5 Mistakes We Make When We “Help” The Poor

You volunteer along with many others to help make some repairs at a family’s home one Saturday. You end up sitting on the front porch listening to the mother’s story. She shares her stress over mounting medical bills that keeps her awake at night.


You decide to spend several hundred dollars to fly to the other side of the world to spend a week working with a mission organization. You get to know a few of the local people who work along the missionaries. At a meal, you sit by one local who shares with you their passion for the work they are doing among their own people. Within the conversation you learn that they need more financial support.

You have a compassionate heart. That is why you invest your time, money and energy into helping others. And their stories tug at your heart-strings. We look at our financial means, and we want to help. We “know” we can help out of our abundance.

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How Volunteering Can Help You Discover Your Mission

3 Things You Learn about Yourself When You Volunteer

Experience is one of life’s best teachers. As you seek to discover your mission in life, you can read about different opportunities, you can listen to other’s stories, but nothing beats firsthand experience.

Courtesy of Partners in Hope Lake Travis


Since a teenager, I have volunteered locally by serving food at a soup kitchen, stocking shelves at a food pantry, helping elderly widows, working on house repairs for less fortunate, helping build a church in Louisiana, and spending time with kids that lived at a children’s shelter.

Short term mission trips also gave me many opportunities to volunteer. I have helped conduct Vacation Bible Schools and build a church in Mexico, help build a school in Guatemala, handed out Bibles to Chinese Tourists in Thailand and Macau, dug a well in Honduras, hung out with more kids in a children shelter in Thailand, visited men, women and children in prisons in Thailand, prayer walked in Chinese villages, and spent time encouraging missionaries on the field.

When you volunteer for different things, especially things that out of your comfort zone, you begin to learn things about yourself that will help you discover your mission in life. Here are a few things that you will help you as you volunteer:

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