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Gifts and Offerings
We are committed to meeting the needs of our communities without creating dependency. Therefore, giving personal gifts of any kind is not permitted. It is imperative for each trip participant to honor this policy in order to maintain healthy relationships with Victory communities and to avoid setting a bad precedent for future service teams.
If there are specific needs that your team feels led to fulfill, please discuss the issues with the trip leader. We have processes in place to assess and handle special needs.
You are not a tourist. You have come to serve, to represent Jesus Christ and to help build the kingdom of God. This is a big calling but you are capable. Just be sure to remember your WHY and be mindful to honor the cultural differences between yourself and the country you are serving in.
- Ease in. Locals may need time to warm up to you. A simple smile and handshake are good ways to start. Learning how to say hello, goodbye and thank you in the local language is also a great icebreaker.
- Think first. Sarcasm does not translate well due to differences in culture and language barriers. Please avoid using sarcasm in conversations with and around locals.
- Assist. Don’t aim to “fix” everything. Solutions are determined by the leaders in the community, and are to be respected. Just as we have a western way of accomplishing things, the communities have their way. Aiming to honor their pace and way of thinking is the best way to be of service.
- Be patient. Our pace and mentality regarding time and the use of time is generally quite different from the other cultures we go to serve.
- Be flexible. Trip itineraries and schedules are merely guidelines. Prepare for the possibility of things not starting on time or going exactly according to plan.
When taking photos or posting on social sites, be sensitive and respectful of the local people. Avoid creating an experience that could seem exploitative.
Things to keep in mind…
- In some cultures, people don’t like to have their photo taken.
- In many countries, it is illegal to take pictures of any children, government building, airports, bridges, police officers, and military personnel.
- Always ask for permission before taking any pictures of a person/persons.