How it works
A Journey Trip Experience . . . pre-trip, on-field, and post-trip
Each Journey Trip consists of three phases taken from Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
1 - Pre-trip: Learn and Seek
Weekly team discipleship begins approximately two months prior to departure. Team training is completed via conference calls, when everyone gathers to discuss each week’s lesson. These calls provide an opportunity for the team to get to know each other, discuss in-country ministry activities, and address various questions and concerns.
Team lessons include topics such as: God’s heart for the orphan, the church’s role in orphan ministry, orphan-related issues, testimony sharing, wholistic care, and effective cross-cultural outreach. Weekly assignments include personal Bible study, a research project on an issue linked to orphans, personal testimony writing, and ministry and personality assessments.
2 - On-field: Fellowship and Serve
After spending time preparing with your team, it is time to put it into practice. You will spend one or two weeks (depending on location) serving alongside World Orphans church partners with existing orphaned and vulnerable children care programs. These programs consist of various types of ministry depending on the culture and needs in the community.
The program ensures that the children receive wholistic care: physical care - food, access to clean drinking water and access to medical care; spiritual care - discipleship during home visitations and opportunities to participate in a weekly children’s program at the church; mental care - access to and support of education; and emotional care - ongoing counseling, group activities, and home visitations.
Journey teams participate in various ministry activities that have been predetermined by the local church to serve the child, church, and/or community. These outreach activities might include (depending on location): running a Vacation Bible School program, teaching ESL, going on Home Based Care visits, assisting with medical clinics, or leading sports and recreational programs. Daily debriefings with your team will provide opportunities to discuss what you are seeing and what God is calling you to do as a result of these experiences and encounters.
3 - Post-trip: Defend and Advocate
The end of your Journey Trip is also the beginning of your personal journey. After all you have learned and experienced, what is God calling you to do? World Orphans has various opportunities for you to engage and partner with us as an orphan advocate. Some participants decide to become Monthly Supporters or form Local Campaigns, while others fundraise for a specific project at one of our church partner locations.
The goal is ACTION. We desire to see you inspired to put your gifts, abilities, resources, and heart into motion to help raise awareness, encourage others to join you in the cause, raise funds to meet various needs, disciple others regarding God’s heart for the fatherless, and mobilize your church to partner with our ministry to empower more churches around the world to rescue and care for orphans . . . until they all have homes.
Just think. If the church would do what God has commanded us to do in Scripture, would there be an orphan crisis? If every church around the world were mobilized, empowered, and equipped with the resources they need to reach out to their own communities, would there be millions of orphans with no home or family? We invite you to join us in the cause to defend and fight for the orphan by empowering the local church.
Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission
The Standards of Excellence (SOE) in Short-Term Mission is an accrediting and resourcing body for those who send, receive, facilitate, and support short-term mission (STM) endeavors.
By adopting the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission and displaying the SOE logo World Orphans demonstrates that our STMs strive for Christ-centered and effective missions strategies, partnerships, and stewardship.
As an accredited member, we meet the highest best practice standards established for short-term missions, showing our commitment to quality, and excellence in STM.
ARE THERE ANY AGE LIMITS TO BE ELIGIBLE TO SERVE ON A JOURNEY TRIP?
Team members must be 18 years or older to apply. Minors that are 16 or older can apply ONLY if they will be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during the trip. The parent/guardian must also apply for the trip and go through the same application process as other individuals. Both the child and the parent/guardian must be approved to serve on the trip for the minor to be able to participate. In these situations, minors go through a more strenuous application screening by the Journey staff to determine emotional stability and maturity.
CAN I TAKE MY CHILDREN WITH ME?
Due to the nature of Journey Trips and the locations where we serve, we do not allow children under 16 years of age to serve on our teams. Minors 16 years of age or older are allowed to apply for a Journey Trip as long as they will be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. These trips are emotionally hard and physically demanding.
WHERE DO JOURNEY TEAMS SERVE AND HOW LONG ARE THE TRIPS?
Journey Trip teams serve with World Orphans church partners in areas of the world where the orphan crisis is prevalent (exact locations vary from year to year). Trips range from 7-14 days depending on the location of the trip.
WHAT TRAINING IS PROVIDED FOR TEAM MEMBERS?
Each Journey team member will be provided with a Team Handbook. The team will begin going through the discipleship material approximately 2-3 months prior to their departure. This is done using correspondence methods such as email and conference calls. Team members are expected to read and study the material thoroughly to prepare for the Journey. Also, depending on the trip, some teams will undergo Team Building Boot Camp 1-2 days in person prior to departure.
HOW WILL THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A JOURNEY TRIP BE MEASURED?
Journey Trips exist to educate and equip believers who are burdened for the orphan to move into the role of orphan advocates in some form as a result of their cross-cultural experience. An effective Journey Trip results in compassionate, proactive orphan advocates. Additionally, all Journey Trips will be measured according to Seven Standards as developed by U.S. Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission (SOE).
DO I GET TO CHOOSE THE TEAM THAT I WANT TO SERVE ON?
You get to choose your trip under most circumstances, though each team will have a maximum capacity limit. Occasionally there will be an urgent need somewhere else, and a Journey staff member may ask you to pray about a different opportunity.
CAN I EXTEND MY STAY OVERSEAS AFTER THE JOURNEY TRIP IS OVER?
Yes. This is a possibility, but it must be discussed further with the Journey staff. Each team is different, so it will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Generally, we do not allow team members to travel early (before the rest of the team), but may allow team members to extend their stay or travel to other destinations on their own following the trip’s conclusion.
WHAT DOES THE COST OF THE TRIP COVER?
The trip costs include training materials, team gear, airfare, transportation, lodging, travel insurance, ministry supplies, interpreters, visa (if necessary), food, and administrative fees. The only extra money you will need on the field is for souvenirs, sightseeing, or other personal spending not mentioned in the items above. Please note that pre-trip expenses that you incur to prepare for travel are NOT reimbursable with money donated to World Orphans on your behalf. These expenses include, but are not limited to, passport fees, vaccinations or other medical expenses, postage/shipping, and phone calls.
HOW DO I RAISE FUNDS TO COVER THE TRIP EXPENSES?
World Orphans will provide each team member with an online link for you to personalize and use (via emails, social media, etc.) to gather electronic donations. Additionally, the Team Handbook each team member receives will serve as a guide for writing a support letter, promoting your mission trip to those around you, and organizing other fundraising events. The Journey staff is available to assist with fundraising help and guidance.