9-24 / #7483

Happy Trails

Thank you for stepping out in faith and participating in a Victory World Church short-term mission trip! We appreciate your compassion for ministry, both local and abroad.

To get started, we have created a Missions Trip guide to inform you on various topics related to your mission trip. This information will be very instrumental during the months of planning leading up to your trip departure.

We hope you find this information helpful and look forward to serving alongside you!


Victory Missions

1. Trip Prep: Before You Go

9-24 / #7483

Spiritual Preparation

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.” Matthew 28:19-20

This is the Great Commission for those who believe. That’s you!

You have been given the authority to go out into all the world and make disciples… simply because you believe! One of the greatest gifts you can give to another person is the gift of Jesus Christ. Armed with the Word, your faith and your story of what God has done in your life, you have the power to help change the trajectory of someone’s life… forever! Let that soak in.

“He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

For this, you’ll need to be spiritually prepared. And remember, you won’t be walking alone. You have the Holy Spirit and your fellow team members with you, of course. Here’s how you can stay pumped and spiritually suited up to do the Great Commission:


Simply talk to God. You have an open line of communication between you and your Heavenly Father. Be sure to ask for His guidance during this time so that His Holy Spirit will lead you in preparing for your mission and while you are in the thick of it.

Ask others to pray for you, as well. Be specific in your need so that they may properly support you.

Scripture Reading

Read your Bible regularly and meditate on the Word listening for God’s voice in those intimate moments. Reference these scriptures to empower you for your mission:

  • Send Me God! Isaiah- 6:1-12
  • Serve with a Joyful Spirit- Psalm 100
  • Serve with Common Purpose- 1Cor. 1:23-31, 2:1

1.1. Missions Minded

10-24 / #3453

Learning more about missions.

Along with talking to family or friends who’ve trekked this path before you, the internet and book stores are great resources for finding information on mission work. Here are just a few significant sites/books to reference.

1.2. Sharing Your Story

10-24 / #3453

Leading Others to Jesus

Are you comfortable talking to strangers about Jesus? Have you shared your testimony with others? Do you know how to lead someone to salvation? One of the most significant elements of ministry and mission work is having the ability to communicate. You don’t have to be a top-notch orator! However, you want to be bold enough in your faith to share that passion/what you believe with “the world”. Pray for boldness in the days leading up to your trip and remember, your most valuable asset is Your story. What has God done in your life? Practice sharing your story with someone before your trip but be able to keep it short and sweet.

Remember, you are called by God to be Unashamed! Walk in that calling in your day-to-day life and, definitely, on your mission trip.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” Romans 1:16

The 3 A’s of Salvation

  • Acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God and He died for you because He loves you.
  • Admit your past life of sin, living for yourself and not obeying God.
  • Ask Jesus to come into your heart and to begin living through you.

1.3. Prayer Support

12-24 / #5563

People Want to Help You

“Paul was supported on his mission trips by others.” Romans 15:20-24

In preparation for your trip, you may need to raise funds and garner support from others so they can pray and spread the word of your mission trip fund-raising goals to others for you. Both forms of support are crucial and will play a vital part in getting you to your destination!

Spiritual Support

Take all the support you can get!

Sometimes relatives, friends and colleagues are unable to assist financially but they would still like to help. They can do this by praying for you and encouraging you, as well, by sharing your goal with others via their own personal networks. Prayer and counsel are just as important as financial support. So, reach out and ask!

Here are some things to specifically ask them to pray for:

  • your trip prep
  • your team
  • your immediate family
  • safe travel
  • health
  • your experience abroad
  • financial resources

1.4. Financial Support

10-24 / #3453

Raising Money

The average person is uncomfortable asking other people for money. It can be awkward. What if they say NO?

Remember your WHY. Why are you asking for financial support? You are seeking to fulfill the Great Commission and help advance communities in need. You are giving donors the opportunity to partner with God in what He is doing around the world.

Let’s face it, some people may say no and that is okay. Allow the purpose behind your “asking” to be the driving force. Remind yourself, it’s not about You. If you keep these things in mind, then “No” will not sting as much. Step out in faith! Use this list of suggested people to ask for support. Feel free to take a few moments to write your own list of specific people you would like to reach out to.

Pro Tips

“Who should I ask for help?”

  • Immediate family
  • Neighbors
  • Teachers
  • Church members
  • Civic clubs
  • Close relatives
  • Friends and their parents
  • Doctors and dentists
  • Acquaintances/Co-workers
  • Coaches
  • Businesspeople

Writing Your Letter

To help you get the ball rolling, we’ve attached a sample Support-Raising letter with a formula for crafting a strong message to your prospective donors.

Greeting: Dear, …

Where/When: I am privileged to be part of a special mission team that will be traveling with Victory World Church to Nicaragua this summer. The dates of the trip are June 6-13, 2015. The team will be working with Mike & Deborah Turner, founders of LifeLink International, a non-profit missionary organization based in Florida, with field offices in Nicaragua.

Why: Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the western hemisphere and is a country in great need of many resources such as medical, dental, hygiene and agriculture. LifeLink International is responding to this need by identifying Nicaragua as one of their main projects with plans to build a ministry base complete with a church, medical, dental and hygiene facility. During our trip we will be doing construction on the base and treating an estimated 1,000 people in medical clinics.

I believe that God has put it on my heart to be a servant to those in need and has given me the opportunity to do so through this trip. By working with the people in Nicaragua, we hope to help fulfill the vision of LifeLink International that is reflected in their mission statement, “Linking People, Changing Lives…One Person at a Time”.

How can they help: I would like to ask you to keep me and my team in your prayers so that we may have a safe and successful trip. Also, since we are responsible to raise our entire trip cost of $1,400, I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider if He would have you be a part of this wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with the people of Nicaragua. If you choose to support me financially, you will need to follow the regulations that are listed on the support card enclosed in this envelope. This will ensure that your donation is recorded as a donation not a payment (due to IRS regulations). It also ensures that your donation is tax deductible.

Thank you: Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and consider helping our team in Nicaragua.

In His Love,
Jane X

Note: By using the support-raising letter formula, you can clearly state the Where, When, Why and How to the recipient of the letter. Be sure to keep a list of those who decide to help you in order to follow up after your trip with a thank you note or postcard.

Pastors Letter

To assist in fundraising we have also provided a templated letter from our Pastor supporting your request for financial support.

Pastor's Letter [pdf]

1.5. Vaccinations

3-24 / #9583

If your trip requires vaccinations, your trip leader will inform you. However, the Center of Disease Control (CDC) has plenty of information about how to stay safe and healthy on your trip. This information includes medicines and behaviors that can keep you healthy abroad as well as travel notices. Please visit the CDC's website (www.cdc.gov) and go to "Traveler's Health" and choose the country to which you are traveling. This will be a great tool for you to use before you travel. You may also follow up with your general care physician regarding immunizations and medication you may want to take abroad. On behalf of each trip participant, Victory will acquire a medical insurance policy for incidents that may arise while traveling outside of the US on a Victory Trip.

Note: We recommend you carry a copy of your immunization record.

1.6. Passports

2-24 / #9482

Before you go global.

Obtaining a passport is necessary for global mission trips but it is also an investment in your travel future. The US government is now requiring passports to visit Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, as well as most countries around the globe. One of the perks of having a US passport is that it now becomes your most official form of identification and is accepted worldwide.

First Time Applicants

If you are applying for a US passport for the first time, you’ll need to apply in person. Passports usually take at 6-8 weeks for delivery, so allow plenty of lead time to receive your passport. If you currently have a passport, please check to make sure that it is valid for 6 months beyond the date of your return from the country you'll be visiting on your mission trip. If it is not, you will need to renew your passport prior to your trip.

You must have your passport, at least, 4 months before your trip departure, unless informed otherwise. As well, make sure there are two blank pages in your passport for visas and immigration stamps.

Passport Required

A valid passport is required. Do Not delay in applying for one/getting it renewed. Forms can be obtained at your local post office. Visit the United States government website for more details and locations to obtain your passport at https://travel.state.gov. If time is short, we recommend that you expedite the application process. This will cost a bit more but is worth the peace-of-mind.

Check with your team lead regarding making photo copies of your passport.

1.7. Pre-Trip Documents

8-24 / #3453

Expectations and Agreements

The following document is essential to your participation in your trip. Please download, print, sign, and return the following to your tream lead.

Consent Form [pdf]

1.8. Prep List

2-24 / #9475

Organization is Key!

Creating a trip-prep checklist (say that three-times fast!) is critical to ensure you will be and stay organized throughout the whole process. Below is a suggested list.

  • Complete registration online or by paper.
  • Complete a release of liability.
  • Give your non-refundable deposit which goes towards your trip.
  • Apply for OR renew your passport (if necessary).
  • Send a copy of your passport to the Victory Missions department.
  • Start fundraising or financing your trip.
  • Attend team meetings.
  • Receive appropriate immunizations.
  • Apply for foreign visa (if necessary).
  • Go on your mission trip!

2. Travel + Packing

30-24 / #7483

Packing List

Pack as light as possible but ensure you have everything you need! Arriving on your mission site, only to find you’ve forgotten the most important thing(s) is a terrible feeling. Therefore, creating a packing/travel checklist is essential to having a successful trip. Below is a suggested packing list. Add or take away items as you see fit.


• Passport
• Cash (clean bills)
• Bible
• Journal
• Small Backpack
• Victory Mission Trip Guidebook
• Pen/Pencil
• Chapstick
• Toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Medications (Pepto-Bismol, prescription and over-the-counter medications)
• Motion Sickness Aids
• Deodorant
• Personal/Feminine Care Products


• Pants/Skirts/Dresses
• Shorts
• Shirts/T-Shirts
• Rain Jacket
• Tennis Shoes/Comfortable Walking Shoes/Shower Shoes
• Hat
• Sleepwear


• Snacks (i.e. Protein bars, dried fruit, nuts)
• Sunglasses
• Camera
• International Adapter
• Appropriate Swimwear (if time permits)

2-57 / #8320

Packing Don’ts

  • Clothes with political or US military icons or statements on them
  • Immodest or culturally inappropriate clothing
  • Prized or expensive possessions
  • Weapons or pocketknives
  • Items with camouflage print on them

Pro Tips

  • Add Victory supplied address tags to your luggage and mark them with another unique tag or ribbon, making them easy to spot at the airport.
  • Have an airport buddy if possible, as well as all flight information and their contact information with you in case you get separated.
  • Arrive for your trip well rested and in good health! Do not pull an all-nighter prior to the trip; you will not have the chance to catch up on sleep during the week. You’ll want to be rested for ministry and health reasons.
  • Older suitcases and duffel bags are suggested in case of damage.
  • Leave enough room in your suitcase for souvenirs.
  • Bring a pillowcase to use as a laundry bag.
  • Bring older clothes and other items. Don't wear your best stuff.
  • “Break in” newer shoes or boots beforehand to avoid blisters.
  • Bring extra of the antibiotics or current prescriptions you are taking.
  • Adults may want to bring a credit card with them as a precaution.
  • Assume laundry facilities will not be available. Plan your packing accordingly.
  • We suggest taking a backpack or small tote as your carry-on.
  • Carry your camera, valuables, prescription medicine, toiletries, and all other essentials in your carry-on bag.
  • Pack your travel documents (passport, airline information) in a safe but easily accessible place within your carry-on bag, possibly in a clear zip lock bag, and keep your passport near you at all times.
  • Pack a change of clothing that is appropriate to your mission trip site in your carry-on, in the event your luggage is lost or delayed.
  • Check with your airline on luggage restrictions/guidelines. As well, you are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
  • If you experience motion sickness, plan to take your medication prior to the flight (or bus ride once you are in country) so that it will take effect in time to keep you comfortable.

2.1. Dress Code

30-24 / #7483

Modesty is Key

In packing for your trip, remember we are on this mission to represent Jesus Christ. As well, seek to honor the local culture. Both men and women should pack weather-appropriate, looser-fitting apparel that is not revealing. Refer to your trip leader and trip itinerary to know what apparel will be suitable for specific events and activities.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Dresses, skirts and shorts should be knee-length, at least. Capris and Bermuda shorts are acceptable. Jersey shorts are not. Spandex leggings are acceptable under dresses.
  • Comfortable, closed-toed shoes are best for the demands of the trip. However, flip flops/shower shoes are generally appropriate for the hotels/guest houses.
  • All tops/shirts must have sleeves (long or short). No tank tops or spaghetti strap tops.
  • We request that you leave flashy or expensive jewelry at home.

2.2. Cash and Prescription Meds

23-49 / #3746

Traveling with Money

It would be wise to travel with some cash for souvenirs or other personal items as credit cards are not always accepted. Clean, unmarked bills are preferable. However, if you do intend to use your credit/debit card, inform your bank that you’ll be traveling abroad and which country you’ll be visiting.

Packing Your Meds

  • Plan to purchase medications and first aid items before traveling. Do not plan on purchasing any medications while on location of your mission trip.
  • Prescription medications must remain in a container with your prescription and name on it (as you received it from the pharmacy).
  • Pack extra prescription meds in case of flight delays and keep them in your carry-on luggage.

2.3. Flight and Jetlag

23 / #3573

How to Keep it Under Control and Stay Healthy

Fun Fact: Did you know, airplane air is twice as dry as desert air?? Depending upon your gender/body type you can lose over a liter of water per hour on a flight. Gasp! You wouldn’t trek through the Sahara without your H2o now would you? Soo…

  • Drink plenty of water before and during your flight. Health authorities commonly suggest 8-8oz. glasses of water daily for the average adult. Pace yourself while in transit.
  • Many of us love our coffee BUT avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages during your flight as they further dehydrate the body.
  • Get your zzZZ’s. Sleep well leading up to the trip. Try not to pull all-nighters. Exhaustion is no good for the body’s immune system.
  • Take an eye mask and neck pillow on your flight to sleep if it helps you get on track with your destination’s time zone.
  • Flights can be long, so stretch and walk around frequently while in flight as to avoid cramping, clotting, or swelling.
  • Take your Vitamin C in the days leading up to your trip. Carrying Emergen-C packets are very convenient.
  • Eat healthy balanced meals pre-trip and chose the healthier meal options in-flight.
  • Upon arrival after a long flight, try to stay awake until an early local bedtime.

3. Trip: On Location

3-54 / #0927

Cultural Engagement

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.

Be Mindful…

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.

3.1. Accommodations

3-42 / #3235

Sleep, Eat, Go!


Beginning with your arrival to the Victory campus for a trip departure, your transportation and lodging needs will be handled by Victory. For most teams, we will arrange private bus transportation to assist with travel needs while abroad, but for smaller teams or more urban locations, we might use public transportation (taxi, subway).


Lodging will either be a guesthouse belonging to the host missionary in country, or we will make arrangements for the team to stay at a hotel. You will receive a detailed packing list from your trip leader that explains what you will need to bring. For some locations, this might include certain pieces of bedding (pillows, sheets, towels).


You will be fed 2-3 meals each day and can supplement hunger with snacks in between.

If you have allergies or dietary constraints, be sure to pack non-perishable food that won’t melt or spill that you'll be able to eat in the event that the hotels serve something unsuitable for your diet or needs. Examples include: protein bars, Gatorade packets, nut butters, crackers, granolas, tuna, jerky, nuts, candies, etc.

3.2. Food + Water

34-21 / #9823

Clean Eating

Traveler's Diarrhea (TD) is the most common health problem for travelers visiting developing countries. It is typically acquired by the consumption of contaminated water and foods.

To prevent illness from contaminated water and food, there are several things to keep in mind.

Pro Tips

  • Only drink sealed bottled water or filtered water. Tap water is unsafe for your consumption.
  • Please bring a water bottle to be refilled. Always drink from a labeled can or bottle, never from a questionable container.
  • Drinks made of boiled water such as coffee or tea as well as canned or bottled carbonated beverages are safe to consume.
  • Do not brush your teeth with tap water. Use bottled or filtered water.
  • When showering, try to keep your mouth closed to avoid ingesting water. This is one of the simplest ways to avoid sickness.
  • Eat only foods prepared at our trusted sites. If you are offered food outside, and it is not something you can peel, kindly say, "no thank you".
  • WASH YOUR HANDS. Do not put your fingers in your eyes or mouth without washing them first.

3.3. Communication

3-42 / #3235

Language Barriers

Depending upon the location you are visiting, it would be useful to research the language. Knowing basic phrases and their pronunciation ahead of time can help you feel even more connected.

Apps and Books

  • Download a trusted translation app on your phone. (Example: Google Translate)
  • Purchase a book about the country/region of the world you are visiting that offers basic, commonly used phrases among the people.

3-42 / #9384

Cell Phones

Keeping up with loved ones…

It is recommended that you set your phone to airplane mode while traveling outside the US to avoid inadvertent fees. If you’d like international phone service, please check with your carrier to ensure you have international calling service and international rates. WIFI may be available in hotels/guest houses.

Emergency Calls ONLY

Prior to the trip, your leader will provide a contact number(s) for family members back home in the event of an emergency. Contact numbers are strictly for emergencies.

3.4. Romance

6-22 / #9485

Focus on the Task at Hand

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.” Proverbs 4:25

Of course, it is natural to have feelings toward the opposite sex but let us stay focused on the mission at hand. That being said, we ask that you refrain from becoming romantically involved with a teammate or someone you meet while on your trip.

Relationships interfere with the dynamics of a team and generally lead to distraction, gossip, and conflict. We ask that you avoid spending time alone with the opposite sex if at all possible. This will serve to protect you, our staff and community members, and will ward off unwarranted gossip.

We expect our trip participants to live out Godly principles and set a Christ-like example for all you come into contact with.

3.5. Safety

10-20 / #3895

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

It is important to protect yourself by not giving out your personal contact information. We have found that when personal information is exchanged, it inevitably leads to a request for money or gifts of some kind. Although our service trips are founded in building relationships while sharing the love of Christ, we want to do so in a healthy manner.

Teams are not permitted to venture out from the hotels at night, without the trip leader's knowledge, for safety reasons. It is important that you stay together as a group. Please be aware of your surroundings, and keep your valuables secure.

Pro Tips

  • Be wise, dress sensibly, leave jewelry at home, and keep your camera and bags close to you.
  • Please do not take photographs of the military, airports, or government buildings. You could have your camera confiscated.
  • Keep your passport in a safe place, or on you at all times (such as in a travel pouch, a deep closable pocket, or a bag that is on your person or on the bus). Never leave it in an unsecured location.
  • On location, apply sunscreen. Dress to avoid sunburn and heatstroke.
  • Be mindful of your physical limits as to not overexert yourself.
  • Apply insect repellant periodically.

4. Documents

12-42 / #3465

To ensure participation.

The following document is essential to your participation in the trip. Please download, print, sign, and return the following to your tream lead.

Consent Form [pdf] | Passport Photocopy

5. Post Trip

1-1 / #23532

Home Again, Home Again

Debrief: Wrapping it up.

Upon arriving home from your trip, you may be met with an array of feelings and emotions. Find joy in knowing you have just participated in something so significant: sharing the love of Jesus Christ abroad through service. What a great privilege!

Prepare your mind...

Below is a list of some things to keep in mind upon returning home.

  • Keep a positive mindset as you return to your normal routine and re-adjust. Some initial stress is expected considering the circumstances.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you in your interactions and thoughts.
  • Not everyone will experience re-entry stress in the same way. Those who have made previous returns may notice little effect.
  • Due to your experiences abroad, it is likely you’ll become more discerning and critical of your own culture upon return. Be alert to this fact and try to avoid hasty judgments.
  • Keep in mind, it’s the little things that may “throw you off” such as traffic flowing “the wrong way” and your sense of time getting back on track.
  • Be honest with people. Allow them to help you readjust by letting them know some of the stress you may be facing.

Share your experience

You’ve just experienced something great. Though your friends and family didn’t walk there alongside you, they still may want to know what you saw, felt, ate, even smelled on your trip! Share your excitement through stories, photos and videos. If you find it difficult to share your experience, try journaling/listing the highlights so you can sum it up more easily.

5.1. Donor Follow-Up

1-1 / #23532

You Are Appreciated

Now that you’ve returned from your mission abroad, take some time to thank those individuals who supported you along the way. Their prayers and financial investment in you made a tangible difference in the world.

Reach out to your supporters by letter, thank-you note or post-card. Try sharing a bit of your experience with one great photo from your trip and a few thoughtful words.

Take your time and make it personal.

5.2. Checklist

14-1 / #35532

Continuing to Make an Impact

Here’s a list of some things you can do upon returning home to wrap up your trip and use the momentum from your time abroad to be more missional in your everyday life.

  • Spend time each day in prayer and continue to study your Bible.
  • Share your story with your local newspaper and/or related blog sites.
  • Blog about your experience.
  • Attend a youth group and share the experience with others. You may inspire kids/teens to go on a mission trip in the future!
  • Pay it forward. How can you be a blessing to others?
  • Find a way to get involved in your community.

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” 1 Chronicles 16:24