Mission Trip: Preparing for your Church Group Mission Trip
Posted by March 28, 2014in Travelon
Whether you are embarking on your first mission trip or fourth, your trip may only be as successful as the amount of preparatory work you put into planning and organizing. We recently spoke with a former youth pastor and veteran of many international mission trips. He shared these tips on preparing for a group mission trip:
Paperwork and Logistics
While paperwork can sometimes be a hassle, starting early and staying consistent with dates and deadlines can make the entire process easier. Passports, itineraries, schedules and accommodations are one of the most difficult aspects of planning overseas travel, but it also paves the way for a successful traveling experience. Take a second copy of any important documents and consider looking into travel insurance. Plan for safe and reliable transportation within the country in addition to lodging and meals.
Pack comfortable shoes and light clothing for warmer climates. Keep a change of clothes with you during travel and immediately necessary items in case of baggage complications.
To honor local customs and better fit in with the residents of a country, mission trip groups can dress in culturally appropriate attire. If the women in your destination typically wear long skirts, avoid wearing shorts and tank tops. Doing your best to honor cultural traditions of local residents can help build respect.
Medical and Physical
Depending on your destination, you may need to get new vaccines. Be physically prepared to navigate the terrain and perform any necessary tasks. If you are going to build new homes or schools in a mountainous village, be prepared for manual labor. Also, speak to your medical insurance carrier to see if your coverage will apply during your mission trip. If not, research travel medical insurance. Atlas Group® Travel Insurance provides international medical coverage and offers a ten percent discount for missionary groups of five or more people.
Supplies and Equipment
Research the available resources in your destination. Know where to get water, food and other basic items. If you do not have access to clean water and meals at your lodging provider, plan ahead for ways to have access to clean water and three meals a day. Pack simple snacks to keep energy up during the day or for late nights.
If you need GPS equipment, international cell phones, or other electronics, bring converters to plug into wall outlets and have a back-up plan for directions and communications, just in case your electronics require a different electrical system.
Emotional and Spiritual Readiness
The first trip overseas can be an eye-opening experience. Be prepared to see and experience the daily life of another culture. Encountering people and situations that are vastly different from life at home is a common, yet often overlooked aspect of international travel. Take a journal to record your experiences and spend time every night reflecting as a group to make the most of your trip.
About Atlas Group Travel Insurance:
Atlas Group is designed to meet the needs of groups of five or more individuals that will be traveling outside of their home country for durations from five days up to one year. Atlas Group Travel insurance is available at discounted rates to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. Click here for a free quote.