You made it! Now that you’re back from your short-term missions trip, how do you share all that you did overseas with Americans back home? Four ideas may help you communicate more effectively:
“How was your trip?” Family and friends will ask this as soon as you get back. Some people want all the details, but many will be content with a short summary. Be prepared for both. Come up with a one-sentence answer that summarizes your trip, but give it a “hook” for people who want to learn more.
Which of these answers would get you most interested in someone else’s trip?
My trip was good.
My trip was fun and I met a lot of people and learned a lot.
God used the trip to teach me something big I never knew about His world. [You did learn something big, right?]
Those you talk to didn’t experience everything you did. Be gracious if they aren’t as interested or understanding as you expect. They might only have thirty seconds to hear about your trip or they may ask more questions than you know how to answer. Whatever the case, flex to fit the situation and people you’re with, while considering how much time they’re indicating they have to listen. When someone really wants to hear the great details, thank God!
Find common ground
Share about things that were different or what some might call crazy in your country, but also think of what will relate to people who weren’t there. You can share about the wild food you ate but also about something that reminded you of home or a friend. Just as you did when you were overseas, try to find common ground for communication.
Give it time
If you don’t have perfect answers or don’t share everything right away, that’s OK. Give it time as you process adjusting back to the States while communicating God’s heart for the nations.