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Are you planning a mission trip to Missionary Acres? This guide covers some simple logistics to help you better understand how to prepare for your visit. We’ll look at travel, accommodations, food, and other essentials to help make your trip successful.
But first, thank you for your willingness to serve at Missionary Acres! Your time and effort will significantly bless the residents and staff, and we appreciate your help.
And if you’re wondering why you should come and volunteer at Missionary Acres, read this post:
Scheduling Your Trip
Once you decide that you’d like to take a short-term mission trip to Missionary Acres, you’ll need to work with the staff to schedule it. This helps us prepare for your arrival and ensure everything runs smoothly during your stay.
Please call our office at (573) 224-3710 to schedule your trip. Depending on availability, you can come for a few days or stay and work for several weeks. We’ve even had long-term volunteers stick around for years!
Travel to Missionary Acres
Before embarking on your journey here, you must make your travel arrangements. Missionary Acres is located in Silva, Missouri. It’s about 100 miles south of St. Louis and 150 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee.
If you’re flying, the closest airport is St. Louis (STL). From there, you can rent a car to drive the rest of the way.
If you’ll be driving, you’ll have smooth highways to the front entrance at the Acres. We’re just a few miles off the 67 on Highway 34. GPS shouldn’t have any trouble getting you here. 101 Magnolia Dr. Silva, MO, is the address of the main office.
Once you pull in, the roads are gravel. There’s a 15 mph speed limit on the property. Please drive carefully and remember there are lots of elderly drivers here.
Accommodations at Missionary Acres
Our Guest Relations Coordinator handles the logistics for accommodations. Guest housing is available for groups of up to 20.
The guest houses have:
- Kitchens with dishes and cookware
- Beds with bedding
- Bathrooms with towels
- Laundry facilities (some houses have them in the house, while others share a dedicated laundry space
We want to ensure these guest houses remain comfortable for future volunteers. Please treat them as you would your own home.
If you have any special needs or requests, please let us know in advance so we can do our best to accommodate you.
Here are a few photos of #20, one of the guest houses:
And here are some of #2, one of the duplex-style guest houses:
Meals at Missionary Acres
Typically, volunteers are responsible for their meals. Larger groups are welcome to use the kitchen and fellowship hall at Evangel Baptist Church on-site to feed their people.
Please let us know if you’d like a couple of residents to join you for lunch and share their stories of God’s provision on the field. While not every group can accommodate extras at their meals, or it logistically doesn’t work out, this option has blessed many.
You can bring your food when you travel or pick groceries up locally. Here’s a look at the nearby stores so you can make a plan.
Stores Near Missionary Acres
Missionary Acres is located in rural southeast Missouri. There’s a BreakTime gas station a few miles away, and they sell a decent pizza.
Greenville, Missouri, is the closest town. It’s about a 10-minute drive. In Greenville, you’ll find:
- A couple of small restaurants and a coffee shop
- A small grocery store
- Dollar General
- Gas stations (Greenville Gas Mart has good pizza)
Piedmont, Missouri, is a little bit bigger. It’s about 20 minutes from the Acres. They have a few fast food chains, some local restaurants, two Dollar Generals, and other smaller stores. There’s also a Town and Country Grocery Store.
However, most people head north up the 67 to either Fredericktown or Farmington or go south down the 67 to Poplar Bluff for shopping.
Fredericktown has a Walmart and Dollar Tree. It’s about 30 miles north. Farmington is 15 miles further up the 67. It has Walmart, Aldi, and plenty of other stores. Depending on your arrival time, you could place a Walmart pickup to be ready for you as you drive from St. Louis to Silva.
Another option is Poplar Bluff. It’s about 30 miles south of the Acres, down the 67. It’s similar to Farmington, with an Aldi, Walmart, Kroger, and other shopping options.
If you want to buy in bulk for your crew, the closest Costco is up the 55 toward St. Louis. It’s roughly a 2-hour drive from here.
The closest Sam’s Club is in Cape Giereadu. To get here, continue on the 34 past the Acres until you reach Marble Hill. From there, you get on a windy road that’ll take you to Cape.
It’s just over an hour’s drive from here. In addition to Sam’s Club, you’ll find plenty of other shopping options.
Meal Tips For Work Teams
Some teams already have their favorite menu to prepare for workgroups and have this part figured out. But others may be struggling in this area.
If you need a little help, here are some tips that might help:
- Review food safety guidelines. The USDA has safety tips for cooking for a crowd. While most of these guidelines are common sense, it doesn’t hurt to review them.
- Keep it simple. There’s nothing wrong with a sandwich bar and chips every day for lunch. Set out some seasonal fruit and cookies or brownies for dessert, and you’ll have a great mid-day meal. Dinners can also be simple.
- Talk to your cook. Before you go, know who will be in charge of the cooking. Get their input into the meals and menu. Also, while you’re talking food — be sure to ask your group about allergies so you can prepare for any special dietary needs in advance.
- Think about the season you’re coming in. While soup and chili are easy to cook for a crowd, your crew may not be excited about eating them when it’s 90 degrees outside with 95% humidity. But if you’re coming in the fall or winter, those might be great options.
- “Bar style” meals work well. Think baked potato bars, taco bars, hot dog bar, burger bar, etc. This way, you can let everyone on your team customize their plate.
Meal Ideas for a Crowd
If you’re trying to plan a menu, here are some ideas that work well for a crowd:
- Pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw and chips
- Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, and salad
- Egg fried rice
- Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, sausage gravy, etc.)
- Meatloaf and baked potatoes
- Enchiladas with rice and beans
- Chicken pot pie
You can also search online for “meal ideas for a crowd” and discover plenty of tasty options (with recipes!)
Some groups opt to go out to eat for some of their meals. We’re blessed with some great restaurants in the area.
However, most don’t have a strong web presence, so you’ll have to visit their FB page to learn more.
We’ve only been here a couple of years, and since there are so many of us, we don’t get out to eat often. So we asked our local friends what restaurants they recommended. These (plus the gas station pizza mentioned above) made the list. Each one has a link to the FB page or website.
- Kinfolks Restaurant – in Greenville. The buffet has something for everyone, and the fried pies got raving reviews from the last work group that went there. Plus, the staff is friendly and gets the food out quickly.
- Trails End Coffee and Cafe – in Greenville. If you need a little extra caffeine to wake you up or a delicious breakfast or lunch, try Trails End. The Knuckle Sandwich is one of our faves!
- Wally B’s – on Hwy 143 in Patterson. A seafood and steakhouse joint with Cajun chicken fettuccine and other amazing-sounding dishes on the menu.
- Robbi’s Zephyr Cafe – in Piedmont. It’s got a small-town atmosphere with delicious food and good prices.
- Hercules Southern BBQ – in Piedmont. You’ll find crispy chicken strips, fried catfish (only on Fridays), and lots of tasty BBQ on the menu.
- Tequilas Mexican Restaurant – in Piedmont. Great Mexican food and pretty reasonable prices. You get your money’s worth!
If you don’t mind driving a bit further for a tasty bite to eat, here are a few more to check out:
- Lamberts – in Sikeston. They apparently throw rolls. And they’re pretty famous for doing so.
- Jay’s Bar-B-Que – in Marble Hill. Delicious food! And they cater – so maybe you could have them fix you up some grub?
- The Depot Cafe – in Fredericktown. This historical landmark, the Missouri Pacific Railroad Station, became a diner. It’s a little more upscale than many of the options on this list, but the prices aren’t bad.
Free Time and Activities
While you’re here, we encourage you to take a little time to explore the surrounding area. We’ve had groups take an afternoon or two off. Others have worked Monday through Thursday and then taken Friday off.
When planning your trip to Missionary Acres, decide if there’s anything nearby you’d like to do. Then, work it into your itinerary accordingly.
Popular activities near Silva, MO include:
- Hiking at Elephant Rocks State Park
- Cooling off with a swim in the St. Francis River at Sam A. Baker State Park
- Eating at Lambert’s in Sikeston (mentioned above)
- Visiting the Mississippi River Town of Cape Giereadu
- Seeing the beautiful Johnson’s Shut-Ins (and maybe going for a dip in the river)
The Acres also has a beautiful park with a miniature golf course, a basketball hoop, and a covered area. There’s also a gazebo that’s the perfect setting for devotions or a small group Bible study while you’re here.
Of course, no mission trip to the Acres is complete without actually doing some work. But, what exactly will you be doing?
Anything and everything that needs to be done. It’s best to be flexible and prepared for anything. Your exact tasks will vary based on the following:
- Current workload
- Size and skill level of your group
- Age of your team (ie, youth group or adults)
- Availability of supplies
If your workgroup is large enough, you may be asked to split into smaller teams so everyone can stay productive.
Here are a few of the tasks recent teams have helped with:
- Removing broken sections of sidewalk
- Building forms and helping pour new concrete
- Siding a home
- Framing rooms in a basement
- Grounds maintenance (mowing, trimming, cutting trees, gathering sticks/debris)
- Leaf management
- General cleaning and sorting
- Moving large items
The needs here at Missionary Acres are many – there are 30-some houses with lots of acreage to maintain. So please, be willing to jump in and help the staff with various tasks. Your attitude will make a difference!
We greatly appreciate all that your team will accomplish!
Ready to Serve at Missionary Acres?
We’re thankful you’re willing to serve the Lord through a short-term mission trip to Missionary Acres. To schedule your trip, don’t hesitate to contact our office at (573) 224-3710. If you prefer to communicate via email, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, please let us know!
And if you’ve taken a trip to work at the Acres, we’d love for you to tell us about it in the comments below. Your experience can help another group with the planning and preparation.