Through all of these guiding principles, our hope at Baylor Missions is that students come home ready to integrate these experiences into their daily lives—that it would not be a one-time, feel-good trip. At Baylor Missions, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that all students have an outlet to reflect on their experience in order to discover how they might go about their lives differently upon returning.
This is something Dr. David Moseman, trip leader for the Uganda Christian Pre-Health Fellowship team, is especially passionate about. Moseman shared about why he is so passionate about this process:
“Any time you go somewhere and have an interface with people from another culture, it would be crazy not to really reflect on it and ask questions of yourself and of God, and to think in terms of the bigger picture. I think otherwise it would be for nothing–if you just went and did no reflection and no debriefing afterward. [In doing reflection,] God really helps you pick things up and turn them around and look at them in a third person point of view.”
One of the reasons Moseman is so passionate about this topic is because he’s seen the usefulness of it in his own walk of faith. “I know in my own quiet time, journaling has always played such an important role. I can read the text, but it’s as I’ve started to think about the text and articulate what I understood that oftentimes meanings that I hadn’t really picked up become clearer to me.”
Reflection is a part of mission trips that is too often overlooked. If we skip the step of reflection, the depth of learning and transformation on the back end of the trip will be compromised. Baylor Missions believes in this step so much that we even provide every student with a reflective journal to guide them in this process! *shameless plug, if you’re going on a trip, please use the journal!* We want to provide students with daily prompts to help process how God is working on their heart throughout the week, and at the end of the week provide them with questions that help debrief and process how their experiences might have an impact on their daily life and future vocation.
What helps you reflect after returning from a trip? Has your daily life, major, or career path changed since returning from one?