International -

Confessions of a Scared Mission Trip Leader —

By Audrey Wunderlich, Coordinator of Communications

“So let me get this right… You want me to go on my first mission trip, on my first time out of the country, and lead a group of students on a mission trip to AFRICA?!”


The shock of that moment will always be a vivid memory. I felt unqualified, unworthy, and completely inexperienced enough to lead a mission trip. Much less across the Big Pond to a culture that was incredibly foreign to me.

Yet three months later, I found myself in the Dullas International Airport, trying to mask my anxious heart by reassuring my group of students that there was nothing to worry about.

Maybe if I reassured them enough, it would sink in for me? I was hopeful.

I did a head count.
I checked passports.
I did about 12 more head counts.
We boarded the plane.
We took off.
We were Zambia bound.

And I spent the next 16 hours asking God how in tarnation I ended up on that plane, leading that trip.

It’s not that mission trips were not available to me before age 24. I went to a Christian college – mission trip opportunities were as frequent as ring by spring proposals. I had considered plenty of trips, but always backed out because I didn’t “feel” led to any one country specifically.
I thought because I didn’t “feel” it, I wasn’t ready.

But God never says “when you feel it, go” or “when you’re ready, go."

He just says “Go."

His Word is clear:
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Ready or not, we are called to go.

And looking back, I would never trade my rookie-mission-trip-leading experience for anything. Every moment of the trip, I was caught off guard by the wonders and work of my God. I saw His love fleshed out in ways 100 years couldn’t prepare me for.

So my encouragement for you is to go, not because you are ready but because you, yes YOU, have been called to go.

" So my encouragement for you is to go, not because you are ready but because you, yes YOU, have been called to go. "

Don’t know where to start?
Engage offers mission trip experiences that will train you for a life of Kingdom work.
Click here to see where Engage is going in 2018.