Mission Travel Group
Southwestern College
Rolling Hills Community Church
Kentucky Baptist Convention
Meadows Presbyterian Church
Grace Academy

MISSION TRAVEL GROUP download pdf Download official testimonial

June 21, 2011

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION – ACTS (African Christian Tours and Safaris)

Mission Travel Group is a specialist travel agency based in Melbourne, Australia that facilitates short term mission trips, volunteer placements, Holy Land tours and general travel arrangements for Christian businesses and individuals.

MTG began trading in February 2006 and has quickly grown in 5 years to a business with an $8 million turnover and 8 staff.

The relationship with ACTS began in early 2008. Africa accounts for approximately 65% of our overall business and it was a blessing direct from God that I received a “cold call” email from Barry Rawlings at ACTS in Zimbabwe introducing himself and the ACTS organisation. The very next month I was scheduled to travel to the tourism Indaba in Durban and got to meet a number of the ACTS management team.

From that point on we have used ACTS almost exclusively for our on ground arrangements in Africa. The reason for this was as follows:

1. The mission of ACTS & Mission Travel was very similar in that we both are called to serve God in the mission field and that all we do is for His purposes and glory.

2. The management team in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya are second to none with regard to professionalism, openness, transparency and communication.

3. They are ready and willing to take on the smallest of tasks right through to some crazy idea that requires enormous amounts of work and pushes them to do things they have never done before.

4. ACTS have adopted a faith based responsible approach to volunteering & short term mission that ensures that the communities in which our clients serve are supported and encouraged rather than harmed and disempowered.

5. ACTS pricing is extremely competitive. They are able to offer Christian services including guest houses, mission homes and Christian ground operations that are unique to them and perfectly meet the needs of our Christian clientele. They are also able to secure very competitive rates for hotels and other open market accommodation and tours arrangements.

6. ACTS is on the ground in Africa – we are able to go direct to the source and they have a suite of products such as vehicles, accommodation, safari packages and Christian projects for volunteers and teams to serve in.

7. ACTS have been impeccable with problem solving in the event that something has gone wrong with a tour. The constant updates and follow up has been amazing.

Mission Travel has recently run its own Mission Trips in Cape Town and Kenya using ACTS as our provider in its entirety. These mission trips have enabled us to offer a product to the Australian Christian community where they can join an independent team and serve in Africa. These trips have been an outstanding success and based on word of mouth alone these tours are certain to continue on a regular basis.

I cannot recommend ACTS more highly. They are a great asset to my business and have come to be more like an extended family.

I am available for more specific comment should the need arise and can be contacted by email at
lisa@missiontravel.com.au .

Lisa Scerri

SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE download pdf Download official testimonial

September 17, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

It is my great pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with African Encounter for the past two years in bringing college students to Cape Town (South Africa) for educational service projects. The inaugural project in March 2009 was so successful and well received by all concerned that we repeated the same project with different students in March 2010. A third group of students are currently being prepared to do a similar project in April 2011.

Our previous groups spent 14 days on each of the trips working with preschool children and their teachers in Red Hill Township near Simon’s Town. We helped each morning in the schools with curriculum activities and the daily routines of the classroom. Afternoons were spent on cleaning and maintenance of the schools and planning the activities for the next day. Several excursions were also planned for the volunteers on the weekends including Table Mountain, Cape Point, and Boulder’s Beach.

We chose to work with African Encounter because they offered unique, custom-made and all-inclusive trips for varied interests and needs of our students. They worked mightily to ensure a smooth, enjoyable, and above all an educational experience. The students themselves will attest that this is a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to interact in a very meaningful and authentic way with children and adults in their own environment, and that it has had lasting effects on how they view the world. The excursions and the interactions with people met along the way added yet another layer to this rich, sensory experience that can be as up close and personal as one wants to make it.

Michael Massingham and the staff at African Encounter are incredible in orchestrating the logistics of trips such as these; moreover, they accomplish all this with good humor and ready smiles! The accommodations at the Team House are delightful with incredible ocean views, wonderful food, and helpful staff. The physical layout is perfect for groups such as ours for team building activities, working on lesson plans and projects for Red Hill, and overall collegiality. Not only did the all-inclusivity of the trip take much of the worry out of arranging the details for the student group and their advisors, but the overall cost of the trip is very reasonable, including the transportation, food, lodging, and excursions.

I highly endorse entrusting African Encounter to plan and implement trips with the utmost of care and integrity. I may be reached at 619-421-6700 ext. 5624 or at mholmes@swccd.edu.

Mary Holmes, Professor
Child Development Department
Southwestern College

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ROLLING HILLS COMMUNITY CHURCH download pdf Download official testimonial

November 23, 2010

Rolling Hills community Church has been working with The Team House since we began planning our first church mission trip to South Africa in the fall of 2006. To say that working with The Team House is a highlight of our experience is a severe understatement. Here’s why:

- The Team House staff understand their role as a ministry partner for mission teams like ours. This “intangible” quality makes all the difference in the world in planning a mission trip.

- The staff is professional, kind, courteous, and goes above and beyond in all aspects of their work. Even for Type A personalities like mine, I never have to worry about what is coming next or how a day is to be executed. The staff does a great job of thinking for us and allowing us to single-mindedly focus on what is most important.

- The facilities are incredibly comfortable and affordable; the setting and service are unmatched; the food is very team-friendly, delicious, and thoughtful; the logistical planning is thoroughly considered.

- Our experience in mission settings is that when one loves a country and gets to experience aspects of it beyond the actual mission setting, they love what they’re doing even more. The Team House is able to help plan affordable and meaningful excursions to enhance a team experience in all the right ways, rounding a trip to a foreign land.

- They really are experts. I have never asked a cultural, missional, logistical, or even a cuisine question that was not answered quickly and accurately. In being professional, though, they also make room in their hearts and lives to befriend our teams in the time we’re there. We look forward to seeing The Team House people as much as we do the people we are coming to minister to each year!

The Team House is an unmatched resource in mission trip planning and execution. Any anxiety I experienced about serving in Africa was quickly alleviated upon my first communiqué with The Team House because they really do take care of everything. The relationship we’ve built in the last five years has only continued to grow and improve, and we’re looking forward to many, many more.

Blessings to you!

Brent Hutchinson

Community Life Pastor

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KENTUCKY BAPTIST CONVENTION Download official testimonial

21st October 2011

ACTS Testimonial:

Grace Academy used ACTS for part of their Zambia trip in 2011. Our goal is to expose students from UK inner city schools to a very different culture and to participate in humanitarian work in a third world country.
Having run these trips each year since 2008, we decided to utilise ACTS to simplify the organisation of the practical aspects of the trip (transport, food, bookings, etc.), and to enable us to concentrate on the programme and student experience.

In Zambia, transport and accommodation are a challenge, so having an all-inclusive vehicle made it possible for us to visit rural sites, where we could set up a base for a few days to work out from. We were put in touch with ACTS through a staff member being part of a similar trip in Zimbabwe in 2010, and after investigation, felt that the Zambia trip could be enhanced by using ACTS.

The ACTS crew were very competent and a great asset to our staff team. Their friendly, but professional approach gave us confidence in all health and safety aspects, and we were able to resolve minor issues quickly. They were soon part of the group, and some students made lasting friendships with crew members, keeping in touch since the trip. The students enjoyed the experience of the overland truck immensely: lengthy journeys were more tolerable because of the long range views and the camaraderie generated by the seating arrangements inside. Tables enabled small groups to play games and others improvised with cool boxes. Set-up and pack-down happened efficiently as people quickly learnt the routines. Evening camp fires were particularly valuable for sharing the day’s most significant memories, as well as keeping warm on cold evenings.

ACTS offered basic camping facilities, but we combined this with sleeping in buildings belonging to the partners we worked with, thus giving us access to indoor showers and toilets. The crew were also able to use some kitchen facilities at one site, which helped speed up the cooking times for a large group. All food prepared by ACTS was excellent; the menu was mostly western with interesting variations. No one went hungry and there were often extra servings available. Several students enjoyed dishes they would not have previously tried at home, and we had virtually no sickness. Everyone helped with food preparation and washing up, on a rota basis, and this contributed positively to the overall impact and changes in students’ attitudes throughout the trip.

We found ACTS to be good value for money, helping us remain within budget. It is not luxury travel, by any means, but perfectly adequate for school groups travelling in Africa. The partnership between Grace Academy and ACTS was very successful and we would certainly recommend them as travel facilitators for low-cost school trips, especially if you hope to see beyond the major cities of Africa. We successfully achieved all our goals in 2011 and are planning to use them again in 2012.

Yours sincerely,

Lynda James. (Grace Academy Africa Trips Coordinator)

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