The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Daniel 11:32
Before reading my thoughts on mission trips, which are below, please see the following list of trip operators, which I update when I learn of new material.
Youth With a Mission - Well known ministry with trip opportunities around the world at various times around the year and various projects.
Living Water International - Focuses on drilling clean water wells and teaching hygiene in Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, Uganda, and Honduras. We have a friend who works for them full time in El Salvador and loves it. Lots of date options, but it looks like they book up fast.
Global Aid Network - The humanitarian arm of Campus Crusade for Christ International. Trips to various countries, but limited dates. Various projects to be served, such as orphanages, hospitals, schools and aid to the impoverished.
World Servants - Mission trips to various countries, mostly with construction projects. One nice focus of this ministry is that it supports group mission trips, even with group members of different ages. So several members of a church could go together. This could help strengthen your local church while blessing others around the world.
Shorttermmissions.com - A cool search engine which can give you information on many trips to many places. My first search turned up a home building opportunity in Mexico, where you sleep in tents. I'm not sure that one is for me, but maybe one day.
Costa Rica - Pura Vida Missions - A great looking organization with mission opportunities to the beautiful land of Costa Rica. I have been there and the people are great and the scenery is beautiful.
Youth On Mission - Mission trips to several places domestically and abroad, giving you some great options. I called about their Tampa mission trip (as a possibility for my siblings) and they seem very nice and flexible.
Lifetree Adventures - A sophisticated looking group with lots of options for both services and destinations. This group even organizes trips to Egypt and Israel.
Experience Mission - Lots of great looking trips to several different countries, including Kosovo and Scotland. They also have domestic trip options.
Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association - Awesome evangelism ministry conducting mission trips to the Philippines several times a year. Check out their newsletters, it's clear that those who go on these great trips really get a chance to interact with the local people and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bob Tebow is the father of football great Tim Tebow.
I have never been on a true mission trip. I wish I could say that I have, but hopefully I will get to go on one soon. I once heard Dr. Creflo A. Dollar say that many Christians want God to send them to the nations, but God can't send them to Publix. I prefer to think of my entire life as one great mission trip. But I still love missions and hope to go on many mission trips in my life.
Recently I've been working with my three younger brothers on their schooling and helping with our church youth group. I have done some research and begun thinking about things that could help them, especially considering a typical American teenager experience, and I think a mission trip would be great for them. I also think it would be great for me and most of the people I know. There is nothing like going abroad, which I have been blessed to do many times. It's great to get apart and have time seeing the world just with you, some loved ones, and God. I know that going abroad, seeing the poverty, helping, and ministering as a Christian would be an incredible experience for anyone.
We'd love to hear about your experiences, or any other Christian mission organization you know good things about. We should be ready to serve God at all times, in any place. But getting out in the world and serving God can do amazing things for one's perspective and passion. "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us. Then said I, Here am I; send me." (Isaiah 6:8)