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Why Mission Trips are a Bad Idea

I've seen quite a few people trying to raise money for mission trips to places like Haiti or Kenya, using crowdfunding sites like There was a time when I would have thought this was a good idea.  Churches profess to do good work in other parts of the world and people in first world countries tend to be generous with their time and money when faced with photos of starving orphans and wooden shacks.  Now that I'm married to a man from an African country, and we've traveled extensively, I've learned there are several problems with the whole idea of a mission trip, which is nothing more than a glorified vacation that puts money in the organizer's pocket and leaves you feeling good.

Most people who are said to be benefitting from your visit don't need you to save them by spending 10 days in their country. I know the attraction is that by you raising $3000 and showing up, they will be better off.  The truth is that they need long term services and a co…

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