I offer these guidelines for very short visits by Wealthyworld Christians to other places:
- If there are more than 5 people it is not a missions trip but rather a “coach party”.
- If you stayed with the people (nights in Hotels or Guesthouses – unless run by the local church for their own needs, or to their own standards do NOT count they are part of your holiday) less than 4 weeks it is not a missions trip but a “visit”.
- If you can’t speak the language, and/or don’t know who you ought to show deference to, and roughly how, plus a few other basic cultural rules (which will vary in what they concern from place to place) it is not a missions-anything but simply a visit.
- If you need special food, except for allowing yourself not to eat a few things as long as you
visibly appreciate most of the food offered, it is not a missions trip but a tourist visit. (I would not hold it against anyone who refused snake or rat for
example, or a vegetarian who said “No thanks” to pork.)
I realise that this is much less than ideal, it would allow a one month stay, by five people, who have barely begun to comprehend the people and culture who host them. I’d call that a “fraternal visit”. If the stay is over six months (other conditions as above, but with some attempt to begin learning the language, and a beefed up cultural awareness requirement, added) then I’d call it a short term mission trip.