Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is this just mission tourism?
A: Our trips are all done through trusted partners, with established long-term relationships. Teams are invited by partners to meet specific needs identified by our partners. We send teams back to each partner multiple times per year.
Q: What are we going to build/do?
A: Our primary focus is relationship. Coming from a western perspective, our first ask is often related to how can we fix, do, accomplish something physically. One of the primary asks of our international partners is “Will you come be with us?” It is an important perspective shift – think if someone travelled around the world to encourage you, your faith, and serve your family. This does not mean we don’t have work projects that get accomplished – it’s just not the primary focus.
Q: Who can go?
A: Unless otherwise noted, our trips are open to any eligible adult that meets all character and travel requirements. So invite friends, family, and colleagues. We want our trips to be open to show others what the Church is involved in internationally through our Christian partners.
(*At times we have youth and family trips, see our trip page)
Q: How can I afford it?
A: It can be a lot of money. The majority of our trip members fundraise through friends, family and colleagues! All our trips are learning experiences and qualify for tax receipts. Each team member is responsible to fundraise his or her full amount. Your trip leader will equip you with resources to help you fundraise.
Q: Does Village Church offer financial support?
A: Village Church does not provide any financial support to teams due to the number of teams we send in a year. It the responsibility of the participant to find alternative ways to get donors. We provide a list of fundraising ideas to help you out!
Q: What is included in the trip costs?
A: The trip cost includes:
- Roundtrip Airfare
- In-country costs for food, transportation and accommodation
- Associated partner staff and translation costs
- Travel Insurance
- Layover Hotel (If Required)
- Team Re-entry Meal (to debrief your experience)
- If predetermined, a percentage of the costs will cover supplies or a project completed by your team while in country.
Q: What is not included in my trip costs?
A: The trip cost doesn’t include:
- Airport Meals
- Souvenir costs
Q: Can my trip be refunded?
A: No, your trip cannot be refunded due to CRA regulations. All funds given are being allocated to the mission of the trip. If you are no longer able to attend, your funds will be used to cover any costs incurred. The remaining balance would then be put towards in country project costs with the partner organization.
Q: Can I travel on vacation before or after my trip?
A: At this time we do not allow vacations before or after your trip. All team members must travel together to and from Vancouver. For participants who live in a different city, we’ll coordinate the best route for meeting up with the team.
Q: Can I use my travel points or book my own flights?
A: When travelling as a team, Village Church is responsible for booking your flights. Travel points cannot be used to reduce flight costs or to book your own flights. If you have a frequent flyer number with an accepted account, we are happy to add that to your flight so you can earn points. We have a trusted travel agent that ensures flights are at the best cost and they have added benefits to protect you and your group as a whole, while travelling.
Q: Where are we staying?
A: Most of our partners offer guesthouse suites with dormitory style rooms. There are comfortable beds and washrooms. Married couples will be accommodated to have their own room.
Q: What is the food like?
A: Meals are usually a mix of Western and local dishes as our hosts have cooks on hand to prepare delicious meals for teams. There are opportunities to try local cuisine and your hosts will always inform you what is safe to eat. We do our best to be accommodating for those with dietary restrictions however if we cannot make it work, we may ask you to bring some of your own food.
Q: What is travel like?
A: Travel is always done as a group through a trusted airline. Team members are required to stay in groups of 2 or 3 when in transit. Upon arrival in the host country, our partner will be at the airport to pick up your team. From there on, transportation will be arranged by the organization you are staying with.
Q: Why can’t I just give money instead of going?
A: Sending money is definitely a valued way to contribute to the mission of our partners. We have found that the long-term return on investment from going is often greater than a one-time donation. Relationships are built which are far more foundational to the warm cultures we work in. This means they value relationship over tasks and productivity that us in the west, which are a cold culture, prioritize. Even more, there is far greater engagement and encouragement from those who go on these trips. You get to see firsthand where your money is going.
Have more questions that can’t wait until your first team meeting?