Short-Term Trip FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions to help you in the short-term trip process. If you don't see your question answered, please reach out to [email protected].
Trip Overview Process
What is the purpose of GO Trips?
To make disciples of all nations so God may receive worship from every corner of His creation. In Revelation 7:9 we see that God has already purchased people from every tribe, people, and language. We want to be active participants in His plan to redeem those people by inviting them into the Kingdom of God. We go out of obedience to God – partnering with long-term efforts to verbally proclaim and demonstrate Jesus’ life – because we want to see Him glorified among all creation.
When should I apply?
Today! Trips have a maximum capacity, and applications are reviewed by the date of application completion. Trips that have more applications than capacity will have a waitlist. Visit hcbc.focusmissions.com/home to apply.
How do I submit a complete application?
A complete application includes:
- Completed the application.
- Esigned Short-Term Trip Commitment Agreement (by parent/guardian if under 18)
- Esigned 2023 COVID-19 Trip Risk Understanding (by parent/guardian if under 18)
- Submit 2 references
Can I pay my deposit to hold my place in line before completing an application?
No. Applications are put in order by the date of completion. You must follow all the steps above in order for your application to be considered complete.
What should I do if I miss the application deadline?
We encourage you to apply next year. If you want to participate in something sooner, we may be able to plug you in with one of our local partner ministries. *Note: Team Leaders cannot extend application deadlines.
Why could I be redirected to another trip?
The Global Outreach Team may redirect an applicant to another trip. There could be a variety of reasons for this, including but not limited to: our missionary partners are asking for a team predominantly of one gender; the applicant seems better suited for other ministry activities; another trip seems a better fit with regards to spiritual formation; a trip is already full; etc. For this reason, be sure to list your 2nd and 3rd choice trips in your application! If you are asked to switch to another trip, the Global Outreach Team will explain why they were led to that decision.
What am I committing to as a Mission Trip Team Member?
Applicants who are accepted as a short-term mission team member must fully agree to:
- Attend all team meetings prior to departure, during the trip, and after our return, with the understanding that missing more than one Team Training is grounds for removal from the team.
- Complete all homework and requirements between team meetings, such as forms, support-raising obligations, etc., making every effort to meet deadlines.
- Submit to the leadership and authority of Hill Country Bible Church and my Team Leader, promising to follow instructions and abide by my Team Leader’s decisions.
- Adopt the attitude of Jesus Christ when interacting with my fellow team members, Team Leader, field hosts, and those I meet during the trip, abstaining from making derogatory or offensive comments or instigating arguments regarding people, politics, sports, religion, race, or traditions.
- Embrace the posture of a humble learner in order to honor the missionaries, organization, and people group we are serving, respecting and following all instructions given concerning attire, eating/drinking, and other cultural traditions.
- Operate in selflessness and servant-heartedness, understanding my role is to further the cause of Christ and the long-term ministry goals of our field hosts.
- Remain flexible and supportive even through difficult travel and unexpected schedule changes during the trip.
- Respond gently to an attitude or behavioral correction on the trip when approached.
- Return home at my own expense should my conduct become so unsatisfactory that it jeopardizes the success of the mission trip
What happens after I apply?
Applying does not necessarily mean you are part of the team. Applications will be evaluated by the GO Team and Trip Leader. You will be notified whether or not you have been accepted onto a team within 2 weeks of the trip application deadline. If you apply for an international trip, you must complete a 30-minute interview before your application is considered complete. After being accepted onto a team, you must attend all mandatory Team Trainings in order to prepare for the trip as a team.
What are Team Trainings and are they mandatory?
Yes, each team has at least 4 – 5 mandatory Trip Trainings before going. Each participant is expected to fully participate in all trainings in order to adequately prepare for ministry, get to know their team, and gather all necessary trip details. These trainings are required and must be prioritized over other activities, even if a participant has served on a GO Trip in the past.
If your schedule will not allow you to participate in all Team trainings, we encourage you to wait until next season to apply. If you are on a team and miss more than 1 Team Training without an approved excuse (approved by Global Outreach department), you may be removed from the team.
When are my pre-trip trainings?
You will receive Team Training dates and times once you are officially accepted onto a team. All trainings are mandatory in order to participate on the trip.
Should parents of students come to Team Trainings?
We ask parents of students to accompany their child(ren) to the first training, to get any required forms notarized. This is also a great time to meet the team leaders and find out how to help kids stay on top of support raising. Parents are then invited to attend the following trainings, though it is not required. *Note: If a parent attends a training, it is required that the student also be present. Parents cannot attend trainings on behalf of their child.
What do I do if I need to miss a training?
After being accepted onto a GO Team, you will receive all your Team Training dates. If you see that there already exists a scheduling conflict, notify your Team Leader and [email protected] immediately.
If you need to miss a training for an unforeseen circumstance, contact your Team Leader and email [email protected] immediately to notify them of the reason for your absence. If you fail to communicate to both your Team Leader and Global Outreach about your absence, it will be considered unexcused. Missing more than 1 training is grounds for removal from the team.
Support-raising is the process of inviting people in your network – friends, family, and the Church – to partner with you in advancing God’s work through prayer and finances.
What are the fundraising expectations?
- Each team member must submit a personal 10% deposit (i.e. $200 for a $2,000 trip) within 7 days of being accepted onto a team (and before their first Team Training). An applicant is not considered a Team Member until they have paid their 10% deposit.
- Upon being accepted onto a team, each team member will complete an online fundraising training and begin writing their support letter before their first Team Training.
- Every team member must send out 1 letter for every $25 of the trip cost (for example, 80 letters for a $2,000 trip).
- Team members will bring their hard copy support letters – addressed, sealed, and ready to be mailed – to the Global Outreach church offices within 10 days of their first Team Training.
- Every team member is expected to make follow-up phone calls to those they sent letters to throughout the support-raising process. A follow-up template is provided.
- Team Members must complete an online Fundraising Participation form by the 50% support deadline noting the number of letters sent out and the number of follow-up phone calls made. (Tracking template provided.)
- If a participant is significantly behind by the 50% support deadline, they may be removed from the trip.
- If a summer trip participant sends out all required letters and follows up with potential supporters, but still falls short of the trip costs, they are responsible for contributing an additional 10% before August 31, 2023.
- If a participant opts out of sending all required letters, they become fully responsible for the total cost of the trip.
- If a participant chooses to self-fund, we do ask that you send out prayer letters following our prayer letter template.
- Participants who choose to join more than one trip are responsible for the total amount of all their trips.
Note: All personal investments and financial support are legally non-refundable.
Does HCBC provide scholarships for trips?
No. Each trip participant is expected to submit a trip deposit once accepted onto a team – a personal donation covering 10% of the trip cost. An applicant will not be considered part of the team until they have turned in their 10% deposit. Team members must then support-raise (raise the rest of their funds) for their trip. They will receive support-raising training once accepted onto a team.
If a team member fully participates in support-raising but falls short of raising the total amount of the trip, they will be asked to submit up to an additional 10% of the trip cost to cover their expenses. This means a participant may be asked to provide up to 20% of their trip cost if they fully participate in the support-raising process. Those who do not fully participate in support-raising as outlined in their Team Training will be expected to pay 100% of their trip costs.
*Note: Team Leaders cannot change fundraising policies.
What happens if I raise more funds than the total cost of my trip?
If a participant raises more funds than their trip cost, those funds will be used by Global Outreach to cover team shortages. Extra funds may not be held, carried over to a future trip, or reimbursed.
What happens to my funds if I drop off the trip?
If you drop off a trip, your raised support will automatically transfer to the team to cover your incurred expenses up to that point. Funds may not be held, carried over to a future trip, or reimbursed.
What does the raised fund cover?
Your trip cost includes transportation costs for the duration of the trip, hotel/housing costs, all food including travel day, partner fees, travel insurance, and activity supplies.
Your trip cost does not include but is not limited to personal expenses, stamps, passports, immunizations, medications, or personal supplies.
Who arranges travel logistics?
All trip transportation is arranged by the Global Outreach Office.
What if I have a vacation planned around the same time as my trip? May I travel to/from the trip location to my vacation location?
No. All participants must travel to/from the trip location with their team. Travel continuations are not possible, as they interfere with group travel rates and complicate travel logistics, thus increasing the cost for the whole team. Travel changes are also an extra strain on leaders and distracting for other goers. *Note: Team Leaders cannot change travel continuation policies.
We have a frequent flyer program. Can we use those miles to cover my or my child’s ticket?
No. Team tickets are reserved through a partner travel agency in order to receive the most discounted rate. We are unable to break the contract in order to purchase individual tickets with various airlines.
How are visas handled for international trips?
Only a few of our trips require travel visas. In those cases, the participant will receive specific visa instructions during Team Trainings. All visa costs are covered by raised funds.
Where will we be staying?
Accommodations all depend on the trip. Some teams need to bring personal air mattresses as they will be sleeping on the floor of a church. Other teams may stay with missionaries or in hostels/ hotels. You will get more details during your Team Trainings.
What immunizations should I get?
Look up your trip destination on www.cdc.gov to get the most up-to-date recommendations. Any costs will not be covered by team funds and need to be covered by goer.