It’s not a question of if a mission trip will change you – it’s only a matter of how. If you want to know how serving God in short-term missions can impact your life, check out these seven ways reported by those who have spent time on the mission field.

1. See the world in a new way.

The best way to learn is through experience. We’ve grown up singing “Jesus loves the little children of the world,” but seeing their faces and learning their names will allow you to personally experience what you’ve always known was out there. Your perception of your own country, the region you visit and everything else will be a bit different after you’ve gone on a mission trip.

2. Accomplish things you never thought you could.

Whether it’s laying the foundation for a new orphanage, or sharing the Gospel through a drama in a foreign language, you will be challenged beyond what you ever thought you could do. But as you are stretched beyond your comfort zone, you will also rise to meet these needs in ways you never thought possible.

3. Gain a deeper revelation of God.

God is always present everywhere in the world. It’s we who must have our eyes opened to Him by receiving the revelation of who He is. By engaging in outreach in another part of the world, your understanding of God will expand, and you will emerge, knowing a fuller expression of His character as a loving, righteous and just Creator.

4. Discover things about yourself.

As you rise to meet new occasions, you will also learn things about yourself as a person you otherwise wouldn’t. From new, favorite foods you’ve never tried before to a leadership ability you didn’t know was there, you’ll not only see the world, but yourself in a new way. Through these new experiences, you may also discover a lifelong passion, firm conviction or God-given desire you never had before.

5. Return home with a fresh perspective.

We all settle into our daily routines – numb to the world around us. There’s no better way to get yourself out of a rut than traveling to a foreign country and coming back with fresh eyes. Worship at church will seem different. Conversations with friends will find new life. The grocery store won’t look the same, either. In every area, you’ll notice things you didn’t before, and be able to evaluate your life choices in light of your new experience. You will appreciate your home and the many blessings God has given you as you never have before.

6. Motivate others by sharing what you’ve learned.

Not only will you appreciate the hot running water in your house that you’ve always taken for granted, this new perspective will extend to others in your life. You’ll be eager to share what you’ve experienced through stories and facts about the country you’ve visited. And you will also want to communicate the life lessons you’ve learned -among them- gratitude. Perhaps you can convey to children in your life that Christmas isn’t about how many presents are under the tree, but about giving of ourselves to others.

7. Pray with conviction and constancy.

Just as your mission trip will allow you to discover new passions and new things about yourself, it will also transform your prayer life. By traveling, witnessing various needs and having your eyes opened to Believers in other parts of the world, you will find yourself led to pray in new ways. With an informed heart for intercession, you continue to make an impact in the region you traveled to long after you’ve returned home.

Take a moment to share how a mission trip has changed your life. Or, if you’ve yet to go, share what you’re hoping to experience. We hope your next mission trip is transformational – for you and the world.