If God is calling you to missions, an individual missions trip might be just the place to start. I complied the best mission trips organizations and trips into this blog post.
What is an individual mission trip? An individual missions trip is exactly how it sounds, a short term missions trip that you participate in apart from your local church. These types of trips can bring volunteers together from all over the world, all looking to serve the Kingdom of God and advance his kingdom.
If this is what you are looking for, keep reading to learn about some amazing opportunities available to you for short term individual missions trips.
One potential opportunity to experience individual short term missions is through Mexico Caravan Ministries. This ministry is dedicated to raising up young people to understand the importance of the Great Commission and explore this opportunity in their own life.
This ministry has two short term missions opportunities, either as a one week long trip, or a three to fifteen month internship. Both are designed to develop a missions mindset in youth and expose them to the command of the Great Commission.
Through the week-long trip you will be building houses for locals in the community and sitting in on lectures that discuss topics like the biblical basis for missions, testimonies, and why we need to take the Great Commission more seriously.
The goal is to grow a missions mindset in students and reveal the importance of the Great Commission.
Through the internship, you will be working with the youth, helping them to understand the Great Commission and guiding them through the process of building the houses.
You also have the opportunity for directors and other staff members to pour into you and help you continue to develop your own missional mindset.
This ministry is a great opportunity to explore missions if you sense God’s call to go. Keep praying and dare to give God your full “yes” regardless of what the answer is.
Bring Me Hope is an organization that advocates for children in the orphanage and foster care system and puts on summer camps that give those children an opportunity to experience love from people.
By volunteering, you can be apart of that story.
Volunteers and interns are invited to help run summer camps over the summer that help these children to heal from previous abuse and other issues.
By volunteering to lead a family group at one of these events you choose to love those children and walk alongside them, providing a spot of joy in there difficult lives.
The staff to child ratio at these orphanages is very imbalanced and for some children these camps are the first real taste of love they have ever experienced. You can be a part of that.
By volunteering at one of these camps you can increase the number of children able to participate and help them to feel loved and accepted. You are also able to advocate for the kids you worked with later by sharing your experience on social media and adding to their adoption profile.
This is a great opportunity for a short term trip provides the amazing opportunity to continue advocating for the kids you worked with after you return.
Another potential opportunity is through the World Race. This ministry has several opportunities including the World Race, World Race Gap Year, and also Semesters and Ambassadors.
The World Race is the most prominent and is organized to visit eleven countries over eleven months. Available for people ages 21-35 this would be a great opportunity to experience a variety cultures and learn from a variety of missionaries and ministries.
The World Race Gap Year is available for ages 17-20 depending on the track that you choose. They have various tracks that are designed for college age students who are taking a gap year before moving into the next stage of their life.
This program is similar to the World Race however they serve in three countries over the course of nine months.
The Semester program is similar to a study abroad opportunity, allowing you to have a more flexible schedule so that you can get missions experience while in college.
These trips range from one to six months for ages 18-22, allowing you to have some freedom over how much time you are able to commit to.
And finally, the Ambassador program is an opportunity for high school students to get involved in missions.
Available to ages 14-18, this is a great opportunity for high school students to get exposed to the world of missions and how important it is to follow the Great Commission.
YWAM, or Youth With A Mission, may be another possibility for an individual trip. They offer several different ways to serve including short term trips, volunteer opportunities, and the Discipleship Training School, or DTS.
There are various short term trips available to you around the world in many different ministry settings including construction, medicine, sports, among others. Each will give you the opportunity to fill a need in that community.
Another possibility would be to volunteer with YWAM. Here you would be able to work alongside their staff to do construction projects, designing websites, or working on ship.
Their ministry Mission Builders will help you get plugged in wherever God is leading you.
And finally, their most popular way to get connected in missions is through their Discipleship Training School, or DTS.
If you are looking to get a longer mission experience or are considering moving towards long term ministry, this trip would be a great opportunity to get exposed to that kind of long term commitment.
There are various countries all over the world that you can have your DTS in such as Nigeria, Greece, Cambodia, Brazil, and the United States. While you are there you will be able to explore a wide variety of ministry opportunities such as teaching, media, and music.
Any of these possibilities would be a great opportunity for ministry and developing the gifts that God has put in you for service to his kingdom.
Through Ethnos 360 you have another chance to get involved in missions. They have a variety of ministry locations and programs to get involved in from here in the United States to the farthest reaches of the globe.
Some ways to serve include as a volunteer, planting churches, teaching, short term trips, aviation, and through any professional skills you may have.
So what do you bring to the table? Spend some time in prayer to see where God is leading you and examine the skills and talents that God has given you.
Ask Him how you can honor him with those God-given abilities and see if there is an opportunity to then use those gifts on the field if that is where you feel he is leading you.
If you feel that this is where God is leading you long term, this ministry also has a Bible school that would help you to train for the field. So, if after going on a short term trip you decide to pursue this form of ministry more permanently, there is a great gateway to enroll into their training program.
World Orphans is an organization that seeks to mobilize the church to take care of the orphans of the world. There are lots of opportunities here for financial support but also for volunteer work with various orphanages around the world.
If you chose to go, their Journey Trips are an amazing way to help serve children in these difficult situations. They have developed their trips to be rolled out in three stages, pre-field preparation, on the field work, and post-trip advocation.
During pre-field preparation you will attend weekly discipleship meetings leading up to your departure. In these meetings you will learn any important information, share testimonies, and discuss cross cultural ministry, among other things.
Then, on the trip you get to partner with local churches to reach out into the local orphan community.
You will help to provide for their various physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional needs and of course, share the love of Jesus with them every day.
The trip doesn’t end there. After the trip, World Orphans will continue to help you stay connected and make a difference after you get home.
They provide various opportunities to help advocate for children and give you the tools you need to help, right where you are.
Another great place to look for short term missions trip opportunity is through Students International. This program has several different opportunities to get involved with missions including volunteering as summer staff, internships, study abroad, and short term trips.
Summer staff are there to assist staff with other students coming through the various programs.
This is a very rewarding chance to serve however there are some extra requirements that make this job effective such as preferred fluency in Spanish and previous experience with Students International.
Interns serve from 4-12 months in a wide variety of ministries. Through this experience you will be poured into by mentors, be trained in various leadership, ministry, and intercultural skills, and grow in your language skills.
Some possible ministry opportunities you may be able to explore based on your previous experience in these areas including:
- Agriculture and Veterinary
- Appropriate Technology
- Boys and Girls Club
- Creative Arts/Music
- Global Bridge
- Medical/Community Health
- Physical Therapy
- Social Work
- Special Education
- Student Life
Studying abroad is another way you can do missions through Students International. Through this program you can still engage in ministry while continuing your college education.
This is a great way to keep on track for graduating while also getting to engage in ministry.
Students International also has two types of short term trips available, a nine day, and a thirteen day. They also have several locations available for teams including two locations in the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua, and you will have the opportunity to serve in whatever ways best fit the community you are stationed in.
International Messengers is committed to mobilizing believers to disciple others and fulfill the Great Commission.
To act on this commitment they are raising funds for the Great Commission effort around the world and also creating opportunities for people to go on short-term mission trips and long-term internships.
Short term trips are designed for volunteers to help run summer camps in various countries around the world including Peru, Egypt, Uganda, Romania, Ukraine, Poland and Hungary.
The summer camps give you the opportunity to love on children in the far reaches of the globe and plant seeds of the gospel in their hearts.
To prepare for this trip, each team member is required to attend a special training weekend before the trip in order to better equip the team. They also have a platform to help you fundraise for this trip.
They also have an internship program available in which you can serve in a variety of contexts and ministries.
Each participant is required to have three months of training in one of their training locations, either Montana, Ukraine, Egypt, or Uganda. Same as with the short term trips they will also help you fundraise for your trip.
Some possible ministries you may choose to get involved in are church planting, refugee ministry, marriage and family outreaches, youth and student ministry, schools, foster children, First Nation ministry, and ministry with the Roma (gypsies).
After participation in this program, International Messengers will help you get a long-term placement if you feel that God is calling you to long-term ministry.
Show mercy international has a passion for the people of Uganda, and is looking for volunteers who will come and engage in short and long term missions in this beautiful country.
Through this program there are four primary ministries you can get involved in including orphaned and vulnerable children support, village and community development, medical and dental missions, and agriculture outreach.
These opportunities are available for short term trips, internships, and long-term staff.
Through ministry with orphaned and vulnerable children, you will be able to love on the children of the community and may teach in a village school, host a VBS, or serve at a children’s gathering on Saturdays.
Village and community development ministry has a variety of expressions including hospital and prison ministries, English classes, elderly and widow visits, and sports outreaches.
These ministries give us a window to share the love of Jesus while fulfilling a practical need.
You may also, be interested in helping with medical missions through ministries such as on-site village health centers, SMI birthing centers, medical and dental outreaches, patient home visits, and educational training.
And finally, you may be able to help through agricultural outreach ministry. This ministry allows you to teach locals better farming practices that will help their crops to become more fruitful to the community.
Stay With Missionaries / Local Church
Another potential opportunity is to connect with missionaries and other local churches that your church supports. Some will have opportunities for you to come and stay with them and serve alongside them in ministry for a time.
By serving in this way you are avoiding going if you are not needed by simply asking the missionaries if they need help in any way, and only serving in ways that are needed, without hurting the community.
One opportunity you may or may not have considered is instead of going, using that money to pour into the local ministry there. It is important to serve in short term ministry in ways that are actually helpful to the community.
Often times short term trips can do more harm than help and we want to avoid that as much as possible.
Be sure that you are not taking away an opportunity for a local to engage with the local ministry and perhaps make some money on whatever projects they are working on.
At the end of the day you need to pray about it. If God is calling you to go, then go, just be sure that you are going in a way that is truly serving the community. Also be open to the idea of blessing the community ministry financially as well.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to spend significant time in prayer and waiting on the Lord. Be prepared to give him your full “yes” regardless of what He tells you to do and receive it with an open heart.