Your teen wants to help the less fortunate. Maybe they want to spread their mission of love and fellowship across the ocean. Whatever the case, you can find a mission that can help them make a difference in someone's life. Find online and local mission trips to spread their message of hope.
Teen Missions International
Established in 1971, Teen Missions International has allowed over 100,000 international and North American teens assist in over 200 projects around the globe. Based in Florida, Christian teens can find short missions that last for about two months in areas like the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Equator, Cuba, Cambodia, Fiji, Kenya, Thailand, Canada and more. The mission starts in June and ends in August. Teens will start by completing the boot camp in Orlando, then be put into different teams. The teams might work on construction, children's ministry, well drilling, etc. Upon returning, there will be a debrief period of a few days. To get started, you need to choose a mission and register. Teens can make up to four mission choices.
Teen Mission Reviews
Well over 600 people have reviewed Teen Missions International on Facebook, resulting in nearly 5 stars. It was noted how it was a great place for making memories and changing the world. However, one user did note that they were mistreated by other members of their team. GreatNonprofits also rates Missions International highly. Many reviewers noted that it was a great organization, and that the trip was life changing.
Adventures in Missions
A Christian-based mission program established in 1989, Adventures in Missions has a strong faith-based program. Teens can complete either the Youth Group Mission Trips, Family Mission Trips or the High School Mission Trips. The high school mission trips are 1-4 weeks and designed specifically for 14 to 18 year olds. Your teen will travel to places like the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Asia and even the Amazon jungle. Teens might choose to go during the summer, spring break and even Christmas break. In the missions, they'll share their faith, help villages and even work with orphans. With the youth group program, teens can travel to areas like New Orleans, Appalachia and Hilton Head Island. To get the process started, you need to sign up online.
Reviews of Adventures in Missions
Learn Religions ranked Adventures in Missions first among Top Mission Trips for Christian Teens. They noted their emphasis on prayer and discipleship along with having 14 bases around the world. Users on the review blog also stated that the "organization was amazing," "I cannot explain how life changing it really was," and that the "Adventure in Missions staff are so fun, love Jesus, and go above and beyond."
With over 100 years of mission experience, Youth Unlimited offers the youth SERVE mission. These missions last about a week and serve communities around the USA and Canada. These faith-based programs have youth painting, landscaping, and cleaning up areas with a local ministry. Teens will choose their area and be flown or driven to their all-inclusive trip. To get started on the mission, you'll choose your location, date and trip type. The program will contact you when you've been selected for a program and pricing is available on the site.
User Experiences of Youth Unlimited
Facebook reviewers give Youth Unlimited high praise. Testimonials on Youth Unlimited discuss their experience with program. One reviewer noted that "SERVE was the highlight of every summer." Other testimonials noted how the program connected them and brought them together. However, it was stated that the short duration made them wish they could do more.
Global Leadership Adventures
Mission trips aren't only for those looking for a faith-based experience. Global Leadership Adventures, conceived in 2003, is a mission program for those looking for a learning, non-religious experience. Staffed with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, GLA offers international missions for teens. They offer a multitude of programs in conservation, building, community development and more. The missions go from 10 to 21 days. Teens will need to fly to the site and the staff will pick them up to begin their trip. They can also fly with other teens, but the flight is not chaperoned. If you want to meet the staff, you can attend open houses, meet and greets, and fairs around the world. Enrollment is required to get the ball rolling on your mission trip.
User Reviews for GLA
With hundreds of reviews, GLA received a 95%+ rating from Go Overseas. Many gave the company and the experience a 10 out of 10. The company also brought in impressive high star ratings from GoAbroad.com. This site also offers personal interviews that parents can read. Many noted that the trip was amazing, and the experience was an eye opening adventure.
Focused on global citizenship, United Planet offers teen abroad mission programs and is headquartered in Boston. The programs can last from 1-12 weeks and are designed for teens over 15. Teens can teach in China or develop communities in Peru, to name a few. The programs can be only in the summer or year round. For teen volunteers, the program offers pre-departure training, language exposure, in-country coordinators and host families. The program also has travel and medical insurance for teens and notes that safety is most important. The enrollment process starts with choosing a mission, then enrolling in the program and making the deposit. Parents will then be contacted by a program coordinator.
The United Planet Experience
The immersion program for United Planet received around a 90% rating on Go Overseas. Many reviewers noted their experience was a solid 9 out of 10. One user did note that they felt lonely in the program. Many of the hundreds of reviewers on GoAbroad.com gave the experience through United Planet over a 9. Reviews were based on over 20 different programs.
Finding Mission Trips Locally
In essence, mission programs are an organized effort to help those in need within communities and around the world. You don't need to go abroad or even online to find a mission within your community. Places that you might find information on mission trips locally include:
- Local churches
- Volunteer organizations like Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, food banks, etc.
- Community centers
- High school clubs
Many of these places not only offer mission and service trips, but also information on where you might be able to find mission trips in your area. Most of the time, volunteering locally within your church or community can open the door to mission trips as they come available as well. The benefit of these programs is that there is generally a local coordinator that will help you along the way.
Serving the World
Volunteering your time to help orphans or build wells for communities in need is not only fulfilling but an eye opening experience. Finding mission trips for teens nationally or abroad is only a click away.