Mission trips can be a life-changing experience. There is so much to take in – new friendships, experiences, and considerable joy! On the other side of that awesomeness, the transition home or back to school can be tricky. I experienced this first-hand, after I got back from a mission trip to Asia after my sophomore year of college. It was an amazing experience, I learned so much about myself and God! I went with an organization to teach in summer English camps. I worked and lived with a team of six people, we did life together for three months, and it was wonderful and intense. To come back home after living in such community without phones or internet only to be immediately be thrust back into the flow of classes, studying, and constant social interactions was shocking to my system! You will miss the things, places, and people you aren’t with anymore. That’s normal. Allow space and time for that to happen. You will likely find there are things you learned or experience that you want to integrate in your life from now on. Here are some practices that can help you transition into your new normal and some ideas on how you can apply what you’ve learned to your life here at Baylor:
Reflection may not be something that comes naturally, but it is essential to take time and consider what you learned during your time on mission. It would be easy to ignore this and jump right back into school, friends, and your phone but taking intentional time to think about what you learned about yourself, God, and the community you served is important. Write those thoughts down and consider how they can impact your community now. Here are some questions I use to help me reflect:
- What did I learn about myself? What did I learn about God? What did I learn about the community I worked in?
- What were my favorite things about my experience?
- What made my experience difficult?
- How will the things I learned change the way I live?
- How can I share my experience in a way that will help others understand why this trip was so impactful?
Find people who share your passion for service and people to share your story with. Some of my most dear friendships are with people that I never went on a mission trip with but who lived life alongside me as I was learning how to live this new normal, were excited to engage with people from other cultures, and help me live out my calling with me on the daily. Here are some easy ways to get connected to these types of friends while you’re at Baylor:
Neighbor Nights @ the Bobo
Starting Tuesday, Sept 4 at 6pm, check out Neighbor Nights–a dinner, often hosted by multicultural student organizations, open to all Baylor students, staff, and faculty! Neighbor Nights feature different cultures and stories from students while sharing a meal of different cultural cuisines around a table with our neighbors. These dinners are a wonderful time of fellowship and FREE delicious food!
More info here: https://sites.baylor.edu/bettertogetherbu/neighbor-nights/
Baylor Global Missions
Missing those amazing friends abroad? Want to continue to utilize your skills and talents to serve with a new team? Think about going on another trip with Baylor Global Missions or possibly an international missions internship! Connect with us this fall to learn more about the 50+ trips Baylor sends out each year and how you can be a part of that or connect with other missions organizations during our missions week!
Missions Week, October 1stand 2nd www.baylor.edu/missions/fair
-October 1: Missions “Ted Talks” @ Baylor Chapel: Hear a dozen speakers share their perspectives about what missions means to them
-October 1: Missions Fair @ Waco Hall 9-12; meet organizations from around the world looking for interns and advocates for missions & social justice issues worldwide
-October 2: Missions Dr. Pepper Hour, SUB 3-4pm; learn about Baylor mission trips and meet organizations looking for interns!
Global Missions Interest Meetings, October 8th & 9th
5:00pm at the Bobo Spiritual Life Center
Find out about all 50+ mission trips through Baylor for 2018-2019 www.baylor.edu/missions/global
Service will continue the passion you found this summer! Jesus commands us to go, and sometimes we think that means we have to go far away- but we can live out the Great Commission by going down the hall or across the street too! Baylor offers lots of opportunities for students to serve the Waco and Baylor communities. Here are some ways to serve right now, right where you are:
Urban Missions partners with Waco organizations and churches to provide opportunities for students to engage in the greater Waco community through relationship building and service. Baylor Missions believes God calls us to love our neighbor and Urban Missions seeks to facilitate this as we provide opportunities to engage in weekly service. Our teams are student-led and partner with existing organizations in Waco to support the great work they are doing. All Baylor students are invited to join a team and serve consistently with that team all year long.
If you’re interested in serving with Urban Missions contact email@example.com.
Urban Missions Interest Fair Wednesday, August 29th and Thursday, August 30th
Come and Go between 5:00pm and 6:30pm at the Bobo Spiritual Life Center
Youth Ministry Teams
Youth Ministry Teams help students experience spiritual formation through hands-on ministry engagement and exposure to varied theological perspectives and spiritual disciplines. The teams are student-led groups of undergrads who provide a variety of resources for churches while seeking practical youth ministry experience. Each team is composed of 15 to 20 students gifted in guiding small groups, speaking/preaching, organizing recreation, and leading worship.
If you’re interested in serving on a Youth Ministry Team contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Ministry Teams Interest Meeting Wednesday, August 29th and Thursday, August 30th @ 3:30pm at the Bobo Spiritual Life Center
Coming home from Asia wasn’t easy but using these three ideas- Reflecting, Connecting, and Serving- I was able to make that tricky transition and learn a lot along the way. Nothing will replace the community and learning you did this summer but it will help us create new community here and continue your passion for service. Reflecting, Connecting, and Serving continue to help me learn and grow, and I hope they’ll help you too!
Kathleen Post is the Ministry Associate for Global Missions and a student at Baylor’s Truett Seminary.