7 Unique Mission Trip Gift Ideas
Mission trips change lives. Whether it's a few days or a few weeks, time invested on a foreign field can increase your faith and give you a heart for missions that lasts a lifetime.
Even if you can't go yourself, you can encourage others with some thoughtful mission trip gift ideas. After all, mission trips mean leaving what's comfortable and normal. But while flexibility is the first rule of missions, you can make sure some of the basics are covered.
7 Mission Trip Gift Ideas
It's awesome to consider the needs of missionaries. And sending a care package to someone who's serving on a foreign field is absolutely awesome! Of course, a lot of missionary needs will depend on the length and location of the journey. Spend time doing some research and talking with your missionary about what needs might come up. That also might help you avoid getting a mission trip gift that won't work at all.
Having said that, a few go-to items stand out on most lists of mission trip gift ideas. Below, we've listed seven possibilities. None of them are fancy, and most can be found in minutes through a simple online search. But they all will enhance the experience—and faith—of your missionary!
One of the greatest ways to make a mission trip "stick" is to record the events and experiences as they happen. That makes a journal a great mission trip gift idea. Whether used as a daily diary or to reflect on spiritual milestones, a journal can keep the most important parts of the trip alive long after your missionary is back home. (Tip: Add a pack of nice pens or highlighters to the gift!)
2. Electrical adapters.
It's no secret that most of the world delivers power differently than the United States. That makes adapters and converters a must. They'll need something to keep their cell phones, computers, and other electronics up and running. It's an extremely practical mission trip gift and one that your missionary—especially a first-time international traveler—will find invaluable.
3. A book about the nation they are visiting.
Honestly, your missionary might already know a lot about their host nation. They may even have a heart for that particular culture or people group. But it also helps to know more about their destination. Plus, it reveals shows humility to keep learning.
4. Encouraging notes.
This is an inexpensive mission trip gift idea, but its value cannot be overstated. Write a note for each day that your missionary will be gone, and place each note in a different envelope. That way, they will have a touchpoint from home every day of the trip. If the short-term trip involves weeks instead days, just write enough for one or two per week. (Tip: Make sure to include plenty of encouraging Bible verses to provide a lift on days that are tough.)
5. A backpack with supplies.
Every world traveler needs a backpack, so that makes it a great mission trip gift. But you can go the extra mile by including some special items. On the practical side, you could pack a flashlight or a first aid kit. You could also add a water bottle with a built-in purifying system. But, most importantly, don't forget to include some of your missionary's favorite snacks and candy!
6. A foreign-language dictionary.
Career missionaries take language classes to get ready for their assignment. While your short-term missionary won't have that kind of time or training, they can take advantage of a dictionary that helps them communicate with locals on the field. You can even highlight some of the most common phrases they'll need to know, like "thank you" and "good morning."
7. Something to leave behind.
While your missionary may want to return with some souvenirs, it could also be great to leave something behind. This is especially true if they are living with a local family during the trip. It doesn't have to be fancy—maybe a game or a book or a toy—but it can open doors and make a lasting impression on the folks they are helping. It's a simple way to say "thank you" and to show love in Jesus's name.
Give the power of prayer
Before He went back to heaven, Jesus commanded His followers to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). You can do that in three basic ways. First, you can go on a trip yourself. That would be a great opportunity to be Jesus's hands and feet, and it could help you see your faith differently even after you get home.
Second, you can give. That could include financial support or words of encouragement to someone else on the field—like your short-term missionary. The mission trip gift ideas listed above are a piece of that puzzle!
Beyond those, you can pray—and that may be the greatest tool in your mission's toolbox. Along with your mission trip gifts, promise to pray daily for your missionary while they're gone—and follow through on that promise. They will need it, and it can be a blessing to you as well.
Prayer is something everyone can do, so make sure to give that gift to your short-term missionary.
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