The last week or so before leaving for the missions field is also hectic. Walmart’s profits probably doubled from all of the trips I made there. Over the years, I have my own essentials that I never leave home without.
If you’re heading to the missions field, then make sure these are on your packing list!
(Of course, your Bible goes without saying! Can’t leave home with the Word!)
The first time I went on a missions trip to Zambia, a headlamp was included on our packing list. I had decided that it would look way too dorky to bring one and opted for a normal flashlight. Oh how wrong I was! There’s nothing quite like trying to balance over a hole in the long drop, at night while holding a flashlight and making sure you don’t pee on yourself. More then likely you’ll have happen what happened to me. The flashlight fell into the hole. It’s not a pretty picture and I guarantee that the flashlight was never coming back. Headlamps are not dorky. They’re ingenious!
My recommendation: Petzl
I absolutely love to read. It doesn’t matter if you don’t. When there’s no power and nothing to do after dark, you will find that suddenly there’s nothing better then a good book. However, books are heavy and take up a lot of luggage space. Even though I’ll always prefer a real book in my hands, the Kindle is an amazing invention. You can carry 1000s of books with you on a small tablet. Also, buying books from Amazon while overseas is a breeze. Totally worth it!
3. Topical Concordance
Going along with the book ideas, you will need a good topical concordance. I can’t keep track of how many times I’ve sat with a bible study and someone will ask a completely random, but valid question. I’ve had questions such as “Who did Cain and Able marry?” and “What do angels look like?”. Then there were the impromptu discussions regarding what we are allowed to eat and which day is considered the Sabbath! A topical concordance (that I actually have loaded on my kindle!) has helped me each time with answering questions I hadn’t been prepared for.
My recommendation: Holman Concise Topical Concordance
4. Language Lessons
Now I haven’t been serious about learning the language here in the past 11 years. I probably should be fluent by now but I have incredible interpreters that I work with. However, that hasn’t always been the case. There was one year where I had started working with someone new. 6 months had passed before I was finally told that he hadn’t been interpreting correctly anything I had been teaching. Now if I had known the language, I wouldn’t have been in that situation. That’s why I’m finally starting weekly lessons and will hopefully be fluent in Tonga very soon!
5. A Good Sleeping Mat
If you’re like me then a lot of your time is spent camping in the villages. I love it because there’s no better time to minister then sitting around the campfire, cup of tea in hand, and chatting away with the people in the area. It’s what living life together looks like. However, I used to go for camping gear that was as small and light as possible. This led to my sleeping mat being paper thin. Not okay. Now I’ve invested in an amazing mat that fills to over 3 inches thick. I don’t feel a single rock or stick under the tent. Glorious!
My recommendation: Big Agnes Air Core Sleeping Mat
6. Charles Schwab Bank Account
Haven’t heard of Charles Schwab? Don’t worry, neither had I until it popped up on a travel blog post I came across. It’s normally a brokerage company but they do offer checking account. The brilliant thing about the checking account is that any ATM fees, no matter where in the world, are reimbursed at the end of each month. When you live in a place that relies mainly on cash transactions, this is a HUGE money saver! If you’re going to be overseas for any length of time then I highly recommend opening an account… and it’s FREE!
7. Pedicure Kit
Romans 10:15 quotes “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” I don’t know whose feet they were talking about but it definitely wasn’t mine. I live in sandals out here so my feet are quickly covered in dirt, callused and cracked heels, and look worse for wear. And sure, there is a certain beauty about it. But for sanity’s sake, please get yourself a good pedicure set. Take care of your feet because they will get you to where God is sending you. Also, at least your toes will look pretty despite the dirt!
My recommendation: Amope Foot File
What’s on your list for essentials for the missions field?