Even if you're not going on a mission trip, there are still ways that you can be a missionary of sorts and evangelize while traveling. Whether you're visiting the next state over or you're half a world away, if you stay alert to God's leading and the environment around you, you can find many opportunities to share your faith.
One important side note: these suggestions are only for places where it's safe to talk about Jesus or reveal that you're a Christian. If you're traveling to a part of the world where Christians are not generally welcome, it’s probably wise to consult other Christians who have been to that location to learn how best to act while you’re there.
This is a simple activity that can be very private and may not get you noticed, which could be good if you’re in a place where you should be keeping a low profile. To prayerwalk, you simply pray for the people and the places that you pass by as you're walking (or biking or even riding public transit). This can be a powerful activity, especially if you're traveling with other Christians.
A face to face conversation is one of the best ways to directly share your faith. Whether you make friends with someone you see every day, like a roommate or a cafe owner, or you just say hello to a stranger on the bus, you never know where the conversation may take you. Even if you’re in a country where you don’t speak the language, being polite and friendly to everyone might lead you to someone who you actually can communicate with on a deeper level.
Go into local places of worship
If you're in a culture that permits outsiders to enter local places of worship during a service or ceremony, then it's worth checking out. This gives you an opportunity to learn about the locals' beliefs and practices. The idea here is not to confront the worshipers about their practices – or even to ask them questions, depending on what sort of service or event is taking place. The goal is simply to observe. Whether you visit an Orthodox cathedral or a Buddhist temple, it can give you an insight into the local culture, which can help you later when you're striking up conversations.
Wear Christian jewelry or accessories
Again, be mindful of your environment, and do this only if it’s safe and acceptable to do so. The cross is a widely recognized symbol of Christianity, and the fish symbol is well-known, as well. An artistic Christian t-shirt or a Bible verse button on your backpack are other ways to let everyone know that you’re a Christian. This might spark a conversation with a stranger, or even provide encouragement to another Christian who was struggling with doubt or loneliness.
Pray before meals
If you’re in a place where it’s safe to be recognized as a Christian, then pray before every meal – especially out in public. If it’s appropriate to the dining environment or the others who might be eating with you, pray out loud. Otherwise, just take a moment and bow your head before you eat. This behavior will probably get you noticed fairly quickly, and could lead to conversations or other sharing opportunities.
Be an example
This is perhaps the most important one. The Bible says that Christians should be recognized by their love. Treat everyone you meet with respect, whether they’re the same socio-economic status as you or whether you can understand their language or not. Be polite. Obey local laws and customs to the best of your ability. Ask for forgiveness when you make a mistake. Be patient and forgiving with others. Don’t cheat, steal, or otherwise be dishonest. As the saying goes, you and your life may be the only Bible that some people ever read.
Pray for open doors and opportunities
God can provide all kinds of opportunities that aren’t on this list, and that even the most experienced missionary hasn’t thought of yet. When you’re traveling, ask God to guide your steps and your words, and to put people in your path.
Using even just one of these tips can change an ordinary trip – or even a fun trip – into a memorable event with an eternal impact. You don’t need to be trained in missionary work to evangelize in a foreign place – whether it’s another country or just a part of your own city where you’ve never been before. Wherever there are people who don’t know Jesus, you can evangelize.
Have you ever used one or more of these techniques? What other opportunities have come your way to share your faith while traveling? Please share!