• 2018 ECPA Top Shelf Book Cover Award
Can a one-time crosscultural experience truly be life-changing?

Veteran trip leader and intercultural guide Cory Trenda says yes—if we let the trip launch a journey of integrating the experience into our ongoing life.

In After the Trip Trenda provides a unique guide for individuals and teams to make the most of a crosscultural trip after returning home. Readers will find help with navigating the crucial reentry process, remembering and sharing key stories, interweaving new insights into everyday life, and engaging in continuing learning and service. Combining practical tips, reflections, and stories from Trenda's own decades of crosscultural travel, this is an essential resource for organizations, churches, schools, and all travelers who want crosscultural trips to be a catalyst for lasting good.

The trip itself is just the beginning; real life change happens after the trip.

"Cory Trenda writes with compassion, sensitivity, clarity, and passion. He has a great gift for communicating complex matters with simplicity and grace and for making a challenge seem like an invitation. After the Trip is an important book that addresses a critical gap in our approach to crosscultural ministry. I love Cory’s clear challenge to infuse the overused cliché ‘the trip was life changing’ with true meaning. This book has blessed me, and I believe that it will strengthen my own ministry."

James T. Birchfield, senior pastor, First Presbyterian Church Houston

"Cory Trenda describes the blueprint of my life. When I was seven, my single mom took my two brothers and me to live in Mexico for six weeks with a family of fourteen. That summer changed the trajectory of my life. I went on to resettle refugees, host international student Bible studies, coplant a Cambodian church and lead various global projects. Threads woven into the tapestry of my young life significantly altered my journey. Trenda rightly emphasizes the importance of integrating crosscultural experiences after we return via humble intentional reflection."

Alec Hill, president emeritus, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

"I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has gone or is going on a short-term mission trip. This book focuses on the impact of a mission trip after returning home and how it can be truly life changing and not just a cliché we say after coming home. It gives great tools for responding to the experience of the trip through action and healthy change to our lifestyle for a longer impact, both where we live and for those who hosted us. Trenda offers direction and hope for a real transformation because of what we have seen and experienced."

David Cooper, denominational partnership coordinator at Church of the Nazarene

"Cultural, ethnic, and language diversity is our future as a society, and it’s God’s vision for the church. In his important new book, Cory Trenda aims to turn those who have been blessed to go on international mission trips into ambassadors for diversity at home. How do we bridge our real or imagined differences, hear one another’s narratives, overcome our innate suspicion of the other, and discover the true reality and joy of our unity in Christ? After the Trip shows us all the way."

John Harvey Taylor, bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

"Never before in our history have so many Americans taken international short-term mission trips. In the moment they feel transformative, but often the power of these crosscultural experiences fades away within weeks of returning home. Cory Trenda has led dozens of visits to the poorest places in the world over the past thirty years, and he knows from personal experience that often the most important work God does in our hearts is after we go. I can't think of anyone more qualified than Cory to write the book on enabling a life-changing trip to truly change you in your post-trip life."

Richard Stearns, president, World Vision, author of The Hole in Our Gospel

"As one who has participated in and led crosscultural mission experiences for over thirty years, I've seen how short-term mission has evolved in response to much-needed critique. But even if we succeed in helping without hurting during a mission experience, what really happens after we get home? Can a mission experience really result in life change for those who take part, despite the data that suggest otherwise? Cory Trenda tackles this challenge head-on. Cory provides well-researched, practical, and insightful tips for integrating the ups and downs of a crosscultural experience into your ongoing journey of faith. The effort of integrating a mission experience into your everyday life is not easy—but it is well worth it. Cory's book shows you how."

Mark Swarner, mission pastor and campus pastor, Menlo Church, California

"Cory has traveled enough and with enough different people that he has seen the difference between a transformational trip and a vacation. Life is short. Most of us want our travel experiences to mean something more than a few days off. This book provides the hands-on tools to move from just another trip to a new way of seeing the world. In short, I loved it!"

Laura Truax, senior pastor at LaSalle Street Church, Chicago

"After the Trip is full of wonderful insights and practical tips to ground both your heart and mind as you navigate reentry into your own culture and remain open to letting this experience reorganize your world. As a sending agency, Medical Teams International believes that these experiences are truly transformational, and we are excited to find a resource to help with this critical reintegration process!"

Martha Newsome, president and CEO of Medical Teams International

"So many American churches invest in short-term trips to strengthen and build our own communities. Often they do not produce the fruit we are hoping for. This book presents a breadth of insight gained from real-life experience and learning. Cory Trenda provides an invaluable resource for the church. A practical tool that all churches should consider before and after every mission opportunity."

Soong-Chan Rah, Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary

"Cory Trenda captures the vulnerability of transformational travel in his book After the Trip: Unpacking Your Crosscultural Experience. He writes about what it means to be open, intentional, and humble as we embrace true learning through missional travel experiences and crosscultural encounters. I finished reading this book with a conviction that our travels and experiences with every person we meet have the potential to be not only humbling, but life changing. May we all be courageous enough to embrace the type of transformative travel that Trenda describes!"

Mae Elise Cannon, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace
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CONTENTS

1. What Now?
2. Coming Home with Gifts
3. Mining for Gold
4. Treasures on the Journey
5. Keeping the Lines Open
6. Make Your Next Trip Your Best Trip
7. The Key to a Life-Changing Journey
Afterword: The Trip Is Just the Beginning
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
Appendix: Eight Great Questions
Notes

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For more than three decades, Cory Trenda has worked with international humanitarian organizations and led crosscultural trips to dozens of countries. A senior director for World Vision, he is the author of Reflections from Afar: Unexpected Blessings for Those Who "Have" from Those Who Don't and lives with his wife, Janet, in southern California. When he's not traveling internationally to promote poverty alleviation efforts, he works to bridge cultures in the United States.

BY Cory Trenda

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