What about safety? That’s often the first or second question asked when thinking about a mission trip. And while we know that things happen, we still can take appropriate steps to prevent incident as much as possible.
Here at Praying Pelican, we take the responsibility of safety seriously on our mission trips. So we wanted to break down some of our tips for ensuring you have a safe and successful mission trip experience - whether you go with us or not.
1. Always listen to and follow all rules and guidelines set in place by your local host, missions leadership and group leader. They have their reasons for the guidelines in place - respect them.
2. Ensure your missions organization or local host and group leader, are prepared for emergency situations. Here are some questions to ask to ensure they’ve thought through safety:
3. Never go alone - this is key in every group dynamic, but especially in youth groups.
4. Always inform a key leader if you are going to be breaking away from the group for any reason. Do not inform only a friend on the trip - inform a leader, so if in the event plans change suddenly, they are aware of your whereabouts. And refer to #3.
5. Follow all cultural and location specific guidelines. I.e. if leadership instructs you to not take photos - do not take photos.
6. Keep your important documents and medications on your person at all times.
7. Don’t be flashy with jewelry, cell phones or other technology.
8. Have trusted, local leadership on your trip. At Praying Pelican, our local staff are the backbone of keeping our teams safe. They know their city/country, they know the ins and outs and what to do in case of emergency. And furthermore, they, along with our pastors and partners, create a network of security within every location, ensuring that if in the event of political unrest or other situation, our leadership is well informed and our teams are safe.
9. If you feel unwell, tell someone. Never let a nagging headache go unchecked, especially if serving in a hot climate. We prefer you err on the side of caution.
10. Never give out personal information, unless leadership has approved it.
And of course, pray! As with traveling anywhere in life, even going to your local grocery store can be a little risky, because we live in a sinful world. So take appropriate precautions and be smart - but don’t let it ruin your excitement and passion for the trip!
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