7 Awesome Mission Trips to Africa
Sometimes, Christians will joke about following God wherever He leads—as long as He doesn’t call them to Africa. But the truth is, the African continent is a stunning mixture of incredible beauty and devastating need. That’s why many sending organizations have a full slate of mission trips to Africa listed in their short-term, long-term, and career options.
Getting to Know Today’s Africa
While it’s easy to think of Africa as a mysterious place, it’s important to move past stereotypes and examine the facts. For example, Africa is the second largest continent in terms of both land and population. It accounts for about 20% of the world’s land mass (nearly 12 million square miles) and more than 12% of its population (1.2 billion people). Those people are spread across 54 nations, including the islands of Madagascar and Seychelles. More than 1,500 different languages can be heard on the continent.
Geographically, two regions of Africa are divided by the Sahara Desert, one of the largest deserts in the world. Yet, areas of Africa thrive thanks to magnificent rivers (like the Nile) that feed into fertile valleys and forests. The continent is home to both large, modern cities and traditional, rural villages.
Religiously, Africa has a long history with both Christianity and Islam. Many in the more rural regions also practice spiritism and naturalistic religions, along with witchcraft.
7 Mission Trips to Africa
All of that information makes mission trips to Africa a vital tool in fulfilling the Great Commission. The combination of a large population and spiritual diversity means that many African people need to hear about Jesus. Plus, so much of Africa is underserved and mired in poverty. It’s a place where opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus abound, especially when it comes to medical missions.
The list below highlights seven organizations that are sponsoring medical mission trips to Africa in 2023. Since the needs are so great, the opportunities are rich. Regardless of your specialty, you can find a place to serve on a mission trip to Africa.
Pioneer Christian Hospital
This 60-bed hospital is located in the Republic of Congo and exists to share Jesus while making an impact on the overall health of the nation. Pioneer, which serves an area that roughly 300,000 people call home, offers opportunities for both long-term and short-term African mission experiences. Visiting medical missionaries work with Congolese staff members to treat a wide array of medical issues.
The motto of Kenya’s Tenwek Hospital is “We Treat, Jesus Heals.” Founded in 1937, this 361-bed hospital continues to meet the needs of residents in a variety of ways, including dental and optometric services. Tenwek is also a teaching hospital that trains new doctors and has a research emphasis to keep up with important medical advances. Medical missions opportunities are provided in cooperation with hospital partners, like Samaritan’s Purse and World Gospel Mission.
World Medical Mission.
Speaking of Samaritan’s Purse, this North Carolina-based ministry provides additional medical mission trips to Africa through World Medical Mission. The ministry’s Specialty Teams represent a focus on short-term experiences in places like Kenya and Cameroon. Some of these teams share knowledge with local doctors, while others focus on medical equipment and building relationships that could help expand its network of medical facilities. World Medical Mission also has internships and apprenticeships for students.
If you have a heart for children, you will want to look into the African mission trips sponsored by Cure International. With hospitals in seven African nations (Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Niger, Zambia, and Kenya), Cure specializes in treating children with disabilities. The surgeries they provide are performed at no cost to the families involved. In addition to medical professionals, Cure also offers opportunities for spiritual ministry and facilities management.
One World Health.
Mission trips to Africa sponsored by One World Health focus primarily on the nation of Uganda through two kinds of trips. The group’s typical short-term experience—Clinical Outreach Teams—lasts one week and provides support for local hospital staffs. One World Health has three of these trips planned this year, in May, July, and December. The second option is an ongoing project called Partner in Global Health. This trip provides continuing education to local professionals and encourages a four-week commitment.
Global Health Outreach.
As part of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Global Health Outreach offers dozens of outreach events each year, including mission trips to Africa. For example, in June a trip to Zambia will focus on orphan care. Because HIV and other illnesses have devastated its adult population, Zambia has the world’s highest orphan rate, despite being only the size of Texas. This trip will bring together medical doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, physical therapists, and even non-medical volunteers to meet these needs. In addition, GHO has separate general medical trips to Ghana and northern Africa scheduled for later in the year.
Medical Educators International.
If you’re a teacher at heart, Medical Educators International might be the group for you. Like GHO, Medical Educators International is a ministry of Christian Medical and Dental Associates, but it provides academic and clinical training for indigenous medical staffs. In addition to instructing students on the practical aspects of health care, MEI missionaries also model ways to show the love and compassion of Jesus. In June, MEI is sponsoring a trip to Tanzania to teach medical residents in classroom settings and through hospital rounds.
Follow Your Calling
If you sense God calling you to take part in a mission trip to Africa, you’ve got plenty of options. Your gifts and abilities might be the perfect fit for a missions experience that will change your life and the lives of so many on the other side of the world.
Accept the challenge. Follow your call. Be Jesus’s hands and feet in Africa this year.
Discover Medical Missions.
Medical Missions serves to connect your professional skills and biblical calling to the largest database of healthcare mission organizations, professionals, and thought leadership. Join us at the Global Missions Health Conference to find your Medical Missions calling. Or, browse our full list of partner organizations to find the right mission for you.