Reasons (Excuses) People Give for Not Going on A Mission Trip

Over the years, people have given us thirteen reasons for not going to Russia on a mission trip. Below you will find rebuttals to all of these "reasons".

Before you continue to the reasons people give for not going to Russia, let me say a couple of other things first. The reason one goes on a mission trip is to lead others to Jesus Christ. If you are considering going for any other reason, then please reconsider. The thing we have had to learn is that, when we go on a mission trip, the trip is not about us. We all have to learn that lesson and in learning it we realize that the reasons we gave for not going were all about us.

Please read the rest of this page and know that we love you very much and we want you to go to Russia with us.

Lack of Money

If you do not go because of a lack of money, then either you fear that God will not provide the funds for you or it is your pride getting in the way. If you believe, as Psalm 50:10 states, that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and in reality He owns everything, then He can and will provide a way for you to go.


If you will humble yourself and write a letter to send to your friends and family asking them for support to help you go to Russia, Jesus will provide the funds. The only reason you would be unwilling to do that is that you are too proud to ask for help. Will you let pride get in the way of your doing what God surely wants you to do? When would God not want you to go on a mission trip?

We have made trip after trip with people who did not have the funds to pay their own way, and yet every person who has said yes has had God provide the funds in miraculous ways. As Chris Forrester said to me, "If money is the problem, then there is no problem."


Each year we have had one person or at most two pay their own way.  The rest write letters to family and friends. There are three categories of people to whom you will write letters: the lost, the saved who love to support missions and the saved who support missions out of guilt.  The lost will sometimes give, because they love and admire you.  The saved who loved to support missions will give because God has touched their hearts in such a way that they cannot refuse to give.  The saved who support missions out of guilt will give because they know they should be going and they are trying to rid themselevs of the guilt by paying for you to go in their place.

Oh and there is that fourth cateory.  These are the people lost or saved family and friends who will refuse to give you money no matter what.  They are brothers and sisters, moms and dads, friends and associates who feel they have some justification in their mind for not giving.  They are wrong of course, because anyone can give $10-$15, but they will refuse to give you money no matter what you do, no matter what you say.  They are God's problem.  Just keep writing letters and asking people for support.

Proverbs 11:2 (NASB) When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.

Proverbs 16:18 (NASB) Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

Proverbs 29:23 (NASB) A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

I John 2:16-17 (NASB) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Too Busy

If you are too busy to take 12-13 days off to go on a mission trip then you ARE TOO BUSY and you need to eliminate activities from your life. Saying no to a one time mission trip is not eliminating activities from your life. You need to eliminate daily or weekly activities to get to the point where you can spend quality and quantity time with your family. Then you need to make time to go on a mission trip. Every Christian should go on several mission trips over the course of a lifetime. Don't believe me? Then read the Great Commission at the end of this page.


I Can't Leave My Children

There are two alternative solutions to this reason for not going. First, you certainly have family and friends who can help your spouse (assuming you have one) take care of your children while you are away for 12-13 days. Friends can help by running children here and there. So you have four children, then get one friend for each child to run them to various places while you are in Russia. You can make this work if you really want to go on the trip. You only have to ask and people will help. Our friends the Hickey's have made two trips with us and left two young children behind on both trips.  Both they and their children survived and even thrived.

Still don't want to leave the children behind, then bring them with you. They can participate in the VBS with the rest of the children. All of the instructions are given first in English and then in Russian. So your children could participate just like they do at home. Secondly, they could see how other people, other children live and they would be more appreciative of what they have. Can't afford to bring the children then click here.

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not £hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

Now obviously it does not mean that you really hate your family, but it means that your love for Jesus should so outshine your love for your family that the love for your family looks like hatred when compared to your love for Jesus.  This verse applies to the above reason and the one below.

I Can't Leave My Spouse

Yes you can! We have people go every year who leave spouses behind. Marriages don't end, but they sure are great to celebrate when you return home. See Song of Solomon to see how to celebrate the reuniting of husband and wife after a 12 day mission trip. If you just refuse to leave your spouse behind, then get them to come along. Can't afford it then click here.

I Don't Speak Russian

Neither does anyone else except for Stephanie and I and we don't speak very much Russian. We have nearly one interpreter for each American, so when you need to say something to a Russian you always have an interpreter to help. You are never without an interpreter. If you are, then you wandered off from the rest of the team and that's a NO NO! Of all of the reasons not to go this is one of the weakest  This really is an excuse and not a reason!.

Lack of Abilities

Do you work with children at church now? Have you ever helped in a VBS at church? We lead a VBS in Russia and we need people to help explain the games to the kids and then help them to play the game. We need people to act out a Bible story, which takes no talent at all when your audience is 5-12 year olds. Believe me, even I have done this. We need people to setup the snacks and serve them. We need people to help lead in the crafts. These crafts are designed so that children can do them, therefore you can too. None of this takes much talent or ability, but it does mean that you have to love kids.

We need people who will hugs kids and tell them that Jesus loves them. We need people to help lead a Bible study with adults or teens. Ok, so this takes a little talent, but we are there to help.

Maybe you are some big strapping dad who believes the only thing he can do on a mission trip is do constrcution.  Well if you do go on a mission trip and that is all you do, then why did you go in the first place?  I mean it!  If you went on a mission trip and gave away millions of dollaras and built fabulous buildings then YOU DID NOTHING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD!  To whom did you witness?  Who might go to heaven because of your words telling them what Jesus has done for you? They cannot believe unless you go and tell what Jesus has done for you.

Romans 10:14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”

The above verse applies to everyone.

We can find a place for you to serve as long as you love Jesus. That is the only qualification to go.

Waiting For God To Call Me

Through Russian Christian Missions, Inc. God is calling you to go to Russia right now.

There was a preacher who was standing in ankle deep water on his front porch during a flood. A boat came by and the man in the boat told the preacher to get into the boat and he would take him to safety. The preacher explained that he was waiting for God to save him.

As the water level approached the second floor of the house, through the window the preacher spotted another boat and the man in the boat told the preacher to get into the boat. Again the preacher explained that he was waiting on God to save him.

As the water rose to the level of the roof, the preacher, standing on the roof, spotted a helicopter. The pilot yelled to the preacher to grab hold of the ladder and climb aboard. The preacher explained that he was waiting on God to save him.

The helicopter left. The preacher drowned.

As the preacher entered the pearly gates, he saw Jesus and said, "Jesus, I was a good husband, a good father, faithful to the word and conservative in my teaching. Why did you not save me, but rather you let me drown?"

Jesus quietly responded, "Preacher, I sent two row boats and a helicopter. What more did you want?"

Are you the preacher? Are you sure you haven't already been asked by God to go to Russia?

I Don't Feel Called To Go

The text for this reason was written by Alfred McCroskey and longer than I have room for on this page.   Click here to see what Alfred had to say about this.


I Don't Want To Be Away From Family at Christmas

Nor do we. Now we go all year long, but even for the trips at Christmas, departure is not until a couple of days after Christmas. You get to spend Christmas with your family, but you don't have to help take the tree down. Yippee. Besides we are not asking you to miss every Christmas for the rest of your life, we are asking you just this once to miss New Year's. Next year you can be with family, but this year you may help some child or adult come to know Jesus and make your Christian family larger.

So again I remind you, that a mission trip is not all about you, rather it is all about the one only you could reach.

People in the US Need Jesus Too

Yes indeed they do, and you have 352 days each year to make a difference in the lives of people in the US. Can't you spend at least 12 days in one year helping the people of Russia come to know Jesus whom you claim to love. Less than 1% of the Russian population are Christians. Don't they deserve a chance to hear the Gospel story too?  This is an excuse nearly as weak as the one about language. If you say you shouldn't go then you are also saying no one, because we could all stay here and "save America".  Well in that case you are saying, "let the rest of the world go to Hell."  Hummm, I wander how that lines up with the Great Commission?

Too Cold

That's COOL. So then you will be going on the Jamaica trip this summer. I will be glad to sign you up on their team. Or you might want to consider that the temperatures we experience in Russia are between 16-33 degrees Fahrenheit At least prior to our winter trips to Siberia). We experience those temperatures in Georgia. Besides if you like snow or snow skiing you would certainly experience at least those temperatures and colder with wind chill coming down the slopes.

But on a more serious note.  When you think of Russia, what comes to mind?  Cold and Snow!  Well why would you want to go in the summer and not see the Russia that you had in your mind. When you tell people you went to Russia in the summer they will say, oh so you didn't see the REAL Russia. 

Here is my last thought on the subject.  Wherever you live, what do you do when it gets cold?  Do you stand around ourside in shorts or do you go inside where its warm?  Most people will say they go inside.  Well duhhhhhh!  So do we.  We are rarely out in the cold.

Age (Too Young or Too Old)

If you are under the age of 14 and want to go as a worker you are too young. But if you are a parent wondering if children can go, then yes they certainly can. They can participate in the VBS just like they do at home, because the instructions are given in English first and then interpreted into Russian. We have had a 14 year old child go and lead a room in the VBS.

If you think you are too old, then you are mistaken. You might be too unhealthy, but you are not too old. On the very first Russia mission trip I participated in there was a 72 year old lady along. While mobility could be an issue, we will make sure that anyone having mobility issues will be in the ground floor apartment.

We have no age limits, however if you wanted to take a very young baby I would suggest that you not do that for two reasons. You will be constantly distracted by the child and there is a lot of sickness in Russia.

Fear of Russians

Why would you fear Russians? Where we go, they love Americans. If you visit a Russian in their home they want to know why some rich American would bother to come to Russia and visit some poor Russian in their humble home. They feel that it is a great privilege to have an American visit.

Medical Reasons

Of all of the reasons people have given us not to go, this is really the only one that is legitimate and sometimes even it is abused. Think about this. If your medical condition is not going to kill you in the next two weeks and it is not going to worsen in the next two weeks then you can have your medical condition in Russia as well as you can in America.

Access is a problem in Russia. There are no ramps on the sidewalks and in many buildings the elevators do not work. So if you are in a wheel chair or scooter, your mobility in Russia would be greatly hindered. However, I believe that if you were willing to suffer the indignities of being carried into and out of buildings then I think we would be able to find Americans willing to go and volunteer to carry you. So if this reason is yours, then let's discuss it before you decide not to go.

Great Commission

Matthew 28:18-19

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

These were some of the last words Jesus spoke. They are words that are directed at all Christians. If you knew you were speaking your last words wouldn't you speak of important things, the most important things. That is what Jesus did so read His words and heed them.


Ok so you have read all of the above and your reason is not contained there.  Then please email us and tell us why you think you can't go and let us at least have a chance to discuss it with you.  Click on "Contact Us" in the copyright text below.

Or maybe your excuse was mentioned above and you are not convinced.  Contact us and let's discuss it.  There is almost no reason that anyone can use to justify not going.   Just remember whether you go, give money or pray for us you are a part of the team.  If you do none of these things then you are not a part of the team.  It is that simple.