What is the importance of a Cross-Cultural Ministry Trip?
Cross-Cultural Ministry Trips at Highlands College are designed for students to have a life-changing experience, learning contextualized ministry from our global strategic partners. Students will participate in cross-cultural ministry alongside the local partners to support their long-term work. They will also grow in their understanding of differing worldviews, religions, and cultures to better understand how to complete the task of world evangelism, which currently remains at 42% of the world being untouched with the Good News of Jesus Christ. In the process, students will also develop a strengthen community life and spiritual development, as well as character formation opportunities while facing the challenges of engaging in ministry among the lost and unreached peoples of t he world.
Ultimately, the vision of Highlands College can be found in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” These trips will help students better understand how to engage in the global aspect of the Great Commission, which notes making disciples of all nations.
How are the Mission Trip locations chosen?
All of our trip locations are chosen based on relationships to Church of the Highlands, ARC, and GROW, strategic kingdom work, and safety.
Is it safe to travel?
Yes, although we cannot guarantee that adverse circumstances will not occur, trips are planned with trusted partners of Church of the Highlands who live on the field and maintain constant communication with our Highlands College staff. Should any changes in safety arise, our partners would immediately notify us, if for some reason we were unaware, and we would make appropriate changes to our trips. Also, we will instruct your student in safe travel practices, such as having a travel buddy and communicating with leaders.
What kind of training is my student receiving before their trip?
Students on all trips will receive pre-field training and post-field debriefing from the Missions Coordinator and Ministry Placement Team. The basics of Global Missions, objectives and goals for the experience, specific guidelines around international travel preparation and cultural acquisition will be touched on as well, as outlined in the Cross-Cultural Ministry Trip Playbook. Students will also be consistently meeting with their trip leaders to prepare.
Can I join a Highlands College trip?
No, trips are only available for current Highlands College students.
Who is leading the team?
All of our teams are led by Highlands College staff so that our students receive a holistic experience based on the four pillars of the college.
Does my student need medical insurance to go on the trip?
Students are encouraged to have medical insurance and bring their insurance cards on the trip. Although travel insurance is purchased for the students, that insurance only covers the student for the dates allotted to the trip.
Will I be able to contact my student on the field?
Yes, students will keep their cell phones with them on the trip and remain in contact with you. Some trip locations will have better WIFI or cell reception than others. But we also encourage our students to unplug while on this experience of a lifetime to really get the most of it. Social media and constant contact back home can make it difficult to focus on the present experience.
What does the trip cost include?
The cost of the trip covers flights, travel insurance, and grounds cost on the field (lodging, transportation, and food once the host picks the team up from the airport until the team is dropped off at the airport). Any extra meals, snacks, souvenirs, etc., will be the personal responsibility of the individual.
Are donors' gifts tax deductible?
No, please note that this mission trip cannot be considered as a charitable contribution. A charitable contribution is a donation or gift to, or for the use of, a qualified organization, and these donations are being made to individuals, thus disqualifying them from tax deductive status. Because payments cover the cost of flights, travel insurance, and grounds cost, mission trip donation credit will not be on Giving Statements from Highlands to donors.
How do I donate to someone's trip?
Donations can only be made by visiting the Highlands College website and following the link to Mission Trips. Once there, donate to the trip of your choice.
Does Highlands College provide scholarships for mission trips?
No, we do not have scholarships for our trips, so each student is fully responsible for raising money for their Cross-Cultural Ministry Trip.
How can I best help my student prepare?
Pray for your students their team, and trip leaders and assist your student in raising support. Help them brainstorm people to contact, support them in their endeavors, and assist them in telling family and friends. Fundraising through verbalizing their calling and purpose for the trip will help them grow in interpersonal and communication skills.
What happens to excess funds should my student raise more than the individual trip cost?
Teams are encouraged to help one another as well, and anything your student raises above their individual costs will go to help fund the rest of the trip if others find themselves struggling to raise the funds. We encourage teams to work together to raise the cumulative cost for their team. Any excess funds initially goes to the other team members for their specific trip. Any excess funds go into the further development of Highlands College’s overall Cross-Cultural Ministry Trip Program.
What happens if my student cannot raise the funds for the trip?
God can sometimes use a serious lack of support as an indicator that an individual or team should not go on a particular trip. If you find yourself in this situation, the Missions Coordinator and Ministry Placement Team will determine if you should go. If your team’s budget has been fully met, any overage the team raises may be applied to fund the struggling individual’s trip.
If I decide to cancel my involvement in the trip, can my donations be returned to the donors?
No, once donations are received for the Cross-Cultural Ministry Trip, the funds are used to reserve and purchase plane tickets, among other non-refundable reservations. In addition, if you cancel your involvement after travel documents are purchased (airfare, visas, etc.) you will be expected to cover any associated penalty fees and losses that are not covered by travel insurance.
Will I need a passport or travel visa?
For all international trips a US Passport is required and an ID for all domestic trips, such as a driver’s license. If you do not have a passport, you should begin the application process immediately. Routine processing of U.S. passport applications is currently taking 8 to 11 weeks, with expedited processing currently taking 5 to 7 weeks. See travel.state.gov for details and application instructions. Most countries require that travelers’ passports not expire within six months of the end of their trip. Please check your passport immediately. If it expires within six months of the end of your trip dates, please begin the process to renew.
What happens when our team returns from our trip?
Upon their return, team members will participate in a team debrief with their team leader. Participants will be encouraged to continue to pray for the missionaries and projects they served and to seek ways to deepen their missions involvement wherever they are called. All students who participated in a mission trip will also come together in a corporate debrief to discuss the differing experiences and what they learned across the world.