Wait, so how do you pack for a missions trip if you don’t know where you’re going—or what the weather’s like once you get there?
On my YWAM Discipleship Training School (DTS), I arrived in Southern Hemisphere winter and left for outreach in spring. I’d packed hot-climate clothes, but outreach was in an urban area in their autumn. By the time I finished DTS, it was sweltering summer—and I’d experienced all four seasons in five months.
But don’t worry! On DTS, you’ll find out your outreach location during the first few weeks. This means you WILL have time to buy or borrow items here in New Zealand, or even get things sent from home before you leave for outreach.
So, what’s weather like in places we’ve taken teams?
Many outreach locations are very hot and humid. Some average daily temperatures have included 30C (90F) or higher, but it all depends on what season it is. Other locations include treks up into mountainous areas, which can be significantly cooler (we hiked through a frost one morning!). From tropical islands in the Pacific, to Southeast Asia, to the Himalayas, the one thing you can count on is that the weather will be different from what you’re used to!
However, there are a few items helpful for any outreach.
A waterproof jacket can work whatever season, and you can’t forget a water bottle—keeping hydrated is vital in the cold just as much as the hot. Active shoes are your best friend, especially when you’re hiking to a village and that mud puddle might have more than just mud. And take it from someone who has trekked for two weeks straight, don’t just bring shoes, make sure you get some quality socks.
But there’s one last thing you can't afford to forget on any missions trip.
You can pack the perfect items for the exact season in your precise location—but if you have the wrong attitude, it’s all pointless. “Give thanks” isn’t just a holiday catch-phrase. Thankfulness is what turns frustrating, unexpected weather into beautiful memories and hilarious stories. You’ll forget the day you brought an umbrella. But you’ll always remember the day you ran wild in the rain, playing soccer with village children and laughing out the love of God. I know I do.
So, as you’re packing for outreach (or googling average temperatures in Southeast Asia), start practising like this:
Put both hands in front of you.
Then name off ten things you’re thankful for.
Whatever the weather, you might just find that you can’t stop.
Other posts in our Packing for Missions Trips & DTS series: