• Why are your mission trips focused outside the United States? Don't we need to do mission work right here in America?
Yes! We will occasionally offer stateside options for many important reasons. They're needed, cheaper, and provide a certain level of comfort. However, we strongly believe our teens must "see the WORLD through the eyes of Jesus." While traveling outside the U.S. increases the expense and logistics, there is no better way to impact the heart and mind of our American teenagers. A short-term mission trip to a third world or developing country becomes a profound and deeply spiritual experience!
• Why are trips limited to high school juniors & seniors?
DiscipleTrips require a high level of maturity and focus. Though age is no guarantee, we believe most older teens are ready for this level of commitment. My encouragement to the younger ones is to be patient. Your time will come. We accept students who are sixteen years old by the time of their DiscipleTrip. Students as young as fourteen are welcome as long as they are accompanied by a parent.
• These trips are expensive. Doesn't it make more sense to take the cost of these trips and send the money directly to the people who need it to buy food, shelter & clothing?
I've wrestled with this question before. In the short run, it might make sense, but truthfully, how often does that happen? We believe that money spent is an investment in the future. There is something extremely powerful about experiencing something firsthand. This world is a big place filled with billions of lost souls. Our prayer is that the DiscipleTrip will be a catalyst for a life-long interest and concern for missions--both local and global.
• I want to go on a DiscipleTrip, but my parents don't want me to go. Is there anything I can do to change their mind?
Yes and no. Going on a mission trip is a BIG deal. Someday you'll be a parent and probably understand the concern of your parents. Paul took Timothy on the journey (Acts 16:3) but it was with his family's support. According to Paul, your job is to "obey your parent" (Eph. 6:1). If they can't be convinced, then you must accept this as God's will for the time being. MAYBE the problem is your parents know you and don't believe you're ready for such a challenge. If that's the case, you need to keep growing as a disciple and demonstrate your progress. Perhaps they will reconsider when they can see you're ready.
• How many students are allowed on a trip and how many sponsors do you take?
Each trip is different. This size will depend on the work, site limitations, etc. We will determine a minimum/maximum number of students and adults. Every trip will have an experienced and mature team leader( i.e. Jeff Smith or Ray Young) supervising the mission experience.
• Are parents, youth ministers or other adults able to go along on a DiscipleTrip?
Yes, we welcome any appropriate adult who is ready to join the team. However, be aware that anyone age 18 or older must submit to a criminal background check. They must also participate in the same online and live "disciple" training process that students experience. Everyone on a DiscipleTrips team must be on the same page--from adults to students.
• How do you choose your mission sites?
Several factors are considered prior to choosing a mission site. Our utmost concern is the health and safety of our students. We will never knowingly travel to a location that is unsafe or ill-advised. Be assured we constantly monitor and heed all U.S. State Department Travel Warnings and Advisories. Secondly, we consider the need. Our aim is to find a location that will create the most impact--both for the missionaries and for our students. Is the work appropriate for a short-term team and will our time, effort and money make a difference? Another important factor is the relationship we have with our host missionaries. We prefer a site where we already know the spiritual leaders, where the work is well established and has a good reputation among the locals. Finally, we are sensitive to cost. We will always try to find sites where travel is somewhat convenient and as affordable as possible. Rest assured that we prayerfully consider each location in our desire to make each DiscipleTrip a wonderful experience.