Handout #2 – Preparation List

Cultural considerations and recommendations in preparation for serving on your expedition.

IN COUNTRY

  • Expectations: ice is not usually available and be mindful snacks will melt. Basic first aid items are provided for the team. You will sweat, a bandana or chaffing cream are helpful. Power may be limited to certain times of the day, so bring extra batteries and a lithium recharging battery.
  • Second vs First timers: the dynamic exists between old and new trip members who have very different needs and expectations.  We will need the second trip members to be patient and understanding in the basic, simple and repeated explanation or instructions.
  • Daily quiet time: so important, do not let team meeting times be your only time of prayer and in the Word. Spend time each day in country alone with the Lord to pray and read His Word.
  • Pictures: ask before taking pictures, be aware of people in the background of your photo. On the first day of ministry keep your camera put away so the team does not overwhelm the community with several cameras out. Try to learn a their name(s) before taking pictures of the children.
  • Sickness: always share with your team leader the smallest sickness or out of the ordinary feeling you are experiencing any day of the trip. We will have better understanding and ability to aid you with being informed.
  • Privacy: do not give away your name, address, phone number, email or Facebook. If asked for this, let the child or adult know our local Missional Partner knows how to get in touch with you.
  • Language expert: learn a few phrases in the native language, do not correct others during week, do not grade others, leave their language learning for them to try.
  • Translators: be sensitive to them, get to know them, follow their advice.
  • Be positive: try to find the positive, be careful of being negative, complaining is not helpful, do your best, prepare for worst and trust God for victory.
  • Sarcasm: avoid it during the trip. Be careful to not unintentionally make fun of people, people understand more than you know.
  • American: do not compare the two countries and try to avoid politics.
  • Staring: do not be offended if people stare at you. You are unique, cool, different.
  • Money: do not give out money or make promises to give out money and gifts, be mindful when valuables, camera, and money are out. For any need or question always ask the team leader.
  • Valuables: do not wear jewelry, necklace, anything that is valuable that can be taken off, always keep passport & money on you and never in a backpack.
  • Wandering: do not wander off from group, never be by yourself away from the team, never be alone in a Dominican home. The group should always stay together unless otherwise divided by the team leader for ministry purposes.
  • Christian Words: if you ask someone if they are a Christian or want to become one, they will likely all say, “yes I am”. They will want to please you. Instead, ask spiritual questions about Jesus. Ask, are they “reading the Bible, praying daily to Jesus, admiting their sins to Jesus, walking with God, trusting in Christ, seeking God’s will daily, obeying His word”, etc.

BEFORE TRAVEL

  • Ownership: the team leader expects team members to have read the entire team manual, teaching curriculum and trip schedule. Have these at every team meeting for discussion & review.
  • Packing: put one set of clothes & toiletries in your carry-on backpack under the seat in front of you. You may have your rollaboard luggage changed to checked baggage at the gate, if overhead space is limited. A checked rollaboard or any other checked luggage may not arrive with you on the plane or be delayed a few days to your destination country.
  • Airport: make caravan or personal drop off arrangements before the travel date.
  • Prescriptions: keep in original bottle and bring extras. If you have any health changes before travel, update your team leader. Liquid prescriptions can go through airport security in a 2nd quart size bag.
  • Phone: you may want your carriers international data and texting plan, international calling is usually more expensive so research pricing before you leave.
  • Cards: turn on international travel alerts for your debit and credit cards you are taking.
  • Diet, Exercise & Medications: notify the team leader 7 days before the trip if you plan to alter your prescribed medicines or dosage, alter your diet or your diet will not allow consumption of certain foods, will be fasting any meals or foods, or have a personal exercise routine you desire to be accommodated during the trip.
  • Seeds: plant them now with your friends and family for prospective future team members.
  • Read fully before trip: When Helping Hurts book
  • Read fully before trip: The Church Planter on Mission Trips, and Working Well Across Cultures article in the Team Manua

AFTER TRAVEL

  • Long Term Vision and Communication: as you become more aware of specific struggles and needs of the villagers you will hear about the long term goals and strategy of 25 Project.  We cannot wait to share our timing and strategic funding initiatives so you can be a part of in the future.  As God stirs your heart always begin any conversations about giving/supporting with the team leader.  Upon returning from the country, please forward all correspondence with anyone in the country including our missionaries to your team leader to be aware of opportunities and needs.  We want to see God accomplish His purpose through 25 Project with you.