How to plan your mission – 7 Steps to follow

A mission trip to Africa can be a life-changing experience – for you and the community you work with. To help you achieve this great impact, we’ve put together a short step-by-step guide on ‘how to plan your mission.’ This is by no means extensive, but it does give you a good foundation to get you going, covering the basics of planning your mission trip.

The steps will help you gather your thoughts and information you need and you can fill in the details.

Step 1: The who, when and where
- Find out who would like to go with you, just as an indicator
- Put down an approximate number of group participants
- Choose dates that will work for the group
- Find out how far they are willing to travel
- Find out what the group’s passion is to match their need to serve with the
need of a community
- Choose a destination

Additional note: It is a good idea to contact an operator that deals with mission logistics to help you with guidelines for the above. It is important to work with existing projects that are responsible and sustainable. ACTS can link you with projects and help you choose one that meets the group’s focus area.

Step 2: Group meeting and preparations
If possible, get the group together for a discussion on the final decision of location, dates and budget.

It would also be a good opportunity to hand over some information on the project involved so that each member of the team can prepare themselves on practical and spiritual level.

Also make sure that the group prepares for the necessary travel requirements, familiarizing themselves with inoculations, visas and information needed. Each participant should visit a doctor for a medical check-up four months before the trip, to ensure they are fit and healthy enough to travel.

Step 3: Application forms
Once you know who is going, how many you are and where you are going (through the help of an operator in the area), the group needs to apply for a volunteering project through filling out the necessary application forms.

Step 4: Fundraising
Raise the funds for the group to be able to go on the trip. There are various options for mission trips when it comes to fundraising. A local church can be approached or you can look into grants and fundraising opportunities.

You can also try visiting a local business for sponsorship and plan fundraising events throughout the year if needed – things like garage sales, bake sales or sponsored events such as, participating in marathons or other sports events.

Another idea is to approach a company or two to sponsor gifts that can be raffled off.
There are many creative ways to raise funds, the most important part is that each group member participates.

Step 5: Travel Plans and Preparation
Whilst you are raising the funds it is important to look into booking flight tickets and arranging logistics on the other side. The easiest way of handling logistics like accommodation, food and transport, is to make use of a ground handler that knows the area. ACTS can link you to a project as well as handle all your on the ground logistics needs.

This takes away a lot of the burden and the group can focus on getting their flights booked and their travel documents and insurance are sorted out. This also means that once you are in Africa, you can focus on the missionary work at hand.

Step 6: Make the best of every moment
You are now in Africa – make every moment count. Learn about the community you work with, so that they feel comfortable with you and trust you. Through contributing to the physical needs of the people, you open up the opportunity to witness and share from your own life.

You will be amazed at what you learn and how God provides opportunities for you to share His love. Be sure to take some pictures so that you can cherish these moments.

Step 7: Return home safely
Before you return home, it is important that the group has a chance to de-brief on their experience. Also make plans to follow up with the project to see how your visit has contributed to change in the future.

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