A passport is an official, formal document that allows citizens of the U.S. to exit and re-enter other countries. If you do not yet have a passport, apply for one immediately. Applications can be found online here or if you do not have internet access, you can find a paper application at the main branches of most post offices (it can take up to 12 weeks for the government to process, so plan ahead). This requires a fee, two passport photos and an expired passport or birth certificate. After you have received your passport in the mail, please make a copy of the signature page and turn it in with your completed trip application to your group leader or to us directly. Your U.S. passport
must be valid at least six months after your date of return from this trip. If your passport expires before the required validity, you will have to apply for a new one.
*Passport fees are not included in the price of this mission trip and are your responsibility.
Mission 823, Inc. requires everyone traveling on one of our trips to be covered by a travel insurance policy prior to departure of their mission trip. Mission 823 will purchase a Travel Insurance Policy for every participant involved in one of our trips. The cost of the travel insurance policy is factored into the participant’s trip cost. We do not allow participants to purchase their own insurance to replace the policy supplied by Mission 823. You may, however, purchase additional coverage to supplement the policy provided by Mission 823 if you wish.
• You should have a medical and dental check-up to determine your overall health condition.
• Immunizations are not necessary, but if you feel you need them, you can find a list here. Please note that these are suggestions, each individual will need to determine what they feel is correct for them. Do not wait until the last minute to get immunized - most immunizations have a specific time period before they become effective in your body.
Please note: A pre-existing medical condition does not necessarily disqualify you from being accepted on a mission trip, however it is a necessary component of the application process to ask these questions. Know that we may not be able to accommodate for all your needs.
• We recommend carrying prescription medications in their original containers in your carry-on bag. Checked luggage can get lost. Make copies of your prescriptions, so that they can be replaced if they get lost. Also consider writing down the ingredients so a pharmacist can assist in recommending a similar formulation.
• Strengthening your immune system is important! At least seven days before travel, start taking supplements like Vitamin C, Echinacia, Oil of Oregano, etc. Be sure to bring a quality pro-biotic.
• Bring a bottle of Saline nasal spray for use on the airplane - this really helps!
• Ask your doctor for a prescription of Ciprofloxacin. This is an antibiotic that is used to treat severe cases of intestinal disorders.
• Diarrhea is one of the most common health problems encountered, often caused by impurities in the drinking water. You will need to stay hydrated.
• Use only bottled water to brush your teeth, unless you are told otherwise.
• Avoid ice, salads, re-heated food, uncooked shellfish, fruit not peeled, and food from street vendors.
• Avoid sunstroke/sunburn, which is most common during the day when the sun’s rays are most harmful.
The following are some conditions you may encounter while on a mission trip:
• Extended air-travel
• Housing without elevators or air conditioning
• Extensive walking, or taking public transportation, possibly while carrying luggage
• Full and/or very demanding schedule
• Food that is prepared for the whole mission’s team (you may not have control over what food is available)
• Sharing cramped living quarters
• Not having your own space and limited free time
• Scheduled activities not going according to plan – VERY OFTEN – Be Flexible!!
• Drink lots of water while flying.
• Alternate periods of rest with a little activity on the plane.
• Change the time on your watch to match your destination.
• Go to bed when evening comes instead of immediately on arrival (lessens the effects of jetlag).
Each trip is unique as to what is required to bring. This can depend on the culture, climate and guidelines of
Mission 823. We also rely on your group leader’s recommendations for specific dress codes. You should only pack one suitcase and one carry-on bag (preferably a backpack). If you have agreed to bring pre-approved donations/aid to leave with the ministry there, you can pack those into a second suitcase/bag (but the bag will need to be packed inside your first bag on the trip home or left behind on the field).
Suggested items to pack:
• Casual clothes - be prepared to wear outer clothing more than once – this will help keep your suitcases light.
- Don’t bring t-shirts with slogans that could be considered offensive/inappropriate or that “advertise” that you are an American or a foreigner.
- All clothing should be modest – shorts are allowed but should be long enough so that there is no question if they are modest or not. Girls should not wear any see-through clothing, low-cut tops or crop tops. Yoga pants or
leggings should only be worn under a long shirt or a dress when in public.
• Dress/Church clothes – bring one nicer outfit for church, the ladies should bring a skirt or dress.
• Tennis shoes and/or hiking shoes
• Camera/mobile phone with camera
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• Bible, pen, and notebook with paper
• Sunglasses and/or hat
• Water bottle or CamelBack
• Personal favorite snack foods
• Personal money for snacks, souvenirs, etc.
• Charger for phone/tablet – bring a plug adapter that converts to the rounded prongs for Europe.
**Read the plugs and electrical info on all your electrical gear, if it says 50-60 Hz and 100-240 volts, you will be fine with just the plug adapter.
Medical Related Essentials to Bring
• Any medications currently taking (in original Rx containers)
• Band-Aids in a variety of sizes
• Alcohol wipes
• Safety pins
• Antihistamine tablets (for allergic reactions)
• Mosquito repellent
• Insect bite treatment
• Hand sanitizer
• Imodium tablets (for diarrhea)
• Eye drops
• Spare pair of contact lenses or glasses
Items not to bring: Check with your group leader
Ensuring Personal Safety
• Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home.
• Be careful with your cash and don’t carry too much of it.
• Travelers checks, cash, passports, and tickets should not be carried in bags that can be snatched, a body belt is safer.
• Make sure a friend or family member has your itinerary and flight details and a contact number before leaving
(check with trip leader for this info).
• Take a photo of your passport, credit card details, and reservations and send it to yourself at a universal email account (Google, Hotmail or Yahoo). This way you always have a copy of your travel documents, which could speed up the replacement process should your bag be lost or taken.
It is best to carry both cash and a credit card with you for personal purchases. When purchasing gifts and souvenirs, items may be in remote areas where credit cards are not accepted. You will have the opportunity to exchange money to the local currency, if needed. In cities, major credit and debit cards are usually accepted. Also, ATM’s are becoming more commonplace. Your cash and credit/debit card should be kept on you at all times.
Before you pack your bags, prepare your heart! Communication with God is the only way to have a good, successful, powerful experience on your trip or life in general. Through prayer, we can use our gifts more appropriately to sanctify ourselves, and the world around us. Take time to listen to and for His voice. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Ask people around you to support you through prayer.
Ask God to: Prepare your mind and heart - Help you share the Word effectively - Use your specific gifts in ministry to others - Show His love through you - Bring you a spirit of joy - Give you a heart that is flexible and available for whatever the task - Teach you in the process, especially when outside your comfort zone.
TEAM PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS
Meeting preparation for a mission trip begins several months before travel and MANDATORY MEETINGS are a part of this process. These meetings give participants and leaders opportunities to get to know one another, as well as to communicate vital goals and expectations for the trip. It is necessary to attend all scheduled meetings.
As part of preparing for your trip, you will need to be aware of the emotional, spiritual and physical demands that can be placed on you while on a mission trip. These components can impact your experience in very positive or negative ways, depending on your personality and disposition. Here are some areas to consider while preparing for your trip:
Emotional – everyone has a set of beliefs that determines how you make choices for your life. Sometimes, your beliefs may not line up with the beliefs of others participating on the trip or the beliefs of staff leading the trip. When these situations happen, tempers can flair. One of the best attitudes to have is FLEXIBILITY. Often on these trips, schedules do not always go according to plan. You are often required to adapt to situations that are not “normal” to you such as the culture, food and living quarters. Try to keep an open mind and adopt the policy of going with the flow.
Spiritual – the spiritual fitness of a person is tested like nothing else when on a mission trip. Your highs and lows with the Lord can be much stronger than typically experienced. If you maintain spiritual focus you will see evidence of God’s work in your life and others around you. It is vital to be spiritually prepared by reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying and being prepared to share Christ and encourage believers.
Physical – a mission trip can be physically demanding. You can experience intense heat or cold. Projects or villages can be located in the middle of nowhere or just off the beaten path. You may have to walk long distances. You may be required to perform extremely strenuous work projects with tools not seen since the stone ages. It is therefore beneficial to be in “mission trip” shape so that your physicality does not hinder you, your team or opportunities to impact lives. It may be important to get a physical and include some exercising habits to have your body in shape for such conditions.
More than 75% of all people who go on mission trips do not personally have the funding to go. These individuals seek funding through family, friends and acquaintances. Individuals are willing to donate funds to play a part in what you are doing, as well as indirectly impacting the lives you will touch. Listed below are some tips to get you started. Create a strategy for fundraising:
• Make a list of the people you know: friends, relatives, neighbors, associates, schoolmates, clubs and groups to which you belong. Start with a few and then expand it!
• Send each person on the list a letter or talk to them in person explaining your outreach and asking for their financial and prayer support. A general ratio is that 1 out of 4 individuals will respond positively to your request. So, if you need to raise a lot of money you will need to send out a lot of letters.
• When you receive funds, keep copies for your records.
• Send a thank you note to all who choose to support you and a letter after you return (include pictures!).
• See our Fundraising Page for other fundraising ideas.
• If you have an event to raise funds for your trip (car wash, bake sale, etc.) do not hold the event in the name of Mission 823. You are not raising funds for Mission 823, but as an individual participant on one of our trips. Send your donations/payments to your group leader to be sent to us with the other group member’s payments. If you do not have a group leader, then send your payments directly to us, just be sure the check is made payable to:
“Mission 823, Inc”. Write “Mission Trip” and the Trip ID # in the memo line of the check. Do not write your name in the memo line of the check. On a separate note, indicate your name, list all checks and indicate that they are for your personal trip support. Include the note in the envelope with your check. Mail payments to the address below.
If you have questions or need more information, feel free to call us or send us an email.