senior-high

Sr. High Mission Trip 2017: Dominican Republic

The Senior High ministry will be taking a mission trip to the Dominican Republic June 17-24, 2017. We will be partnering with Envision, a ministry of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. There will be amazing opportunities to serve and be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are excited to see how God will move through our students and leaders on this trip!

__________________________________

General Info

Where: Dominican Republic

When: June 17-24, 2017

Here is a link for the TRIP APPLICATION. ***If you are applying after 2/8/2017, you will be placed on a wait list***

View the BROCHURE.

__________________________________

Spaghetti Benefit Dinner & Auction

Saturday, March 11 5:30-7:30PM

Located in the Cafe

We would love to see you at the end of Grace Church's Global Outreach (GO) Week at the High School Spaghetti Benefit Dinner! This will be a great way to support our team going to the Dominican Republic. More details to come!

__________________________________

Team Meeting Schedule

All team meetings will be on Sundays from 12PM-2PM in the Atrium Chapel. The 7 team meetings are mandatory, where you'll learn a ton in preparation for the trip, as well as connect with your team. There is also a packing party the day before we leave!

Dates for team meetings:

  • February 12th
  • March 26th
  • April 23rd
  • May 7th
  • May 21st
  • June 11th
  • June 16th (Packing Party)

__________________________________

FAQs 

 
TRIP OVERVIEW

What is a mission trip? 

A mission trip is not a vacation. You will will be stretched and asked to serve in many ways. But it will be a blast!

When is the trip?

June 17-24, 2017

Is it possible that they will change the dates? 

Yes, it is possible but not likely. Envision keeps a fairly tight schedule of teams coming in throughout the summer so, while flights could change dates by a day or two, we do not anticipate the dates needing to change.

Where are we going?

The Dominican Republic sits in the Caribbean Sea and shares a landmass with the nation of Haiti. Much like its neighboring country, the DR has significant social needs such as access to clean water, medical care, education in a place where 41% of the population are below the poverty line. Despite these challenges, the DR has a growing local church and a vibrant love for baseball. Envision is located in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, the DR’s second largest city and the fourth largest in the Caribbean.

Who will you be partnering with in the Dominican Republic?

We are grateful to get to partner with Brandon and Bethany Nutters, residents of the Dominican Republic and missionaries under Envision. Brandon and Bethany have been serving with Envision since the spring of 2014.  Originally serving as site associate coordinators, the Nutters moved into the site coordinator role in early 2015. Brandon and Bethany both experienced a call to missions during their high school years here in Ohio and both were deeply impacted by serving as interns in Peru and France respectively during college.  Being Alliance missionaries has been a dream of theirs almost since their initial call into missions.  During 2013, the Nutters learned more about Envision and the great impact it is having around the world and knew that it was a great fit for them.

Who is “Envision”?

Envision is a ministry of the Christian and Missionary Alliance — the denomination Grace Church belongs to. Envision identifies and develops future missional leaders who innovate, establish, and strengthen communities of faith in key urban environments. They do this through short-term trips, internships, leadership development, and ministry resources. You can check out more about them at weareenvision.com.

 
APPLICATION & TEAM MAKE-UP

Who can apply?

Any high school student is welcome to apply including the incoming freshman class and graduating seniors

What are the qualifications to apply?

You must be willing to complete the application process, provide a $100 deposit, and attend 7 mandatory team trainings on scheduled Sunday afternoons, from 12pm-2pm. Most importantly, we are not looking for rockstars or superheroes of the faith. All we ask is that you are faithful, available, and teachable throughout the entire process.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply is January 15.

Who will be the adults on the trip? 

Our team of leaders will be mainly made up of Grace youth ministry advisors.

How many adults will be on the trip?

We anticipate having 1 adult to every 7 students for the trip.

Can I accompany my child on the trip? 

Unlike some of our family oriented mission trips, this trip is intended to be a leadership development opportunity for students. Therefore, we will be prioritizing youth ministry advisors for our adult spots. If a parent would like to put their name on a list to potentially go if they are in need, please let us know.

Who is leading the trip?

Grace Church’s Missions/ Marriage and Family pastor, Shawn Brennan, will lead this trip in partnership with a large number of experienced youth ministry advisors. Pastor Brennan has had 15 years of youth ministry experience and has led over 30 short-term mission trips.

 
ON-THE-GROUND BASICS

What type of ministry will we be doing?

By partnering with the local church leadership, our goal is to serve them in whatever capacity they see necessary. Some of the types of service opportunities you can expect to have a the opportunity to do are construction projects, evangelism, children’s outreach, prayer ministry, sports clinics, and medical clinics. Ministry will be done through partnering with multiple churches and several sites, therefore, while each team member will have several unique experiences and opportunities, everybody can anticipate meaningful, relationship based ministry wherever they are asked to serve.

Where will we be staying/sleeping?

Living conditions will be modest but sufficient. Sleeping will be dorm style, with guys and girls in separate rooms. There will be electricity and the grounds will be safe & secure. Linens will be provided.

Can I drink the water there?

Clean drinking water will be provided for you daily. Drinking the water can lead to sickness for visitors and locals alike. 

What will we be eating?

You will be eating a mixture of American style and Dominican style foods. We have been told by previous groups that food is quite sufficient.

What if I have special dietary needs?

Please indicate so on your application and we will do our best to work with our partners to accommodate your needs. 

Do I need to know Spanish?

While Spanish is the primary language of the nation, we will be working with translators. You are not required to speak Spanish to go on the trip. We do, however, recommend that you pick up a few useful words and phrases to aid you in your time there. If you do speak Spanish that will be a big blessing!

How safe is the city?

Since your safety is our biggest  priority, we will limit our travel times to maximize safety and the locations we will be traveling TO will be chosen wisely. 

How will we be traveling?

We will fly from Cleveland to Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic using national airline carriers. In-country our travel will be provided by Envision.

 
PACKING AND PREPARING 

Do I need a visa to enter the country?

No, but you will need a passport. If you do not have a passport, you should begin the application process as soon as possible. Check out travel.state.gov for information on how and where to apply.

Are there any vaccinations required? 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has health recommendations and requirements for travel. For more details check out their website (www.cdc.gov) or contact your local health department. Plan to see your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before the trip.

Recommended Vaccines:

1. Hepatitis A

2. Hepatitis B

3. Typhoid

4. Booster for Tetanus-Diphtheria and Measles

Do I need travelers insurance?

Yes, you do, however, cost for international travel insurance is included in the cost of the trip and we will be purchasing it for you to cover every participant of the entirety of the trip.

How much spending money should I bring?

Due to the fact that this is not a tourist trip but a ministry trip, a small amount of spending money will be fine - between $25-$100 maximum. Bring nothing on the trip that you would be afraid to lose.

Can I take my phone? 

For this trip we are going to ask you to detox and leave your phone at home. It can be a liability and target for theft and disconnecting will allow you to be more present throughout the week. We will have a regularly updated blog for family and friends to make sure that you are doing well. 

But wait, I need my phone as a camera?

We understand the desire to have photos to capture the memories of your trip. In order to allow you to be as fully present as possible, we will assign photographers at each ministry site to take high-quality photos for the entire group to share. In addition, if you would like to bring a small digital camera for personal photos, you may.

How will I communicate with home without my phone? 

We will do our best to keep those at home updated through a blog and a central place for general trip updates. Remember: in this case, no news is good news.  An adult leader will also be able to communicate in an emergency.

What do I need to pack?

In our training we will make sure you know everything you need and do not need for this trip. Our goal will be to travel modestly but well prepared for the ministry opportunities we encounter on this trip. 

What should I NOT bring?

Anything that would hinder our witness to those we are serving. Anything that you would be sad to lose. Generally we will pack light and not focus too much on bringing a large amount of personal luggage. 

Should I pack my own food for the trip?

Our partners in the Dominican recommend not packing food and encourage purchasing snacks from local vendors nearby the place we will stay. This saves room in your luggage and is a good way to support the local economy.

 
COST AND FUNDRAISING

How much does the trip cost?

$1,700.

What else is covered in the $1,700? 

All travel expenses, ministry expenses, housing, and food.

What is NOT covered in the $1,700?

You are responsible for any food & drink bought in the airport, non-meal snacks purchased in-country, vaccinations fees and passport fees.

By when do I need all of my money raised?

Fifty percent of the funds are due on March 15, 2017 and the remaining fifty percent is due April 15, 2017.

How will you help me pay for this trip? 

We believe well-written support letters are the best source of raising funds and prayer support for mission trips. We will help you by providing you with an official letter, signed by our senior pastor, explaining the trip and the means for support for you to distribute to your friends and family. In addition, we will do several group fundraisers to help acquire funds and we encourage you to be creative and look for ways you can fundraise on your own or with a small group.

What if I sign up for the trip and I later find out I can’t go? Do I get a refund?

Once your deposit is made, you are responsible for all costs incurred on your behalf up to the point of your withdrawal. 

What happens if I don’t raise enough? 

If you are diligent with sending support letters, participating in group fundraisers, and planning individual fundraisers, we are confident you will be able to raise support for this trip. However, you are ultimately financially responsible for the cost of this trip.

If I over-raise money, can I get the money back?

We raise money as a team, therefore, we do not permit any funds you acquire over the needed amount to be returned to you and you cannot save the money to be applied to a future trip. The extra funds will be equally distributed amongst the team members who are still lacking in support.

 
TEAM PREPARATION

When are the mandatory meetings?

The 7 mandatory meetings will always be on Sundays from 12:00PM-2:00PM. These are the dates:

  • February 12th
  • March 26th
  • April 23rd
  • May 7th
  • May 21st
  • June 11th
  • Packing Party (June 16th)

What if I am sick on the day of a mandatory training?

You must email Jaynie at jaynie.hansen@gracecma.org as soon as you know you will miss a training so we can make appropriate accommodations.

How else should I prepare myself for the trip? 

We encourage you to start engaging in similar activities like the ones we will do on the trip: volunteer for service opportunities, practice sharing your faith, etc.  You will also receive a before-you-go devotional to prepare your heart for the trip.

 
WHY MISSIONS?

Why bother going when I could just send them money?

We believe mission trips provide an opportunity to spiritually participate in encouraging people's lives, grow with the Lord and with community, and invest your life in something eternal. We believe that by going, we are following God’s mandate to all Christians to take the Gospel to the world. Finally, whether God uses this trip to give you a taste of the mission field, empathy for the work of missionaries, or calls you into the field long-term, we believe this will change your life and it may be in a way you don’t expect.

__________________________________

 Have any other questions? Contact Sr. High Ministry Assistant Jaynie Hansen at jaynie.hansen@gracecma.org or Missions/ Marriage and Family Pastor, Shawn Brennan at shawn.brennan@gracecma.org.

map-footer 7393 Pearl Road
Middleburg Heights
Ohio 44130

P: 440.243.4885
F: 440.243.0297
E: gracechurch@gracecma.org