Mission Trip Preparation

Whether this is your first mission trip or your fifteenth, we are committed to helping you prepare so you can serve at maximum capacity! There are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Most of your trip information can be found on your account page. Log in to your Managed Missions account to find helpful links about your trip and see upcoming tasks. We do our best to limit the number of emails that you receive from us; instead, we post most information here so that you can easily access it at any time. Aside from your initial Welcome Email, most emails will come about 2-4 weeks from departure (flight itinerary, rooming assignments, etc.).  All required documents must be uploaded to your account page; please do not send them via email.
  • Plan carefully so that all payments toward the cost of your trip are made on time. If you are raising funds from donors, make sure to use the proper methods (see our Financial Policy) and communicate your deadlines to them. We regret that we cannot issue refunds or make exceptions to payment deadlines, as doing so could jeopardize our fiscal responsibility and ability to minister.
  • Most general questions about your trip can be answered on our FAQ page. If you do not find the information you are looking for, please reach out to info@bcwe.org.

General Expectations

  • Expect to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
    • You will be exposed to a different culture, different customs and probably a different language than you are used to.
    • You may see poverty and difficult situations.
    • You will try new foods.
    • Although comfortable, hotel accommodations are not comparable to hotels in the United States.
    • Weather conditions are sometimes very hot, sometimes very cold and your circumstances are often uncomfortable.
  • Expect to have fun.
    • We will have a time of designated site-seeing and shopping.
    • We are a light-hearted group and enjoy laughing!
  • Expect to be flexible.
    • You may be asked to serve in a way that you have never done before.
    • We may have to change the way we do things based upon situations that arise.
    • Plans may change due to unforeseen circumstances.
    • Our motto is: Be fluid – flexible is too stiff.
  • Expect to work as a team.
    • Each team member is important for the trip.
    • We expect each member to do their part.
    • We learn from each other, as we know that each of us has different strengths and weaknesses.
  • Expect a spiritual emphasis.
    • We are not ashamed that our main focus is world evangelism.
    • We will have trip devotions regularly throughout the rip.
    • We attend church services at our hosting church. Sometimes team members participate in the services with preaching, singing, or special music. No one is required to participate, however every team member is required to attend the services.
  • Expect God to bless.
    • Your life will be forever changed if you come selflessly serving and expecting great things.

Immunizations

BCWE does not require you to receive any specific immunizations, but we do highly urge you to be up to date on all vaccinations and to seek out further country-specific immunization advice from the Center for Disease Control. BCWE highly suggests being up to date on these vaccinations: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap), Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), IPV, Polio, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B. As you will see on the CDC website, many more vaccinations are recommended. The aforementioned five vaccinations are the vaccinations that we recommend at this time. Additionally, remember to seek out country-specific vaccination recommendations.

Helpful Links from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

From the CDC Website:

  1. Have you scheduled a visit to your doctor or a travel medicine provider? – Ideally, set one up 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Most vaccines take time to become effective in your body and some vaccines must be given in a series over a period of days or sometimes weeks. If it is less than 4 weeks before you leave, you should still see your doctor. You might still benefit from shots or medications and other information about how to protect yourself from illness and injury while traveling.
  2. Are you aware of which types of vaccinations you or those traveling with you may need? – CDC divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required. While your doctor will tell you which ones you should have, it’s best to be aware of them ahead of time.
  3. Routine Vaccinations – Routine vaccines are those that are recommended for everyone in the United States based on their age, health condition, or other risk factors. You may think of these as the childhood vaccines that you get before starting school, but some are routinely recommended for adults, and some are recommended every year (like the flu vaccine) or every 10 years (like the tetanus booster for adults).
  4. Recommended Vaccinations – Recommended vaccines are those that CDC recommends travelers get to protect their health, even though they aren’t required for entry by the government of the country you are visiting. Recommended vaccines are not part of the routine vaccination schedule. They protect travelers from illnesses that are usually travel-related. For example, a typhoid vaccine can prevent typhoid, a serious disease spread by contaminated food and water, which is not usually found in the United States. The vaccines recommended for a traveler depend on several things, including age, health, and itinerary.
  5. Required Vaccinations – A required vaccine is one that travelers must have in order to enter a country, based on that country’s government regulations. In most circumstances, yellow fever is the only vaccine required by certain countries. Keep in mind that yellow fever vaccine can be recommended by CDC to protect your health, as well as required by a country. CDC’s recommendation is different from the country’s requirement. A vaccine recommendation is designed to keep you from getting yellow fever; a vaccine requirement is the country’s attempt to keep travelers from bringing the yellow fever virus into the country. Vaccine requirements can change at any time, because country governments control those decisions.

Sample Basic Itinerary

The itinerary of each trip with vary from country to country, but will likely include the following: visiting the ministry of the missionary, learning from the missionary, participating in the ministry by handing out gospel tracts, giving your testimony in the service, and other evangelistic opportunities. Specific details about the itinerary of your trip will be given to you by your trip leader prior to the trip.

Packing Guide

Navigating Airports

Some quick airport tips:

  • Arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight. Depending on the airport, your group size, the travel weekend, and other factors that could cause delays, you should use your best judgment to arrive even earlier. Some of the places we visit can be reached by only one flight per day, and we want to avoid unnecessary delays if at all possible. Arriving early gives you the best options to be able to rebook quickly if that becomes necessary due to delays outside of our control.
  • Check your luggage in all the way to our destination unless instructed otherwise.
  • Carefully check the luggage policy of the airline you are flying with to confirm how many checked baggage policies, carry-on restrictions, and other information specific to your booking.
  • Go directly to your gate before stopping to shop or eat. Check flight statuses and always keep an eye on your watch.
  • When you get to the airport where the entire mission team is meeting, meet up with the team and let your team leader know that you have made it before exploring the airport.
  • The team typically meets at one airport before departing for the mission destination. Usually, the rendezvous point is Atlanta, New York, or Detroit, but you will be told ahead of time where you will expect to meet the team.
  • Preferably, someone from your group should text or call the BCWE contact person each time you or your group changes planes. This allows our staff to know your progress. If there are ANY unexpected flight changes, delays, or problems of any kind, please text or call immediately, so that we work to resolve issues or alter arrangements quickly.