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CE Trips FAQs

General Information

How do I apply for a trip opportunity?

We send 8 short-term teams to Nicaragua and Kenya each year. You can find further details about trip opportunities and the application process here.

How much does a trip cost?

Trip cost varies based on the destination. More information about trip costs is on our trip opportunities page. The trip cost includes airfare, lodging, transportation, and meals while in-country and also helps to cover the team project expenses (such as construction or medical supplies)

The following additional costs are not included in trip cost, but should be considered as personal expenses: passport application fees, immunizations and other medications, meals/snacks in airports, additional baggage fees, visa entry fee, and souvenirs and personal in-country shopping.

Do I have to be a member of Grace Church to join a team?

We consider our short term team experiences to be one aspect of the ongoing discipleship and growth of our members. These teams are yet another opportunity for our members to grow through Christian community and church leadership. Similarly, long-term relationships have been forged between our church and the local leaders with whom we partner, and each team comes as a representation and extension of Grace Church. Members are therefore given priority during the application process.

What is the age requirement?

All trip applicants must be at least 18 years of age. International and local trip opportunities are available for high school students through our student ministry.

Trip Preparation

How should I pay for my trip?

PAYMENT OPTIONS

Personal checks can be given to your team leader or dropped off at the church office. Online payments can be made through SecureGive. Confirm payment due dates with your team leader. Each team member is expected to pay the full amount of the trip before the departure date.

SUPPORT RAISING

Asking friends and family to give financially to your trip is an opportunity for others to share in the work God is doing around the world. Emails, phone calls, social media posts, or old-fashioned letters are all effective ways to get the word out. We know that this can sometimes feel awkward. So, here are a few examples:

Supporters should mail personal checks to the address below. Be sure to have them include your name on the memo line.

Grace Church
2801 Pelham Road
Greenville, SC 29615

Your supporters can also give online through PayPal. Your name must be included in the memo in order for the gift to be credited towards your trip.

What if I raise more support than my trip costs?

All funding processed through Grace Church for a team member’s trip cost cannot be accessed by the individual. Funding raised above the cost for an individual will be utilized to cover other operating costs associated with international trips.

ABOVE REPROACH. In order for Grace Church to be above reproach as a non-profit organization, team members are not allowed to use donated money for personal expenses. Further, money raised for previous CE International trips may not be transferred for use in another trip.

TOTAL EXPENSES. The total cost of an international trip always exceeds the amount requested of each team member. Grace Church is committed to covering the excess costs of an international trip. On every international trip (almost without exception), God above and beyond the trip costs of some team members. Grace Church uses any extra funding to help fulfill its commitment to pay the excess costs for international trips.

OTHER MEMBERS. Likewise, extra support raised by individuals does not necessarily feed directly into the accounts of those who have not raised their full amount. Each person is expected to pay the full amount of the trip cost, regardless of how much other team members raise.

What if I cannot go on my trip?

SUPPORT RAISED

Regardless of extenuating circumstances, all funding donated to Grace Church cannot be accessed by the individual or refunded to the payor. Please see information under “What if I raise more support than my trip costs?” for further details on this policy.

COSTS INCURRED

A team member who is unable to join a trip will not be held responsible for the total trip cost. However, if airfare has been purchased for a team member, he or she is expected to cover the cost of the ticket, as this expense is non-refundable. Ticket costs can be covered through support raised or personal payment, and arrangements can be made for the ticket to be used within one year of purchase date.

How do I apply for a passport?

You must have a valid U.S. passport in order to participate in an international trip. You can find more information about the passport application process here. Please note, it takes 4-6 weeks to receive a passport.

If you have a passport that expires within 6 months of your trip, it is recommended that you renew your passport before departure.

What should I pack?

Our recommendations vary based on the country you are traveling to. See our packing lists below. Be sure to check with your team leader, too; they may make revisions for your specific trip.

How much luggage can I bring?

All participants are allowed 1 carry-on plus a personal bag (purse, small backpack, etc.).  In most cases, allowable checked bags will be used to transport team or trip supplies (such medicines, books & materials, etc.).

What immunizations should I have?
We recommend the following immunizations before departure.
KENYA
  1. Hepatitis A – transmitted through water /food contamination
  2. Typhoid– transmitted through water /food contamination (the pill is recommended because it last 5 years and the shot last 2 year)
  3. Yellow Fever– We are right on the line for this and we recommend you get this
  4. Malaria– Your team leader will assist you in choosing the correct prescription.
  5. Hepatitis B– optional, recommended for medical trips

CDC Health Information | Kenya

NICARAGUA

  1. Hepatitis A – transmitted through water /food contamination
  2. Typhoid– transmitted through water /food contamination (The pill is recommended because it last 5 years, and the shot lasts 2 year.)
  3. Malaria– Your team leader will assist you in choosing the correct prescription.
  4. Hepatitis B– optional, recommended for medical trips

CDC Health Information | Nicaragua

Will I meet the team before we leave?

Yes, teams meet together for pre-trip training and planning multiple times before the scheduled departure date. Once your application has been accepted, you will receive a pre-trip meeting schedule from your team leader.

Team members are asked to commit to attending all team meetings. If the pre-trip meetings conflict with your schedule, we ask that you consider joining a different team at a later date.

On the Ground

Where will we stay?

Teams will stay in a hotel close to the work site. Bedding & basic amenities are provided. Teams in Nicaragua also have the opportunity to spend one night in a local host family’s home.

What type of transportation will we use?

Teams travel together in 12-passenger vans or buses. Hired drivers are well-trained and experienced.

Will the location be safe?

We work alongside in-country hosts to ensure the safety of each team member. Teams work in low-risk areas of the country.

What will we eat?

Breakfast and dinner is served at the hotel. Teams will eat a traditional lunch on site with our local partners.

Can we drink the water?

We recommend that team members drink only bottled water while in-country. Bottles of water will be available from your team leader during the trip.

What if I can't speak the language?

No worries! Our in-country hosts usually speak English well. Interpreters will be provided for you during medical clinics or teaching sessions. Of course, we encourage you to take time to learn basic greetings for your destination country.

What is a typical day like?

Our days start early with breakfast (and coffee) at the hotel. Commute to work sites is an average of half an hour each day. Lunch is at the site, and teams return to the hotel in time for dinner. Team meetings to debrief from the day take place with evening with opportunities for worship, discussion, and prayer.