trip a mind frame is needed that helps a person realize not every person in need can be helped, but the lives that person does help will be changed forever. One of the main purposes of a mission trip is to spread love and just to take the time out to let another human being know someone out in this world cares for them (Hollowell, 1). Going into a place where there is nothing left and just helping the people gives them hope and a renewed sense of purpose (Hollowell, 93). Undoubtedly, the need for mission work is everywhere anyone looks, whether it is just some love that needs to be given, food for the hungry, help for the needy, or shelter for the homeless the need is out there and abundant. People are hurting physically and mentally poor and rich. (Morton). In Uganda, Africa alone, 8.5 million children work in horrific conditions, and 2.3 million children in Uganda suffer with HIV. So if you add that is 164.8 million needy children and that is the need in only one country.

On top of that, that is only the children not including the adults (Davis, 92). Plus in Uganda there are 143 million orphaned children and of those 143 million orphaned children 11 million starve to death or die of preventable diseases (Davis, 92). That is one country out of the 196 countries on this planet. In New Orleans, Louisiana there are hundreds of homeless people who come through the New Orleans Mission each day (Morton). Whether it is in a third world country like Uganda or a State in one of the wealthiest nations on the earth the need for mission work is everywhere and there are thousands who participate in mission work (Hidalgo).

Also, “in Matthew 25, Jesus said to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and stay with the sick, because if we do that for the “least of these” then we do it onto him” (“Compassion Outreach”, 1). That is why most Christians go on mission trips because Jesus commended the Christ followers to do so but when someone attends a trip something else tends to happen. But, some who go on mission trips just want to serve others, and while on these trips a trip goer sees God’s work being done (Hidalgo). A person decides to go on a mission trip they figure out that he/she are not just in the business of doing manual labor, but that person is now also in the business of changing live, saving lives, and serving others (Morton).

A trip goer in now among the poverty, they become aware of how bad the conditions some people live in actually are, and when that trip goer sees the poverty and they realize that this is no longer about them; going on a mission trip is all about serving others. (Hidalgo). However, some people don’t understand why missionaries keep working in a third world country like Uganda. Katie Davis even describes the hardships: “Sometimes working in a third world country makes me feel like I am emptying the ocean with an eyedropper. And when I have about a cup full of water it rains: more orphaned children from the North migrate to where I live, more abandoned and dead babies are found, more people are infected with HIV” (Davis, 13). There is always more work to do, more love to give, more people to help, more people to feed, more disease to fight, but this fight is worth so much when a trip goer gets to see the affect or change they had on another person’s life (Morton). Everybody can see that there is a very enormous need on this planet, but only some people want to contribute by putting their time, effort, and money into helping others. That is why the mission field exists to help hurting people (“Compassion Outreach”, 11).

Also a great benefit is most people will have a more thankful attitude, and less desire to complain about their life, after a mission trip (Wall, 911). Obviously, a person that goes on a mission trip comes in contact with many different people during the trip. A lot of connections are made and it has a big effect on the trip goer because that person sees the change that is happening right in front of them in the area of need. The trip goer sees the joy and just complete turnaround of the trip receiver; that happening right before a person’s eyes just might be the most beautiful thing anyone could encounter (Morton). The connections missionary, Katie Davis, experienced gave Katie her thirteen adopted daughters (Amazima Founder, Katie Davis, 12).

A mission trip goer also gets the benefit of getting to meet and understand people and those of other cultures from all over the world; a trip goer may find out that people, though they may look different, are the same all over the world (Wall, 1 8). Therefore forming a relationship with a church and going back year after year or by establishing a connection with a person whom you stay in connect with for years. Also, a trip goer gets to fall in love with the culture and people of someplace they never understood (Morton). One of the greatest gifts of a mission trip is having just a connection to a person’s happiness. A missionary, Katie Davis, has many stories of this gift on a night on 2007 which was cold and rainy. Katie walked in to a supermarket in her village of Jinja on her way home Katie than, saw a small shivering boy. All Katie wanted was to go home and go bed, but something inside of her told her to stop.

Katie took the small child into the supermarket and bought him something to eat and drink. She gave him her sweatshirt, a wooden cross Katie carried in her pocket and some money so the little boy could get a ride home. As the child started to walk away he asked Katie her name, “Katie” she replied “Auntie Katie.” The boy responded “Me, I am Daniel,” and then Daniel disappeared into the night. Around a year later, Katie walked into the same supermarket where she had met Daniel. As Katie walked into the supermarket she was caught in a big hug and a child’s voice exclaimed excitedly “Auntie Katie.” Katie looked down and saw Daniel with a giant smile on his face. “Wait” Daniel said to Katie, and he hurried to the nearest street vender to buy a gift for his Auntie Katie (Davis, 101-102). Katie is connected to the little boy, Daniel’s happiness now. That happens quite often to trip goers when they just give another person the time of day.

A lot of people who have been on a mission trip have a story similar to that of Katie Davis’s. A mission trip gives a person a sense of purpose and connection with other human beings most people long for; not only for the trip receiver but for the trip goer as well. The trip goers do not teach some grand lesson that changes a whole community, they do not try and revolutionize an entire country; instead they love one person at a time revolutionizing that one single person’s world (Davis, XI). When a trip goer sees the need first-hand of people that are not just statistics anymore, but real people that trip goer now knows and cares about. A real connection is formed and the trip goer gives their very best he or she can because now that one person in need, that they now care about, is the reason to all the hard work the trip goer is doing (Wall, 15). Granted, sometimes a mission trip or missionary does not come fast enough for some of the people who are in need. Such as these two little girls from Uganda, Rose and Brenda, who were abandoned and now live in an orphanage.

Rose and Brenda will go to bed with no one to tuck them in and kiss their foreheads. When Rose and Brenda wake up, frightened, in the dark no one will come to comfort them, and due to someone else’s carelessness, Brenda will die from AIDS. There are children like Rose and Brenda all over the world living the reality of being sick, starving, unloved, uncared for, dying, overworked, and some are even forced to sell their own bodies (Davis, 91). There are children like this all over this planet in the inner city of San Antonio, Texas in the United States are children of the ages seven and eight who are raising their two and three year old brothers and sisters because their parents just do not care (Morton).

In New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States there are hundreds of homeless people living in poverty or even just homeless (Morton). In Central and South America children stop attending school or never attend school to help their families pay for basic human needs (Hidalgo). In India families sell their daughters to human traffickers to put a little bit more money in their pockets (Hidalgo). Here is an example of human trafficking in India: Maya was 10 years old when she was taken to Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh by her aunt who was paid 3,000 Indian Rupee which is about 57 American dollars. When Maya refuses to have sex with a client, she is locked in a room for two days, scared with snakes and beaten until she is not aware of her surroundings. When she came around she was raped by the client (“Child Prostitution in India”, s 12).

Some people in the world may think that the mission field is not necessary, but when they see the realities of these children who have to live in these situations everyday they have a change of heart. Some of the doctors in Uganda had a change of after the doctors heard the story of the death of the infant Happy. Happy was brought to Katie’s home by Happy’s aunt and mother at first glance Happy appeared to be dead, but when Katie took a closer look Happy’s stomach was slowing moving up and down. Katie, Happy, Happy’s aunt, and mother than rushed the baby to the nearest hospital. At the hospital the doctors immediately put Happy on IV fluids and oxygen.

The next day, Katie and Happy, and Happy’s mother drove to Kampala to take Happy to a better hospital. This hospital was the biggest and most modern in Uganda, yet the hospital is still inferior to those in the United States. After a lot of test the doctors said that Happy had a nine millimeter hole in her heart. The government hospital which is supposed to be free to everyone who lives in Uganda, but when the doctors and staff saw Happy and her mother they sent them away because the doctors and staff thought they had no money. Happy died soon after. Katie received a few emails after Happy’s death saying “Happy changed their hearts and given them a stronger desire to provide better medical care in Uganda” (Davis, 211-215).

Once the reality is exposed of the need in this world in some way a desire to do some kind of mission work is planted in a person’s heart. Compassion and love are needed on this earth those two ingredients are what fuels the mission field (Morton). In general, after someone goes on a mission trip their perspective of the world is completely changed; they see there is a world so much bigger than just themself (Hidalgo). Most of people before they went on a mission trip have felt sorry for their selves over insignificant things. Those people who went on a mission able to realize this after seeing what people in other places face (Wall, q 13). Once a trip goer sees people rejoice in their poverty, they become more thankful for all they do have.

Some even now have a disgust for American greed with a greater appreciation for all they do have (“Short-Term Mission Trips: Are They Worth the Investment?”, 6). The trip goer even stops taking the little things for granted like: a roof over their head, running water, a kitchen full of food, a car, public school, and having loving friends and family (Wall, s 12). Trip goers also get a change in perspective of other cultures; they now do not see our culture as inherently superior (“Short-Term Mission Trips: Are They Worth the Investment?”, 16). The trip goers have more respect for the people for other cultures because even though they have no material items they are some of the happiest and most thankful people a trip goer will ever come in contact with (Morton).

In this situation, a desire is placed in the heart of a person once they have returned from a mission trip to do more in their community because they realize the need is everywhere (Hidalgo). People are usually more self-conscious around those they know. When they travel to a distant place where no one knows them, they can more easily overcome those insecurities. Once they realize they can help, and love people they do not know in an unfamiliar place, and doing so makes the work easier to continue when you return home (Wall, 1 14).

A trip goer wants to continue this work because they see the lives affected by what they did when they were out in the field, and now they want to apply that to the people in need around them. There is need everywhere it does not matter where a trip goer looks they will find someone who is in need or even just someone who needs a little love (Morton). A trip goer is never precisely the same after they experience the hardships other real human beings that live, breathe, and eat just like they do. Studies show that a person who has been a part of a mission trip now seeks to help people who are in need (Hidalgo). A girl that goes to Baylor University said, “missions can be anywhere; it is not about going global” (“Short-Term Mission Trips: Are They Worth the Investment?”, 15).

Mission work is everywhere a person looks and that concept becomes easier to grasp when a person goes on a mission trip. Whether, a trip goer is in a third world country like Uganda or just volunteering at a local homeless shelter they are doing a mission work and a difference is being made (Morton). Finally, the mission field may seem like an endless task and the field may even discourage a few people “some opt against career of mission work when they see the reality” (“Short-Term Mission Trips: Are They Worth the Investment?”, f 5). The benefits such as: giving a trip goer a sense of fulfillment, revealing the poverty, need of love and compassion, changing someone else’s life, recusing someone from their harsh reality, or making connections with people who are in need make this field worth so much more.

Works Cites

  1. “Amazima Founder, Katie Davis.” Amazima Ministries. Amazima, n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2011. <>.
  2. “Child Prostitution In India.” Child Prostitution In India. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>,
  3. “Compassion Outreach.” Journey Fellowship Church. 17 Sept. 2012. <>.
  4. Davis, Katie. Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love And Redemption. New York: Howard, 2011.
  5. Hollowell, Karen. “What is a Mission Trip?” EHow. Demand Media, 07 May 2009. 17 Sept. <>.
  6. Hidalgo, S. (01 October 2012). Personal interview. Mathews, Ed. “Journal of Applied Missiology (Vol. 1, No. 1) — History of Mission Methods: A Brief Survey.” Journal of Applied Missiology (Vol. 1, No. 1) — History of Mission Methods: A Brief Survey. Abilene Christian University, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2012. <>,
  7. Morton, S. (16 September 2012). Personal interview. “Short Term Mission Trip Information.” Short Term Mission Trip Information. 17 Sept. 2012. <>,
  8. “Short-Term Mission Trips: Are They Worth the Investment?” Baylor University Media Communications. Baylor University. 17 Sept. 2012. < communications/news.php?action=story>.
  9. Wall, Dean. “Why Take Mission Trips?” Why Take Mission Trips? N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. <>

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The Personal and Societal Benefits of Missionary Trips to Third World Countries. (2021, Dec 07). Retrieved from

The Personal and Societal Benefits of Missionary Trips to Third World Countries

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