Mission Trips

What is the mission trip experience all about?

A short-term mission trip is an exciting, engaging experience in which faith is put into action by partnering with brothers and sisters from different cultures and life experiences.

Mt Pleasant Presbyterian Church of Mt Pleasant, South Carolina, mission trip to LaCeiba, Honduras. Photo by Ed Wagner

Mt Pleasant Presbyterian Church of Mt Pleasant, South Carolina, mission trip to LaCeiba, Honduras. Photo by Ed Wagner

Participation in a mission trip offers you and your church group a chance to share your time and talents with mission partners from other countries and other cultures and to learn, worship and serve together.

Equipping for Mission Involvement is the PC(USA) World Mission program that provides resources that will help you and your mission partners to see themselves with new eyes as, together, you cross cultural and spiritual borders.  When you return home, we can help you to continue the growth you experienced on your trip  in a variety of ways.

Click here for tools and resources for trip leaders

Do you have more questions about mission trips?

  • What kind of a group in my church might want to consider planning a mission trip?
  • How can my group arrange a mission trip?
  • How can I find out all I need to know about possible host sites?
  • What else should I know?

Find answers to these and other questions

See a list of available host sites.

Find mission trip opportunities

Volunteers from different local churches are serving meals in Toluca, Mexico. Members from Emanuel Presbyterian Church take their turn. Photo by Dave Thomas

For international mission trips, group leaders are encouraged to contact PC(USA) mission co-workers in the region to seek more information and enter a process of discernment. These partnership facilitators walk alongside groups as they plan, lead and reflect on mission experiences. They can be helpful to you before, during and after your mission trip. For a list of these contacts and the regions in which they work, click here. For information on national mission opportunities, please click here.

Additional mission opportunities

Disaster relief mission trips
Information on how your group can help communities affected by disasters.

Presbyterian Women Mission Trips
Presbyterian Women also organizes regular trips to participate in mission work or learn about the mission needs of a particular region.

Please note that a listing on this Web page does not imply an endorsement of the mission site by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Tools for trip leaders

Women students at John Roberts Seminary in Shillong, Northeast India awaiting a new women’s dormitory and praying for support from Presbyterian Women in the USA. Photo by Susan Hudson

As you prepare and plan for your mission trip experience, find ways to ensure that it is an enriching experience for both you and the community you will be visiting. Use the resources below as you begin your journey in God’s incredible mission.

 Planning and leading a mission trip

  • Doing Short Term Mission Well: Prepare, learn and share – Download Here or Click here for online access
  • How do you decide on the destination for a mission trip? – Download Here
    Deciding on your mission trip destination is a discernment process that can engage your congregation’s or presbytery’s mission committee and other groups.  We encourage you to think of the mission trip not as an end unto itself, but as one step in a journey of deeper engagement in the global mission of the church. The questions in this document will help your group in the discernment process of selecting a destination.
  • Best Practices for Mission Trips – Download Here
  • Sample Mission Trip Schedule – Download Here
    Use this mission trip schedule template to ensure that your trip offers a good balance between activity and relationship-building; action and reflection; giving and receiving.
  • Great Mission Trips: Tips for Leaders – Download Here 
  • Two Fantastic Resources for Planners, available online! Click here
    • When God’s People Travel Together – a three-volume set, including a leader’s manual, a resource to help participants reflect on their experiences and Bible studies on partnership
    • Faith in Action, by Stephen Knisely and Gabrielle Beasley – a two volume set for reflection on sustainable mission involvement. Interactive sessions by Gabrielle Beasley offers practical lessons and worksheets for mission education.

Reflection and education about short-term mission

  • What We Bring With Us: A letter from Doug Orbaker, former mission co-worker in Nicaragua – Download Here
    Mission is the life we bring with us when we go to another place to serve, and it is the even richer life that we take back with us when we return.
  • The Power of Empty Hands – Download Here (Spanish version: El Poder de las Manos Vacias – Download Here)
    In “The Power of Empty Hands,” our Director of World Mission, Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell, examines how the mission worker should put material wealth into perspective when visiting third world countries. He reminds us that the mission worker may be the one to receive “gifts.”

Contacts for Mission Trips and Partnerships

Mission TripsInterested in planning an international mission trip, but don’t know where to start? Want to establish a long-term mission partnership, but would like some guidance? Many of our mission coworkers serve as partnership facilitators, helping to connect US Presbyterians with sites around the world. They may be able to help you as you begin this mission journey!

Africa | Asia | Latin America and the Caribbean | Middle East | Europe and Central Asia

AFRICA

LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

COUNTRY OR REGION CONTACT CONTACT INFORMATION MINISTRY FOCUS MISSION PROFILE LINK
US–Mexico Border Andres Garcia and
Gloria Salazar
andres.gloria@gmail.com Presbyterian border ministry Mission profile
Brazil Farris and Thelma Goodrum farris.goodrum@pcusa.org Center of Theological Formation Mission profile
Haiti Suzette Goss-Geffrard suzette.goss-geffrard@pcusa.org Short term mission,
Partnership
Mission profile
Colombia and Andean Region (Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela) Rev. Sarah Henken sarah.henken@pcusa.org Partnership Mission profile
Dominican Republic and
Caribbean region
Jo Ella Holman joella.holman@pcusa.org Partnership Mission profile
Brazil Marta Kerr Carriker marta.carriker@pcusa.org Partnership Mission profile
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras Tracey King-Ortega tracey.king-ortega@pcusa.org Partnership Mission profile
Peru Rev. Jed Koball jed.koball@pcusa.org Joining Hands Against Hunger; Young Adult Volunteers Mission profile
US–Mexico Border Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar mark@fronteradecristo.org Frontera de Cristo Mission profile
Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil Dennis Smith dennis.smith@pcusa.org Partnership Mission profile
Bolivia Chenoa Stock chenoa.stock@pcusa.org Joining Hands Against Hunger Mission profile
Nicaragua Justin Sundberg justin.sundberg@pcusa.org Council of Evangelical Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD) Mission profile
El Salvador Kristi Van Nostran kristi.vannostran@pcusa.org Joining Hands Against Hunger Mission profile
Guatemala Rev. Leslie Vogel leslie.vogel@pcusa.org CEDEPCA (Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Latin America) Mission profile
Honduras Tim and Gloria Wheeler tim.wheeler@pcusa.org Heifer Project International Mission profile
Honduras Rev. Mark and Ashley Wright mark.wright@pcusa.org Partnership, Theological Education Mission profile

MIDDLE EAST

COUNTRY OR REGION CONTACT CONTACT INFORMATION MINISTRY FOCUS MISSION PROFILE LINK
Middle East Rev. Parker elmarie.parker@pcusa.org
Palestine/Israel Rev. Kate Taber revkatetaber@outlook.com Mission profile

EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA

COUNTRY OR REGION CONTACT CONTACT INFORMATION MINISTRY FOCUS MISSION PROFILE LINK
Northern Ireland and United Kingdom Rev. Doug Baker doug.baker@pcusa.org Young Adult Volunteer Program, Partnership Mission profile
Czech Republic Rev. Karen Moritz karen.moritz@pcusa.org Mission profile
Russia, Germany, Belarus,
Eastern Europe
Ellen Smith ellen.smith@pcusa.org Partnership Mission profile
Romania Elizabeth Searles liz.searles@pcusa.org Mission profile

ASIA/PACIFIC

 

Resources

Mission Trip Tools: Presbyterians Today article

This article – When Canned Food Drives Are No Longer Enough – from Presbyterians Today (2012) can serve as a starting point for congregations who want to do short-term mission trips. More resources, information and tools on short-term mission trips are available here.

Mission Trip Tools: Letter from Nicaragua

Mission is the life we bring with us when we go to another place to serve, and it is the even richer life that we take back with us when we return. This letter from former mission co-worker Doug Orbaker provides context for mission trips. More information, resources and tools for short-term mission trips are… Read more »

Mission Trip Tools: Tips for Leaders

Leaders humbly connect us in the Body of Christ, helping all participants in the short-term mission experience to learn from each other, reflect on how God is present in the place being visited, and perhaps to help us think about what the short-term experience will mean in the long-run after we return home. More resources,… Read more »

Mission Trip Tools: Sample Schedule

Use this mission trip schedule template to ensure that your trip offers a good balance between activity and relationship-building; action and reflection; giving and receiving. Find more information, tools and resources for short-term mission trips here.
View All >