SAFETY on Short Term Mission Trips

Is safety a concern on a short term Good News in Action mission trip? Yes, many times it is. In fact, safety is a concern we all face every day no matter where we are, inside or outside the United States. There are so many factors that are beyond our control, we face safety risks no matter where we are and no matter what we are doing. A Good News in Action mission trip destination is no exception.
Please be assured that we, at Good News in Action, do everything that is within our power to make sure your mission trip will be a safe trip. We choose wisely where we accommodate our teams and wisely where we take the teams to do ministry. We daily guide our teams with instructions for their safety. It is very important to listen to and follow all safety instructions. We are sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit if last minute changes need to be made for any reason. We cover our trips and teams in prayer and trust that the Lord will watch over us and keep us safe always.
It is important to understand that we cannot personally guarantee absolute safety, but we can do all that is within our power to be wise and lead our teams as safely as possible. Please remember that perfect safety is an illusion everywhere and always. Instead of worrying about safety, it is our desire that all team members embrace biblical wisdom and God’s goodness as they consider their trip. Please thoughtfully consider the following six reflections as you plan to be a part of a mission team:

There is something much better than life.
We can’t think about risks in a Christian manner unless we are convinced the gospel is worth dying for. We must join the Psalmist and say, “Because your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You” (Psalm 63:3). God’s people need to understand that in pursuit of gospel ends, the risks are always eminent but never pointless. Do you believe the gospel is worth dying for? This is a very important question to honestly answer before going on a mission trip.
Jesus was clear that faithfulness to the gospel commission would imply suffering (John 15:20) and for some, death (Luke 21:16). We must be convinced that some personal sacrifice will take place if we are going to be faithful to fulfilling the gospel commission. This will be true at home as well as on a mission trip.

We are not promised safety, anywhere.
Many Christians believe that if they are in the center of God’s will nothing bad will ever happen to them. Such a promise is found nowhere in the Bible. As Hebrews tells us, many believers faithfully committed to God’s will have faced “trials of mockings and scourgings.” Others will have faced “chains of imprisonment” and “they were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were slain with the sword” (Hebrews 11:36-37). God’s word is clear. He promises to use our life for His glory if we surrender it to Him and promises to bring us safely to heaven for our joy and His honor. God does not promise us safety anywhere in this fallen world.

Taking unnecessary risks is still stupid.
There is nothing especially godly about dying because of a dumb decision. And there’s nothing glorious about bringing on suffering through stupidity. Boldness should be tempered with wisdom. We do all that is within our power to make wise decisions for our teams and we trust that our teams will be wise with the instructions they have been given. All teams that go to all GNIA destinations have the benefit of working with long term, well established leaders who know the language, the culture, and the most common risks. We ask that all team members be willing to rigorously follow all advice and direction they are given from their leaders both prior to going and once on the field. “….A wise man is he who listens to counsel.” (Proverbs 12:15)

It’s okay to consider the opinions of your parents, spouse, adult children, siblings, and Christian leaders.
There is nothing wrong with taking into consideration the fears of those closest to you. It might even be a good opportunity to shine your light for Jesus and transmit to them something of what God is doing in your life as well as your faith in His care over you. Do your best to calm their fears with the information provided on this page or in any other way the Lord leads. If you feel it is in the best interest of your relationship and witness with that person or persons please don’t hesitate to delay your trip. But don’t allow the fears of others to rule your thoughts and heart. Remember fear paralyzes and is not of God. If the Lord has instructed you to go on a trip, be obedient, and do it by faith. Your obedience just might be the powerful tool God will use in the life of that person to draw them closer to Him. “…….In the abundance of counselors there is victory.” (Proverbs 11:14)

Bible-informed risk/benefit analysis is not ungodly.
Granted, not all risks are worth taking………but with that said, also understand that there are some risks that are worth taking. Please be assured that all GNIA mission trips are designed to reach as many people for Christ as possible. The temporal risks far outweigh the eternal benefits. Every day you will be sharing the gospel with all those you encounter. The trip will be extremely useful for the Expansion of God’s Kingdom and the Transformation of lives. It is not uncommon to see hundreds of people make professions of faith in a one-week trip. And that is not the only benefit. It is amazing what the Lord will do in the life of each team member during the week. He will teach and grow each person in a way only He can do. We guarantee that each team member will go home radically different and changed for God’s glory. The trip will be extremely useful for the gospel work in you, around you, through you, and in all the lives you touch. The benefits far outweigh the risks. Remember, the benefits are eternal. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20)

Places around the globe in conflict are in conflict for a reason.
It is important to realize that places that experience conflict (such as danger and violence) are like that for a reason. It is a result of the sin people have in their un-regenerated hearts. Jesus taught that the world is a sinful and violent place. He challenged His disciples to not live in fear but rather to trust Him, to find peace in Him and to realize that although there will be tribulation in this life, to be of good cheer because He has already overcome the world. (John 16:33) There is no greater objective in life than to spread that message to others who do not yet know Christ so that they might find peace and joy also as they live their lives and know that one day they will also share in Jesus great victory. It is a tremendous thing to see a person genuinely turn to Christ and to choose to live a life that honors God rather than this world. Remember, blessed are the peacemakers. What better way to make peace? We have been given the message and ministry of reconciliation, it is our job to put it to good use. One person at a time, you can make a difference in this world as you share that message and more importantly, you can make a difference for eternity.
We hope to see you soon on a Good News in Action mission trip!