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Getting Organized for a Short-term Mission Trip

In This Section:
Personal Intercessors
Concerning Personal Fundraising
Mission Checklist
Parent/Child Survivor Tips
Packing List
Other Links

Personal Intercessors

It is necessary for you to recruit personal intercessors. Ask these personal intercessors to commit themselves to pray for you daily and be available for emergency prayer requests. We recommend that you encourage the group to meet once or twice during the trip to pray in a concerted way and that you consider trying to set up an arrangement to communicate specific requests, insights and words from the Lord with one another. Please forward to the teamís intercessory prayer coordinator the names, emails (preferred) or FAX numbers of your intercessors. Printed below is a copy of a letter that you might copy and send to them.

From our experience, we believe that the following areas and time periods need prayer coverage.

One week BEFORE you leave:

Health; transition into culture; team unity; finances; and God's wisdom for the pre-mission schedule: time for rest, prayer, Bible reading, packing, running errands, talk preparation, family and job responsibilities.

DURING the trip:

Transportation (luggage, protection, connections, etc.); jet lag; safety; health (stamina); transition into culture; bonding with indigenous people; team unity; anointing for teaching/ministry; protection for family members at home; and personal requests.

Four weeks AFTER the trip:

Jet lag; health; transition back into our culture; God's wisdom regarding sharing, and continued coverage for spiritual protection for yourself and your family.

Make sure you give intercessor the following information:

Itinerary (including time difference), names of team members, list of personal requests, and the name and phone number of the prayer coordinator for this mission.

Sample letter to personal intercessor:

Dear Personal Intercessor,
Thank you for committing to pray for me daily and to be available for emergency prayer requests. Christ Church has suggested the following areas and time periods that need prayer coverage.

The Commitment:
  • To be available whenever God calls, day or night. This will probably mean a sacrifice of time.
  • To study and learn about the mission.
  • To work closely with the other intercessors (e-mail, fax, or phone)
  • To recruit intercessors who will pray for you. Please do not neglect this aspect of your commitment. You are joining a battle and placing yourself on the front line. We want to ensure that you are protected by ensuring prayer for you and your family, movements of the family, your church, prayer partners, concerns, health, possessions, relationships, etc. these intercessors should not receive the country information. Their focus is on you and your family, not the mission team.
  • To continue prayers for the team members for four weeks following the mission.
  • To keep in confidence certain information passed on to you.

Prayer Coverage:

One week BEFORE departure:

∑ Health, transition into the culture, team unity, finances.

∑ God's wisdom for my pre-mission schedule, that will include time for REST, prayer, Bible reading, packing, running errands, teaching preparation, family, and job responsibilities.

DURING the trip:

∑ Transportation: luggage, protection, connections, etc.

∑ Health: stamina, jet lag, safety, eating and sleeping.

∑ Transition into the culture: bonding with indigenous people and adapting to their ways.

∑ Team unity, anointing for teaching/ministry, personal requests.

∑ Protection for family and loved ones at home

Four weeks AFTER the trip:

∑ Jet lag, health.

∑ Transition back into our culture.

∑ God's wisdom regarding sharing.

∑ Continued coverage for spiritual protection for yourself and your family.

Enclosed you will find the following information:
∑ Itinerary (includes time difference);
∑ Names of team members:
∑ List of personal requests; and
∑ Name and phone number of the prayer coordinator for this mission.

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Mission Budget
Click here for a sample personal budget for a mission trip.

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Concerning Fundraising

God's resources are greater than the resources that Christ Church has on hand; therefore, we ask team members to pay their own way and/or raise their own support. We know that giving is relational. People give to support you because they believe in your call to ministry.

God is calling you to be the instrument to accomplish the work He wants done. Financial support is one vital way people can share the ownership of this mission. Some are called to send. Those who pray and those who send are critical and vital "team members," without whom the mission would not succeed.

You might share this opportunity with family and personal friends outside of Christ Church. Christ Church has budgeted funds to assist short-term missionaries. Contact Lois at the church office to receive a copy of the scholarship application form. Some team members have written letters to contact friends who live at some distance. (Samples of support letters will be provided by team leaders.) Funds that you collect should be made payable to Christ Church, with your mission trip noted on the memo line, so that donors may claim the tax deduction.

It is Christ Church's policy that fund-raising or support letters may NOT be sent to members of Christ Church. The Missions budget has allocated resources to assist short-term missionaries. For support from Christ Church, please complete a scholarship application form, obtainable from Lois in the church office (913/648-2271, ext. 221 or

Short-term missionaries may always seek support from friends and family members outside of Christ Church.

If God is calling you to go, we are confident that He will supply the funds you need.

When you share your need with others, remember:
You are not asking for money for yourself. Instead, you are: offering an opportunity for others to invest in the work of God's Kingdom in the country to which you will travel.

All short-term missionaries should contribute at least 20% of their own funds to the mission trip.

Missionaries, by definition, live sacrificially.

Any funds donated that exceed the requirements of the missionary soliciting financial support will be transferred into the Global Missions Fund at Christ Church, a restricted fund used for Global Missions. The Associate Rector is the staff person authorized to make distributions from this account.

Reporting Expenses for short-term Mission Trip

Persons going on mission trips may solicit financial support from friends, family and acquaintances who are not members or attenders of Christ Church. Donor checks are sent to Christ Church and are placed in the Global Missions (restricted) account.

In order to ensure compliance with IRS regulations as well as the mission spirit of Christ Church, these guidelines are provided to persons for whom donations have been received and who request reimbursement for expenses incurred on short-term mission trips.


The following expenses are acceptable and subject to reimbursement, provided that expense report forms and supporting documentation (receipts, invoices, vouchers, etc.) are provided to the Parish Accountant:

  • Vaccination and immunization expense
  • Passport and Visa expense
  • Travel health insurance premiums
  • Transportation expenses, including airport fees, etc.
  • Lodging and subsistence expenses
  • Articles necessary for health in the mission environment (for example, prescription drugs, water purifiers, mosquito netting, insect repellent, etc.)
  • Maps and guide books for the mission site (up to $50 maximum)
  • Film and processing (Up to $150 maximum)
  • Gifts to be delivered to the mission site
  • Long distance telephone expenses


The following expenses incurred at the travelerís own discretion will not be subject to reimbursement:
  • Reusable personal items such as clothing, sleeping gear, toilet articles, cameras, binoculars, sound equipment
  • Souvenirs or gifts brought back home for friends, supporters, etc.
  • Miscellaneous expenses for which the traveler was the sole beneficiary

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Mission Checklist

A. Pre-Mission

Enter Date completed:
_____________1. Passport acquired.

_____________2. Apply for a touristís visa not a missionary visa.

_____________3. International Certificates of Vaccination: update with all immunizations required.

_____________4. Visit your doctor, Travel Clinic, or public health clinic and obtain Rx for necessary anti-Malarial or anti-diarrhea medication, etc.

_____________5. Arrange for financial support.

_____________6. Pay for airline ticket.

_____________7. Arrange for intercessory prayer support

_____________8. Arrange for a commissioning service.

_____________9. Participate in ALL team preparation meetings

_____________10. Arrange a date for sharing. Should be scheduled after you are rested and have had slides developed. Coordinate with team members and team leaderÖ.and, church calendar!

_____________11. Change a portion of money to travelerís checks (unless otherwise instructed by your team leader)

_____________12. Complete and return to the church office your emergency notification form.

_____________13. Complete and return to the church office your insurance form.

_____________14. Make two photocopies of your ticket. Write on these copies information from your passport: number, expiration date, date and place issued. Photocopying your passport is illegal. Give one copy to your team leader and keep a second copy in your luggage. These will be helpful in case of lost or stolen documents.

B. Post-Mission

Enter Date completed:

_____________1. Prepare an accounting of funds. Excess funds returned to donors or church.

_____________2. Write article for parish newsletter Ė coordinate with team leader.

_____________3. Participate in ALL de-briefing team meetings

_____________4. Give mission feedback to leader.

_____________5. Hold a "sharing" program. Suggest slides or PowerPoint and stories.

_____________6. "Thank you" to host/hostess and leaders in the country

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Parent/Child Mission Trip Survival Tips
By Barb Billups

Does the thought of going on a mission trip produce separation anxiety in you and your children? I understand how you feel. My children and I have experienced it.

My girls were 10 and 11 when I left them to go to Africa. When I knew that I was going I began the task of telling them. Before I told them I asked the Lord to give me a strong sense of discernment for me to know how to tell the girls and for Him to guide me through the process. When I told them the first thing I heard was, "No mommy! Donít leave us." My heart sank. I had hoped for, "Oh mommy that sounds wonderful!" I gently explained to them that I would only be gone for ten days and that I would be home after that. I told them how I felt about the Lordís work in Africa and that my heart was telling me to become involved in this way. We went to the map and found Africa and then Uganda and I showed them where Nebbi is. We looked at pictures of Africa and talked about the people, the wildlife and the terrain. I showed them on the map the way the airplane would be flying to take me there and bring me home. We focused on how good it is to do the Lordís work and about the wonderful experiences Mom would be having. We also focused on the "vacation" that they and their dad would be enjoying while I was gone. We built on the special fun time they would be having at home. Iíll talk more about this a little further on. I was very careful to provide them with extra hugs and the assurance they needed that Mom would come home. I never referred to any of the risks associated with third world travel. But even here at home I donít say to them, "Kids, Iím going to the store now and there is a slim chance of me getting hurt." No. My kids need to know that Mom intends to come home and come home in relatively good shape.

There are a few things that I did to make my absence easier on everyone. The most important thing that I did was to ask my intercessors to pray for the separation to go smoothly. I had them pray for the girls to be able to cope with the separation and for me to be able to surrender my family into Godís arms and care, freeing me up to focus on the mission. It really helped me. I believe the prayers helped the girls too. I know they helped Paul. The thing I did that the kids liked the best was the gift calendar. I bought an inexpensive gift for each day that I would be gone. I put them in a bag marked 10, 9, 8 etc. They opened #10 first and on down the line, one a day. This let them count down the days until Mom would be home.

Paul had them track my airplane in flight both going and coming on the Internet. They knew right where I was and felt part of the travel.

Since the hardest time is during the night I bought them teddy bears that are like mine to sleep with at bedtime. I take mine with me when I go. I told them that each night we all would hug and kiss our bears and that it would really be us hugging and kissing each other goodnight. Our family has a time for prayer together before bed. In order for them not to miss my part in this I recorded a different prayer for each night and I added a short teaching/reinforcement on the importance of following Godís will and how He will bless us for it. I also added little touches of realism like, "Yes Kayla, you have to hold your sisterís hand." Or, "Katie, stop pestering Kayla." I ended each prayer with more hugs and kisses and said I love you.

During my absence I strongly believe that the kids should be spoiled. This is the "vacation" part I mentioned earlier. I am not suggesting that all rules should be lifted, but whatís wrong with a temporary exemption from some of them? Their favorite rule to lift is sleeping in Momís bed. Their dad graciously moves into the guestroom and lets them sleep in our bed. Another one they like is eating some meals in front of the television. My 11-year-old enjoys being the "woman of the house" in my absence. She will pick out a few meals that she is able to cook by herself and lovingly prepare them for the family. They both enjoy picking out which fast food restaurant to go to. Since Mom is not there salad availability isnít an issue!

Towards the end of the trip they begin to plan my welcome home treat. When I arrived at the airport I saw all three of them standing there, smiles beaming, and each holding a bouquet of flowers! Waiting for me at home was a cactus garden and a lovely card.

You may be asking, "Well, how did it go?" The hardest time was at the airport. I felt my heart breaking. Kayla was sad and Katie was mad. They cried all the way home and I cried all the way to Atlanta! The first night was hard for them too but the taped prayer, teddy bears, and my bed were a good comfort. They were fine the rest of the "vacation" with the exception of a few whining times. They all fared well despite my absence but they were very happy to have me home again! Afterwards I talked to them about the separation and we decided that it did go okay and they have agreed to let me go one time a year as long as it is not more than for two weeks.

My children are gifts from God and I love them deeply. I will do all I can to help them with my absences. Please remember that all children are different, all families are different and the circumstances change. What I have done for my children may not be helpful for yours. I encourage you to be creative! And let me know

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Alison Barfootís Packing List

I think of my packing in several categories:

Office/business/general living items

_____ small flashlight with extra batteries

_____ sewing kit

_____ notebook/journal

_____ camera, flash, film (Print film can be put into powerpoint; slide film into slide projectors)

_____ travel alarm clock

_____ stationery, envelopes, address labels

_____ bottle opener, pen knife (I travel with a Swiss army knife)

_____ business cards (LOTS of them) Ė DONíT give out your home address, though

_____ portable scissors, tape, small stapler, paper clips, rubber bands, etc.

_____ several different sizes of ziplock plastic bags

_____ Bible

_____ small gifts to give to local hosts and new friends

_____ water bottle (I always carry one in case we can't get access to clean drinking water)

_____ Woolite (for hand-washing clothes each night)

_____ Sink stopper (to aid in hand-washing clothes)

_____ clothesline

_____ variety of "comfort food" (non-perishable snack food to satisfy cravings from home)

_____ collapsible plastic cup (good for brushing your teeth)

_____ Novel/book to read

_____ extra passport photos (in case your passport gets lost)

_____ photocopies of your airline tickets

_____ clothes hangers (never count on having hangars available!)

_____ clothes pins

_____ Portable water filter (filters out to Giardia and beyond). For small teams, only one filter is necessary

_____ Mosquito net "tent" (I use Long Roadís "Skeeter Defeater." Details elsewhere in manual)


_____ razor, shaving cream

_____ soap, shampoo

_____ towel and wash cloth (consider bringing a thin towel so it will dry in between usages)

_____ toothbrush and tooth paste

_____ deodorant

_____ brush, comb

_____ kleenex, small packages (this is esp. important for women for using toilet facilities)

_____ one roll of toilet tissue (I suggest you remove the cardboard roll and flatten the roll. Pull tissue up from center of roll and keep stored in ziplock plastic bag)

_____ shower shoes (esp. imp.for avoiding athlete's foot!)

_____ foam ear plugs (silence is golden!!)

_____ eye shades (also good for the airplane!)

_____ adapter plugs and transformers for electrical appliances, e.g., razors, hairdryers, etc. (electricity may or may not be available in some locations!)

_____ vitamins

_____ several packages of handi-wipes for keeping your hands clean or Purell

Basic medical kit:

_____ Malaria prophylactic

_____ mosquito or insect repellent (recommend deet)

_____ anti-bacterial cream

_____ anti-itch insect bite cream

_____ aspirin/Tylenol/ibuprofen

_____ band-aids

_____ sunscreen

_____ sunglasses

_____ laxative

_____ ace bandage

_____ personal prescription medications in original pharmacy container

_____ Benadryl (also helps with sleeping at night, esp. when jet-lagging, and with sleeping on the plane)

_____ Optional: Trauma kit (make sure the one you get has syringes)


_____ 3 outfits, mix and match where possible, and hand-washable, where possible. Women should plan to wear skirts and dresses at the knee or below -- absolutely NO shorts. Women may want to consider culottes, as long as they look more like a skirt than shorts, and are knee-length or longer. Men should wear slacks, but avoid jeans. Men should not wear shorts, either. [Laundromats are usually non-existent. I usually hand-wash my clothes (where possible) each night.]

_____ 1 pair dress shoes

_____ 1 pair comfortable walking shoes (if not the same as dress shoes!)

_____ 3 pair underwear (wash each night)

_____ sweater or light jacket for tropical environments. (may not be necessary if you are travelling with sports coat or suit jackets) Heavy coat for colder environments.

_____ rain coat, umbrella, or poncho

_____ Sun hat (optional)

_____ Safety pins

Luggage suggestions:

(Keep in mind that I have been called the "packing queen" since I usually try to travel exclusively carry-on. But, I won't impose that near impossible standard on anyone else!)

1. Carry-on bag should include:
All prescription medications in their original prescription containers (imp. for customs officials)


one set of underwear

Change of shirt/blouse to wear with travel clothes in case checked luggage is delayed

minimum, and miniature, toilet items

2. Checked luggage should be manageable by you, since you will have to carry all of your own luggage. You might also consider "one out, two back," i.e., include a fold up bag in your luggage that can be used to bring home souvenirs.

3. Carry "on your person":

_____ Passport

_____ Yellow immunization record

_____ Money and travelerís checks (suggest using an undergarment money belt)

_____ Airline tickets

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Other Links

Skeeter Defeater information

Passport and Visa Information

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