10 Weird Feelings After A Mission Trip

I recently came back from the country of Panama. This is my 4th trip to a South or Central American country and every time I get back I feel so many weird feelings. Here are my top ten weirdest feelings after coming back from a mission trip.

Walking past kids and feeling you should make them a balloon animal.

Walking past kids and wondering why they’re not excited to see you. I brought balloons!!

Tempted to say hola’ , adios, buenos días, and gracias to EVERYONE  

Wondering if it’s ok to drink my own water.

Driving myself everywhere.

Why are cars driving so far away from me? I loved being able to reach out and shake hands with fellow drivers. 

Trying to figure out how to order my food in English without making hand gestures.

Wondering what I am doing every day.  Where’s my schedule? 

Constantly checking my back pocket to see if I have my passport.

Wondering where my other 50 friends went to. #missionposse

Mission trips are fun, exhausting, exhilarating, and God filled, but watch out when you get home, its weird.

What’s the weirdest feeling you have after a mission trip?

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4 Must Do’s Post Mission Trip

I love mission trips; but they can be so hard and so draining that I’m temped to put them in the rear view mirror and move on to something easier. I resist this temptation by understanding that our mission trip is not over when we pull into the church parking lot. There’s still work to be done.

My missions trips do not end until:

I have edited and posted pictures on Facebook

I know editing pictures does not sound like fun because it sounds like work, and it is, but the value of editing the photos are 4 fold

– Edited photos give people the right context of your missions trip (location, work, etc.)

– Edited/Cropped photos tell the right story of what is happening

– Edited/Cropped photos tell the journey of individual. Yes you took a group trip but these kins of trips are made of individuals all living out God’s story and a good edited picture communicates these stories.

Here is one photo unedited


Same photo edited

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I owe it to these kids, if I take the picture or video, to tell their story as clearly and compelling as possible so they can relive that moment.

– Edited photo’s inspire your congregation and others to give to these kids the next time they go on a trip.

Good photos share a compelling message that show hard work, joy, and how God may be moving in their lives.

I hang pics on the wall

I continue the story telling off line by taking these pictures, putting them in nice frames, and hanging them up around the room.

Here is a video of me showing you how I display these pictures

and my extended version


I give kids the chance to share their experience in our youth meeting

I give an entire night for kids sharing their testimonies of what they saw, what heard and how they saw God move in them and through them.

I also think it’s a good idea for these kids to share their stories in children’s church. Kids don’t often get to the adult service to see what’s going on and they have a ton of questions for our students.

I ask my Pastor if the kids can share in service

Kids sharing their stories, in service, is critical to both the student and your next missions trip.

Kids need to share their experiences so they can reflect on where they’ve been and what God did in them and through them. You may have kids who are shy so go ahead and video their testimony and play it in service.

The folks in your congregation need to hear what they supported, but they all need to be inspired. The older saints need to know that the next generation is willing to go and share the gospel where many of them  cannot go, anymore,

The seniors  also need to know they support was well invested. They need to know all the potlucks, car washes, and cookie dough they bought was not in vain.

I make the slideshow

In this video, I share how to make your own video

These principles are true for just about every every major event like camp or youth convention. They’ve worked for me over the years but I’m always looking for new ideas.


I clean the bus or van real good if our mission trip was local or out of state.

I turn in all my receipts. because, well, I like living.

What’s one of your top post mission trip tips? (Say that five times fast)

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