PRESUMMER LETTER 10: Experience More – Culture
You are getting ready to proclaim the Good News of Jesus this summer; to share your faith with cute red-headed Irish kids during a VBS, or with local shopkeepers, those who are cheering at your soccer tournaments, or with people who live in far-off remote villages.
Not only that, but you also get to immerse yourself in another country that does life much differently than the way most of you have grown up; the way they believe, dress, talk, eat, laugh, and work are much different than at home.
In fact, there are endless opportunities for exciting adventures as you are exposed to new cultures!
Why not brush up on some of the specific characteristics of the people of the country (or countries!) you are traveling to this summer? Knowing a little about who you are ministering to and where you are staying will only make the adventure more thrilling. And it will help you relate better when you are sharing Jesus’ love with the people you meet!
And it only takes a few Google searches. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Search the cities you will be staying in on Google Images
- Check out http://www.operationworld.org/ for quick facts and prayer needs
- Wikipedia is always a great, “reliable” source
- Discover the nation’s flag
- Find out the favorite local foods
- Look to see if any national holidays will occur while you are there
- Or kick it old school by visiting the library for a book on your specific country!
Spending any length of time in another culture that is halfway around the world is not only challenging, but exhilarating! So get excited!
Just a reminder about forms that will be due soon. The Health History Form was due within two weeks of receiving your Prep Packet. The Vaccination Form, Physician Form, Terms & Conditions, (and Background Check for Staff Disciplers and Assistants) are due May 24th.
Visa Info – Update
The following countries require a visa: China, Nepal, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. Nepal will apply at the Kathmandu Airport and simply need to bring 2 passport quality photos with them to Training Camp. The Uganda and Sierra Leone teams will receive instructions via email with instructions and will need to apply for your visas on your own. The China team is waiting for official paperwork from China and will be sent visa instructions sometime next week. If you have questions about the visa process for your trip, please contact your Trip Leader.
Booking Domestic Travel
With the release of the Updated Mission Trip Schedule you can arrange your domestic travel. If your team arrives too late in the evening to make a flight out at the end of the summer, you can book a hotel through us (mostly Nepal). The Hotel Request Form link is below. Last, although you are welcome to book your travel any way you like, we do recommend using our travel agent, Bursch Travel. For more information, check the “Where to Book a Flight” in the Transportation section of the Prep Packet.
Updated Mission Trip Schedule
Hotel Request Form
ManagedMissions – Checking your support & Forms
By now you have been sent an invitation email to ManagedMissions.com (it was sent to the main email address you gave on your registration. Check your spam folder if you haven’t seen it). ManagedMissions.com is the online financial reporting site that we use to let you know who has donated to you. The Finance Department will upload your support donations 3-4 times each week. This is not an automatic process. If you donate online today, you may not see it in your account for 2-3 business days. Once you log into your account you will be able to see the complete cost of the mission trip, who has sent a gift, and calculate how much is still needed to be raised. You will also be able to download donor information so thank you notes can be sent. If you need the invite email resent to access your ManagedMissions.com account, just let me know!
In the “Tasks” tab you will see a list of forms that we need. Please note, at this time of year we are getting a TON of forms in all at once. It takes us a few days to get the task marked complete once we receive the form. So please, once put your forms in the mail, give at least 10 days before calling to see if we received your form. If you are missing any of the forms we are requesting, you can download them from the [MyMissionTrip] page of the website, or email me and I’ll send it to you again.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Royal Servants 2017 Packing Video.
I mentioned this tip last week, but I thought it’s worth a repeat, as again, I’ve personally had success with this method. Once you’ve figured out what items you need to get for the summer, first scour thrifts stores. It’s amazing what you can find. Also, something our Reign Ministries’ staff do is we put together a “Wish List” on Amazon.com and send our supporters the link. This allows people to see and meet very specific needs. I was a bit skeptical the first time I used the “Wish List” but my supporters loved it. I’ll add to this, going on your team’s Facebook page to get packing advice from other people (specifically alumni and your Trip Leaders) about what they do.