(My family is hoping to go on a mission trip next year. When we do, I’ll make sure I reference this funny guest post. Enjoy.)
Facebooking your mission trip
So you’ve carefully chosen your mission trip location. You may still be in the Latin America game and are thinking of trying to upgrade to something in the Africa ball park. Asian trips are also very in, especially when smuggling Bibles is involved. No matter where you go, mission trips are transforming experiences. Outlooks on wealth are transformed. Views on how God works are transformed. Prayer requests are transformed. Profiles are transformed. Of course by profiles, I am referring to social networking sites.
It makes sense that when someone comes back different the way that they present themselves to the world via Facebook should also change. I will delve into the difference categories that encompass this mountaintop-upload.
OK, this is the most visible and important change. Guys, you need to be wearing non-pleated outdoorsy pants with t-shirt or possibly a short-sleeved button up. Hat should be off so everyone can see that you are actually happy to be there. Girls, you need a long skirt, v-neck t-shirt, headband or rolled-up bandana, and a pony tail or braids. Of course a picture alone means nothing. Who is in your picture is very important, so you must crop wisely. Kids are a must. You can do the one kid “building strong, personal relationships” look, the multiple kids “this is my posse that I am discipling” look, or the tons of kids “look at the impact I am making” look. Make sure to at least be hugging a few of the kids. Also, be sure not to have too many fellow mission trip goers in your pic. It water downs your impact.
Now this can have very different looks. There is the inside joke path which has things that only people who have seen that same lizard you saw one day or experienced the same meal while on the trip will perfectly understand. These same insiders can be used for wall posts or statuses that can be “liked” by the others from the trip or other confused friends. Quotes can also be of a more Christian nature with Bible verses, song lyrics, or words from a powerful speaker. Best of all is the, “Local wisdom,” words you quote as if you have in fact spent 17 years in that country and not 7 days.
If you thought the power of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming, just wait for the tag-fest of candid photo moments that happen on a mission trip. Most pictures are of the group all staring at something unseen, but some may be people speaking, their living situations, local delicacies, host families, and lots of cute kids. Bonus points if you get a picture of you with one of the local animals. Cow? Boring. Python? Awesome. Goat? Boring. Lion? Facebook gold.
While I hypothesize that there are only five or six high schoolers across the country that are not already friends on facebook, you must friend everyone immediately after waking up from your 12 hours of sleep that you got on your first night back.
While the instance of breaking up with a significant other after a mission trip is well-documented, this also can take the form of joking single sex relationships of newfound biffles. I have always thought this is strange because even in joking relationship, someone must be the one who ends it.
If you don’t have a group called “First Baptist Goes to Guam” on Facebook, I’m not really even sure you went on the trip. Granted, your group is going to fall apart faster than your relationship will, but that’s beside the point.
We certainly are different people upon returning from a Mission trip and that’s definitely something we can see on our Facebook profiles.
Did I miss any ways?
(For more great stuff from Price, check out his blog.