Thursday, June 7, 2012

The forgotten member on your short term mission trip (part one)

Six weeks in Europe tenting with a 1 and 5 year old was my first mission trip.
I have gone on many mission trips with my husband, Dave. And just as many times I have sent him off, and stayed home. Either way I am an essential part of the team.

Today, I want to cheer for the one that stays home. It is important that you help your husband, wife or children that stay home to be included and also have a good experience.

Another summer ... another missions trip. Please don't mock the hair and clothes.



Here are some tips I have learned in 25 years of sometimes being the one that stays at home. (I am going to keep this simple by referring to the husband as the goer and the wife as the stayer, even though these roles are often reversed.)

Before the trip:

1. Pray together about each mission trip. I liked being a part of the decision. 

2. Leave an itinerary with your spouse, with flight numbers and contact information. Dave was in Senegal when my mom died and I was grateful for knowing how to get a hold of him. (Having an i.pad helps with some of this, but sometimes the internet service is wonky.)

I always told Dave, that I never wanted to hear of a plane crash while he was traveling and not know his flight number. (wouldn't you agree?)

3. The night before Dave leaves, he always prays for us and our home. And I often pray that the joy does not leave our home when Dave departs.

4. Gifts, cards and surprises that Dave leaves me always help. One time he wrote "I LOVE YOU" on my desk with m and m's. 

When the girls were little he would leave them a new video each time he left, and I would get some time to myself while they watched it. (over and over again)

I leave cards in Dave's suitcase, too. 

A mission trip in Switzerland ... (I know)




My next post will have more tips for during and after the mission trip.

Linking to the lovely Soli sisters ~ any of you going on mission trips this summer?


29 comments:

  1. Wonderful tips! we often leave letters in suitcases, or notes hidden around the house. When our daughter was in Northern Ireland with Take Flight missions, we had all her friends write out verses and encouragements for each day...

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  2. You know I LOVE this post Glenda. It definitely hits close to home (or on a missions trip.) ;) Thanks!

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  3. Such a wonderful way to share each other with going or staying. Ummm, what's wrong with the hair and clothes? Both are very familiar!

    Best.
    Bonnie

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  4. It must have been really hard for you, letting Dave go off on his trips. It's so refreshing to hear from the wife's point of view - without the glamour and the glitz! I'm full of admiration at you being such a supportive wife (and mummy!).

    And the m and ms must have melted your heart!

    Sarahx

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  5. Adventures with purpose...lovely family photos...precious.

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  6. LOVE this, Glenda. What a rich and varied life you've had! And these tips are great - looking forward to part two.

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  7. Good list! I love that your experiences as a missionary wife can speak SO much wisdom and love to my heart. Especially right now.

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  8. Great post! Love the family photos yuu included. The style is all too familiar =)

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  9. These are great tips! My husband has gone on a few mission trips, and so far, I've always been the one to stay home. I agree, both parties are key to the success of the trip.

    When my husband went to Guatemala five years ago, he made arrangements with the local florist to have flowers sent to me. It was a wonderful surprise and boost; prior to leaving, he had been working out of town for three weeks, so I hadn't seen him much. Also, our son was getting married the week after hubby returned from Guatemala, which added another interesting dynamic to the picture.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight!

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  10. You've had some amazing trips, Glenda and some wonderful words of wisdom to share - I think so much of this is applicable in a wide variety of situations, thanks!

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  11. all great tips!!! Hubby and I don't go out on missions but I do love being involved in the praying for those who do... Right now we have teams from our church in India and Peru ... such a beautiful ministry!

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  12. this is a precious post!
    I have never been on a missionary trip but my heart
    goes out to those who do that work
    this is just wonderful little things to do for
    one another.
    I loved seeing the pictures of your young family!
    xoxo

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  13. These are such awesome suggestions, Glenda. Since I'll be the one leaving this summer, I'll have to remember to do these. AND leave food! :)

    P.S. WHO is that woman standing with Dave?????

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  14. Thanks for all the great ideas! I am definitely going to use some of these.

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  15. Thanks for all the great ideas! I am definitely going to use some of these.

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  16. Thanks for all the great ideas! I am definitely going to use some of these.

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  17. I love this post! Your words need to be heard - and remembered. The ones who stay behind 'by the stuff' are very much a part of the team that goes. My sweetheart is going away this weekend for a 'mission' trip here in our home state and I very much feel that I'm an important part of the team that is going. Without encouragement and support - and much prayer - their work won't make much difference. With it, we all see wonderful thing happen. We always exchange a lot of information for the possibilities when one of us goes away. It's been needed before - hoping it won't be needed this time.
    ~Adrienne~

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  18. These are wonderful trip for the young and old whose work often keeps them separated. Switzerland, huh? I like you church better than my own :-). Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  19. Great tips, Glenda, for marriage in general. I won't mock your hair and clothes if you won't mock mine...should I ever get the courage to post any -grin-.

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  20. I like the pictures. And the tips.

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  21. This is going to be a valuable series to have access to. I will share it with my daughter who has been on both sides -- leaving and staying. You are a beautiful mentor, Glenda with a lifetime of knowledge to share. Bless you for this ministry you have.

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  22. Those are all great tips...and photos! :)

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  23. very useful post!! you have a lot of great advice to share!!

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  24. oh, how i'd love to put these tips to use! gotta have a trip, tho'

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  25. My daughter is leaving next Friday for a two month missions trip camping through Europe (sound familiar?) I am so excited for her and this experience, but a little misty about not having her around for the summer. It will be very lonely around here without her sweet face.

    I will make sure to pray that God does bless our house (and her younger brother who will be alone this summer, and missing her dearly.) I had already taken care of your other suggestions, but that one never crossed my mind.

    Thanks for your sweet words. It will be an incredible summer for us all!
    Kate

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  26. What wise, practical tips, Glenda! You've got so much wisdom to share.

    And I adore your husband, even though I've never met him. Anyone who would spell out "I Love You" with M&M's is a superb human being in my book. lol

    Blessings to you!

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  27. Great tips!! What sweet memories you have with your family. :)

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