TRIP COSTS

What kinds of things do my Global Health Outreach trip fees cover?

Trip costs are in three main categories.

  1. Airline travel to get you from your home to the main airport in the country where you will be serving. You can get more information about these airline costs by clicking here.
  2. Your individual costs within the country where you will be serving. This includes room and board, transportation within the country, an interpreter if you are working directly with patients, any required exit tax, your emergency trip insurance, GHO shirt, and several books that we send to you.
  3. Your share of team costs. This includes medications, eyeglasses, shipping of medications and eyeglasses to team members to carry in their suitcase, labor costs for a national physician and dentist when required, a small contribution to our national partner to cover some of their administrative costs (about $60 per person), and a portion of the administrative costs to process your application within GHO.

The $150 application fee is paid when your application is first accepted and you are assigned to the team.

When must I pay for my airline ticket?

Your credit card will be charged for your airline ticket when the ticket is purchased. The ticket is in your name, and is nonrefundable. If you are unable to travel after your ticket is purchased for you, the ticket must be canceled prior to the flight date or the full amount will be forfeited to the airline. Most airlines will allow you to rebook a flight on their airline within 12 months from the original date of purchase for a $200 rebooking penalty.

When do I need to pay my project fees?

Your project fees are due two weeks prior to your team’s departure date.

Is my application fee included in the project fee?

Yes. The application fee is charged to your credit card, or is payable by check, as soon as you are accepted to the trip. The rest of the project fee is due two weeks prior to your team’s departure. For example, if your trip’s project fee is $1645, then once you pay the $150 application fee, you still need to pay $1495 to cover the complete project fee. The project fee covers your individual costs, your share of the team costs, and your application fee. Airline travel costs are in addition to the project fee.

Can I make donations to another person’s trip costs?

Absolutely! You can either mail a check to CMDA/GHO, PO Box 7500, Bristol, TN 37621, and put the name of the person you are supporting on the memo line, or you can call the GHO office at 1-888-231-2637 to donate using a credit card.

Are donations in support of my trip tax deductible?

Yes, within the parameters established by Internal Revenue Service regulations. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) is a 501(c)(3) organization, and charitable contributions are tax deductible according to the IRS. According to IRS regulations, CMDA retains control and administration over the use of donated funds including designated gifts.

What if I am raising funds towards my trip but not all the donations come in before my trip departs?

We are able to refund the credit card that was used to charge the balance of the project fees. The cardholder will need to mail back the original charitable contribution receipt that was mailed when their card was charged, then the refund will be processed to the original card. If you are raising donations to cover your costs, remember that you need to raise enough to cover both your airline travel costs and your project fee.

What if I raise more funds than are required for my trip?

Praise the Lord! These funds will be applied to the overall trip budget. Remember that your total costs are the project fee and your airline travel costs.

If I raise more funds than are required for my trip, can I apply these to a future trip with GHO?

Sometimes. These requests are examined on a case-by-case basis. If the team is large enough to cover all costs, then sometimes some or all of the extra funds that are raised can be applied towards another trip within the next 12 months. The IRS requires that CMDA retain control and administration over the use of donated funds, so these requests are examined carefully. Remember that the Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), and the funds towards your trip are provided by Him for His glory!

What if I have a family emergency and have to cancel one week before the team departs?

First, you need to make sure that your airline ticket is cancelled before your first flight, or you will forfeit the entire amount of the ticket to the airline. Contact GHO to make sure that your ticket is cancelled. Most airlines will allow you to rebook a flight on their airline within 12 months from the original date of purchase for a $200 rebooking penalty. You will be allowed to use the amount of the project fee, less the $150 application fee, that you have paid on a future GHO trip for up to 12 months. You will need to complete a cancellation form and fax it to us at 423-764-1417 in order to be removed from the trip.

What are typical airline costs?

Airline ticket costs vary greatly, depending on how many seats have been sold on a particular flight, what time of day the flight departs, the time of year of the flight, what day of the week the flight is booked, and how many tickets are being bought at once. The domestic leg of a flight varies greatly as well. For the summer of 2014, the approximate range of flight costs were as follows:
Central America: $950 - $1150
Ecuador: $1150 - $1350
Africa: $1500 - $2000
Asia: $1500 - $2400

TRAVEL

How do I meet up with my team?

We will make your flight reservations for you so that you meet up with team members in the Gateway city in the United States. For teams going to the Americas, these gateway cities vary but include Miami, Atlanta, and Houston. For teams to Africa and Asia, these gateway cities may include Washington DC, Chicago, or New York. Team members often fly together from these gateway cities so that they arrive together at the main airport in the country where you will be working. That way you can go through immigration and customs together, and meet up with our national partner as one group. Many of these airports are not the kind of places that you want to wander around alone, and you certainly don’t want to leave the airport and take your chances with a taxi. Your safety and security are very important to us, which is why we manage these flight reservations so carefully.

May I use frequent flyer miles for my ticket?

Yes. You will have to make your own reservation, and will need to first coordinate carefully with Global Health Outreach to make sure that you are on the same flight as the rest of the team when they arrive in the International airport.

May I arrive or depart at a different time than the rest of the team?

Rarely. Most of the countries where we work are not safe for one or two Americans to be wandering around on their own. Our teams often get on the bus and depart the airport for the ministry site. Sometimes the site is a two-day bus ride away. When this is the case, it is not possible for someone to arrive late. When the ministry site is relatively close to the international airport, exceptions can sometimes be made. These exceptions are on a case-by-case basis, and must be carefully coordinated between the team leader, the Global Health Outreach Director, and our national partner. Almost always, the national partner must find someone who comes to the airport to meet the late arrival and bring them to the ministry site. Before you ask for an exception, you should prayerfully consider if God wants you serving on this team, and if so, will he free up your schedule so that you can travel on the dates with the rest of the team.

Why are airline ticket prices so high? I can find lower prices when I look on Expedia!

All of the major US airlines have declared bankruptcy in the past 10 years. They are cutting costs left and right, and are charging for second pieces of luggage, overweight bags, and many other services that used to be free. Airlines cater to the business traveler where price is not nearly as much of an issue. Pricing is very dynamic and changes on a minute-by-minute basis, depending on how many seats on a particular flight are booked. Tickets cost more as seats fill up. If we look for nine seats on a particular flight and we look at several different sites, then the airlines computers think that 27 people are interested in flights. The fares go up accordingly. We work with a travel agency that has a low price guarantee. They will match any fare that was purchased at the same time on the same flight. This does not include Travelocity, Expedia, or the other consolidators. These consolidators do not offer any emergency service or re-booking if airline schedules change.

May I make my own flight reservations?

Rarely. For a missions trip to be successful, the individuals that make up the team must function as a team. This involves give-and-take. The cost of moving the team of 30 or 50 people from their homes all over North America to a ministry site in Central America, Africa, or Asia is more than the cost of one person making such a flight. This often means that your airline ticket will cost a little more than if you were going somewhere by yourself. Most of our trip participants are depending on the Lord to provide the resources that they need to serve. We take being righteous stewards of the Lord’s resources very seriously, and this includes paying a little bit more money in order to make sure the team arrives safely with all of their luggage, and are able to make it through Customs without difficulty.

When will my flight be booked?

Reservations are usually made about six weeks before the team is scheduled to depart. The airlines have various times when they raise prices, typically 7, 14, 21, and 28 days before domestic flights, and 50 days before international flights. Once we are sure that a team has enough members to go, we begin looking at flight options. Once your flight is ticketed, you will receive the itinerary by e-mail and your credit card will be charged for the cost of the ticket plus the $30 travel agent fee. This ticket is in your name, and is nonrefundable. If you are unable to travel after your ticket is purchased for you, the ticket must be canceled prior to the flight date or the full amount will be forfeited to the airline. Most airlines will allow you to rebook a flight on their airline within 12 months from the original date of purchase for a $200 rebooking penalty. These costs and cancellation rules change often and are controlled by the airlines, not us. You should be aware of these constraints before signing up for a trip.

When must I pay for my airline ticket?

Your credit card will be charged for your airline ticket when the ticket is purchased. The ticket is in your name, and is nonrefundable. If you are unable to travel after your ticket is purchased for you, the ticket must be canceled prior to the flight date or the full amount will be forfeited to the airline. Most airlines will allow you to rebook a flight on their airline within 12 months from the original date of purchase for a $200 rebooking penalty.

How much will my ticket cost?

Airline ticket costs vary greatly, depending on how many seats have been sold on a particular flight, what time of day the flight departs, the time of year of the flight, what day of the week the flight is booked, and how many tickets are being bought at once. The domestic leg of a flight varies greatly as well. For the summer of 2014, the approximate range of flight costs were as follows:
Central America: $950 - $1150
Ecuador: $1150 - $1350
Africa: $1500 - $2000
Asia: $1500 - $2400

What happens if I have to cancel my flight after my ticket has been purchased?

You need to make sure that your airline ticket is cancelled before your first flight, or you will forfeit the entire amount of the ticket to the airline. Contact GHO to make sure that your ticket is cancelled. Most airlines will allow you to rebook a flight on their airline within 12 months from the original date of purchase for a $200 rebooking penalty.

Will I get charged for extra baggage?

Airline policies differ on how many suitcases you can bring for free. Some flights allow you to bring two suitcases at no cost, while others will charge you for the second suitcase. We ask you to limit your personal clothes so you can take a suitcase of medications for the trip. For most of our trips, we bring in medications and supplies for the team to keep costs down and to get quality medications. A significant part of your project fee goes to purchasing these medications. We will send you a box of medications about 10 days before the team departs. Since most full-sized suitcases weigh 3 to 4 pounds empty, these boxes typically have 44 pounds of medications. This keeps your suitcase under the 50-pound maximum. We will send you a humanitarian service letter to use when you check your bags. Many airlines will waive their fee for a second bag and for wheelchairs and crutches for humanitarian service. This is optional on their part, so make sure to be very kind to the airline employee who takes your bag. As we build volume with airlines, we anticipate negotiating a free second bag on all of our trips. In the meantime, you may be charged for your second bag. If you save the receipt, you can use it as an additional tax-deductible contribution when you file your taxes.

Will there be a separate flight inside the country where we are ministering?

Sometimes. There are several team sites in Asia and Africa where we take a domestic flight after arriving in the country. These flights are relatively inexpensive, costing from $100 to $150 each way. Sometimes we book these flights in advance, and charge them to your credit card. Other times the flights are purchased with cash once we arrived, and the cost is added to your overall cost. The trip description will usually identify if this flight is necessary, and your team leader will let you know for sure.

What if I have a family emergency and have to cancel one week before the team departs?

First, you need to make sure that your airline ticket is cancelled before your first flight, or you will forfeit the entire amount of the ticket to the airline. Contact GHO to make sure that your ticket is cancelled. Most airlines will allow you to rebook a flight on their airline within 12 months from the original date of purchase for a $200 rebooking penalty. You will be allowed to use the amount of the project fee, less the $150 application fee, that you have paid on a future GHO trip for up to 12 months. You will need to complete a cancellation form and fax it to us at 423-764-1417 in order to be removed from the trip.

Will there be time to do sightseeing and shopping on this trip?

Occasionally there will be a short period of time to see some of the sights and pick up a few gifts for people back home. The point of the trip is to serve our national partners and the people who need medical and dental care, so sightseeing is a low priority. If you are interested in staying a few days longer in the country at your own expense, then you must request permission from both your team leader and the GHO Travel Coordinator.

APPLYING FOR A TRIP

Where do I go to apply for a Global Health Outreach trip?

Before you start, make sure you have your passport. You’ll need your passport number and expiration date to apply. (Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond the date of your return.) Also make sure you have the contact information for an emergency point of contact, and your pastor’s name, address, phone number, and email address.
ServiceReef.com works best using Safari and Internet Explorer.

  1. Go to www.servicereef.com, and create a personal profile with your name and email. You can use your Facebook profile and password if you like.
  2. Click on “Organizations” along the top blue bar.
  3. Type “Global Health Outreach” in the text box under “Refine Search”. This will take you to the GHO Trip Calendar.
  4. Click on the trip for which you want to apply.
  5. Click on the blue “Sign Me Up” button on the right side of the screen.
  6. Fill in all of the information on the form.

Who can apply for a GHO trip?

Anyone can apply to serve on a GHO trip. Each team has many people with medical training, and many who have no medical training. As teams fill, there may no longer be room for people with certain skill sets, so apply early! The Logistics positions usually fill up first! If a team no longer has room for your skill set, then we will help you find other teams that may be suitable for you.

What kinds of people are on the team?

Our teams mostly provide primary medical and dental care. We have physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and dentists; nurses, pharmacists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and physical therapists, scrub nurses and scrub techs, CRNA’s, pastors, and many non-medical people who help out in the pharmacy and in other settings. As a matter of fact, about a third of our teams may be people with no medical training. We call these people “Logistics”.

Do you have to be 18 to go on a medical missions trip?

Absolutely not! We have plenty of students and family members go on trips. Many parents have said that it is much more bonding as a family for Mom, Dad, and several kids to serve together in another country, ministering to the needs of the needy, than taking a family vacation to the beach or the mountains! We have many missions teams going to areas that are appropriate for young people to go!

What extra paperwork do I have to complete if I am under 18?

If both parents are going on the trip, then the only extra form is the Supplemental Application for Minor Children that both parents must sign.

What paperwork is needed if I am under 18 and only one of my parents is going on the same trip?

In addition to the Supplemental Application for Minor Children that both parents must sign, the parent NOT going on the trip must sign the Parental Authorization that allows the other parent to take you out of the country. If NEITHER parent is going on the trip, a Limited Temporary Custody and Power of Attorney must be completed by both parents. Contact us to discuss these additional forms and other requirements.

What happens after I apply for a GHO trip?

Your application is reviewed for completeness, and then is forwarded to the team leader for the particular trip. The team leader has to balance how many slots are available for each position on the team, i.e., physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, logistics, students. He or she will review your application, and may call you before accepting you on the team. Once your application is accepted, you will receive an automatic email from ServiceReef.com, and a welcome letter from GHOApps@cmda.org with lots of very important information about the trip. Everyone needs to submit a copy of his or her passport. If you are a healthcare worker, you will need to submit additional documentation that may include your C.V., diploma, state license, board certification, and other documents depending on the country where you will be serving. Your welcome letter will describe the specific documents required.

What is ServiceReef.com? Why do I apply for a GHO trip on ServiceReef.com?

ServiceReef.com is a relatively new website that is associated with MedicalMissions.com, the website that was developed out of the Global Missions Health Conference. ServiceReef.com has great recruiting, fundraising, and team communication features that are not available anywhere else. We like ServiceReef.com so much that we are going to continue to use it! Please get comfortable with all of its features!

Why is the “Balance Due” on my ServiceReef page not accurate?

We have not turned on the ServiceReef donations and payments feature. Any donations that come in via ServiceReef will be reflected here, but donations that are made by check or by calling in a credit card will not be reflected on the ServiceReef page. This will change in time, but in the meantime, if you want to know what donations have been received for you, you need to e-mail GHO Finances and we will run a donor report for you.

TRIPS

What takes place on a Global Health Outreach trip?

The focus of Global Health Outreach trips is to share the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ the Messiah with those who have never heard of Him, or the joy of a relationship with Him. We do this by ministering to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs in word and in deed. We provide high quality medical, dental, and surgical care to many people who lack the resources or access to such care, and seek opportunities to pray with our patients and their families, and to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ where culturally appropriate.

We work with many national partners who have a similar passion. Our national partners greatly appreciate the sacrifice made by our team members in finances, time, and travel, and are deeply invested in using the medical skills of our team members to build the church based on the model given to us in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.

Do you openly evangelize and preach on your teams?

We have missions teams that work in Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and animist cultural contexts, and in the cultural Christianity and cultural Catholicism that is widespread in the Americas. We provide holistic care that addresses physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. Where culturally appropriate and with the consent of those to whom we are ministering, we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What kinds of people are on the team?

Our teams mostly provide primary medical and dental care. We have physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and dentists; nurses, pharmacists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and physical therapists, scrub nurses and scrub techs, CRNA’s, pastors, and many non-medical people who help out in the pharmacy and in other settings. As a matter of fact, about a third of our teams may be people with no medical training. We call these people “Logistics”.

I live in Canada. Can I go on one of your trips?

Yes! People from Canada, Australia, England, Brazil, and Columbia have served with Global Health Outreach. If you are a health care professional, your credentials and license from home are turned in to the national Ministry of Health with those of the rest of the team. For Canadians, we have a partnering agreement that often makes it possible to get a tax-deductible contribution receipt for all trip and travel costs that is good in Canada.

Is it safe? You go to some places that seem pretty unstable!

No place on earth is perfectly safe, and the best place to be is in the center of God’s will. We travel by commercial aircraft, and then often by bus to get to our ministry site. Many of our teams go to places where people do not have good access to healthcare. Some of these are in larger cities, where there are always threats of accidents, theft, kidnappings, gangs, and terrorism. Many of our trips go to remote areas, where there may be increased risk of infectious diseases, natural disasters, and highway accidents. We take security risks very seriously, and work closely with our national partners to understand the risks and take sensible precautions. We work with a global security company called Red24, and use their network and experience to protect against risks. We follow the example of Jesus Christ in Hebrews 13:12-13. He went outside the camp – the safe, familiar, friendly home – and suffered to sanctify us through His own blood. We are likewise called to go outside the camp, to leave the comforts of home.

Can students go on Global Health Outreach teams?

Absolutely! We welcome undergrad students, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, medical, dental, and just about any other kind of student! Students are primarily assigned to a professional in their area of study, but will also be rotated around to participate in other aspects of the medical team.

How old do you have to be to serve on a Global Health Outreach trip?

You need to be old enough to serve! We have had kids who are 7 or 8 years old help with children’s programs, and have had 80-year-olds working in the pharmacy and teaching students! Willingness and motivation to serve is the key issue. Contact us to explore your specific case.

Do you have to be 18 to go on a medical missions trip?

Absolutely not! We have plenty of students and family members go on trips. Many parents have said that it is much more bonding as a family for Mom, Dad, and several kids to serve together in another country and minister to the needs of the needy than taking a family vacation to the beach or the mountains! We have many missions teams going to areas that are appropriate for young people to go!

What extra paperwork do I have to complete if I am under 18?

If both parents are going on the trip, then the only extra form is the Supplemental Application for Minor Children that both parents must sign.

What paperwork is needed if I am under 18 and only one of my parents is going on the same trip?

In addition to the Supplemental Application for Minor Children that both parents must sign, the parent NOT going on the trip must sign the Parental Authorization that allows the other parent to take you out of the country. If NEITHER parent is going on the trip, a Limited Temporary Custody and Power of Attorney must be completed by both parents. Contact us to discuss these additional forms and other requirements.

Where is the starting point of the trip?

Since team members come from all over North America, the teams often meet up in one of the gateway airports in the United States: Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Washington, DC, New York, or Chicago. For some Central America trips, you may meet up in the airport in the country where the team will serve. Don’t worry, no one is sent alone!

Do I have to attend a meeting before the team departs?

Many teams will meet by phone conference or by GoToMeeting several times before the trip. Others may communicate totally by e-mail. If a number of team members are coming from the same area, there will often be a meeting prior to departure. No one will be required to make a separate trip to attend one of these meetings.

Do I have to be a Christian to be eligible for a Global Health Outreach trip?

We invite people to come on our teams who are from all kinds of faith traditions, or even no faith tradition, as long as they read and accept our Biblical basis of ministry at the end of our trip application, and agree to the personal standards of conduct. We have had people from many backgrounds – cultural Christians, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, and no particular belief – in addition to people who are committed followers of Christ. There are a few faith traditions that are diametrically opposite those outlined in the Bible. Several people from these faith traditions have come on our trips and found that it was too uncomfortable for them to participate in a ministry effort such as ours. We encourage these people to seek a service opportunity with a group that is more like-minded to their preferences. We have had a few people who have grown up in these faith traditions but have not continued following the faith tradition as adults, and they have done just fine on our teams.

What is an EvangeCube? Why did you send me one?

The EvangeCube is a wonderful tool that makes it easy to share the gospel using pictures and a story. Did you know that 80% of the world’s population prefers to learn by stories, poems, or skits? Sometimes the people we serve are illiterate or semi-literate, but in much of the world, people learn by stories and pictures. The EvangeCube puts both of these together and provides a very easy tool to use to walk someone through the gospel. Read the instructions that come with the EvangeCube, and bring it along on the trip. There is also a great YouTube video demo here. You will definitely use it!

What kind of food will we eat on our trip? What if I have dietary restrictions?

You will enjoy a variety of culinary flavors based upon the country to which you are traveling. Meals may be prepared by the team’s hosts or local churches and some meals may be enjoyed at local restaurants. Food will be safe to eat.

If you have dietary restrictions (or are a picky eater), please let your team leader know in advance. They can discuss the available food types with you as well as your options for maintaining your diet while in-country. Please be prepared/willing to bring your own snacks if necessary.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

Do I need a passport to go on a GHO mission trip?

Yes. All GHO trips are to countries outside the US so passports are required for all team members, whether you are a U.S. citizen or a citizen from another country.

Do I need a visa to go on a GHO trip?

It depends on where the team is going. Passports only are required for U.S. citizens going to countries located in Central America, South America, and North America. With few exceptions, visas are required for all other countries. Trip participants will be advised by the team leader if a visa is required. Citizens from other countries may need a visa for trips to the Americas, so contact us to determine what exactly you need.

How do I go about obtaining a passport?

The link below will guide you through the process with step-by-step instructions for filling out and submitting your passport application.

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html

How long will it take to get my passport?

According to information on the above website the processing time is 3 – 6 weeks* depending on whether or not you choose to pay the additional cost for expedited service.

*Please note the U.S. government will be receiving a record number of passport renewal applications in 2016 due to more passports being issued within a year or two following the incidents on 9/11 so more processing time may be required than what is currently stated on their website.

I already have a passport. When should I apply for a passport renewal?

It is recommended that you begin the application process to renew your passport approximately 9 months before it expires although the application can be submitted at any time. Passports issued to applicants age 16 or older can be renewed by mail up to 5 years after the expiration date.

Does my child need a passport?

Yes. Even infants need a passport to travel outside the United States.

After I get married and change my name, is a new passport "required" or just suggested?

It depends. Some countries will accept your current passport with your name prior to marriage IF accompanied with a marriage certificate. Other countries require the name in your passport match that on your plane ticket or any other document they might request (e.g., driver's license).

Keeping the current name in your passport would necessitate two things. One, you would need to contact the consular section of every country you intend to visit to ask concerning this issue and, two, you would possibly have to take your marriage certificate with you each time you travel.

The only way to avoid this is to change the name in your passport.

I am not a U.S. citizen. What are my passport and/or visa requirements?

Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for knowing and understanding the passport and/or visa application requirements of the Consulate for the country of the mission trip they wish to attend.

My question was not addressed here. Where can I find it or who should I contact?

Answers to many more questions can be found in the FAQ section of the U.S. Passport Service Guide website below.

http://www.us-passport-service-guide.com/passport-faq.html

PASTORS

What takes place on a Global Health Outreach trip?

The focus of Global Health Outreach trips is to share the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ the Messiah with those who have never heard of Him, or the joy of a relationship with Him. We do this by ministering to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs in word and in deed. We provide high quality medical, dental, and surgical care to many people who lack the resources or access to such care, and seek opportunities to pray with our patients and their families, and to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ where culturally appropriate.

We work with many national partners who have a similar passion. Our national partners greatly appreciate the sacrifice made by our team members in finances, time, and travel, and are deeply invested in using the medical skills of our team members to build the church in their service areas, and to build unity within the Body of Christ, based on the model given to us in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.

How will this medical missions trip fit into my existing missions program?

Missions pastors who have participated in our trips have praised the experience. Several have commented that their church members have come back on fire and with a new desire to go deeper in their walk with the Lord. Our team leaders focus on spiritual growth and putting one’s faith into action, so you can easily integrate the disciple-making focus that took place on the GHO team with your existing missions program.

Do you openly evangelize and preach on your teams?

We have missions teams that work in Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and animist cultural contexts, and in the cultural Christianity that is widespread in the Americas. We provide holistic care that addresses physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. Where culturally appropriate, with the consent of those to whom we are ministering, and under the guidance of our national partners, we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What kinds of people are on the team?

Our teams mostly provide primary medical and dental care. The teams are about two thirds medical people, and one-third non-medical people. Medical people include physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and dentists; nurses, pharmacists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and physical therapists, scrub nurses and scrub techs, and CRNA’s, among others. Pastors, realtors, businessmen and women, and many other non-medical people are essential to the team, and help out in the pharmacy, the reading glass clinic, triage, and in other settings. We call these non-medical people “Logistics”.

Can students go on Global Health Outreach teams?

Absolutely! We welcome undergrad students, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, medical, dental, and just about any other kind of student! Students are primarily assigned to a professional in their area of study, but will also be rotated around to participate in other aspects of the medical team. Middle school and high school students are welcome to join teams with their parents or another adult who assumes legal responsibility for them.

How do you vet your in-country partners?

We partner with proven groups that are committed to serving in their home country. While this looks different in each country, you can be confident that their work has been evaluated by our Global Health Outreach leadership and is consistent with our overall goals. Schedule a conversation here and we can give you more specific details.

How can the healthcare workers in my church get involved?

We take 45-50 short-term medical and dental trips each year. There is often plenty of room for these trips to take another 5-10 people from your church, as long as the team is not yet full. If you have a large group of greater than 10 people, you should talk with us 6-9 months in advance so that we can find the right trip for the size of your group.

Can I have a GHO trip for just people from my church?

Yes, if you can fill up all of the necessary trip positions to balance out the team with physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, etc. Many churches begin by having 2-5 people from their church join a team, then the next year bring along 15-20 people, and then go from there. Sometimes one or several people from one church have gone through our Team Leader Training process, and then have led teams that are predominately or completely made up of people from their own church. Talk to us and we can figure out what will work best for you.

What does GHO do on each trip?

Global Health Outreach organizes each trip from beginning to end. We vet the national partner, explore the area and the population to be served, identify the customs and licensing requirements for all healthcare workers, evaluate the lodging and dining facilities, and evaluate the security setting for any special precautions. We coordinate with our national partner to identify interpreters, other volunteers to help support the clinic, and the necessary follow-up for any patients who need attention after the team departs. We also recruit the right mix of team members – doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and others. We collect and turn in credentialing documents to the Ministry of Health, and arrange for all medications and reading glasses that are needed by the team. During the time the team is serving in the country, Global Health Outreach manages all the food, housing, in-country transportation, medications, medical equipment and supplies, translators, and medical licensing with the authorities.

Who is in charge on a GHO trip?

Each of our GHO team leaders is experienced in participating in and leading international teams. Additionally, each is trained in managing routine and emergency issues that pop up during the time that the team is serving. The team leader works closely with our national partner, and together they address any issues or emergencies that come up during the trip. The team leader and national partner set the schedule, and adjust the schedule (often!) as needed. The team leader will proactively delegate other tasks during the week to others, but he/she is ultimately in charge on the trip.

What happens if something goes wrong?

The team leader communicates with GHO and determines the most appropriate course of action to keep the team safe. Our national partners have considered the different things that could go wrong, and together we take action to address the problem. Through our network of partners, no one will be left behind. When needed, we have three types of emergency insurance in place for all of our trips. We have emergency medical insurance in case someone has to go to the Emergency Room or be admitted to a hospital for an illness or injury. (This happens once or twice a year.) We have emergency medical evacuation insurance for the rare case when someone needs an air ambulance evacuation back to the U.S. (We have done this once in 18 years!) We also have emergency security evacuation insurance, in case there are riots or some other kind of civil disturbance. (This has never happened.) No one will be left behind!

Will these trips really help my people become active disciples of Christ?

We sure think so. We see evidence on the trips of changed lives, and hear testimonies weeks and even years after people return of changed lives, a new boldness in sharing their faith, and praying with patients. Here are a few testimonies that we received when people returned:

  • Physician – I grew spiritually in that living outside my own world and my own stuff is a reminder of what should be my single-minded devotion to Christ.
  • Non-medical person – I grew more spiritually on this trip than on previous mission trips because I made myself completely available to Jesus Christ by surrendering my will to him and praying that the Spirit would lead me.
  • Medical student – I received insight of God’s love and compassion for all types of people. The greatest blessing was being able to share the gospel with every patient who came through.
  • Teenager – This trip has helped me find comfort in my beliefs. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone and participated in group prayers. I really learned that God can use me, but I first have to step out of His way.
  • Nurse practitioner – The most significant spiritual insight I gained was the need for me to mentor younger Christians in my church. I was reminded of the importance of sharing the gospel on a daily basis.

What has to be done differently to have a medical missions trip than, say, a construction trip?

Lots! You need the right mix of doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and others; you need to work with the Ministry of Health to enable them to legally provide healthcare; you need to get all the medications, supplies, and equipment into the country; you need to identify a safe clinic site; you need to find the right partners to provide translators for each person seeing patients, and the nurse, and the pharmacy; and you need to make sure your national partner can take care of any patients who need follow-up care after the team leaves. The good news is – we handle all of this for you at no additional cost!

What do I need to do to prepare people in my church to go on a Global Health Outreach medical missions trip?

We provide the resources that you need. We have a Team Participant Manual available on our website here. This manual provides the basics for everyone who is going. Approximately 4 weeks before the team departs, we send each team member a copy of “The Next Mile: Short-Term Missions for the Long Haul Goer Guide” published by InterVarsity Press. This short book provides excellent preparation steps, with an emphasis on post-ministry follow-through. Further resources are available in our Church Leadership Packet.