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12 Guidelines for Short Term Mission Trip Planning

Short-term mission trips are wonderful ministry opportunities, but they also pose risks. Careful planning can help you anticipate problems on the field and devise ways to respond before your team leaves home.

  1. Decide the purpose of your mission trip early in the planning process.
  2. Recruit experienced leaders. Leadership screening requirements should include cross-cultural “sensitivity” training and participation in previous ministry trips.
  3. Develop a thorough screening procedure for participants. Examples of eligibility requirements include good health; verification of personal health, life, and property insurance; and parental approval for minors.
  4. Thoroughly explain the known risks to all participants and the parents of minors involved with the project. Legally document each participant’s assumption of risk.
  5. Recruit someone with medical training to serve as a team member. Before you arrive at the mission site, know the location of the nearest hospital or medical facility. Establish an emergency plan, including how you plan to transport an injured participant.
  6. Establish a communication plan for emergencies. Designate one contact person at home to relay information to families, the congregation, and reporters. Having a contact person at home allows you to focus on the situation.
  7. Contact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for health precautions related to your project destination. Check with them about required inoculations for the host destination.
  8. Ask participants to have pre-trip physical and dental checkups. Team members who have chronic health problems should carry extra medication in case of delays in returning home. Store medication in its original container.
  9. Know the location of the U.S. Embassy. Most public libraries can give you the address and phone number. Find out what services or advice embassy officials can provide.
  10. Create a “master folder” for the team leader that contains vital paperwork and information.
  11. Determine whether your destination country requires a local auto policy. Many countries require this, including Mexico. Failure to obtain the appropriate coverage could lead to uninsured exposures as well as serious legal entanglements with local authorities.
  12. Secure travel insurance for all team members. Faith Ventures offers a unique product that protects your mission teams from a variety of losses they could experience when they travel outside the United States. The Faith Ventures card provides medical, personal, travel, and security assistance services. Compare plans here.

AUTHOR: Faith Ventures

No matter where your mission takes you, travel insurance is essential. Brotherhood Mutual Fly For Good® have joined forces to provide mission travelers with travel insurance and affordable airfare. Faith Ventures has affordable travel insurance options that comes with single or multi-trip plans for foreign and domestic mission travel as well as accessed to experience agents who are ready to give you the best deal on airfare available.

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