Monday, July 29, 2013

How to join a volunteer missions team

If you are looking to be boldly compassionate and join a missions team as a short term volunteer there are many ways to go about it, and various organizations that can help you. I am just highlighting a couple.

WGM and Hope Teams can help you join another team if you don't have one to go with. Groups might be general in experience, or they might have a specific focus, example medical or dental teams, construction crews, VBS (vacation bible school) teams. We were a general team.

Preparation - we used this book: Successful Mission Teams: A Guide for Volunteers. It's out of print but you can get second hand one copies online.We also spent time building teamwork and spiritual and emotional preparedness. If traveling to a place very different from home, research the area and culture ahead of time.

Finances - A week in Honduras can be $1800, further afield could be a lot more. This covers airfare, food, lodging and materials for projects. In our case, the lodgings were on site and so the money benefited the charity directly. Bigger projects may obviously cost more, depending on materials.
Additional costs might include passport & vaccinations. 

Churches may sponsor you, and fundraising is a great way to get the community helping. People donate money or goods to take with you and it's a wonderful way to forge relationships between your home church/ town and the mission project in another town/ state or country. Anything extra raised by our team went directly to the kids/ project for materials, kitchen equipment, fun stuff for the kids.

Background checks are often needed, especially if working with children.

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