Shalom Christian Missions
Shalom Christian Missions

Mission Trip FAQ

The following are the most frequently asked questions about our mission trips. If you have further questions, please contact us.

How old do you need to be?
You must be at least 13 years of age by the trip date. Adults and youth are welcome.

Where will the missionaries stay?
The mission team will stay in missionary housing at the children's center for most of the trip. We do reserve the right to change locations if we see any danger in where we originally planned to take our team. Safety is our top priority.

How safe are the trips?
Safety during mission trips is the top priority of the SCM leadership. Much of our mandatory mission training focuses on safety while traveling abroad and in an unfamiliar culture. We have a leadership structure designed to spread out the leadership, thus keeping the team more accountable. At all times our project directors and leaders will place the safety of the team as paramount and will make any necessary changes to the schedule, location, or details of the mission trip with the team’s safety in mind. All of our project directors have been on numerous and extended trips to Kenya and have a wealth of experience leading missions to our current location.

Can I take a whole group?
Yes, you can take an entire group. We can accommodate youth groups, construction groups, medical groups, discipling groups, teaching groups, etc. We may place other missionaries on the team depending on the size. If you are bringing a group, you can choose to be the team leader (this will involve further training) or ask that one be assigned to your group. All groups will work with a project director who understands the culture and ministry needs in the area.

Do I need vaccinations/special medications?
Vaccinations are highly recommended, not required. We require all missionaries to use malaria medication as the children's center is located in an area with frequent outbreaks. We also recommend missionaries bring a preventative prescription of Cipro or other antibiotic as prescribed by your health professional. The area we serve is remote and it is wise to have these prescriptions with you in case of illness.

Do I need a visa?
Yes. You can obtain your visa while here in the U.S. from the Kenyan Embassy or you can obtain your visa upon arrival in Kenya. The visa fee is not included since it is subject to change. Currently the visa charge is $50.

What does the trip price include?
The trip price provides you with food, lodging, transportation (in Kenya), and some ministry funds. The cost also includes the cost of an overnight safari at the current rate (if the rate increases, you may be asked to cover the additional cost.) Not covered is the park entrance fee which is subject to change. In 2014, the fee was $80. You may wish to raise more ministry funds depending on what the team is doing. You may be asked to cover 1-2 meals during travel time and any personal spending money. Airfare will be based on the going rate at the time of booking (this is not included in the trip cost). The earlier you apply, the better the rate will be. To help with an approximate cost, in the past airfare has cost between $1,300 and $1,700. This is always subject to change.

How does trip fundraising work?
You will be assigned an account number which you can share with anyone who would like to contribute to your mission trip costs. Any money donated to SCM on your behalf for mission trips must be marked with your account number and will be held in your account to cover your trip cost and airfare. Funds raised in excess of your needs may be donated to other missionaries on the trip or to the trip’s general fund which can help fund additional projects during the trip such as care packages for widow ministry or building projects. We cannot carry excess funds raised for one year to another year or for another purpose. It will be used for the trip you go on that year. SCM will not be responsible for your fund raising; it is the responsibility of each missionary. Your acceptance packet will give you lots of fund raising ideas. If you do not raise enough funds to go the year you apply, we can carry your amount on your account for up to 2 years.

If I change my mind after being accepted to a trip, can I get a refund?
All trip donations are non-refundable, but will be transferable to another trip for up to 2 years. Application fees are non-transferable and non-refundable. Once airfare has been purchased we cannot transfer the amount for the airfare. SCM will work with you as much as possible to see you get on the mission field.

Will there be supervision on the trip?
Yes! All of our trips are under trained, adult leadership. All adults leaders have experience in the mission field. Many have experience in dealing with young people. Our project directors and team leaders have child protection clearances. Safety is a top priority.

Is the trip basically for youth or adults?
The trip is for both. We design each trip around those who have applied to go.

Who will direct the trip?
You will have a project director from the USA who will travel with you or meet you in Kenya and oversee the entire trip. This project director will start training you months before the trip takes place to help the team begin to work together and to teach about the culture, the ministry you will do, and make sure that everyone understand the rules for a safe trip.

What is covered during mission training?
During mission training, you will get to know your fellow missionaries/leaders and learn to work as a team. We will go over rules for the trip. You will learn about team safety, appropriate behavior in a foreign culture as a representative of Christ, clothing/appearance requirements and what/how to pack, and recommended vaccinations and medications. You will learn basics of Kenyan history and the Luo/Suba tribal culture, which we serve. You will receive a copy of the mission trip schedule and prepare for any particular projects, such as Vacation Bible School, drama, evangelism, building, etc. You will have a time to share any possible fears and concerns. You and your team will pray for each other and the people you will reach before you leave the USA. You will also have established a personal prayer team that will pray for you while you are in the field.

If I don't live in your area, can I still do the trip? How will I do the training?
If you live outside of our local area, you are still welcome to do the mission trip. We will work with you to be sure your are properly trained. Some of the training may also be provided through email or online/Skype meetings. You can also either travel to our area a few days before we depart for your training, or if a group of 5 or more people in your area are going, we can arrange to hold training sessions in your area.

If I travel from another area, how and where do I meet up with the team?
You will need to arrive in our area (Pennsylvania) the day before we depart (or three days prior to departure if you will be joining the training at that time) and then fly out with the rest of the team. You can drive in or you can fly in and we will meet you outside the secured area at BWI or Harrisburg International. If this is not possible, contact us for other arrangements. If you are traveling with an entire group from outside our area, we can arrange to travel straight to Kenya and we will have our people in place to meet you at the airport in Nairobi.