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Money, Money


I’m starting to save money for a mission trip. An

Steve Answers:

Yes, but first I want to say, "Way to go!" So many people have had such positive spiritual growth experiences by going on a short-term mission trip (for one to two weeks) or by being a student missionary (for a year).

Yes, mission trips are expensive! The most expensive item is your travel (often $500-$1,000). Your expenses for food, shelter, ground transportation, construction materials, evangelistic supplies, insurance, etc., often come to $300-$600. So it could cost you $800-$1,600. Student missionaries usually have to raise $2,000-$2,500 for airfare to their destination.

When a school or church goes on a short-term mission trip, lots of people get involved raising money. Everyone going on the trip may ask the same people for financial assistance, so the funding gets a bit thin.

For a short-term mission trip such as the Ultimate Workout or a student missionary stint, it’s usually one person from a church going. That one person can be the "real-life missionary" for the local church.

Don’t try to go it alone by baking and selling cookies or by auctioning off your siblings as slaves. Invite the church members to help sponsor you for $10, $25, or even $50 or $100.

Some young people hesitate to ask because they feel as if they’re begging for money. Change your mind-set. Instead of begging for money, you’re inviting church members to join your team as a sponsor for missions. Of course, you’ll need to keep your sponsors up-to-date on how things develop, as well as reporting to them when you get back.

You can also ask out-of-town relatives and friends to sponsor you. And when people ask you for gift ideas at Christmastime, birthdays, or graduation, tell them to put funds toward your mission trip instead.

I often tell young people to pray for God to work a miracle if He wants them to go. And then I advise them to make a whole bunch of contacts by phone, letters, e-mails, and in person.

If no doors open (no sponsorships by the deadline), then you should ask God to show you where else He wants you to serve. If God wants you to go, the way will be prepared.

Each year I hear incredible stories of people who didn’t expect to go on the Ultimate Workout, but then the miracles started to happen. If those miracles don’t happen, then use that time to do a local mission trip in your own community, or a less-expensive "mission trip" in your own country.

Also, remember that raising money is just one part of preparing for a mission trip. More important, you need to prepare your heart, mind, and attitude. Ask God to transform you into whatever He wants you to be in this cross-cultural mission experience. 

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