Missions - Section 5

The Return Home

  1. AFTER SPENDING SO MUCH TIME LEARMNG AND STRIVING IN THE other culture, the return to a familiar place would seem to be easy. But for many, it is the most difficult part of the short-term experience. How can that be?   - From location 1287 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  2. I was experiencing reentry culture shock. And redlining at that-in my own home. Reentry culture shock can be jolting. For openers, we are not expecting it. We expect to feel relieved to be returning to the familiar. Second, we tend to idealize home once we are away from it, especially when we see how the rest of the world lives. There are many privileges in being an American. When we are away, we focus on those and forget the bad.  - From location 1299 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  3. Returning to our home culture is a natural time to reassess how we fit in our society. Because we've seen and experienced a different way of doing things, we become conscious of attitudes and values we've never noticed before. We question them much more than we did before our out-of-country experience. There's conflict between our pre-trip self and our post-trip self. Everyone around us expects us to fit right back in and function as we always have, and yet some things just don't add up like they used to. This causes distress. We are back home, but we are still experiencing cultural dissonance-only this time it is with our own culture. - From location 1303 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  4. There are some common themes of tension in returning to American culture. Here are five we've heard most frequently from our students. "I can't believe how materialistic everybody is. " It is shocking how wealthy we are and how much we like and expect to own nice things. This is not unique to our culture.  - From location 1306 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  5. You may have seen desperate poverty and need. Now back at home, malls and super-sized grocery stores are overwhelming, if not disgusting. Your home and possessions seem a lot nicer than they ever did before-maybe a little too nice. Everywhere around you, people are spending money, lots of it, on things that don't seem all that important anymore.  - From location 1309 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  6. "None of my friends understand what I've been through. " The responses of our friends and family are mixed. Some, although interested in what we've been doing, have a difficult time picturing what our trip was like. It may be outside their realm of experience. Others are unimpressed or, worse, not interested.  - From location 1313 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  7. Coupled with both reactions may be a sense of frustration at our inability to give people an accurate description of what happened and how we've changed.  - From location 1315 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  8. "I've been preaching in churches all summer, and now my youth leader is wondering if I'm mature enough to lead a small group this fall. " You may have had significant responsibility on your missions trip. Opportunities presented themselves, and you rose to the challenge. You know that you've really grown in using your spiritual gifts, but leaders here either don't know that or seem locked in a grid.  - From location 1317 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  9. "Americans are so naive about foreign countries and the issues involved; I'm beginning to think no one really cares. "  - From location 1321 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  10. "I've scarcely seen my roommates since I've been back, it seems like they're going a thousand miles an hour to a million different places!" Americans move at a frenetic pace. A successful day is often measured by how many things we are able to check off a list. Our events are neatly packaged into one-hour chunks. Heaven forbid that one of them should run over and interfere with our race to the next one.  - From location 1326 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  11. At the beginning of the trip, your director asked you to be flexible, since things didn't always run efficiently or as expected, and you'd been compliant with her wishes. No car, no telephone, no e-mail, no fast food and no shopping malls can slow anyone down. You've become accustomed to an unhurried, single-focused schedule. Now it is very hard to readjust.  - From location 1330 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  12. It is quite normal to go through a confusing period when you reenter your home culture. There are several different reactions to this transitional time, and like relating crossculturally, some have a positive impact and some very negative! - From location 1334 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  13. Although they seem to have adjusted well, this mindset misses a tremendous opportunity for growth, both personal and spiritual. God wants us to share his heart for the lost and oppressed. The exposure we have to the disenfranchised during our trip stimulates an awakening or a deepening of our compassion. To set that aside is a wasted opportunity for ourselves as well as for those around us who may be stirred by our experience. - From location 1337 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  14. Other returnees have just the opposite reaction. They burn with righteousness and anger at all that is wrong with our country. When they see how naive they were before their experience and how difficult it is to reprogram attitudes (both their own and others), they become depressed and cynical. Like the red liners discussed in an earlier chapter, they tend to withdraw and alienate.   - From location 1339 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  15. A third response is a more healthy approach. These people are processing their experience and incorporating what they have learned about God and his world into their lives and bringing awareness to those around them. - From location 1341 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  16. Here are some things you can do to help yourself choose this best option. Make sure there is closure before you leave the mission field. Find out ways you can stay involved after you return home. Get information you need and figure out the best way to communicate.  - From location 1343 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  17. Take the time to say goodbye to people, both your hosts and your teammates.  - From location 1345 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  18. Don't neglect to set aside time before you leave to reflect on the experience, both by yourself and with others. Review your expectations for the trip, how they were met or unmet, and the significance of these. For example, did God confirm that you are to return to the missions field? What steps will you take? Were you unable to interact with the national children like you wanted? Perhaps God allowed you to develop another gift or you learned a better way to approach children of this culture that will be valuable in the future.  - From location 1346 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  19. There are other questions you'll want to reflect upon as well. What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself and how you relate to God and to others? What things stirred your heart? How have you been changed by this experience?  - From location 1349 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  20. Prepare yourself for reentry. In his book Re Entry Peter Jordan urges those returning from missionary service "to take time to properly assess how much you have changed, and how much things have changed back home. Never presume that no changes have occurred, even you have only been away on a one-month outreach. Nothing stays the same, neither you nor the people you left at home."' Jordan goes on to suggest that we review different areas of our lives (physical, social, emotional, political, spiritual and financial) to determine how we've changed. If you kept a journal of your trip, this is a great time to review it, paying special attention to your emotions and ideas before you left and what you are feeling and thinking now.  - From location 1352 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  21. Once home, be proactive rather than reactive. Just as when you entered your target culture, count on experiencing some unplanned emotions. You'll probably at some point be embarrassed, frustrated or confused. Good crosscultural skills are just as useful at those moments as they were on your missions trip. Commit yourself to working through relationships and situations at home in ways that lead to good communication and empathy.  - From location 1358 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  22. Reread your journal and remind yourself of the great things he did in your life and others' lives. Practice using the new gifts and areas of strength you developed in the other culture here at home in your church. - From location 1361 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  23. Be deliberate in providing yourself some more debriefing time. Processing of your experience doesn't end when you go through U.S. Customs. You need to set aside some time once home to continue to work through all you've been learning. This includes both time alone and with others. - From location 1362 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  24. We have found it helpful to have one or two highlight stories to tell to everyone and then set up an appointment to talk with two or three friends or mentors in greater depth.  - From location 1365 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  25. In the midst of all this processing, pray that God would clarify the next steps of obedience for you. Continue to follow him by taking radical steps of faith just like you did when you agreed to go on the missions field in the first place. Finally, make sure you are involved with your church's missionary efforts at home. Help cross racial barriers. Reach out to international students. Help recruit or even direct a short term yourself.  - From location 1366 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles
  26. Definitions
  27. Airport tax - Assessed in many countries, airport tax (or departure tax) is a fee you pay when you leave the country, often $20-$50. Typically, it must be paid in American dollars, so you need to learn the amount in advance so you can be certain to have the correct denominations.  - From location 1376 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  28. Baggage - Take as little as possible. Remember, it is likely you'll be carrying the baggage yourself everywhere you go, so make sure you can. I suggest one suitcase or duffel and a day pack. Practice carrying them (fully packed) around the block before you leave, then unpack nonessential items. I have noticed a correlation with anxiety and baggage weight. The more stuff, the greater the anxiety levels.  - From location 1380 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  29. Begging - Many developing countries will have beggars. Don't let complexity of poverty overrule a heart of compassion. Don't forget, we are wealthy (we wouldn't be there if we weren't). - From location 1382 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  30. Sometimes it is easier to bond with fellow short termers so you'll need to be intentional in spending time with nationals and developing friendships. This can be the most rewarding part of a short-term project: to form a bond of friendship with a national person. - From location 1388 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  31. Clothing -  Be culturally sensitive when it comes to choosing clothing (see chapter nine). In addition, remember that you may do your own washing by hand, so take things that are easy to wash and dry. Don't take anything that you expect to bring back in perfect shape. Travel clothing is usually very practical; there are many travel catalogues and camping equipment stores that carry easy-care clothing.  - From location 1396 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  32. Coping skills - Tools such as coping skills help you move through culture shock in a healthy, relationship-building way. Some examples are making observations, asking questions and trying new things. - From location 1398 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  33. Culture shock - If you're trying to be involved with your host culture, culture shock is unavoidable. Negative feelings don't mean you're being ungodly but your response needs to be one that invites relationship rather than shutting it down.  - From location 1399 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  34. Drink extra fluids (from a safe source such as bottled water or beverages or drinks that have been boiled), get plenty of rest and use good sense about what you consume. I often pack powdered Gatorade or some such electrolyte-replacement beverage. Seek medical advice if your stool is bloody or foul-smelling, or if you have severe cramps. These may be signals of dysentery.  - From location 1407 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  35. Drinking water - In many countries we do need to be careful about our drinking water but not offensive about it. Don't alienate your host with an insulting reply when they have kindly offered you refreshment. Point to your own frailty as our Kenyan friend, Philip Kishoyian, did when he introduced our short termers into a new African home, "Remember, these Americans have weak stomachs and will need to have their water boiled." Use good sense too. I've seen many short termers be diligent about drinking bottled water in restaurants but then pour it into a glass full of ice from an unknown source. - From location 1413 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  36. Dysentery - A serious form of diarrhea, dysentery is usually caused by an infection, either bacterial or amebic.  - From location 1416 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  37. Eating - Be wise but also be sensitive, especially if your host has prepared the food for you. Often they have given you their best or have been overly generous with what little they have. We had some short termers refuse to eat a family's only chicken, which had been slaughtered in their honor.  - From location 1416 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  38. Event oriented - Some cultures emphasize the event rather than the time consumed. For example, in an event-oriented culture a church service would continue until all the plans had been completed, even if that meant running over the time allotment.  - From location 1420 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  39. There may be some extra expenses not included in this fee; you'll need to find out what these are and how much they will cost. Some examples are passport and visa fees, immunizations, books, and domestic travel. You'll also want to have some spending money for the trip. (Consider leaving in the country the money you don't spend.) - From location 1425 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  40. Flexibility - The mantra of crosscultural living is flexibility. Not only is everything done differently, but even the best laid strategy may not work. We need to adapt to whatever situation presents itself instead of focusing on our spoiled plans.  - From location 1427 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  41. Food - You will be expected to eat things you've never had before. Be adventurous with your palate. Don't become the ugly American tourist who insists that he or she be fed American food.  - From location 1428 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  42. Frame of reference - The sum of a person's experience, beliefs and worldview constitutes our frame of reference. We speak out of our own frame of reference, but our words are interpreted by another person's frame of reference. We need to understand how those two frames are different to communicate well. - From location 1430 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  43. Tourist attractions can be very interesting but also can be a distraction to why you go. See if those people you are ministering to go to these places and then plan your trip accordingly. - From location 1433 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  44. In Kenya it was important to give a gift of a toy to the family (the parents) rather than the individual child because all the children in the family and perhaps in the neighborhood would share the toy.  - From location 1436 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  45. Greenlining - Greenlining means developing understanding, empathy and rapport with a culture after experiencing culture shock by using good crosscultural coping skills.  - From location 1437 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  46. Guitars - A practical instrument to bring on a short term, guitars not only can accompany your group's worship times, but they can be a bridge to start a conversation, gather a crowd or to learn music of your host culture. You might want to bring an inexpensive one and plan to leave it with your hosts. - From location 1438 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  47. Hallelujah! - Praise the Lordl A word never needing translation. You will have many reasons to praise God as you see his faithfulness, love and power when you step into another culture.  - From location 1441 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  48. Health - We tell our groups, "Let us relieve your anxiety about getting sick; you're going to get sick, so don't worry about it." Given travel, different diets and time changes, you'll have a day when you don't feel well. Remember, it could happen at home too. Most illness is limited to stomach upset or diarrhea. Don't try to tough it out. If you feel badly, let people know. Do act wisely: don't expose yourself to unnecessary risk and make sure your immunizations are current and the correct ones for your target country. (Go to <www.cdc.gov> for a full listing of a listing of disease and health topics.)   - From location 1443 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  49. Homesickness - Being in a radically different place will make us all long for the familiar. Homesickness can come in odd ways and at unexpected times. - From location 1447 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  50. Humor - You'll need a good sense of humor when living crossculturally. You'll want to keep a good sense of humor about yourself and all the mistakes you'll make. Laughter dispels tension. - From location 1451 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  51. Signs of jet lag are fatigue, irritability and strange dreams. Set your watch to the new time when you first depart. Get your mind working in the new time zone even as you travel. If you have crossed a number of time zones, take it easy on yourself the first couple of days. Don't pack too much into your schedule. To adjust as quickly as possible, you must get your old time zone out of your head and follow the schedule of the new time zone. (That is, eat at the proper mealtimes and sleep during their night, not during your nighttime back home.)  - From location 1458 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  52. Journal - Perhaps the most valuable thing you can do for yourself during your trip is to keep a journal. Journals are a good friend to talk to when you are feeling confused or lonely. They can help you see how God is speaking to you; they can record memories you don't want to forget; they can help you process what you are learning and hold you accountable to changes you intend to make in your attitude or lifestyle. They are helpful when you go back home and want to tell everyone about your experience. Even if you are not a good diary keeper or writer, you'll want to keep a record of your missions trip in your own words.  - From location 1462 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  53. Language - Learn a language from nationals. Find a friend who will help. Language school can be a good investment of your time especially to learn a few key phrases and greetings. Check out locations and ratings in some of the travelers' guidebooks available at your library or local bookstore.   - From location 1475 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  54. Local transportation - Something you won't want to miss is the local transportation. It can be a great adventure and taste of the culture. Use local transportation when you can.  - From location 1480 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  55. Long terms - A long-term missions trip is generally considered three years or more. You should try to meet some long-term missionaries who work in your area. They can give you helpful observations about the culture and are fascinating people.  - From location 1481 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  56. Medicines - There is no need to be a walking drug store, but basic first aid supplies are useful. If you take a prescription medicine regularly, try to get a supply that will last through the end of your trip. Write down the generic name of that and any medications you may need, as the brand names change from country to country.  - From location 1488 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  57. Music - Unique but integral to each culture is its music. It may sound strange to your ears; your music may sound strange to them in return. Listen carefully. You may want to record some to play when you return home as a reminder of your trip.  - From location 1491 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  58. Observation skills - Something you'll want to sharpen and use when you enter a culture are your observation skills. Being observant helps you learn how to act so that you build bridges of trust.  - From location 1494 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  59. Packing - It is tempting to pack everything you think you may possibly need. Resist this temptation. Not only will you wind up with a lot of heavy baggage to haul around, you may be embarrassed at your extravagant abundance compared to your host's humble existence. Keep clothing down to three or four outfits; leave appliances like hair dryers at home (they may not work with the local current anyway); don't take a lot of things to do; rather, plan on spending time with your hosts.  - From location 1495 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  60. Parents - Your parents may or may not be supportive of what you are intending to do. It is a big step for them too, especially if you are still living with them. Keep them informed about your decisions and plans. Let them read all the information you receive before the trip. Write them while you are away to let them know how and what you are doing. Parents and children going together is a great thing to do.  - From location 1499 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  61. Directors should have a photocopy of everyone's passport.  - From location 1504 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  62. Photography - Don't spend so much time behind the lens of your camera that it becomes the person your hosts know rather than the real you. Ask permission before photographing individuals or groups, particularly children. Some traditional groups may feel offended by cameras; you need to respect this. Remember that in many countries, public areas like the airports or railway stations are part of the national defense system and may not be photographed. Never photograph police, military personnel, weapons, police stations or defense installations. If you do, your camera may be confiscated and the film destroyed, and you could end up in jail. And remember, looking at people through a lens of a camera doesn't build trust but confirms that we're really there to be tourists.  - From location 1507 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  63. PQT -  A prior question of trust (PQT) means to ask yourself if what you are thinking, doing or saying is building or undermining trust. It is an essential step in moving crossculturally well.  - From location 1511 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  64. Prep - The most important prep is spiritual, so don't neglect your devotions and prayer life in the months and weeks before you depart. Take the time to read your materials and do the things your director requires before you leave.  - From location 1514 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  65. Quiet times - Quiet times or devotional times are crucial during the trip as well. Remember that you are the fulfillment of God's plan, not your own plan, so you need to stay in touch with him.  - From location 1515 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  66. Redlining - Responding to cultural difference by rejecting the culture is called redlining. It leads to isolation and alienation. If you suddenly find yourself redlining, pray for God to give you a new insight, a fresh perspective or just plain guts to keep pushing for relationship rather than estrangement.  - From location 1518 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  67. Reentry -  Many surprises await you on your reentry here because you will be a changed person, having lived much life in the course of a very short time, while people back home have been about their normal routine. This is a time to process, set some goals for your changed life and begin to act upon them.  - From location 1519 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  68. Respect - The concept of respect is not just a good idea but an expectation in many cultures. Few cultures are as egalitarian as ours. In general, older persons and officials should be treated respectfully. Use your cultural observation skills to determine who else is honored in your host culture. - From location 1521 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  69. ROS - A retreat of silence (ROS) is an extended time spent by yourself with the Lord. It is a time to reflect and prepare for a next step. We have two ROS's (of about three hours in length) on our missions trips, one at the beginning to prepare our spirits for ministry and one at the end to reflect on God's faithfulness and what he would have for us next.  - From location 1527 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  70. Sermons -  You may be asked to give one if you are to be a part of the host church. Start with a simple passage of Scripture you know well, explain it in your own words and tell how it can be applied. Add a story that can be understood by all cultures. Keep it simple. Remember, translations make a sermon twice as long. In choosing your illustrations, make sure you consider the experience of your audience and tailor it to a situation they would understand.  - From location 1530 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  71. Servanthood - True servanthood is modeled by Jesus. We want to have this attitude too.   - From location 1533 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  72. Short-term missions trips -  A short-term missions trip is usually under two years. For the purposes of this book they are typically measured in weeks and months, not years. - From location 1535 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  73. Short-Term Missions Today - An extremely helpful annual magazine with information, opportunities and resources for short terms. The listing of short-term missions books alone is worth the magazine. Contact Bill Berry at <Bberry4215@aol.com>  - From location 1536 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  74. Team - There is no one else on earth who will understand your experience like those on your team. Missions trips are a bonding experience because they are so unique and intense. Make the most of these relationships. Part of your going may be to learn something about God through another teammate or for you to be God's comforter in another teammate's experience.  - From location 1540 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  75. Teammates - Although they are wonderful, teammates can also be a thorn in the flesh. Remember everyone is feeling the same cultural stress you are but may be expressing it in different (obnoxious?) ways. This would be a good time to work on the fruit of the Spirit: "patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal 5:22-23).  - From location 1542 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  76. Testimony - Have your testimony prepared but be adaptable. At one Kenyan church service, Leeann was prepared to give her testimony. She heard her name called, grabbed her notes and started toward the platform when the next line of the translation came through. It was then she discovered that she would be singing a solo instead-the first one of her life. Fortunately, she happened to know the song announced. Even if you are participating in a work project, you should "be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Pet 3:15). Practice your testimony before you go. Make sure it is concise and points to Jesus, not yourself.  - From location 1546 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  77. Time changes (see jet lag) - Dealing with time changes can make you feel weird for a few days, unfortunately, right upon your arrival, which is a key time for forming relationships. Note the recommendations for jet lag and pray that the God of all times will give an extra measure of strength and grace.  - From location 1550 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  78. Time oriented - The term time oriented describes a person or group placing a high value on timekeeping (usually thought of as the opposite of event oriented). Being prompt, efficient and holding to a schedule are important to these folk. Western culture is time oriented; many other cultures are not.  - From location 1552 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  79. Translator - Using a translator takes some getting used to. It is helpful to give him or her any information you can beforehand, such as Scripture texts, illustrations and visual aides. Speak slowly and break after every short sentence or phrase.  - From location 1554 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  80. Unwritten codes of conduct - An embarrassing part of cultural dissonance occurs when all your hosts know how to act and you don't due to some unwritten code of conduct. Remember to use your observation skills, ask questions and resist the temptation to freeze and shut down. Try to put what you learn into practice the next time the situation occurs.  - From location 1558 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  81. U.S. embassy - It's a good idea to know where the US. embassy is in case you have a problem with your passport or visa. If you are a director, you should let the embassy know that you have a group in the country. These are your tax dollars at work and can be a helpful resource for you.  - From location 1562 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  82. Vacations with a Purpose - Vacations with a Purpose is a great group with wonderful resources for your short-term ministry team-including the book Vacations with a Purpose by Chris Eaton and Kim Hurst.  - From location 1564 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  83. Vaccinations (see CDC) - Immunizations may be required to enter another country. Check on these early in your preparation as some are a series of two or three and must be separated by a few weeks. Your local health department can administer these or tell you where you can get them. They should also provide you with a world health card to be shown at customs.  - From location 1565 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  84. Water - Don't act neurotic about the water but do be wise. Ask hosts about the water. You can trust boiled water and drinks that have been boiled. We use a water filter with great success. And Coke is ubiquitous.  - From location 1567 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  85. Water conserving - Utilities are not always as consistent and unlimited as we're used to. For example, when we lived in Ngong, Kenya, we only had water on Tuesday and Thursday. We filled a large barrel in the kitchen to keep us until the next time. Be sensitive and conservative. Be willing to forgo your nightly hot bath.  - From location 1569 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 
  86. Weather - Elevation as well as latitude can affect climate. You'll want to research what the weather will be like before you decide what to pack. Even if you are visiting a temperate climate, there may not be heat in the homes; nights can get chilly. Our coldest summer ever was in Nairobi-and we thought all of Africa was hot.  - From location 1573 in the Kindle Book Mack and Leeann's Guide to Short-Term Missions by J. Mack Stiles, Leeann Stiles 

  87. You might not think you are well equipped to represent Jesus among the nations but I beg to differ. It’s not about knowledge anyway. The most powerful tool you have is your testimony, your personal relationship with Jesus Christ shared through the medium of music, dramas or practical work projects. You’ll be amazed at how God uses you. - From location 100 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  88. Oh, and by the way, something happens to you when you go overseas. If you haven’t done this before, you might not know what I’m talking about, but there’s a mantle of boldness and authority that comes over me every time I go. It’s like Jesus said, “and you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you’ll be my witnesses...” (Acts 1:8). - From location 102 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  89. Your long term impact depends more deeply on the team’s heart preparation than it does the technical preparation. - From location 200 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  90. Team members must prepare their hearts to stay focused, unified, positive, pure, humble, submissive, and full of praise and faith.  - From location 202 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  91. Some heart-related issues that “dull” the arrow of any short term mission team? Pride, rebellion against the team or host leaders, division and strife among the team members, complaining about circumstances, negative attitudes, coarse language, inappropriate relationships, and impurity, are just a few.   - From location 205 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  92. Prayer: Father, You have an inheritance in the nations for our team and for me, and I don’t want to miss this eternal inheritance due to some fleshly carelessness. Help us to stay sharp as a people of God, walking in the light, and preserving the unity You have given us, resisting the devil and every temptation of the flesh. May the “point of our ministry arrow” hit the target You are aiming us towards, and may the impact of Your Spirit strike deep into the hearts of the people. To the name of Jesus Christ be all the glory.  - From location 209 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  93. Psalm 37:23 : “The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.”
  94. As for the plans being made for your team on the mission field, give God space to direct those plans in unexpected ways as well. It’s important to work hard at preparing a ministry plan and having as much ready as possible; that level of diligence and commitment to excellence honors the Lord. Yet God may intervene in the plan and adjust the direction as you go.  - From location 227 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  95. Prayer: Father, direct each of our steps on this short term mission. And, as we prepare to obey You in taking the gospel to many, help me to be sensitive also to the divine appointments here and there, people whom You will bring across my path. As we are careful to plan, lead us in a path that lifts up Your name. And Father, we desire to see an abundant harvest from this mission, and so we set our hands to our preparation, asking You to multiply and extend our impact far beyond that which we could plan or hope for.  - From location 239 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  96. Why DID God call you on this trip? Was it all of your giftedness? Was it your ministry experience? Was it your speaking, musical, theatrical, or construction abilities? Perhaps it was your theological training? - From location 256 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  97. Your primary qualifications are that God has deposited His presence within your heart and your life, and that you have made yourself available to Him. - From location 259 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  98. What might be your most limiting factor? Whether it’s some physical or natural trait, some experience level, or some life circumstance, hear the voice of the Lord saying to you, “Don’t let anyone limit you from fulfilling My call on you for that reason! In fact, YOU may be the one looking down on yourself, and it stops right now! I saw that thing about you before I called you, and I still want you. This team needs you; and I want you to carry My presence to this people.” - From location 266 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling
  99. Prayer: Father, thank You that before I was born, You knew me and knew my life circumstances. You set me apart for Your purposes, and I am responding to this stirring that You put in my heart to go to the mission field. Because taking the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is Your idea, I resist all temptation to focus on my personal limitations, nor do I care what others who know me might think. I am Your servant, and I trust You and Your call on my life.  - From location 271 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  100. Matthew 28:19:  - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
  101. John 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
  102. Mark 16:15,20:  “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…” And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen
  103. There is a reason why very few Old Testament prophets ministered to the people in their own home town community, and why the New Testament commandments also point to a pattern of changing locations? Why? Because there is strategic advantage to actually going.  - From location 327 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  104. God knew what He was doing when He said “Go.” Because you do not reside in the place to which you are being sent, you will sometimes sense certain things about the spiritual “atmosphere.” You may recognize dominating territorial spirits at work in the lives of people there (such as spirits of fear, despair, or impurity); in response, you can bring a clear word of faith, hope, and purity.   - From location 330 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  105. The Holy Spirit is allowing you to see the strong forces of darkness which are at work on your mission field. Now with God’s help, you can strategize and receive the message from Him that will set people free from those chains. You can be used by God to set captives free with your words and prayers and actions. - From location 335 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  106. Prayer: Father, give us a sensitivity in our hearts and to Your voice, that we may discover the spiritual forces at work in the lives of those to whom You are sending us. Thank You that the weapons of our warfare (Your truth, Your Holy Spirit, Your Name, and the armor of God) are not feeble but mighty through God for pulling down strongholds. Use us to minister to others by setting them free from the enemy’s lies and oppression. - From location 339 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  107. Whether you are “coasting” financially, or you need to raise a lot of finances, your mission trip can impact many more people here and there if you’ll give people an opportunity to support you in prayer. Furthermore, if you have a number of faithful Christians praying for you daily you will sense the difference. Let me say it again, “You will FEEL the difference if you have praying believers standing with you in prayer before, during, and just after this mission.”  - From location 369 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  108. It is important that soon after your decision to participate in a short-term mission, you contact a number of trusted Christians who are faithful and to whom you can say the following: “This is what God had put in my heart to do. I am asking if you would consider praying for me and for this team regularly, beginning today, and continuing until after our return.”  - From location 374 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  109. When Jesus said “Let’s go” and you obeyed, you did not receive a free pass from all trouble. In fact, Satan is not too pleased with your decision. Like the disciples who started across the water and encountered “a great windstorm,” you may find yourself or your team hit with opposing forces that may attempt to deter the ministry. Even Paul was delayed in coming to Thessalonica for “Satan hindered us” he says.  - From location 436 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  110. Prayer: Lord, we are trusting that You who called us to this missionary endeavor will keep and guard each team member. As the trip nears, we are not unaware that we have a spiritual enemy who would desire to bring harm, but our eyes are on You. We hear the laughter of heaven, that scoffs at the thought that Satan will in any way prevent the fulfillment of Your kingdom purposes, and we rejoice. Praise and honor are due You, Almighty God.  - From location 443 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  111. Psalm 37:23: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD
  112. Never say, “When we get there I’m a missionary,” or “Now that we’ve left, I’m NOT a missionary.” You are the Lord’s servant every day and moment of your life. You may be sent to multitudes on this mission trip, but don’t miss the one along the way, for whom Jesus also died. - From location 475 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  113. Prayer: Lord thank You for sending me to this special people, but help me, as I and my team prepare and travel, to notice the one here and the one there, that You bring across my steps every day. Don’t let me miss what You are doing every moment of my life. My times are in Your hands, so I surrender my agenda and needs to You. Use me as You see fit.
  114. Psalm 34:7 -  The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
  115. Present the issue of your safety and protection to your prayer partners as you undertake this mission, and always keep the need before the Lord in your own prayers as well, never taking it for granted.  - From location 506 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  116. Prayer: Lord, unless You guard our team, we have no protection, but with Your protection, we are completely safe from any attack of the evil one. We confess our need of Your divine, complete, and angelic protection on this mission trip, and commit every facet of the trip earnestly to Your shield of protection. Keep us, guide us, and guard us from all harm.  - From location 509 in the Kindle Book BEFORE YOU GO by Jack Hempfling  
  117. "I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." ALBERT SCHWEITZER - From location 56 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  118. "We are not called to help people. We are called to follow Jesus, in whose service we learn who we are and how we are to help and be helped." STANLEY HAUERWAS AND WILLIAM H. WILLIMON  - From location 57 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  119. Servanthood is revealed in simple, everyday events. But it's complex because servanthood is culturally defined-that is, serving must be sensitive to the cultural landscape while remaining true to the Scripture.  - From location 72 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  120. We serve people by entering into a relationship of love and mutual commitment. As the apostle Paul says, "We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well" (1 Thess 2:8). - From location 80 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  121. In the early stages servanthood may be best seen when we are willing to adjust to the local cultural patterns, including learning the language. Jesus came into our human context Un L 14), adjusted to the Jewish culture (Lk 2:52) and lived among us so that when the time was right he would accomplish the redemption of all who would believe.  - From location 82 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  122. Many said that they valued the missionary presence and the love they felt from them. But many said, with hesitation but conviction, "Missionaries could more effectively minister the gospel of Christ if they did not think they were so superior to us." - From location 100 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  123. Many missionaries may be like me: well intentioned, dedicated and wanting to serve, but also naive and in some denial about what it means to serve in another culture. The reality is that many of us want to serve from our own cultural context. That is, we believe that servanthood everywhere else probably looks like it does in our own culture. - From location 119 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  124. Usually superiority appears in disguises that pretend to be virtues-virtues such as: - From location 124 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
    1. • I need to correct their error (meaning I have superior knowledge, a corner on truth).
    2. • My education has equipped me to know what is best for you (so let me do most of the talking while you do most of the listening and changing). 
    3. • I am here to help you (so do as I say). 
    4. • I can be your spiritual mentor (so I am your role model). 
    5. • Let me disciple you, equip you, train you (often perceived as "let me make you into a clone of myself"). 
  125. These and other so-called virtues corrupt our attempts to serve others. I think my students saw these "virtues" in me. Superiority cloaked in the desire to serve is still superiority. It's not our words that count but the perceptions of the local people who watch our lives and sense our attitudes.  - From location 127 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.
  126. Because it's unthinkable for most of us to name these subtle expressions as superiorities, we spin them as virtues. Yet others may see them for what they are: an attitude of superiority. The Bible calls it pride. I speak primarily to people, like myself, who were socialized mostly in mainstream, white American culture and assimilated the cultural values, often uncritically.  - From location 131 in the Kindle Book  Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer.