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					                  MEN and WOMEN OF ACTION
                      TRIP preparation
       The keys to a successful trip will be your attitude, preparations, flexibility, actions and experiences.
                       Here are some Do’ and Don’ts of which you will want to be aware.



Before You Go
1. Passport/Visas Your passport is the most valuable document that you will carry. It identifies you, and it
should contain any required visas. Keep it with you at all times, along with any other documents given to you
while entering the country.

2. Medical records Take a copy of your medical history with you. It will serve as a record of your blood type,
allergies and any special medical conditions. If you wear glasses, take a copy of your lens prescription.

3. Appropriate clothing The information you received from our office gave you a list of appropriate clothing
for the climate and the cultural requirements you will face. It is important for you to follow those guidelines. If
you have any questions, check with your team leader.

4. Pack lightly You may take two suitcases as checked baggage and one carry-on bag for the airplane. Label
every piece of luggage with your name and address. Please pack all tools in your checked baggage. REMEMBER
- All luggage is inspected and scanned for security.

5. Snacks Pack a few snacks with you, such as peanut butter, granola bars, crackers or other light snacks.

6. US Customs requirements When you come back to the United States from your trip you must clear US
Customs. It is important for you to be aware of this before you leave. You will normally be allowed to bring back
$800 of merchandise without having to pay duty. If you purchase more than $800 you must declare the items
purchased along with their value and pay a duty tax. Please remember that all fruits and vegetables, plants,
flowers, seeds, meats, etc. usually cannot enter the country.

On The Way
1. Follow your team leader. While traveling it is very important that you follow your leader and the
   instructions he or she may give you. Your leader has made trips like this before and knows what to do.
   Therefore, it is vital for you to listen and follow the team leader’s instructions.
2. Stay with your group. The safest thing for you to do is stay with your group. Do not take it upon
   yourself to leave the group while you are waiting at the airport, while you are waiting for other transportation,
   or any other time the group is together. If you do need to leave the group, make sure your team leader knows
   exactly where you are going, who you are going with, and when you will be back. There is safety in
   numbers; therefore, whether you are traveling to and from the country or within the country, always stay with
   your group unless your leader gives you other instructions.
3. Connecting flights. You should have no problems making your connecting flights as long as you stay with
   your team and follow the instructions of your team leader.


4. Getting through immigration and customs
        a. Listen to the instructions of your leader
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       b. When you land, go as a group and follow the signs that direct you to immigration.
       c. Have all of your papers and documents in hand:
          1. Passport
          2. Immigration Card (Properly filled out)
          3. Health Certificate (If required
       d. Show your return ticket if you are asked to.
       e. Know the exact date of your departure, the number of days you will be in the country, and the address
          of the host missionary.
       f. Be sure to keep all papers given to you. You will need them when leaving the country.
       g. Proceed to customs. Every person will be responsible for his/her own luggage. When the baggage is
          delivered to the customs carrier, find yours and take it to one of the custom counters.
       h. Answer all questions asked by the customs inspector.
       i. When you have cleared customs, proceed as a group out of the terminal.
       j. If you need money changed into the national currency, your host will know the best place to have
          this done. Do not do it on your own.
       Remember these phrases:
       Port of Disembarkation: The point of departure from the US
       Port of Embarkation:     The first city in the country of your destination
       Proof of Citizenship:    Passport and/or birth certificate

What To Do If. . .
Problem: What if I get separated from the team in the airport?
Suggestions:
       1. Stay calm.
       2. Know your flight number and schedule. If you know your flight number and schedule, go to the
       gate for your flight.
       3. If you do not know where the gate is or you have another problem, talk to a ticket agent at your
       airline’s counter or other airline personnel.
       4. Stay with your team from then on.

Problem: What if I get separated from the team in the country where I am visiting?
Suggestions:
       1. Stay calm. God and others are willing to help and guide you.
       2. Make sure you always have your passport with you. It is one of the best identifications you can
       have. Keep your passport secure and do not give it to anyone else who should not have it.
       3. Be sure you have and know the name, address and telephone number of where you are staying
       and the name, address and telephone number of your host in the country.
       4. You will often find that someone may speak at least a little English so that you can communicate
       with him or her. Attempt to contact your team leader or one of your hosts.
       5. If all else fails, contact the U.S. Embassy, Consulate or a Tourist Bureau nearest to you.
       6. Again, remain calm and try to think your way out of the situation by using what has been
       suggested. Remember to stay with the team next time.

Problem: What if I get sick?
Suggestions:
       1. If you get sick, notify your leader at once.
       2. Work with your leader and your host in getting medical attention if it is needed.
       3. Remember, most illnesses you may get are treatable.
       4. Always bring your medication with you.

Problem: What if I lose my passport?
Suggestions:
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        1. Inform your team leader that you think you have lost your passport. When you have made a
        thorough search and are certain that it is missing, immediately contact the U.S. Embassy for further
        instructions on how to proceed.
        2. It is always good to have a xerox copy of your passport. Leave this copy with your luggage and
        present to the US Embassy for reference.


When You Are There
1. Follow your leader. The most important thing for you to do is follow the instructions of your leader.
2. Stay with your team. We cannot overstress the importance of staying with your team unless your team
leader instructs you otherwise.
3. Get to know your hosts. It will be of great benefit to you and those you meet if you will get to know your
hosts. They have worked with your leaders and determined the best schedule for ministry and sightseeing.
Therefore, make it a point to get to know the people you are visiting.


Always Remember
Be flexible. Itineraries may be set and all of the details of your trip arranged, be flexible. Situations may arise
that require changes in schedules. Always be willing to cooperate to the fullest extent.

Be respectful and courteous. Remember, you are the guest; they are the hosts. They are better acquainted
with their area and the necessary methods of ministry that you are. Respect your hosts; they are God’s servants
placed where they are for a divine purpose.

Do not attempt to impose your ideas and cultures upon your hosts.                Instead, take this wonderful
opportunity to learn from them. Pray for God to help you learn from what you see experienced servants of God
doing on your short-term mission trip.

Forget about your own personal agenda and ambitions. Think about it this way instead; we must be
about His work, with His methods, in His timing, with His attitudes, under the direction of His Spirit.

Remember the servant attitude. We are servants in the kingdom of God. Use this opportunity to show the
Lord and yourself that you can be a willing, humble servant in His Kingdom.

Tips for the Trip
LUGGAGE
1. Be sure that everything you carry - luggage, camera, flight bag, packages, etc., has your name, home
address and phone number on it so that it can be easily identified if lost or misplaced.
2. Most airlines limit your checked luggage to two pieces and one carry-on piece, which will fit in the overhead
bin or under the seat. Always pack your tools in the checked luggage, not in carry-on luggage. Please check with
team leader for any different luggage requirements.
3. A Word to the Wise! Before the trip is over, you will regret having packed anything which is not absolutely,
positively necessary to the enjoyment of your trip.
4. When traveling with a group, it is wise for all the team to tag all luggages with the same color ribbon, which
can be purchased at most hardware stores. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU
WILL DO. This seems small and insignificant, but when you are at the baggage claim and the luggage starts
coming out on the carousel – you will be very happy to see those matching colored ribbons.


DEPARTURE TAX
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1. Each country (including USA) charges an airport departure tax. This tax varies with the country visited.
   Some countries now charge an airport entrance tax.
2. Departure and entrance taxes are not always included in the price of your trip. Check with your leader about
   this tax.

MONEY EXCHANGE
1. Your host will be able to advise you on the best place to exchange currency.
2. Do not deal with people that come up to you offering to change your dollars to local currency.
3. Traveler’s checks are not as easy to exchange. We do not encourage purchasing traveler’s checks.

TIPPING
1. For tour bus drivers, donations will be received when deemed necessary by leader.

SETTLING HOTEL ACCOUNTS
1. Your travel package includes hotel costs. You should settle any other charges made to your room during
   your hotel stay personally before checkout time.
2. Be careful about making telephone calls from your hotel room since each hotel charges a surcharge in addition
   to the cost of the telephone call.


SHOPPING
   Opportunities will be given for shopping. In large cities you can use major credit cards, but in most areas you
will need cash. When exchanging US dollars to local currencies, US dollars must be in excellent shape, no tears,
rips or marks on the bills. If possible get new US dollars. Additional shopping information will be given when
the team arrives at their destination.

CURRENCY INFORMATION
   In most countries we visit, you will have to use local currency. Do not exchange your funds in the USA, as
you will lose exchange value. Wait until you arrive in the country and your host will assist you.

ELECTRICITY INFORMATION
   If your appliances (hair dryers, curling irons, etc.) are not convertible from 110 to 220 currents, you will need a
converter. You will also need outlet adaptors for the specific country.

GENERAL CONCERNS
  1. You should not drink the water from the tap. Drink only bottled water.
  2. You may purchase bottled water and soft drinks in snack areas, markets or other areas near the hotel.
  3. Please photocopy the first page of your passport. This copy will be helpful should you lose your passport
        and have to replace it. Pack several copies in different locations in your luggage.
    4. When traveling always be aware of your valuables and protect them as diligently as possible .
    5. Moving a large group of people is a challenging task, but one which we accept gladly. You can help
        make everyone’s task a little easier if you adopt the attitude of Jesus when He said that He came to
        minister, not to be ministered unto. Punctuality is extremely important. Remember one person being
        one minute late may not seem so important until you multiply that by 24 people.

HEALTH CONCERNS
  Follow the counsel of your leaders. Stay away from uncooked fruits and vegetables. If in doubt about anything,
ask them. If you have any questions about what you should or should not eat, always ask. A good rule to follow
when drinking and eating food in a foreign country is “drink it boiled and eat it hot.”
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 The first few days you are in the country you are visiting, you may feel a bit ill. Most likely it is only jet lag.
The best way to treat jet lag is to adjust to your hosts’ schedule as soon as possible and that means going to bed
when they do and getting up when they do even if you don’t feel like it.

MEDICAL INFORMATION
    1. Call your local health department. They will tell you what inoculations you will need for the country you
       are visiting.
    2. Stay away from: uncooked vegetables, local tap water, and ice cubes in areas with questionable sanitation.
       Use bottled water if it’s available, even for brushing your teeth.
    3. If you have any chronic medical problem, you should carry documentation describing your illness and the
       treatment you are receiving.
    4. Medications you carry should be identified on the label in case you’re questioned by customs.
    5. Usually, we will never be far from good doctors and hospitals. Our host can recommend qualified
       doctors and hospitals should they be needed.

Cross Cultural Notes
This is one of the most important sections of information. Pay close attention to the following:

1. As North Americans we are often very outgoing, having a natural curiosity and freedom which is not always
understood by those in the country and of the culture we are visiting. Be aware of this. To avoid being offensive,
talk to your host.

2. Try to understand that those at the mission location are working under different conditions than you are used to.
They have adapted their lives to the customs of the country or culture to help win people to Christ. Avoid the
temptation to question their way of ministering or their way of dealing with the local people.

3. You will encounter many situations to which you are not accustomed. Always think of the people to whom
you are going to minister. Don’t complain about conditions, food, travel, and so on. Always smile, be cheerful
and show love. Try to learn a phrase or two of greetings in their language.

4. Do not give the impression to the nationals that you are there simply to “help these poor people out.” Rather,
show them that you are there to be a servant.

5. Don’t be too quick to judge a national for what you feel is unchristian conduct. You may not realize the great
change that has already occurred in a person’s life through the gospel.

6. Be considerate of your hosts’ time. They are not there to be your personal tour guides.

7. Avoid references to military (never wear Army fatigues - it could put you in great personal danger) and
political issues, or to other religious groups.

8. Some words and colloquialisms are distasteful or very confusing to people of other cultures. Check with your
host before you put your foot in your mouth.

9. As we desire to be witnesses for Christ, we must seek to learn about and respect other people and their cultures.
Here are some additional important items to remember:
     a. When we go to another culture, we are the strange ones. We are the ones with the unusual perspectives,
     the funny accents, and the weird clothing. It is important to remember that we are the guests in another
     person’s world. We must respect people by not criticizing or laughing at them.

     b. Watch your language. First, don’t use phrases like “the wrong side of the road” or “they dress silly.”
     When we say these things, we put our own cultural value judgments on someone else. People in British
     countries do not drive on the “wrong” side of the road - We do! It may be opposite to what we are used to,
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   but there is nothing wrong about it. Second, remember, when you are in a foreign, non-English speaking
   country, that people around you understand much of what you are saying.

   c. Watch your facial expressions. We communicate a lot through our faces - disapproval, judgment and
   pleasure. Remember to communicate the right things at the right time. If someone says, “Do you like the
   food?” and your facial expression looks like you just swallowed a tarantula, nothing you say will come
   through. Your facial expression will speak for you.

   d. Be careful with foreign language expressions and with English slang. Sometimes we think we know
   more Spanish than we really do and we can embarrass ourselves by using wrong words or by
   mispronouncing words. You should try your foreign languages; just don’t get too confident.

   e. Avoid being alone with or talking at length with someone of the opposite gender, especially if this isn’t
   the custom. Dress modestly, whatever that means locally. Again, don’t be afraid to ask.

   f. Time schedules in most parts of the world are a much slower pace than the USA. Go with the flow of the
   culture and ministry in which you are involved.

   g. Be sure you don’t offend people by taking photos of what they consider their private space or of what
   they consider to be a negative aspect of their country.

Checklist – Things to Do and Pack
  1.  Valid passport - copy first page and keep it separate from passport.
  2.  Always keep your passport on your person at all times
  3.  Airline tickets
  4.  Sufficient money for tips, optional meals, sightseeing and shopping.
  5.  Bible
  6.  Camera
  7.  Personal hand tools
  8.  Sunscreen lotion – chap stick – sunglasses – mosquito repellent
  9.  Work clothes - work gloves – cap
  10. Snacks
  11. Flashlight and extra batteries, voltage converter,
  12. Medication for possible upset stomach or diarrhea.
  13. Antihistamines (if needed) Medication: Pack all prescription medicine in your carry-on bag. Also, carry written
      prescription from your doctor for any necessary prescription medicine.
  14. Pack lightly, dress for comfort and not style, and protect your valuable at all times.

                           HELPFUL HINTS FOR TRAVEL
  Take at least 2 copies of your passport – front page. Pack in different locations in luggage.

  Pack a small flashlight with extra batteries, a ballpoint pen, and several trash bags, which has many uses. Also
  pack several zip-lock type bags, both large and small, for wet clothing, toothbrushes, etc. Remember shampoo
  can be used for washing laundry in the sink. Take an adapter converter / plug with you when traveling abroad.

  When traveling to hot climates bring things that dry quickly. Linen, microfiber and light cotton work the best.

  Take a travel first-aid kit with Band-Aids, Tums, Aspirin, bee sting wipes, etc. When traveling by air carry a
  small bag of ginger pieces. They help with nausea or airsickness.

  In your carry-on bag pack some healthy snacks, such as, granola bars, peanuts, crackers and similar foods.
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CARRY-ON luggage. No pocketknives or any type of sharp items. These items will be confiscated at
security. Know the airline’s policy before you pack. You may take one quart size Ziploc bag with liquids or
gels no more than 3 ½ ounces each in your carry-on.

Take old T-shirts and clothing with you to work in. You can leave them and this will also free up space in
your luggage for the return trip.

Lay out all the clothes you think you would like to have on your trip and then choose ½ of those items to
pack.

Essential items to pack: small umbrella; copy of shot record; handi-wipes; Hand-sanitizer (like Purell), insect
repellant with DEET; and last but not least ... a full roll of toilet paper (remove cardboard insert) and flatten
toilet paper. Carry an extra nylon fold-up suitcase inside your luggage to put purchases in.

Be sure to take along the most versatile piece of cloth there is, the bandana. It can be used to clean up spills,
as a sun block/scarf for your head, a sweatband, a handkerchief, a sling, and to tie things together.

The American "wash cloth" is not standard throughout the world... pack at least one. Always pack a pair of
rubber flip-flop shoes to wear while showering.

Pack DUCT tape. It can repair just about anything.

If you are travelling on a long 12-14 hour flight, take a thin beach towel to use as a blanket.

Do not bring expensive jewelry and watches with you!

Assume it will be colder or hotter, wetter or drier than it's supposed to be, and pack accordingly.

Assume your bags will be misrouted and carry a mini survival kit that will get you through a day or night.
Include a change of socks, underwear, toiletries, prescription medicines, and eyeglasses

When going through customs in other countries and returning to the USA, be polite and answer only the
questions you are asked. Don’t try to carry on a conversation with the custom agents. This causes suspicion.

All luggage needs to be tagged with your name and address. Also place your name and address inside your
luggage. This helps if your luggage is lost and all tags have been removed.

When traveling with a group, it is wise for all the team to tag all luggage with the same color ribbon. You can
purchase colored plastic ribbon at most hardware stores. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
THINGS YOU WILL DO. When you are at the baggage claim and the luggage starts coming out on the
carousel – you will be very happy to see those matching colored ribbons.




                                        Prepared by:
               Men and Women of Action – PO Box 2430 – Cleveland, TN 37320-2430
                            Phone: 423-478-7955 Fax: 423-478-7408
                    E-Mail: tfletcher@cogmwoa.org or mgriffis@cogmwoa.org
                                       www.cogmwoa.org

				
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