Though my dad was never gone for long (usually just a couple weeks at a time…if memory serves me well) the work he did, people with whom he served, and individuals he met are unforgettable! I remember gathering with other families one day and watching a slide show of one of the trips (though I can't remember which one.) And I even think there is video of at least one of his journeys. (I’ll have to ask him to make me a copy.) This is a picture of his sand collection he started when he went on missions. (It continues to grow with each new place he goes though he hasn't been able to go on a mission trip in years despite his heart's desire.)
Regarding missions, John Piper says the following,
“…if the infallible Scriptures promise that all nations will one day bow down to Christ, and if Christ is sovereign and able by his Spirit to subdue all opposition to his promised reign, then there is good hope that a person who goes as an ambassador of Christ to one of these nations will be the chosen instrument of God to open the eyes of the blind and set up an outpost of the kingdom of Christ….
“The Word of God - the gospel of the Kingdom - is the weapon that God designs to use in penetrating the kingdom of darkness and gathering the children of light from all the nations. His whole redemptive plan for the universe hangs on the success of his word. If the preaching of the Word aborts, the purposes of God fail.
“But that cannot happen,
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
“God is sovereign. Though he make all his plans hang on the success of his Word proclaimed by men and women, his purposes cannot fail; whenever he wills, his word stands and none can stay his hand.” (Prayer: The Work of Missions. Piper. 1988.)
God's word says,
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14. ESV.)
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14. ESV.)
Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. (Hebrews 13:13. ESV.)
Some websites regarding missions are:
Youth With a Mission (YWAM)