How Missions/Service Trips Can Change Your Life

Derek Fox, CBN Staff

During April break of 2023, I will be embarking on another trip to Guatemala, which I had previously visited in the seventh grade. Living in a capitalistic society which is centered around the hottest new items and trends, it is easy for many to become blind to the fact that there are a lot of people in the world who are less fortunate than us. 

When I first embarked on my trip to Guatemala at twelve years old, I was a young kid with no real understanding of money, and I was mostly self centered. Within hours of touching down in the country, I was exposed first hand to the reality that a large number of people live without simple needs met in their life. There were families that lived on less than a dollar a day, and lived without water and clothing provided daily. If this seems like a minute population to you, just $34,000 a year would put you in the 1% of wealth compared to the rest of the globe. Even though the average person in the United States may only get a glimpse of this reality in commercials and other media, the disparity of global wealth is a real thing that affects tons of people.

The trip that I went on was through Manna Worldwide; an organization that fights poverty around the globe. For the duration of the trip, groups from my church were tasked with loving and serving these people. Activities we did on the trip included building orphanages, serving food, delivering care packages, and performing lice treatments. 

After learning about the quality of life for a large percentage of the world I have a very much different view on life in terms of gratitude. This has made me think deeply about how lucky I am to be in my situation, even when it does not seem like it. Being around others who need to be loved and served makes you truly ponder about chasing materialistic things and wealth, when it will all fade away eventually. Overall, the trip turned me into a much more outwardly focused person and gave me a deeper appreciation for my situation in life. Returning to the country in 2023, I still recommend that anyone thinking of going on a service trip take the opportunity to do so.

Manna Worldwide, an organization specialized in fighting poverty worldwide (Manna Worldwide)