4 Things NOT on Your Packing List

Jun 18, 2019

Steph Duff

The humidity is rising here in Ohio, and this means two things – it’s summer, and time for mission guests to arrive at all Back2Back sites for the summer season! As staff from Mexico to India prepare for the weeks ahead, we all look forward to welcoming you alongside of the most remarkable children. As you prepare physically and spiritually for a week in another country, we encourage you to really look over the packing list provided by your mission team coordinator. Every item is important and will be key during your time with us. You can revisit those lists here:
Mexico Packing List
Haiti Packing List
India Packing List
Nigeria Packing List

Below are four suggestions not found on the provided packing list, but are just as important to bring with you.  

  1. A flexible attitude. Not adhering to a schedule or having expectations will serve you well as you serve others. Plans change, weather gets in the way, and some days won’t run on schedule. It’s okay, there is still fun to be had and lessons to be learned. If you are flexible with what is thrown at you, joy will connect you to those also experiencing the moment.

  2. Vulnerability. You will learn in your debriefing circles at night from your teammates, and during the day from the staff you’re working alongside and the children you’re serving how critical vulnerability is to growth.  Coming with an open heart and mind to debriefing allows Jesus to press in on what He’s wanting you to learn about yourself, others, and Him. We are never too young or too old to learn from each other.

  3. Humility. It can be very easy to believe you’re going to make all the difference on your trip. And while true, there is so much to learn from the children you’ll play with, the staff you’ll serve alongside , and the team members with whom you’ll connect. There are lessons in the culture, customs familiar to the country, and the learning the why behind how it all works will go a long way. Arriving with a humble heart will allow for deeper connections and a better understanding of how to advocate for the vulnerable child.

  4. An Openness to Try New Things. Whether it’s trying a spicy Indian dish, or learning a traditional Nigerian dance, each site has a variety of new experiences waiting for you. Be open to them! Cultural norms differ from country to country and experiencing them firsthand will enrich your time. It gives you the unique opportunity of being a student to the children you meet, as they teach you about their country in an open exchange.

So pack your bags, prepare your heart! We are excited to see you!

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dog, Telulah. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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