Saturday, October 20, 2012

Teen Mania Global Expeditions: The Ultimate Letdown

I was just thinking about it, and I have to say, my Teen Mania missions trip was one of the most disappointing and damaging events in my life.  I have never worked so hard to get something, and then been so let down...EVER.

I spent almost two grand on my Global Expedition.  That was money that my parents didn't have, and I had to work very hard to raise it.  It took almost a year of saving every penny, selling candy bars, begging everyone at my church for money, giving up my personal belongings for garage sales, etc., to be able to go on this trip.  It really was a once in a lifetime experience as far as I was concerned.

Then I got to Venezuela, and the truth of the situation turned out to be very different than what I was sold by Teen Mania when I signed up for the missions trip.  You can read my whole story here, but I can honestly say that what happened on that trip has haunted me well into my adult life (I can't believe I just turned 30 :-/).

The other day I was talking with my doctor during a routine visit, and she had to fill out a form for the insurance company listing all of my different diagnoses for various medical conditions.  I was surprised to see "PTSD" listed--that's post-traumatic stress disorder.  I asked her was that was about, and she said it was because of all the panic attacks and mood episodes I have related to Teen Mania.  I have nightmares about my missions trip to this day.  I can hear certain songs or see certain things that put me right back in that place I was at when I was 16 years old.

In hindsight, going on a Teen Mania Global Expedition was one of the worst decisions I have ever made.  If I had it to do all over again, I definitely would have spent the time, effort, and money on something else...perhaps a missions trip with my local church, or something entirely different.

What do you think?  Years (or even months) later, do you think going on your Teen Mania Ministries missions trip was a good decision?


  1. A TeenServe WorkCamp is a one-week mission trip for junior and senior high youth groups. Workcampers “work” during the day and “camp” at a school during the night.The purpose of our Jr. High Missions Trip is to help people in need while serving the lord.

  2. Awesome! Some really helpful information in there. Thanks for sharing this interesting post with us.I enjoy at the time of reading this post.Keep sharing with us.I am very interested by reading this.
    Rosenburg & Cooper

  3. Hi, Myself(Gary), 2 sons and 2 other adults went on Global Expeditions trip this past Summer to Baja, Mex. and it was absolutely Awesome. It was life changing for each of us that went and we are currently looking for another trip to go on again. The leadership was great as well as ministry. Hope this helps. Believing your next trip will be better. God Bless.
    Any questions send me to

  4. Is this a joke? It's a pretty negative way of looking at things for someone who is going on a trip based on their belief system in Christianity. I have done several missions with GE and as a kid these were the times of my life. I think you had a negative experience because of your attitude more than anything.

    1. Really? How do you know that this particular trip wasn't a horrible experience? I went on a GE trip as well and I wish I hadn't. It was horrible and made me lose what little faith I had in Christianity.

  5. I happen to be a missions alumni 4 trips. I was so on fire, after getting saved at ATF( Aquire the Fire), that in just two months(3hrs a day), God blessed me with$2100 for my trip. The lives in South Africa that I was able to share Jesus' love with hungry hearted people, see GodsG hands and feet work, doing as we were called. Mission trips aren't vacations...instead they are dirt, sweat, love, pb&j sandwiches, outhouse bathrooms, foreign foods...The Lord! But with all those comes a real battle..the spiritual battle...where the enemy tries to stop the work God set out for you to do...and from what you have written...the devil snuck into that trip...I'm sorry to hear that. I also remember crazy freak things happening on my first and maybe second trip to south Africa 2003&2004. In my later trips in 2011 alaska and Baja trips, I also felt some dissatisfaction as it seemed every trip I applied for a leadership position and my rep booked something wrong, I missed training and had other people telling me what to do...I had bitterness in my heart, and not one chance to share my testimony;although it had changed since the first years of telling it(because I had backslid, as well as made decisions that are sinful.) Overall.. I know I was a part of God's work at some point...that felt good. I am a teen mania honor academy drop out. .and that's when the devil made a spot in that empty place deep within me. However, with prayer, forgiveness, and humility...I think we can regain the strength to celebrate, for we already know how the Good Book ends,Amen.