Mission Trip: AFRICA

You’re signed up for a mission trip! Now what? This page is for you! You will find information on what to pack, what to expect when you fly over to Liberia, Africa, as well as links to forms for you to fill out. Please be in contact with your team leaders throughout the weeks leading up to your trip! They are available to answer your questions or help find the answers if the information isn’t found below.

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to attend a mission trip, please begin by filling out our Trip Attendee Form! Once we’ve verified your information, you will receive confirmation from us. 

After we have a team confirmed, we ask that you fill out our Liability Form. If you are a minor, we also need you to fill out and send us the Minor Consent Form. 

 

Your team leader and GoServ Global need these forms from you before your trip! Please scan a copy of your passport and upload to the Trip Attendee Form. The Minor Consent Form is only for those under the age of 18 and must be printed and filled out.

Forms Needed Include:

  • Trip Attendee Form
  • Liability Form
  • Minor Consent Form
    • If minor is travelling without both parents/guardians, a notarization is required
    • If one parent/guardian is travelling with minor, the form is required without notarization
    • Once filled out, please mail to: GoServ Global ATTN: Mission Trip 1370 NW 18th St. Ankeny, IA, 50023

What does my team need to do before the trip? 

  • Fill out and submit all required forms
  • Submit payment for your deposit (covers in-country costs)
    • Follow the “Make a Payment” button below or send by check.
  • Submit payment for your airline costs
    • Follow the “Make a Payment” button below or send by check.
  • Meet to get to know each other
    • Your leader will reach out with dates. It’s very important for you to make it to these meetings! Might be in-person or over Zoom.
  • Review Frequently Asked Questions listed below.
  • Review our What to Pack list to make sure you own everything you need.
  • Meet to go over trip expectations and details
    • Your Team Leader will reach out with dates. Might be in-person or over Zoom.
  • Get all shots needed according to your doctor.
  • Pack.
  • Head to the airport.

Raising all the funds for your trip might seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Below are some ideas. Big hint though – fundraising is more fun when not done alone!

  1. Fundraising meal at your church. Host a meal you prepare (ask others for help) and invite people through social media, word of mouth, and ask your pastor to say something on stage. Let people know what the donations are going towards and take time before or after the meal to share what your trip is about. 
  2. Start a GoFundMe Fundraiser through GoServ Global’s profile! This keeps people’s contributions tax-deductible and gives you an easy online “way to give” to share on Facebook. Make sure to let the office know you are doing it so we can direct the funds that come in. 
  3. Use your time and talents! Find people in your family or community that would be willing to give a donation if you can help with their projects. Maybe this is yard work, house cleaning, prepping meals, etc. 

FREquently asked questions

Your deposit is a $160/day fee that covers your in-country costs of lodging, travel, and food. It doesn’t include coverage for your souvenirs or street vendor purchases, so plan to bring any extra spending money you think you’ll need. There is also a $175 fee added to your deposit to cover the cost of your visa.

We will be staying in the Safe T Home® units that were built in 2023 at the Hope Center. Each Safe T Home® is equipped with beds for 4 people. 

It is a dusty, dry climate, so you will get dirty. The temperatures range between 80-85 degrees during the day. At night, the temperature will drop and the Safe T Home® doesn’t hold heat, so they provide us with blankets. 

Our hope with GoServ Global mission trips is that you will leave learning more about yourself, about God, about the needs, and having learned about the people you are serving. To help accomplish those, we have daily devotional times, serve in the different ministries, and visit with the many locals to learn more about the culture and country. When we are in Monrovia, we will be near the East side of the Atlantic Ocean and typically will stop there. Most of our time will be spent at the village with the local people and with many kids!

They use a tribal language but most everyone speaks some English! Conversations might be broken at times, but rarely do we come across someone who can’t speak and understand at least some English.

We know that it can be intimidating to not only be in a new country but to also not speak or understand the language around you! First course of action, take a deep breath whenever that is starting to make you nervous. Remember, you are not alone and you are not the first person to do this. You’ll find it isn’t as scary as you originally thought. Your Team Leader has already arranged travel and lodging, as well as food, so most of your communication will happen with people you are serving or serving alongside. Either way, these are some helpful tips to consider!

1. Download a translator app! This will help you have some comfort in the case where you are really unsure what to do. Pro tip – most use the internet, so either pay to download one or plan to pay for internet usage.

2. Use your hands and facial expressions to help convey a message – it will amaze you to see how much communication is nonverbal!

3. Ask your Team Leader specifically about different cultural nonverbal/verbal cues that might be helpful to understand before heading to Liberia. This is what they are there for! To help bridge that gap. 

4. Learn a few words/phrases. Even if your pronunciation is terrible, say something enough times and eventually it will sink in what you’re trying to say. 

5. Speak slowly and clearly. The locals will know and understand some English, but they likely don’t have the experience to help them understand you speaking quickly or indistinctly. A useful tip to language learners is to speak slower and enunciate well, at a clear volume. 

6. Always have a buddy! That way even if you aren’t sure what they’re saying, you at least know you aren’t by yourself. 

Yes! To travel to Africa, you must have a valid passport that does not expire within 6 months of your trip prior to signing up for your trip. We do not purchase airline tickets until we have received a scanned copy of your passport. 

You will need your passport carried with you throughout the travel process to Africa and leaving Africa. 

We suggest printing off extra copies of your passport, one to give to your Team Leader, and one to keep in your luggage as a backup. While in the country, we do encourage you to carry your passport with you.

Great question! Your Team Leader will provide you with our What to Pack List for Africa. Double-check with your team leader that there is nothing special to pack for your trip in addition to the packing list. One thing to remember: SUNSCREEN. You will be right near the equator, making the UV rays brutal throughout the day if you aren’t regularly applying.

You’ll want flip flops to go back and forth between the Safe T Home® and the bathrooms. You will need tennis shoes or boots for working throughout the day!

Bring TWO bath towels. 

Yes! When you land in Monrovia, Liberia, you will be given a form to fill out. This form declares who you are, that you have a passport identification with you, where you’re a citizen, where you’ll be staying, what the purpose of your trip is, whether you’re carrying more than $10K of cash or items, and to verify you aren’t carrying any fresh foods (fruits, meats, plants, etc) into the country. When you land in the U.S., you’ll have a similar form to fill out. Once you’ve filled out the form and they look it over, they’ll stamp your passport and let you through!

American money can be used all throughout the country of Liberia. Any American money brought into country should be clean bills that are lightly worn, no marks and without tears. They will not accept bills that are in very used condition. 

There will be lots of rice and chicken! It’s a lot of vegetables and an amazing array of fresh, sun-ripened fruits. 

We recommend bringing drink packets (suck as propel) to add to the provided water bottles. You can bring snacks as well to keep with your items.

We understand it can be difficult to travel with food allergies, especially allergies that might cause heavy discomfort on your trip if you eat the food. First step, inform your Team Leader of your allergy and how severe it is. If it is a potentially lethal allergy, let your Team Leader guide you in if this is the right country for you to visit or if there are certain steps you’ll need to follow. 

Second step, do your research. A helpful tool to bring is an allergy card written in basic English that you can use to inform restaurant kitchens or our guides what you need to avoid and why. This card should state: what you are allergic to (can use pictures) and what common foods it is found in, that you need to eat food that does not contain that food, that food containing those ingredients cannot go on your plate, and a brief explanation why. For example, if you have celiac, you are likely very sensitive to any cross-contamination with wheat. While foods made with corn are fine, sauces or breads are not and can’t come on your plate. Your card would say: “Food Allergy to Wheat, please make sure no food, sauces, or sides containing wheat touch my food or plate. I will become very sick otherwise. Thank you.”

Communication is key, and your Team Leader, your allergy card, and our guides will be able help navigate most food allergy situations if you give advance warning. 

Set up an appointment to see your doctor. GoServ Global policy: Each person going on a trip to Liberia is responsible to contact his/her physician to prepare for the trip. It’s best to go in as soon as possible as some vaccinations take time to have a full effect. Doctors may vary on what is recommended but we have seen the following: tetanus, hepatitis A & B, typhoid, influenza, pneumonia, yellow fever, as well as malaria meds like doxycycline.  It’s also recommended by doctors to bring Cipro (a powerful antibiotic used only if one experiences gastro-intestinal illness). You can tell your doctor that you will be in the Nimba County, Liberia, area.

www.cdc.gov/cholera/general: CDC does NOT recommend cholera vaccines for most travelers, nor is the vaccine available in the U.S. To avoid getting cholera, drink only bottled, boiled or chemically treated water and bottled/canned carbonated beverages. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. Wash your hands often with soap and clean water. Use bottled water to brush your teeth and to wash and prepare food. Do not ingest water – be mindful in the shower!

You will be surrounded by hundreds of kids at the village! These kids will come seeking affection and love to look at pictures of your homes and families. 

We may host a meal, where you will see hundreds of people gather from the near villages to join you. Please do not be intimidated by this! If you are worried about this, please ask your Team Leader. 

Yes! Your visa will be a $175 that you pay with your deposit. We will take care of the paperwork to get you the visa. 

Where is Nimba County, Liberia?

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