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5 Nurse Mission Trips - Minister to Those in Need
While doctors are serving as missionaries around the world, they aren’t the only medical professionals in the field. Over the last several years, healthcare professionals like nurses have found a place and purpose in fulfilling the Great Commission, either on short-term assignments or as career missionaries. As a result, nurse mission trips have grown in both popularity and in opportunity. If you’re a practicing nurse, training to be a nurse, or just thinking about being a nurse, a mission trip for nurses could provide a wealth of professional experience, spiritual growth, and personal fulfillment.  In other words, a nurse mission trip might be exactly what you need. If you want to get involved with other nurses looking to serve on a mission, explore the Global Health Missions Conference.   Getting Prepared for Your Nurse Mission Trip Healthcare needs around the world are growing exponentially. That means the need for nurses and other medical professionals is growing as well, especially in underdeveloped and underserved areas. The potential of nurse mission trips to provide extra sets of hands can be a huge blessing to overwhelmed medical missionaries and local doctors on the field. And you’ll get the extra benefit of meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. But before you pack your bags, it’s important to examine yourself. Character traits like spiritual maturity, flexibility, teamwork, and humility are vital to being an effective missionary nurse—even on short-term experiences. In addition, you need to do some research to make sure you’re working with an agency that can make the mission trip work well for you, the professionals on site, and the patients you’ll treat. Many organizations rely on a set of seven standards of excellence for mission trips. This code of best practices can help you evaluate agencies, but it can also help you look into your own motivations. After all, the important thing is not so much that you go, but that you go for the right reasons and represent Christ well while you’re gone.   Check Out These 5 Mission Opportunities for Nurses If you’re wondering where to start with a nursing mission trip, you have plenty of options. In the list below, we’ve identified five organizations that can help you prepare for and participate in mission trips for nurses. Whatever part of the world pulls at your heart and whatever demographic you’ve been called to reach, you’ll likely find a fit on this list.    1. University nursing programs If you’re a nursing student (or a high schooler working through the college search process), there’s a good chance your school provides international opportunities for nurses. That’s especially true if you’re attending a Christian college or university. Many faith-based nursing schools combine medical education with an intentional missions focus, and nurse mission trips are part of the formula. For example, schools like Anderson University, Azusa Pacific University, Baylor’s Herrington School of Nursing, and California Baptist University each encourage (and, in some cases, require) a mission trip or semester overseas for their nursing students.   2. Nursing Beyond Borders The mission of Nursing Beyond Borders is to provide healthcare and education for children in some of the most desperate situations in the world. Their nursing mission trips include both team and individual experiences and allow nurses to work with professionals on site in a network clinics, orphanages, schools, and shelters. Their focus is on both healthcare and preventative education that empower kids and communities.   3. Coalition of Christian Nurse Practitioners As an affiliate of Christian Medical and Dental Associates (CMDA), the Coalition of Christian Nurse Practitioners offers a variety of services and benefits for the nursing community. They make nurse mission trips available through CMDA’s Global Health Outreach program. So, as a member, you could make a difference for God in a variety of locations around the globe.   4. International Volunteer HQ For more than 15 years, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) has been connecting individuals with mission trip opportunities, including mission trips for nurses and other medical professionals. Some trips are geared toward high school or gap year students. Others cater to nursing students and professionals. So, regardless of your experience or skill level, you can find a nurse mission trip that meets your needs through IVHQ.   5. Nurses Christian Fellowship As a ministry of InterVarsity, Nurses Christian Fellowship (NCF) is a professional organization and support network for Christ followers in the field of nursing. The group’s goal is to encourage nurses as they care for the whole person—body and soul. While NCF does not sponsor overseas travel, it does encourage mission trips for nurses. To that end, the group’s resources include some great articles and preparation materials for those going on nursing mission trips.     Be Jesus’s Hands and Feet In many nursing programs, graduating students take part in a tradition called “blessing of the hands.” The symbolism, especially for Christian nurses, serves as a reminder that they are called to minister to the needs of everyone in every situation. As believers, we call that being the hands and feet of Jesus. In a theological sense, every Christian’s hands are blessed to share the gospel with those in need. But nurses have a unique opportunity to fulfill that commission as they minister to people at some of the lowest moments of life. Nurse mission trips are one way you can extend your personal ministry while also enhancing your personal relationship with Jesus. By taking part in a nursing mission trip, you can be Jesus’s hands and feet to people who desperately need to experience His presence. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime that makes a difference for eternity.     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.  
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5 Family Mission Trips for Spiritual Growth & Bonding
The common image of a missionary is an individual or couple packing up and heading to a foreign land for a lifetime of service. And while that's true in many cases, it's not the only way to do missions. For example, family mission trips are one great way for parents and kids to bond with each and gain a greater appreciation for God's work around the world. If you've never considered taking a family mission trip, now might be the perfect time to see what's available. Missionary opportunities for families are growing as sending agencies to recognize the potential of equipping entire households to experience the power of missions together. The chance for you to share those experiences on a family mission trip has never been better.   Why Go on a Family Mission Trip? Some benefits of family mission trips are easy to see. In addition to helping fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), you are creating memories with family members that will last a lifetime. Family vacations are great for a week or so, but family mission trips can resonate into eternity. A family mission trip could also spark a passion for missions. Going on mission trips and seeing work on the field tends to inspire even more involvement. For example, your child might begin to hear God's call to missions thanks to a family mission trip. In addition, family missions can tear down walls. In a world divided by so many things, exposing family members to other cultures, languages, and lifestyles can help them see the world through God's eyes. It encourages them to develop a heart for all people—regardless of their differences.   Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” –Matthew 28:18-20   Where Do We Start? The best place to start discussing missionary opportunities for families is within your family. Talk with your kids about the importance of missions. Use the internet or information from your denomination's mission organization to share what God is doing worldwide. Spend time praying for missionaries in various parts of the world. From there, look into organizations that sponsor family mission trips. Your denominational sending agency might be able to connect you with a great organization, but some groups specialize in planning overseas trips for individuals and families. You can find a list of possible partners at sites like the one provided by Medical Missions. In addition, some sending organizations provide missionary opportunities for families. In the list below, we've identified five groups that offer family mission trips or could tailor a trip for your family. These are not the only groups out there, but they are proven and reliable.    1. World Missions Alliance This group offers family mission trips ranging from 7-10 days. Of course, the length of the trip and the number of family members involved will affect the overall cost you'll need to raise. These primarily cover expenses on the ground, such as hotels, transportation, interpreters, etc. They will help you with travel arrangements to the site, but additional costs like airfare and travel documents will likely need to be covered by your family.   2. e3 Legacy The goal of the e3 partnership network is to make sure churches are easily accessible to anyone who needs one. To that end, e3 works in more than 90 countries across six continents. The network's Legacy program focuses on providing intergenerational opportunities for believers, including families interested in going on a mission trip together. The primary focus in 2023 is the South American nation of Colombia.   3. Bold Hope The mission of Bold Hope is to live up to its name by providing hope to individuals around the world. Bold Hope sponsors specific mission trips for families as part of its work. By working through its partnerships worldwide, Bold Hope offers mission opportunities that can involve every family member. Currently listed trips include Latin America, the Caribbean, and the African nation of Zimbabwe.   4. Mission Discovery Of course, family mission trips don't have to mean going to the nations. There are plenty of missionary opportunities for families much closer to home. If you'd be more comfortable working within the United States, Mission Discovery might be for you. While Mission Discovery does offer family trips to Mexico and the Caribbean, it also provides several opportunities in the U.S. Some are rural, and some are urban; but they all offer families a variety of ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus.   5. World Gospel Outreach The focus of World Gospel Outreach (WGO) is making a difference in the lives of believers by giving them opportunities to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of "the least of these." Founded in 1984, WGO focuses its work on Latin America, especially Honduras and Belize. While the WGO site does not refer specifically to family mission trips, it could provide missionary opportunities for families through its SERVE teams.   Pray. Give. Go When it comes to family missions, you've got three options. First, you can pray. As mentioned earlier, it's easy to find the names of missionaries all over the world and to pray for them as a family.  The second option is to give. Even if you're not ready to go yet, you can financially support other individuals and families on the field. Whether you want to help career missionaries or short-term missionaries, their sending agencies can give you the details for making that happen. Finally, you can go. As you can see, the opportunities are there if you believe God is moving you in that direction. You just need to take the first step in the journey. None of these options is better than the others. Each of them is necessary for taking the gospel to the world and making disciples for God's kingdom. As you and your family seek ways to be more involved, you can be sure that God will lead you to the best fit for His glory.     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.
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Medical Mission Trip Packing List - How to Create Yours
Packing for any trip is important. Whether it’s an overnight stay with relatives or an extended vacation overseas, having what you need makes all the difference in the world. Discovering something you left behind can put a damper on the entire experience. So, you can imagine why a medical missions trip packing list can be your best friend. You might be a veteran traveler or a rookie on your first mission adventure. You might be a natural list-maker or someone who’s not always that organized. Whatever your experience or personality, a medical mission trip packing list can spell the difference between an effective project and a journey that’s memorable for all the wrong reasons.   Do your research ahead of time The first step in creating a packing list for a medical mission trip is to do some research. Medical mission opportunities can take on a variety of forms. You might be going for a couple of weeks, or you could be pursuing a career in an international field. The length of your trip and your assignment will have an impact on your mission trip packing list. Likewise, the location and timing of your trip is a factor. You need to familiarize yourself with the cultures you’ll be visiting and with how the seasons play out in that nation. You don’t want to accidently do something or wear something offensive, and you don’t want to get caught unprepared for cold, heat, or a rainy season.  You’ll also need to think through baggage restrictions. You can’t take everything, so you’ve got to figure out what matters most. That includes deciding what needs to be in your checked bag and what needs to go in your carry-on. For example, if your luggage gets lost for a couple of days, you’ll be glad you added an extra outfit and your prescription medications to your carry-on bag.   Creating your medical missions packing list The group or agency you’re traveling with can answer a lot of your packing questions for your specific mission application. And there are some great websites hosted by both ministries and medical organizations that provide experience-based suggestions. But, in the end, what goes on your medical missions trip packing list is up to you.  In the list below, we’ve focused on some basics you'll need to consider before you take off on your first trip. While the list isn’t exhaustive, it will prime the pump as you think about what you’ll be doing and what you’ll need on your medical missions trip. Some of the items are general to any mission experience, while others are specific to medical missions. But all of them will help you be at your best as you become Jesus’s hands and feet to a world in need. Travel documents. It might seem like a no-brainer to include things like your passport, visa, airline tickets, and photo identification on a medical missions trip packing list. But the truth is, you’re not going anywhere or helping anyone without them. This category also includes things you might not think of, such as your travel itinerary, insurance information, and a list of important phone numbers. Many mission trip veterans suggest keeping copies of these documents on a phone and in baggage.   Chargers and adapters. Most countries around the world don’t process electricity like the United States. That means you need to secure adapters for your electronics. For chargers, solar or battery power might be best depending on where you’ll be and how long you’ll be there. Again, researching what’s available will help ensure that you don’t run out of power on the trip.   Comfort items. In truth, “comfort” can also mean “functional.” These are the packing list items that will protect your health and allow you to carry out the normal routines of your mission project. For example, you’ll need a filtered water bottle or some water purification tablets in many countries. Backpacks (preferably waterproof) are essential, as are sleeping sheets or a sleeping bag. Hand sanitizer and baby wipes can keep you fresh, while a language dictionary can help you communicate with locals.   Appropriate clothing. Again, putting clothes on your medical missions trip packing list might seem obvious; but, as a medical missionary, you have to take extra care to balance comfort with cultural expectations. In many areas, scrubs and pants would be fine; but in other cultures, long skirts are less offensive. Since medical missionaries spend a lot of time on their feet, comfortable shoes are also vital.   Medical supplies. Some of these items are personal to you, like your stethoscope, your gloves, and your N-95 masks. Other things are simply useful in the field, like a first aid kit, a headlamp, or goggles/safety glasses. You also may be asked to carry medicines and drugs for the project in your luggage. Ask about this ahead of time and make sure you leave room in your bags—without going over an airline’s weight limit.   Personal items. Many online lists encourage you to bring some reading material to help pass the time on the trip and during any “down” times in your project schedule. Of course, cameras are important for recording memories and even sending updates to supporters back home. You also may want to bring a journal and some pens so you can put your thoughts and experiences down on paper. Nothing helps you keep the lessons from a mission trip alive better than reviewing what you’ve written after you get home.   Gifts. These don’t have to be fancy or expensive. And they certainly don’t need to take up much space. But leaving a little piece of yourself behind will make a difference in the lives of the people you help, especially children.   Add some intangibles to your list Admittedly, your medical missions trip packing list is primarily designed to make sure you don’t forget some tangible items. Again, you don’t want to find out something important is still sitting on your nightstand once you’ve landed in the country. But it’s also important to “pack” some important intangibles for your trip. Character qualities like faith, humility, and flexibility are keys to any mission's endeavor. In fact, they are often more important than physical items on your mission's packing list. They will carry you through the tough times and make your work more effective for God’s glory. So, as you’re creating the packing list for your medical missions trip, don’t forget to focus on who you are, along with what you’ll need.     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.