MISSION TRIP TO AFRICA
Most people express the desire to do something as graceful as going on a mission trip but they never actually do it. In case you are one of them, I’d like to encourage you to make this commitment both in words and in actions too and if you already have, congratulations on taking that big step to go on a mission trip. Africa is one of the most commonplace for mission trips, which happens to be an amazing and beautiful continent to volunteer abroad. A mission trip to Africa offers a unique opportunity for you and your team to experience a foreign culture, encounter the beauty of wildlife, help communities in great need, and bring the gospel to the doorsteps of these people. If you are trying to decide where to serve in Africa, you have come to the right place. This short piece serves to give you a brief overview of Africa, what to expect and a list of countries to choose from, that best suit your cause.
Her Beauty, Her Need
Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, a place swimming with souls who desperately need care, attention and the gospel of Christ. This is home to a great variety of wildlife and captivating landscapes with amazing and talented individuals. This continent with all its vast beauty is greatly plagued by poor governance, corruption, and poverty. The most part of the wealth from oil and other resources has filled the pockets of the elite and left the poor, desolate and hungry. This has resulted in several conflicts as the struggle for control of this wealth continues even till date. They are plagued by diseases such as HIV/AIDS pandemic, malaria, and several other health crises, yet most populations lack access to standard medical facilities, clean water, educational opportunities and employment opportunities. Even in those countries with good health facilities, the cost of getting medical care is so high that most of the citizens do not have the funds to get access to this service. Most of the government officials have repeatedly failed to fulfill whatever promises they made before coming into power and this has caused a very angry uproar amongst their citizens. With all this happening, most people are too angry at God, as it regards those pitiful circumstances. Some have refused to entertain any discussion in relation to God as most of them believe and worship idols. Despite all the negativity, the people of Africa are very strong people. Some of them still hold strong to their faith in God in spite of the storms. Now you see why it is important for you to commit both in your words and actions by taking that trip to Africa.
Preparing to serve: What to Expect.
Choosing to go on a mission trip to Africa is a 2-part gift package for you Firstly, you get to experience firsthand the beauty and heart of nature itself, as Africa is the most endowed continent with most natural elements, landscapes, resources, and wildlife. You will also have the opportunity to touch lives in a way that most people do not have the opportunity to do or have refused to do. Some of the ways you need to prepare for this mission trip and what you should expect to include:
Decide where you want to go: Like any trip, you have ever taken, deciding which of the African countries to visit is a great way to start as there are many places in Africa that you can serve. Check below to see a list of countries in Africa. Before making a choice, think of the purpose you want to achieve and do an in-depth research on the right place for you or your group, depending on what type of work you want to do.
Decide on the organization you want to partner with: For the purpose of this trip, it is important that you find an organization best suited to the needs you want to meet. Find one that has a like-minded purpose like yours. If you do not know which organization to partner with, do a research on Google or check out Experience Mission.
Raise Funds to support your mission: Mission trips are not in anywhere free. You have to foot your own bills and that will cost you several thousand dollars. It is important that you have a fundraising plan; you could raise funds either through your family, friends, church, social media followers or even through a fundraising campaign. You can also raise the money through donations from random individuals, raffles, contests, bake sales, car wash, garage sales, laundry services etc. You can check out for more fundraising ideas here and ways to write letters in a manner that gets the reader to act.
Obtain your travel documents and make health preparations: It is important that you start preparing your passports, visa, and even vaccinations months away from your actual trip because It takes a bit of time to get these done. Do well to get started early. Start getting yourself prepared physically by running all the necessary tests, engaging in daily exercises and eating healthy, all to make sure that you are physically fit to serve. Your travel documents for whichever country you choose must be ready on time and it includes, your visa application form and information, Visa and passport. Requirements may vary from organization to organization, so it is important to contact your organization while making arrangements. You’ll be very far from home and far from what you are used to. Although no immunizations are required for a traveling to Africa, it is critical that you check with your medical professionals for your trip. Doing this will help ensure your safety while on assignment in a place where you may encounter health factors your body is not typically used to. It is also recommended to get immunizations for yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis A, diphtheria and frequently consider some sort of antimalarial treatment.
Study, Research and Pack your Bags: You know you are headed into another civilization, different from what you used to know so it is important that you try to get to know the culture of these people. The culture in Africa is a completely unique and awe-inspiring experience for the first time. The people there are extremely warm and welcoming. You may feel drained physically from the toll of traveling across the world to do mission work and may find it difficult to communicate effectively with the people for the first few days of your arrival. However, within a few weeks of your stay, the culture and the people will likely leave you feeling full and excited to get to know them more deeply. It’s important to recognize that many places in Africa, are impacted by poverty, hence theft is a common practice. Take the time to get to know the people as you serve, but still, take some precautions. Keep a copy of your passport in your luggage. Don’t carry expensive camera equipment or a lot of cash. Don’t carry invaluable or irreplaceable materials on this trip. No matter how good your intentions are, do not wear expensive jewelry. Always travel in pairs. The weather in Africa is very different from the one you are used to. It is typically hot with very cool temperatures at night. You need to prepare for a little bit of everything when you travel to Africa. Pack appropriate clothing and supplies for the work you will be doing. Depending on your lodging, you’ll want to prepare to bundle up at night. The day will require protection from the sun so bring some lotion along and some breathable clothing. Most places in Africa have two rainy seasons throughout the year. The air can be very dry so be prepared with lip balm and lotion. Be sure to pack light, including all the necessary things you need.
As stated earlier, Africa is a vast continent with a very large population in 54 countries. Those countries include Morocco, South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Mauritius, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde, Ghana, Libya, Madagascar, Cameroon, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Angola, Rwanda, Mozambique and several others. Some of the countries that need urgent missionary assistance include:
Sierra Leone: This is one of the poorest nations in the world, as they are still recovering from a civil war that almost destroyed its capital city, Freetown. If you are looking for mission trips to Africa that will allow you to get your hands dirty with construction, medical care, and other ways, this destination is a great choice for you. Partner up with organizations that offer mission trips to Sierra Leone and deal with the medical aspects of rebuilding a nation.
Mozambique: From a distance, this country seems to be prospering, it is still a nation in recovery, struggling with a history that has left it torn. While the economy is on the rise, other sectors of the country still need aid, such as education. You can become a volunteer teacher in this community and help revive their educational facilities.
Rwanda: In this country, you can expect to work with children who are left homeless and parentless, and widows struggling to survive. Poverty, malnutrition, ill health and lack of good amenities is a huge source of concern in this country and Look for organizations that are all about building new communities and giving individuals what they need to start new lives and businesses and partner with them.
Tanzania: For this country, several organizations work to give the people of Tanzania the better health and education they need and deserve. If you are looking to get your hands dirty, this might be a great country for you to serve in.
Kenya: Like so many other countries in Africa, Kenya struggles with poverty, civil unrest, hunger, and drought. There are some mission organizations who are dedicated and are committed to bringing new hope to the people of Kenya in a variety of forms, including water, food and financial support.
This is just a short list of some of the countries that really need attention. There are several other countries including like Angola also fall under this list. If you did not see something here that piqued your interest, it does not mean the right mission trip to Africa is not out there for you. I’d recommend you do a lot of research on these countries and others as well even as you prayerfully make a decision. Wherever you choose, be sure to impact their lives greatly.