Going on Mission

How to Be a Missionary When You Cannot Travel the World

By Amanda DeWitt

Do you feel called to serve people around the world? Maybe you love culture and traveling to other places. And you thrive on conversations and connections.

But the last few months, you have stayed at home — at times staring out the window, wondering when you will ever go on mission again. So what can you do while you wait for COVID-19 travel restrictions to lift?

Here are six ideas:

1. Serve the World Around You

You might not be able to travel the world right now, but people from around the world most likely live right next to you. Take the opportunity to build relationships with them.

Do you have a neighbor from a faraway country? Do you know an international student who is longing for home but cannot return right now? When pandemic restrictions allow, invite them into your home for a meal. Volunteer with a church or campus ministry that hosts international community groups or English conversation partners. Help someone feel at home even while they are far away.

2. Volunteer at a Camp

As communities emerge from shutdown, one of the first activities allowed are camps — especially ones that are hosted outdoors. Check local churches or ministries in your area to see if their summer schedule has resumed and if they are seeking volunteers or workers. Take advantage of the opportunity to invest in the life of a child, middle schooler, or high school student.

Helping at camps could give you the opportunity to build relationships with a variety of youth from different backgrounds. And now more than ever, you will be able to talk with them about tough times they may be going through and how Jesus offers them eternal hope.

3. Visit Your Local Food Bank

Experts predict that food scarcity will dramatically increase as a result of COVID-19. This is true not only for people around the world, but also for people in the United States.

Right now food banks are inundated with requests for assistance. So consider how you can be a part of the solution. Donate canned goods — or even better, enlist a few friends to do it with you. Participate in a packing event where you fill boxes with staple items for families needing food. Some non-profits look for people to help with meal deliveries to the elderly and others who cannot safely leave home or visit the grocery store.

Be creative as you seek ways to meet the tangible needs of people in your community. Every meal donated, packed, or delivered can make a significant difference in the life of an individual or family struggling to make ends meet.

4. Pick Up Your Pen

Handwritten notes are quickly becoming a lost art form. But during times like these, a cheerful card in your mailbox is especially meaningful.

Do you know someone who is unable to leave their home? Do you have a friend who is struggling with loneliness or isolation? Have you been unable to visit a family member or friend?

Pick up a package of colorful notecards and start writing. We all need to know that we are loved and not forgotten.

5. Pray

When world problems mount, it is easy to wonder if prayer makes any difference. How can one prayer change the trajectory of global events?  

Consider God’s instructions in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “… if My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Our prayers matter to God. He hears them and responds. Through prayer God allows us to participate in His grand work. And through prayer He also changes our perspective about our circumstances — allowing us to see the bigger picture. Even if you cannot do anything else, you can always pray.

6. Share a Cause on Social Media

Most of us are spending extra time on our phones and social media. It helps us stay connected during these uncertain days.

So why not use your platform to unite your friends around a common cause? Together you can help send meals to hungry families or drill a water well for thirsty villagers who need safe, clean water for drinking and hygiene. Take advantage of the extra time spent on Facebook or Instagram to make a significant difference in the lives of people around the globe.

You might not travel the world this summer. But you can still impact countless lives. How will you go on mission today?

Provide safe, clean water for thirsty families worldwide!

You are likely spending extra time on social media right now. So why not make that time really count? Start your own online fundraising campaign to help drill a new clean water well or repair a broken one through Unto®. Every well serves a minimum of 500 people — and provides opportunities to share the eternal hope of Jesus.

Learn More

Published July 27, 2020


Amanda is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Gift for Leadership, Kindred Spirit, and Christianity Today publications. She holds a M.A. in Media and Communication from Dallas Theological Seminary.