FAQs About Trips
- Who can go?
- What will I do?
- Who will I serve?
- How long is a trip?
- What are the accommodations like?
- What is the cost?
- What will the weather be like?
- What about Malaria?
- What do I have to do to prepare?
Anyone 18 years old or above may apply for one of our trips. Anyone under the age of 18 may still apply and his/her application will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Families wishing to bring their children along should contact one of our staff members to discuss their individual situation.
We send 10 to 12 trips each year to various locations around the world, many of which have a different ministry focus. Some of the ministry types are vision, orphan care, construction, and medical.
Our most common trip utilizes our vision ministry in the public schools of South Africa. No professional training is required; we train all of our team members to perform various tasks in our clinic. Our clinics are often held in public schools. Each of our team members will have the opportunity to sit one on one with a child to screen their vision, but more importantly to share the love of Christ with them. We also teach them Bible based life skills to help them make better decisions and change negative behaviors.
Through our partnership with One Hope, every child will also receive a copy of the Book of Hope. The Book of Hope is an age appropriate publication that highlights portions of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts from the Bible in a manner that is understandable and interesting for targeted age groups.
We encourage our team members to follow God’s leading to serve and evangelize. Sometimes this may be praying with a student in a school, witnessing to someone in the airport, or even giving up your bed to another team member.
Our trips average 13 days long including travel days.
Accommodations vary from trip to trip depending on the outreach location and community resources. You may be staying in a hotel or on the floor in a church. Accommodations are coordinated by staff members on the mission field. They are always safe but may lack in creature comforts.
Cost varies depending on the location of our outreach. The cost of our trips is separated into two separate parts: Trip Tuition and Airfare. The trip tuition is a fixed cost that is based on your ministry type. This includes meals in country, accommodations, transportation, a portion of the cost of ministry supplies for your outreach, and a photo safari. The airfare is an estimated amount based on the location of your ministry outreach. Airfare pricing cannot be guaranteed until the time of booking. The price of the airfare varies based upon time of year and space available.
You may want to bring additional money for snacks, meals in the airports, souvenirs, and extra game drives and photo safaris if those are available. The easiest and cheapest way to use your money is to use your ATM card while in South Africa. If bringing a credit card, it is a good idea to contact them to let them know you’ll be traveling. You can also exchange currency at the Johannesburg airport with one team member handling the transaction to avoid multiple exchange fees
The seasons in South Africa are opposite of those in the United States. It is a large country and the temperature varies much like in the US. You can visit www.theweatherchannel.com and follow their links to find out what the weather is expected to be like during your trip.
Most places we work are Malaria free. We will let you know before you come if Malaria is a risk and if you will need prophylactics/preventatives. If prophylactics/preventatives are needed, they can easily be acquired through your personal physician.
Immunizations: No immunizations are required for travel to South Africa. However, we strongly encourage every team member to consult your physician about what immunizations he/she recommends for your individual situation. We do recommend that you are up-to-date on all US vaccinations including tetanus and Hepatitis A and B.
Travel Documents: A passport is required for travel outside of the United States. Any fees for obtaining your passport or airline ticketing fees related to failure to receive your passport on time are your responsibility. Visa fees, where applicable, are included in your trip cost.
*Passports must be valid and must have an expiration date of at least 6 months past the end of your trip.
Raise Funds (Optional): Many team members choose to raise funds for their trip as opposed to paying for their trip on their own. Blessman International, Inc. (BMI) is a non-profit charitable organization as described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Contributions to your trip cost may be deductible for income tax purposes.
Funds may be raised by sending letters to friends, businesses, community organizations, or by the combined efforts of your team with group fundraisers. Any method for raising funds is the responsibility of the individual or team. Trip costs must be paid in full at least 30 days prior to your departure.
Pray: Please pray for our ministry and our teams as we serve together. Many hours of planning and coordination go into making our outreaches possible; please pray for guidance, protection, and strength for everyone involved.
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