Dear Parents,

If you have a son or daughter considering a mission trip, this section of our website is designed with you in mind. You may have questions about the trip, your child’s safety, and what conditions they will face. We’ve listed answers to some common questions below. If you have further questions, we would be happy to talk with you.

Can I travel with my son or daughter on a mission trip?

Although these ministry trips are designed primarily for high school and college age participants, this is definitely a possibility. If you would like to participate in a trip with your son or daughter, please contact us to discuss the details.

Who will be the team leaders and what are their qualifications?

We think our team leaders are one of the best parts of Global Encounters! They are dedicated Christian men and women who have proven themselves to have a genuine love for the Lord, a love for young people, leadership skills, and the ability to make wise decisions. Our team leaders go on these trips for the purpose of discipling their team members as well as providing direction and care throughout the trip. In the information for each trip you will find links to the profile pages for the team leaders who will be working with the group. Read up on their testimony and ministry experience and we think you will agree that the team leaders are a group of truly awesome people!

What kind of living conditions will my son or daughter experience?

These details change from one team to another. In general, most teams stay in hotels or living quarters provided by a local church or missionary. The major exception to this are the teams going to Chiapas, Mexico. The living conditions while out in the jungle are very similar to camping. We update parents with more specific housing information in a parents info packet we send out closer to the trip dates. If you have questions about a specific trip, please give us a call.

What about emergency medical care and expenses?

In the unlikely event of a medical emergency involving your child, we will contact you as soon as possible and will work with you and the team leaders to arrange for medical care. Most US-based insurance plans do not cover international medical care. The price of the trip includes international medical insurance. Details are included in the application packet for each trip. You are responsible for any deductibles (usually $250 or less) or charges in excess of the policy maximums. You may purchase additional insurance if you desire. We do not arrange extra medical coverage, but there are many options online for purchasing this type of insurance. All medical expenses after the team member returns to the US are the team member’s responsibility.

How can I communicate with my son or daughter during the mission trip? What about emergency communication?

The communication options vary depending on the region in which your son or daughter will be traveling. Before the team departs, you will be given phone numbers and/or an email address at which you can reach the team. Most teams carry a cell phone with international coverage which can be used for emergency communication where reception is available. Please keep in mind that regular communication may be limited, as phone and internet services are sometimes unreliable or unavailable and the team schedules are very busy. We try to give each team member the opportunity for an occasional phone call or email home. In addition, the best way to keep up with team activities is through the team blog and the Global Encounters Facebook page. The Facebook page often has up-to-the-minute quick reports from the team while the blog will give you more pictures and a broader perspective on what the team is doing.

What about safety?

It’s true that there is an inherent risk in traveling internationally. It would be impossible for us to absolutely guarantee the safety of someone traveling with one of our teams. However, we do everything in our power to provide a safe experience for them. Here are some factors that we have in place to minimize security risks as much as possible:

  • Large groups provide safety and our teams typically go everywhere together. When team members wish to go out in smaller groups (to grab a snack, take pictures, etc.) they must get approval from a team leader.
  • We work with local Christians who know what areas and activities are safe and where risks exist. They help us make appropriate decisions regarding the safety of the team in our various ministry settings.
  • We instruct the team members in safety precautions appropriate for the different areas in which we work.
  • Each team goes out with mature leaders who know how to make wise decisions regarding the safety of the team.
  • The team members are given contact numbers they can use in case of an emergency or accidental separation from the team.
  • We register our teams with the American Embassy in the country to which they are traveling, providing for quick communication in case of an emergency.
  • For the most part, we work in countries where the political situation is fairly stable and violent crime is not a serious threat for international visitors. If we plan a trip to a region with extra security risks, you will find that information clearly spelled out in the trip info packet so you can make an informed decision. In addition, we monitor the situation in areas to which we are planning trips. If an area becomes unsafe for Americans, due to a revolution, natural disaster, or other problem, we will either cancel or postpone the trip or divert the team to another location. In the unlikely event that a serious problem erupts while a team is in a country, our staff, team leaders, and local contacts will do everything in their power to provide safety for the team, evacuation from the area if necessary, and communication with the team members’ families.
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