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Q & A

Got Questions?

Are you contemplating your first short-term mission trip? You probably have lots of questions and below you can find a number of commonly asked questions and answers to aid you in your decision. Where should I go? RP Missions provides North American missions as well as international missions each with unique outreach and discipleship opportunities. What's next? Once you have identified a mission trip(s) that seem well suited to you, you are then ready to begin the application process.

Due to the challenges often faced on the mission field and with a desire to see the lessons that God would teach each participant taken seriously, RP Missions allows Christian men and women who are at least 16 years of age to participate on our mission trips in the United States and allows those Christian men and women who are at least 18 years of age to participate on our trips outside of the United States.
There are many ways that participants have utilized to raise funds for their mission trips, however, most have utilized fundraising letter campaigns. Those planning to utilize letters can create an Excel spreadsheet of 100+ names, addresses, and email addresses and submit that with a one page letter describing their upcoming mission and why it is that they want to participate with RP Missions. Then our office will print, fold, stuff and provide postage for the participant's letters to addresses in the United States. Participants will prove an new letter every three weeks, until departure, describing their efforts to prepare for their mission and sharing prayer items with their friends, family, neighbors and church members. Any remaining balance is to be paid by the participant and received by our office at least two week prior to departure. If a participant elects to use another fundraising method, or to pay out of pocket, they will need to arrange a payment schedule with the office that will yield full payment two week prior to departure (typically paid in three installments).
Do you find the thought of arranging flights daunting? Our office is happy to help direct you to helpful travel agents and travel sites that can aid you in identifying a travel itinerary that will best suit you and the congregation that you will be serving. In order to find the best deals on flights, it is important that you apply and are accepted early so that you have more time to search out travel deals. The later you apply the fewer options you will tend to find that meet the assigned travel dates. Contact us if you have questions.
While it is impossible to not put some measure of burden on the congregations that host our teams (time spent by church members and leadership, incidentals associated with having extra people around, etc.) RP Missions does seek to price these trips to reduce the burden to our hosts and to better ensure that a team will result in the multiplication of ministry efforts by the host congregation and not yield a reduction in the host's capacity to do outreach. For that reason we seek to offset the costs of housing, food, local travel, outreach materials, and provide emergency medical/evacuation insurance for all our trips outside of the United States. Participants should be prepared to cover their travel to the mission site (Domestic and International airfares if needed) and are responsible for securing a passport, visas, and necessary vaccinations or medications for their mission trip.
When short-term mission trips began about 50 years ago, they typically were one to two months in length. Today, the average short-term mission trip is less than a week in length. We have deliberately sought to lengthen our mission trips to provide you with the greatest opportunities to learn about missions and to form more lasting bonds with the churches you will serve and the people you will have opportunity to evangelize and to disciple. By participating in a 3 to 6 week trip you will be able to engage in more than just physical labor and literature distribution, you will get to work shoulder to shoulder with local church leaders and workers to see their ministry undertaken and to learn new ways of tackling problems and opportunities that perhaps haven't been identified yet in your local church. It is our goal that our participants will return home excited to be a more active member of their local church and with confidence to identify and address opportunities that they would find wherever God puts them.
Another benefit of our longer mission trip offerings is that they provide us an opportunity to better evaluate each of our participants with an eye toward developing team leaders for subsequent mission trips. In our experience, those who participate on longer mission trips are far more likely to desire to return to the field again and thus provide us with more opportunities to invest in them to prepare them for added responsibilities that accompany team leadership. In addition, we have also seen many of our team leaders then go on to long-term mission service as a result of the way their vision for missions and their passion for evangelism and service to Christ's Church has grown by their short-term mission experiences.
Absolutely! Due to the length of our trips, host church leadership is given time to see if mission participants are compatible with the ministry of the congregation and have often times extended an invitation to our participants to come back for another trip, or even sought to encourage them to consider full time service in bounds of the congregation. Other participants have grown more confident in their evangelism and discipling skills and have pursued more formal theological training before heading onto the mission field for full-time service. Yet, we have seen even more often that participants have returned home with new skills and a greater appreciation for the tools that God has given them through the faithful preaching and teaching of the Word and they now are taking a leading role in laboring for Christ within their local church and community, which is no less a life calling.
RP Missions is committed to serving established churches, to aid them in the implementation of programs that they have designed to meet the needs in their church and their community that the local leadership has identified, rather than seek to bring our own programs and apply them in a church or community that we know little about. While we do seek to minimize the burden on the host congregation, it is important that those churches desiring to host an RP Missions team realize that it is a big investment. It will take time to craft a schedule for a team, to arrange housing, to think through the logistics of local transportation, to ensure follow-up is carried out by the local leadership after the team leaves, and also to be aware of the extra costs associated with magnifying the witness of the church in the community (either through printed materials, VBS materials, refreshments for events, etc.). If your congregation would like to request a team, please fill out a host application form online (at least 9 months in advance of your team's arrival) and also be sure to read our host congregation manual which can give you valuable insights into ways that short-term teams can and have been used. Lastly, our office will supply you with a trip cost calculator to identify those costs that the team should come prepared to cover and also those things which the host congregation will provide. This will enable us to begin advertising the trip once it is approved and it will also help the church make its plans for the receiving of the team.
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More Questions?

Didn't see your question listed above, don't hesitate to pick up the phone and call our office to learn more about RP Missions and how we seek to glorify Christ through these short-term mission opportunities. We look forward to hearing from you.