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Trip Planning Resources

Below are resources that can be helpful in planning your mission trip.

Short-term mission trips are wonderful ministry opportunities, but they also pose risks. Careful planning can help you anticipate problems in the field and devise ways to respond before your team leaves home. Click here for General Trip Planning Guidelines, used with permission of Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.
Safe Mission Travel Checklist (Used by permission from Brotherhood Mutual Insurance)
Trip leaders, go over this checklist to ensure the safest possible trip for your team.

1. Did you ask each member of your group to sign a Risk Acknowledgement and Release Form?
2. Did each member of your group provide a list of emergency contacts?
3. Did each member of your group purchase travel insurance?
4. Are all of the members of your group physically capable of the demands of mission travel?
5. Did each of your travelers leave photocopies of all of their important documents (passports, credit cards, driver’s licenses, vaccination records, airline tickets, and traveler’s checks) with someone they trust, in case they get lost or stolen?
6. Do your travelers have all of the vaccinations required for the country to which they are traveling?
7. Will each member of your group travel with a small first aid kit?
8. Did your travelers use an address other than a home address on their luggage tags?
9. Will members of your group travel with healthy snacks like power bars, apples, and other handy foods, in case transportation is delayed?
10. Have members of your group been instructed to carry valuables in concealed pockets or in a sturdy bag with the strap across their chest to avoid theft?

More Safety Resources from Brotherhood Mutual 


 
Introduction
 
The work of short-term volunteer missionaries can involve high levels of risk and danger to their safety.  The risks can be in the form of physical accidents, medical emergencies, criminal activities, political upheavals, health issues and natural disasters.  For those willing to take the risk, it is important for them to know an organization’s philosophy toward risk so that the individual can determine if he or she wants to serve as a volunteer through that organization.  It is with that in mind that this statement is prepared.
 
Summary   
 
What has God called us to do?  The purpose of North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM) is to help churches involve their members in missions. A core belief of NCBM is that all Christians are called, gifted and sent. All Christians are called ( 2 Corinthians 5:17-18) to be missionaries. All Christians have unique gifts (Romans 12:6-8) and all believers are called to use those gifts in missions as God leads. All Christians are sent (John 20:21) into the world to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14) for the glory of God.
 
Every year, NCBM helps thousands of volunteers (men, women and students) to be involved in missions. There has been tremendous growth in the missions efforts of NCBM over the past 30 years. We believe that God has led NCBM to be involved in certain projects and ministries. God has opened doors for NCBM to be involved in certain partnerships, disasters, local, state, national and international mission projects.  God has allowed NCBM to be involved in a small part of what He is doing in the world. We believe that God has called Christians to go to all peoples and nations and share the gospel of saving grace with the understanding that we may face accidents, illnesses and difficulties.
 
How should NCBM think about risk in light of our purpose and in light of God’s providence? As we think about these things, we should begin with some general thoughts about the providence of God.
 
God’s Providence
 
God’s providence involves the continuing work of God where all things in the universe are directed and controlled by God. God’s wise plan is carried out, generally, by the establishment and outworking of natural laws and principles, which are part of God’s good and wise work of creation. God’s providence also includes his unique, purposeful, and special intervention into the natural process to accomplish his will, which we refer to as miracles.
 
God’s providence at times also transcends human affairs, taking difficult and challenging situations and using them for good (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28). We believe that God has a plan and a purpose for all things, even those things that we don’t understand (Eccl. 9:11). We believe God’s providence points to God’s wise and wonderful plan for this world, part of which has been revealed to us but which is finally incomprehensible in its totality to us in this life (Deut. 29:29).
 
God’s plan is from all eternity (Eph. 3:11). Nothing catches God by surprise. God’s plan, as with all of his thoughts and actions, is always consistent with his nature. While God’s plan is effective, this does not mean that the plan forces his creatures to act in a certain way. God’s plan allows humans a free will to act in ways consistent with their nature. It is the element of human freedom that raises the reality of risk in all of life’s endeavors, and the reality of sin that is rampant in the world that causes us to think about these things in light of our organizational responsibility.
 
Thoughts on Risk
 
God’s plan ultimately centers on Jesus Christ, who revealed God perfectly and taught his followers about the Kingdom of God. Jesus urged his followers to live in light of a coming day of reckoning. Jesus knew that obedience to the will of God would involve his own suffering and death.
 
Jesus’ commitment to his Father’s will called for a life of Kingdom faithfulness, rejecting self-interest, and, if necessary, self-protection. Jesus’ own self-sacrifice provides a model and standard for his followers (Matt. 10:38; 16:24-26; 19:21-30).
 
If Jesus’ followers are to live in accordance with the Kingdom teachings, they must be willing to live faithfully in spite of the twists and turns of life, always being open to God’s guidance. Such a life is willing to take risks for the sake of the Kingdom (Matt. 25:14-30).
 
Providence and Risk
 
The tension of providence and risk reflects the tension of our dual citizenship (Phil. 3); we are citizens of this world and citizens of the Kingdom yet to come. Providence and risk also reflect the tensions of living in the orderly world as created by God and a fallen world that is affected by sin. Providence and risk are extensions of the struggle between a confidence in God’s sovereignty and the reality of human freedom and responsibility.
 
It is in light of these things that we live by faith, a faith that gives assurance and pleases God (Heb. 11:1, 6), and a faith that calls Christ-followers to a life without immediate answers (Heb. 11:8). In the midst of this tension, we recognize that God’s grace not only enables us to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, but also gives us the opportunity, if so called, to suffer for his sake (Phil 1:29).
 
Organizational Legacy
 
NCBM has a legacy of volunteers who have given their lives for the gospel.  Lives have been lost through travel, accidents and illness.  NCBM has been blessed with volunteers who were willing to take risks or to go to difficult places because the love of Christ compelled them to go to minister to lost and hurting people. 
 
Safety of volunteers is always in the forefront of the minds of the leadership of NCBM; however, there is urgency for mankind to hear the message of the gospel.  There is also an understanding that missions work is often dangerous.  NCBM will not cower from its task of involving Christians in missions and sharing the love of Christ with hurting people. 
 
Implications

1. Our purpose at NCBM is to help involve Christians in local, state, national and international volunteer missions. This will involve risk and danger to our volunteers and staff.

2. We must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in terms of which projects, ministries and partnerships we are to be involved in. We also want our volunteers to be prayerful about God’s leadership concerning the projects, ministries or partnerships that God leads them to be involved in.

3. We will do what we can to assess and determine the risk or danger in those areas in which volunteers work.

4. We will strive to prepare our volunteers to live by faith as Kingdom citizens in the global world of the 21st Century. We live and serve with confidence in God’s gracious and guiding providence. We want to encourage our volunteers to live faithfully as Kingdom citizens, with a trust and hope in Christ alone, who is our only comfort in life and in death, and who calls us to a life of faith and service.

5. We seek God’s wisdom to balance the tensions in shaping a missional vision for our volunteers, who are called to faithful service in a fallen world that can be characterized by non-Christian influences, economic unrest, poverty, war, and terrorism.  We seek God’s wisdom to live with confidence in his providence and the realities of our stewardship and responsibility for the volunteers and ministries of NCBM.
Click here to apply for your passport card or book now.
Click here to research your destination country’s visa requirements.
Click here for a Sample Short-Term Mission Release Form, used with permission of Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.
Baptists on Mission Organization has contracted with Protect My Ministry to provide background checks at a discounted price.

The discount price is available to all North Carolina Baptist Churches for volunteer, staff and employment screening.  Protect My Ministry serves Baptists on Mission and hundreds of churches throughout North Carolina.  Their staff can help you in the implementation of your Child Protection Policy, as well as offer you resources for Background Checks, Child Abuse Prevention training, and Paperless Risk Management solutions, so you can screen your workers in the most cost effective and simple way.

Discount pricing and package includes:

Basic Package – $7.50

National Criminal Database Search (includes maiden name search and re-verification of positive results)
National Sex Offender Registry Search
SSN Verification
Address History Trace

Plus Package – $15.00

All of the above + (1) County or Statewide Court Search (+fees when applicable)

Click here to sign up
The NC Baptists Men and Women have partnered with Fort Sherman Academy (FSA) to provide you with an online "A Level" Mission Trip Safety/Security training. 

Access Training

Packing for a trip overseas can be quite different and varies greatly each trip. There are some essentials that should be packed every trip to ensure safety and comfort. 

Basic items: 
  • First-aid kit, containing bandages, Q-tips, eye drops, earplugs, wet wipes, antibiotic cream, and medications for allergies, colds, and pains
  • Plastic pill bottles as containers for such small items as cotton balls, safety pins, rings, or earrings
  • Travel alarm clock or a stop watch with an alarm for your wake-up calls
  • Adapters for electrical appliances
  Required travel documents:
  • Travel insurance information
  • The U.S. Department of State provides a comprehensive list of what to bring overseas.
Click here for a list of "Best Practices" for a Mission Trip, shared from the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission's website.
Click here to review and purchase Gallagher Travel Insurance.
Visit the CDC website for up-to-the minute health-related information for travelers, including helpful tips about common travel health topics and resources, including a health care specialist or vaccination center locator.
Each team leader should create a “master folder” that contains vital paperwork and information, including:
  • Photocopies of team’s passports and visas, if applicable
  • Passport-sized photos of each traveler
  • Emergency contact information for each traveler
  • Information on special medical needs
  • Medical release forms
  • Insurance company contact numbers
  • Back-up cash in case someone’s wallet is lost or stolen
  • Airline itinerary listing travelers’ names, in case airline tickets are lost or stolen

TRAVEL IN PEACE

Essential for frequent travelers and families residing abroad, MED’PROFILE by SWISS MEDBANK is your secure and intuitive international health passport accessible all around the world 24/7/365, even if you are unconscious.

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CONSTANT LINK WITH PHYSICIANS

Our specialists are available for you on a 24/7 base by teleconference, phone or chat. They provide you with the best support and advice in case of simple question or emergency, having a direct access to your MED’PROFILE while discussing with you.

IT’S YOU WHO BENEFITS

Since a clear medical history is mandatory for your security when admitted in a hospital, check on www.swissmedbank.com the option that fits the best to you.

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