Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

I Have Debt; Should I Go?

by admin |

Long-Term Missions, missions Fundraising, Planning to Go

Credit CardRegardless of how you feel Christians should approach it, the truth is debt is becoming more and more common. Many Christians who feel called to long-term missions are also feeling trapped by credit card bills, car payments, and mortgages. So what should you do if you feel God is calling you, but you have debt? Should you go or should you wait until you pay it all off? Let’s look at both sides of the coin.

To Go…

On one hand, if you feel the call to live as a full-time missionary, you are going to be living a life very obviously dependent on the provision of God. To say, “I can’t go God, because I owe too much,” is the equivalent of saying, “I know what you’re telling me,  but I’m not sure I trust you to provide.” I hope that doesn’t sound overly harsh, but as Christians we are called to be obedient to the direction of God. For a missionary, every day is an exercise in faith. The good news is that, with practice, faith grows. If you know that you are supposed to be a missionary full-time, budget your debt into your expenses and be candid about it with your supporters. If they decide not to support someone with debt, trust that your funds will come from elsewhere.

Paid…Or Not to Go

On the other hand, as Christians we have not only a financial, but also a moral obligation to our debts. The honest truth is that some potential supporters may only see their money paying your credit card rather than your necessities. Depending on your situation, you may be better off temporarily delaying your missions work while you pay off as much as you can afford until you are in a more financially stable position.

Balance

The crux of this issue is finding a balance between moral responsibility and faith in God’s provision. These ideas are not exclusive of each other, but work hand-in-hand. And the answer will not look the same for everyone. The most important thing is that you prayerfully address this issue with an open heart.

Paid photo by  *_Abhi_*
Credit Card photo by  The Consumerist

Mexico: Etiquette, Customs, Facts and Vital Information

by admin |

Cultural Sensitivity, Facts and Stats, Mexico, Travel Health & Safety

MEXICO: FACTS & STATS

Mexico Flag
Photo by
Esparta

Location: North America; bordered by the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico on the East, Belize and Guatemala on the South, the North Pacific Ocean on the West and the U.S. on the North. 

Capital: Mexico City

Climate: Cold and dry in the North and hot and humid with rainfall in the South.

Mexican RancherPopulation: 108,700,891 according to July 2007 estimate.

Economy: The Mexican economy benefited from trade with the U.S. and Canada since the implementation of NAFTA. The economy is both agriculture and industry based, but modernization is yet to take off. Disparity in income distribution finds about 14% of the population below poverty line. The unemployment rate hovers around 4%. 

Ethnic Make-up: Mestizo 60%, Amerindian 30%, White 9%, Others 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 76%, Protestant 6%, Unspecified 18%. There is freedom of religion and evangelism is widespread. 

Mexican little girlLanguage: Spanish, Mayan, Nahuatl and others

Government: Multi-party democracy

Travel Issues: Visitors to Mexico require a visa for entry. You need to submit a completed application form along with a valid passport, visa fees, and passport sized photos to the Mexican embassy in your country. 

Health & Safety: Immunization against Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Polio, Tetanus, and Diphtheria are recommended. Yellow fever shots are mandatory for those travelling from or transiting through African countries and other South American countries.  

SOCIETY & CULTURE

Mexican Guitar Players
Photo by  shutter.chick

The People: The people are of mixed European and Native American descent. Family bonds are strong and extended families of several generations live together. Mexicans are generally warm, friendly people and quite laid back in their way of life. 

Folklorico DancerThe Religion: Roman Catholicism is the major religion of Mexico. A large number of colourful religious festivals are celebrated with a great deal of pomp and show, with long processions and parades. 

Role of Family: Family values are handed down through generations. Traditionally women looked after the home and children, while men were engaged in farming. It is a way of life for extended families to gather around a large table for lunch and catch up with the latest gossip late into the afternoon. Now many young families migrate in search of a better life, usually to the U.S. 

Ancestors: Mexicans celebrate November 1st as the day of the dead in honour of their ancestors. There is no sorrowful mourning, but rather a celebration where streets and buildings are decorated with flowers. They pray for the souls of the dead and pay respects to their memory by decorating graves and lighting candles. 

Puebla at nightRecreational Activities: Bullfighting is a passion in Mexico. Rodeo events such as charreadas draw huge crowds who participate with exuberance. Soccer (Football) is also a national pastime and is popular with all ages. 

Anything else important for this culture: Mexicans tend to stand close when they talk. If it makes you uncomfortable, take care that you step away discreetly and not precipitately, as this may seem insulting.  

ETIQUETTE & CUSTOMS

Mexican Folklorico
Photo by  dave_apple

Meetings & Greetings: A firm handshake is an acknowledged form of greeting for both men and women. Casual conversation sets the tone for further serious discussions. Do not use first names unless invited to do so. Women are greeted with a kiss on the cheek, but do so only if the lady leans her cheek forward for you to do so. Some form of physical contact is inevitable in greeting, as a mere Hello would be interpreted as cold and impersonal. 

Courtesy: Common courtesy includes Please and Thank you at appropriate times. Social meetings are never inflexibly rigid, but tend to be rather casual. The use of titles is very important. Those with a professional title are addressed as such. You can take your cue from the introduction. 

Mexican Candy StandGift Giving: Gifts are tokens of appreciation and should be given when visiting for the first time. A box of chocolate will take care of most situations. Women can be presented flowers or perfumes. It is usual to present a gift to people who have done you a favor. If giving a gift to the opposite gender, indicate your spouse or partner’s role in it. 

Dress Code: Business suits are worn by men for most formal meetings. Extreme hot weather may find them in shirt sleeves and loosened ties. Women wear suits with either skirts or pants. 

Dining Etiquette: There isn’t any particular etiquette to be followed, but good table manners are always appreciated. If you invite someone out, you are expected to pay the bill. Splitting the bill is unheard of. It is the responsibility of the host to order the food after ascertaining the likes and dislikes of the guest. It is customary to linger at the table after the meal, and not leave immediately. 

Colorfule Adobe Mission
Photo by RussBowling

Visiting a home: When visiting a home you could carry a token gift with you. Flowers and chocolate or a bottle of good wine are perfect for any occasion. Exchanging pleasantries will take care of the initial breaking of ice, which may then slip into comfortable camaraderie. 

Children in MexicoCommunication Style: There really is no hard and fast style that can be termed uniquely Mexican. But be prepared for a flamboyant expansiveness and some amount of gesticulations that are considered normal. Resting your hands on your hips when talking is considered aggressive, while having them in your pockets is regarded as rude.

Dos and Don’ts: Petty crime and gang fights are quite common on the streets in certain areas, and it would do you well to be aware of such situations. Do not carry large sums of money on you. Credit card fraud is widespread and so it may be a good idea to pay cash at small outlets and shops. When drawing money from ATMs take care that you’re in a well-lit crowded place.

Rancher photo by wonderlane
Little girl photo by kretyen
Folklorico dancer photo by kretyen
Puebla photo by RussBowling
Candy stand photo by 
sean_mcgee
Kids photo by Jesse Michael Nix

Mission Trip Safety Tips

by admin |

Travel Health & Safety

Danger Sign

Going on a mission trip is exciting for everyone whether traveling together or alone. Often times you will have a mix of veteran missions trip travelers who know more of the ins and outs of staying safe, along with some new people who are going out for their first time. Whether you are going on a long-term or short-term missions trip, there are some safety tips that you should keep in mind.

Follow the Leader

Never underestimate the safety procedures that are given to you by your leaders or agency. If going alone, it is imperative to contact those already on the field for tips and advice. If that isn’t possible, try to find someone from that country who can give you the ins and outs. Once there, always pay attention to trusted nationals. They know their country the best and will know what is or isn’t safe and what is or isn’t culturally appropriate. 

Sudan Soldier

Emergency Plans

Make sure that you and your companions have an emergency plan for different situations, such as needing to evacuate an area in case of unexpected weather conditions, political turmoil, and other emergencies that could arise. It is very important that you know where your local embassy is located and if there are any local areas that should be off limits due to their level of unrest or crime. 

Politics

NEVER attend a political rally or public demonstration. These often end in violence. Besides, it is never a good idea to discuss politics in another country whatsoever if safety is your concern.  Also, never take pictures of military bases, soldiers or policemen, as this is usually illegal and can often result in the confiscation of your camera at the least. You will also want to read up on the laws that govern your mission field so you know ahead of time what should be avoided.

crowded bus in india

Personal Safety

Avoid bringing any jewelry with you on your trip. They are best left at home. Many organizations suggest that you buy an under-the-clothes passport holder to keep your money and documentation on you and out of sight at all times, while also keeping a copy of the documentation in your luggage and where you are staying in case it does get stolen.  They also suggest using a passport cover, so your home country won’t be visible to all, in case being from that country make you a target for thieves or others. Stay in groups or with your hosts while working in the field, and do not accept transportation from strangers.

Food

When it comes to food, follow the advice of your leaders as to what is ok for your to eat. Some foods that are very common to the locals can seem quite strange to you, but might be totally safe.  On the other hand, food that seems normal to you, such as water, milk, or even raw vegatables could be very harmful. Trust your leaders.

Take off Shoes

Do’s and Don’ts 

Be mindful of religious practices and cultural do’s and don’ts for the area that you are visiting or making your new home. For example, in Thailand it is extrememly rude to point your feet at anyone, and you must remove your shoes before entering anyone’s home.  In many parts of Africa it is very offensive to take someone’s photo without asking.  In some countries, a woman is never allowed to touch a man in public, even if they are married. You can find that kind of specific information for many countries here on MissionsLaunch.

Knowledge is power, especially when you are heading out on a missions trip. Being well informed about the area you are visiting is essential to your personal and group safety. But most importantly, listen closely to your leaders and hosts, and follow their decisions in all situations. They are usually very familiar with the area you are going and know all of the possibilities and conditions that could and will arise. 

Photos by Jef Poskanzer, hdptcar, Shayan (USA), alex-s

Backing Out of a Missions Trip: What You Should Do

by admin |

Missions Emotional Issues

Church missionaries are prepared in advanced to deal with a whole host of problems and emergencies that may arise while on the mission. Missions are well thought out and are purpose driven. However, some situations do arise when a family or a missionary must back out of the original plan to return home or must deal with the unexpected.  These things do happen and leaving your mission post early is always an option. 

Reasons for Leaving a Mission Early

Plane in SunsetThere are several reasons why you may ultimately decide that you need to leave your mission early. More often than not, those who are faced with this very difficult decision are those that have left on a long-term mission. If a whole family is on the mission, the children may have a difficult time adjusting to the new life or demands of missionary work. It may put a strain on family life and relationships, and you may have no choice but to return home early.

Another very common reason why people abandon their mission is because there is civil unrest where they are living. Wars, disputes and political uprisings all make it very difficult and unsafe for many missionaries to remain in place. In fact, the United States government may make this call for you and you will have to evacuate immediately.

Yet another common reason for leaving mission work behind early is because of discontent among other missionaries and church members on the trip. Missions are high stress work and tempers and tensions can flare. If there are problems getting along with others, then your focus strays from your reason from being there in the first place. 

What to Do if This Happens to You 

Saying GoodbyeThere are a few points to remember if you are faced with this very difficult decision. First of all, you do have a choice. You can leave. A call to your mission agent or church will help you make immediate arrangements to come home. Missionaries are never “locked” into serving for a particular amount of time, although you will have to understand your terms of agreement.

The next thing that you should remember is that you always have support. Seek those who understand your situation and can offer advice when needed or who can simply listen to your feelings. At this hard time in your life, you need someone you can depend on and someone who will not judge you. Look to church members, family or other missionaries who have been in your shoes.

As you make your decision about whether you are going to leave or stay, you will be faced with many feelings. You will probably feel uplifted, as if a burden has been lifted off of you, at the prospect of going home. You will feel happy to see your friends and family. However, you will also feel sad about those that you are leaving behind and you will wonder if the mission was completed.  For those who do decide to leave early, or have to back out, the pressure and guilt may be immense. Just remember that you have to do what is right for you and your family.

Plane photo by  Cubbie_n_Vegas
Contemplation photo by JasonRogers

Stages of Culture Shock

by admin |

Missions Emotional Issues

kids in costa ricaWhen I first arrived in Costa Rica, I loved everything about the country. The beans and rice accompanied with fresh squeezed mango juice was a joy to wake up to every morning. I found public transportation and pedestrian life a freeing alternative to car maintenance. I even thought the unanticipated monsoon (I arrived during the rainy season) to be refreshing and even humorous. After awhile though, I discovered a frequent ration of beans and rice to be unimaginative and I also grew tired of being caught without an umbrella on my way to Spanish class during a downpour.

Missionaries may have experiences similar to these during the stages of culture shock. At first, we love everything about the culture; but after awhile we start finding the methods of our new culture inferior to our own back home. When we start rejecting the culture, we have a few options. We can avoid the culture and become ineffective, we can go home, or we can adapt. In order to adapt to the new surroundings, missionaries need to see the good and the bad in the culture.

School KidsEvery culture, our home and our host, has godly and ungodly characteristics. For example, I found that Costa Ricans are very warm and hospitable, while in America we tend to be very informal with our guests. Try to look for the good parts of the new culture and appreciate them for what they are. After we have decided to adapt to the new culture, we will learn to accept it with both its strengths and flaws.

Many missionaries also find that having another person that experiences the first few months with them is invaluable. This should be a person that you may ask questions of and confide in.  Of course, not all missionaries have the luxury of having someone from their own culture to experience the new life with, but if you can that can really help. Even if you find someone from your home embassy or another missions organization to spend time with, that can do the job.

Also, try to remember that even though your surroundings may be radically changing, God is still the same.  Sometimes, for me, that has been something that I have held on to to help me not feel so unsettled.

Photos by Life in pictures and suvajack

Check Your Motives

by admin |

Missions Emotional Issues, Planning to Go

reflectionWe all go on missions for different reasons. Sometimes the draw to the mission field is the desire for adventure or the need for a deeper walk with God. Before we step on the field we need to understand our motives and then compare it to the ideal inspirations that should be compelling us to share the Gospel cross-culturally.

A friend of mine, Billy, has been a missionary in Japan for about one and a half years. He sees two motives that people have for going on missions that are actually reasons to stay home. First of all, do not go on missions if you are avoiding your present situation.  “Your problems always go with you…you are the common denominator to your problems,” Billy explained. The other signal that we need to stay home is when we are motivated to the missions field out of a decision to finally commit our lives to God. According to Billy, being a missionary will undoubtedly strengthen our relationship with God, but going to the field should be accompanied by God’s calling. In these situations, we need to confront our problems at home and allow God to strength our character before serving overseas. 

Our motives for ministering cross-culturally should reflect the heart of God. Reading the Scriptures helps us discover His love for the world and His desire to seek and save the lost. Selfish motives can be transformed by spending time in prayer. When we do go to the missions field, we should be spurred on by a love for God and for people.

Photo by ND or not ND

Cameroon: Etiquette, Customs, Facts and Vital Information

by Melissa Chang |

Africa, Cameroon, Cultural Sensitivity, Facts and Stats

Cameroon Hut
Photo by Elin B

CAMEROON: FACTS & STATSLocation: Western Africa. It is bordered on the East by the Central African Republic, on the West by Nigeria, on the northeast by Chad, and on the South by the Republic of Congo. Capital: YaoundéClimate: Extremely hot and humid with plenty of rainfall. Cameroon MapPopulation: 18,060,000 as of July 2007 estimates. Though much better off than its other African counterparts due to thriving agriculture, forestry, petroleum industry, and trade, Cameroon is cursed by corruption and inefficient bureaucracy. According to 2006 estimates, GDP was $42.48, and is predicted to grow by 5.8% in 2008.  Ethnic Make-up: Highlanders 31%, Equatorial Bantu 19%, Kirdi 11%, Fulani 10%, North-western Bantu 8%, Nigritic 7%, Others 14%.  Religions: Indigenous faith 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%. The constitution of this secular state guarantees freedom of religion. About 60 agencies from 27 countries do missionary work in Cameroon. Language: French, English, 24 African languages. 

Government: Republic, headed by President Paul Biya. 

African Lady Carrying BananasTravel Issues: Travel to Cameroon requires a valid passport, visa, and proof of current immunizations including yellow fever vaccination. Your visa application should be send in duplicate to the Cameroon embassy in your country along with two passport sized photos, visa fees, a letter of invitation to visit, a copy of your return ticket, a copy of your current bank statement, and a pre-paid, self-addressed, special delivery envelope without which they may not return your passport to you. You may need to track the progress of your application, as they may not contact you if there is a problem.  

Health & Safety: Yellow fever shots are mandatory for all travellers over a year old. Other immunizations required are Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Malaria, Tetanus, and Typhoid. Rabies shots maybe required depending on season and region of visit. HIV/AIDS is prevalent.

Visitors would do well to not venture outside city limits after dark. This is to minimize dangers arising from factors such as ill-lit streets, unfit vehicles, and armed robbers that make attacks and accidents common.  

Yaounde
Photo by Elin B

SOCIETY & CULTURE

The People: About 200 ethnic groups each speaking their own language and having distinct cultural differences make up the ethnic tapestry. The prominent ones are the Bantu, the Sudanic, the Kanuri, the Bamoun, the Kirdi, the Tikar, and the Fulani. About half the population live in the cities, while the other half consist of pastoral communities living in rural areas. 

African Women SingingThe Religion: Roughly 40% of the people follow traditional beliefs if any at all, while another 40% come under various Christian denominations. About 20% are Muslims and they belong to the Fulani tribe. Witchcraft is practised by some as part of traditional beliefs though it is deemed a criminal offense to do so. 

Role of Family: Traditionally, the family imparted a sense of identity and belonging to the individual. All who descended from a common ancestor including brothers and their wives and children belonged together as one unit with the oldest member considered a leader of sorts. Some communities do not have words to signify niece, nephew, uncle, or aunt; all were sons and daughters, fathers and mothers. Modernity has however given rise to a sense of individuality. 

Ancestors: Ancestors are counted among the living and continue as part of the family. As new members arrive, the family grows larger, but death does not reduce the number.  Recreational

Activities: Children in rural areas enjoy a good deal of physical sport in the form of running, jumping, and a kind of hurdle race. In the cities all modern forms of recreation ranging from computer games to organized art and craft work take up their free time. Traditional forms of recreation such as mankala still have aficionados but are few and far between. Football, aka soccer, is of course, a national passion. The Cameroon team places very highly in international competition and is widely esteemed by all Cameroonians.

Anything else important for this culture: Polygyny is widely practised mainly due to the considerable importance accorded to fertility. Fear of divine retribution, the power of occultists, and ostracism from the community are strong governing forces.  

 Cameroon Mountains
Photo by treesftf

ETIQUETTE & CUSTOMS 

Meetings & Greetings: Greet people by name and a handshake. Wait to be seated as there is strict protocol depending on age, status, and hierarchy. If elders are present, speak when you are spoken to. When in the presence of a chief or tribal leader, it is considered impudent to hold their gaze, touch, or appear overly friendly.

Cameroon KidsCourtesy: Do not cross your legs while seated. Always wait for the elder to initiate conversation. Do not take photos of people unless you first ask.

Gift Giving: It is customary to carry a gift when visiting for the first time. Gifts of cooked and uncooked food are highly valued. It is a symbol of kinship and bonding. Fruits, nuts, chocolates, and candies are perfect when visiting families with kids. 

Dress Code: Women wearing trousers invite unwarranted attention and may be considered promiscuous. Long skirts are ideal, and a head scarf is recommended when interacting in Muslim communities. Keep shoulders, arms, and legs covered. Men wear suits or at least long pants. Shorts are frowned upon regardless of the hot weather. Dining

Etiquette: Dining is often a communal affair, seated on the floor and eating off common utensils. In many communities, women and children eat only after the men and guests have eaten. Hands are thoroughly washed before and after meals. Food is eaten with the right hand and never with the left. In the city areas, you may get to use cutlery. 

Cameroon SchoolkidsVisiting a home: Cameroonians are known for their hospitality. They are always ready to welcome visitors; even the ones that drop in unexpectedly. Remember to carry a small gift, especially if there are children in the home. You should not decline the food and drink offered as this may hurt their sentiments.  

Communication Style: A genial handshake and greeting by name is the common method of greeting for both genders. Close relationships warrant a kiss on each cheek. In conversation, adopt an indirect style of communicating rather than overtly stating exactly what you have in mind. Directness in communicating can come across as effrontery. It is wise to keep at least arm’s length between you and others while conversing with unfamiliar people.

Certain gestures might befuddle folks who are not familiar with the lingo. A double click with the tongue is used to convey disbelief. If someone waves their forefinger in a back and forth motion, it means no. To beckon someone closer, you face your palm downwards and motion with the fingers.  Never beckon someone with the palm up.

Cameroon Market
Photo by Elin B

Shopping Tips: Be prepared to bargain when you are out shopping at the markets. If someone offers to show you around and you accept the offer, a small tip is expected. Go with small change instead of large denominations when shopping at small outlets.

Do not flash your money in public. Try to blend in rather than stand out as a foreigner by your way of dressing and behaviour. Backpacks are often targeted by thieves and should never be left unattended. Make copies of all your travel documents including visa and yellow fever immunization and keep separate.

Dos and Don’ts: Avoid travelling alone as much as possible. It is not considered safe for women to be out by themselves after 9 p.m. They are advised against catching a cab at this hour. Try not to get involved in heated discussions on politics, games, and other contentious topics with strangers who appear friendly. Keep away from large crowds, rallies, and gatherings even if your sympathies are with their cause. Avoid photographing military installations and government buildings including airports and post offices.

All photos by Elin B unless otherwise noted

Why Focus on the 10/40 Window?

by admin |

Picking a Trip, Strategy

Call to PrayerChristian mission organizations have prioritized the sector of the world between 10 and 40 degrees above the equator which includes Northern Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. It is important for us to focus on these countries because its inhabitants are largely unreached, meaning that they have not yet heard the Gospel. Other world religions such as Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are indigenous to these nations and the window also hosts the most poverty-stricken populations.

Emphasizing this window has its drawbacks as well as strengths. The drawback of focusing on the 10/40 window is that these nations are very unreceptive to Christianity.  Many people in these countries could lose their jobs or their lives by converting to Christianity, and often church planting is very difficult. The social and political oppression cause missionaries to consider if God’s time to share the Gospel in these nations is right now. Also, by keeping a narrow focus on the world’s mission field, we may abandon other nations that are currently receptive to the Gospel. Some countries have very small Christian populations, but they are not included in the 10/40 window. 

There are great strengths, though, in focusing our efforts on these nations. The recent interest in sending missions to the unreached people causes many to enter into long-term service.  Some choose to reach these communities through vocational opportunities. These nations are about 57 percent of the world’s population, while only 18 percent of missionaries go there. Let’s remember these nations and pray about new strategies that the Lord would use to reach them.

Photo by Terminalnomad Photography

How to Bring the Whole Family on a Missions Trip

by admin |

Children in Missions, Family Issues in Missions, Planning to Go

Toy PlaneIf you have ever dreamed of taking your whole family to an exotic location for a trip, then the idea of a mission trip might have crossed your mind. You must remember, however, that taking a mission trip is certainly more than traveling around the world. It is a lot of hard work, and it can be emotionally taxing as well. In addition, if you want to bring the whole family on a mission trip, you need to take careful consideration and plan carefully.

One of the first things you will want to do when you plan on bringing the family on a mission is to talk the idea out with each and every family member. You and your spouse need to be on board with the idea with no reservations. Sit down with your children. Show them the maps of where you plan to travel and talk about your mission there. Help them understand why you want to go and then get their thoughts and feelings. You may find your children very excited and ready to leave right away. However, you may find that your children are upset about the idea of leaving their home, friends, and family. At this point it is important to communicate with them about their feelings, especially if you still plan to go in spite of their decision to not want to go.

Once your family has agreed that the mission is a great idea and everyone is excited to go, now is the time to prepare in other ways. Tying up loose ends at home will help your children make the transition from your home life to the new mission life. Consider throwing a party for your friends and family and exchanging addresses and emails so that you and your children can stay in contact. Take plenty of pictures and take them along with you so your children can think about what is waiting for them when they arrive back home.

Kid in StrollerAnother idea you will have to prepare your children for is the idea of hard work. Your children will be a very important part of your mission and each family member can help in one way or another. Prepare your children for the task that lies ahead, so they know what is expected of them. Remind your children that there will be times when you need them to be flexible, as plans often change on missions trips and focuses and goals may change as well.

Most parents that take their children on a mission trip will homeschool. If your child has never been homeschooled, then you will both need to learn how this is done. Gather the materials you will need before you leave, such as textbooks, workbooks, and know if you will have Internet connection where you will be going, so you can bring along a laptop, if necessary.

Of course, you will also need to consider the paperwork involved. It is hard enough for one person to prepare for a mission trip, but multiply that times three or four or even five times. You will need to get all the necessary documents in order for each member of your family and get your medical records in order. Each member of your family needs a trip to the doctor to get necessary immunizations depending on where you are going. If you or any of members of your family take medicine on a regular basis make sure you have an adequate supply to take with you. This is very important, since you may not have access to regular medical care on your trip.

As you can see, there are many considerations to make as you plan a mission trip for your whole family. Careful planning will help make this trip a success for everyone.

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