Short-Term Missions Overview
It has been a great joy for us to host a variety of teams, whether they were comprised mostly of adults or youth or a mix. Some teams have been men’s teams, and others only women. Some teams come for a week or two, others (individuals) come for a month or so, 6 months, a year, or longer. We have found that the LORD finds a place for everyone to labor or minister on the mission field. Something special happens in these cross-cultural settings when volunteers come and participate in a third-world experience. Barriers drop and hearts open up. Most of our work is centered in the Cibao region, the central valley area of the country of the Dominican Republic. We have ministered though in every corner of this nation.
Ministry Opportunities During a Short-term Missions Trip
There are areas in the Dominican Republic of extreme poverty, where people will walk miles for affordable medical help. Medical teams can be very effective in reaching people’s needs physically, and spiritually. If a team is willing to cover the cost of medical supplies needed to conduct a Medical Outreach, local doctors can be found to help with this ministry. Also, Dental Outreaches and Optical clinics have been held in poor rural settings.
With the minimum wage in the Dominican Republic so low, it is very difficult for church members to make much progress on their church building program. How wonderful when a church from the U.S. can partner with them in their project. It costs as little as $18,000 U.S. to build a sanctuary that will hold 75 to 100 members. Larger church projects are built in phases, with different teams coming and sharing in the project, each one assuming part of the material costs. There are also many other construction needs for churches, schools, or homes.
There are great spiritual needs represented in the Dominican Republic. The churches can use whatever help can be provided to explain the importance of Jesus Christ to their communities. Pastors really appreciate the U.S. teams that come and bring testimonies, workshops, crusades, conferences, and share the Word of God. Often long-term friendships are made. Youth groups often minister in open air meetings, public and private schools, and in local churches.
- Children’s Programs/VBS
Good children’s programs are needed and are great ways to attract neighborhood kids to churches who may otherwise never hear the gospel. Pastor’s are always very grateful for the partnering of teams. Many poor rural churches cannot afford a programs geared for children. Special children’s programs and Summer vacation Bible School for children are greatly welcomed.
- La Vega Christian School Projects
La Vega Christian School has many needs. Teams can minister in the chapels and classrooms. The school is a place full of ministry opportunities to the 400 children enrolled. There are ongoing construction, maintenance, and painting needs that visiting teams can help with. The campus has been built almost entirely with volunteer support and help.
- Mix of Activities
Many groups combine activities to expose their team to the different aspects of missionary work.
Short-term Mission Trip Expenses
Airfare costs between USD $450-$700 per person when flying from Southeastern United States. This will usually be your largest expense. From outside the SE, costs can rise. Each team is responsible for obtaining their flight reservations. *Note: Add a $10 visa entry fee per person that will be charged upon arrival at the airport.
Travel Insurance: *It is important that your team members have overseas health insurance coverage for unforeseen emergencies and medical costs. There are various suppliers. AG churches need to go through AGWM for their insurance.
Food and Lodging:
When staying in the La Vega area we have four choices currently that we offer teams.
This is based on a person staying 7 days, six nights. You can adjust prices based on the number of days you will be here by the daily rate.
1. This is staying at the Missionary House. This is ideal for teams that have 10 people or less. For food and lodging and ground transportation for 7 days and 6 nights we ask a team to pay $350.00 per person. This includes all ground transportation, lodging, and all meals. We have hot water and internet and comfortable beds. ($50.00 is the daily rate used for calculations if you plan on staying more days).
2. If you stay at a retreat center in town, it will be $385.00 per 7 days/6 nights per person all lodging, meals, and ground transportation included. The camp can accommodate up to 500 people. (No hot water, and will normally be using bunk rooms, limited internet). Ideal for youth groups. Visit this site for more information http://www.medlaccc.org ($55.00 is the daily rate used for calculations for adding days).
There are two nice and clean hotels in town, the Hotel Rey and The Pegasus. They both have hot water, AC, and cable. The Hotels have various size rooms, some with one bed, some with two beds, our prices are for two to a room.
3. If you stay at the Pegasus Hotel the basic rate per week is $455.00 for food (3 meals), lodging and transportation ($65.00 is the daily rate for any additional days stay). You can view the Trip advisor Ratings for Pegasus at google.com.
4. At the Hotel Rey the cost is $525.00 per week and this includes all ground transportation, all meals (3 daily), and lodging for 7 days and 6 nights for Hotel Rey($75.00 is the daily rate for any additional days stay) . You can view the Trip advisor Ratings for Hotel Rey website here
Note: Some staircases may be involved.
Construction teams and medical teams of course have material expenses that need to be covered. These are arrived at by looking at the prospective project and its cost. VBS and children’s ministries need to bring in their materials or instead bring funds to cover their anticipated expenses of their program.
Currently we ask every team with 20 or less members to bring an additional minimum of $2000.00 US for the on-going ministry expenses of your host missionaries. Teams with over 20 members need to donate $100.00 per person for on-going ministry expenses. Construction teams are challenged instead to bring in enough funds to cover the phase of the project they will be helping with. These amounts may be substantially more. Currently a small church (seating 75-100) is costing $18,000.00 US to build. Construction funds and any medical funds used by the team will be deducted from the ministry fund requirement.
It is good to have extra funds on hand for your visit. It is customary to give tips to cooks and bus drivers. Many teams have gifts in their budgets to bless the pastors or the churches they will be attending. Translators may be needed and they also should receive a monetary gift for their services ($25.00 US a day is recommended). It is also good to have a small fund on hand for unforeseen emergencies, should any arise.