It is our desire for more of our friends and family to partner in the work that Christ is doing in the nation of Haiti. We are currently widening the opportunities to participate in our trips to Haiti by choosing a variety of projects to tackle, developing new team leaders and varying length & cost of trips . We also want to encourage you to consider how your own group of friends, small group, or school/work group could go together. If you desire to be the hands and feet of Christ, and share the Good News of Jesus with those who are so desperate for the hope that He brings, PRAY and see if the Lord would have you join us on a Haiti journey!
It truly is a trip that will change your life!
As a board, we hope to make several mission trips to Haiti each year, different teams each time. Each team is composed of an average of just a few to a dozen or more people! Everyone pays their own way to Haiti and in participating in whatever projects we hope to accomplish while on mission. The dates, purposes and cost of the trips vary.
How much will a mission trip cost? Trip costs vary based on airfare dates, trip length and projects to tackle--averages are $1200 - $2200. This does not have to be paid all at once. You will pay a portion upfront for the airfare because we cannot get those funds back if you would cancel. Your trip leader will give you a guideline as to when other portions are due. All fees for the trip will be paid in full no less than four to six weeks prior to the trip date. Trip fees are paid direct to the organization and will be placed in an account for your specific trip.
Airfare costs? Most groups leave from the St. Louis, Mo, Springfield, Mo. or Kentucky areas. Airfare from these locations to Haiti, round trip, will range from $625 - $850 (this is included in total trips costs/approximations--we are subject to airfare at the time, but team leaders are versed in shopping for the lowest fares possible!). You may also link up with a team if you're coming from another area by meeting them in Miami or Ft. Lauderdale (most all flights will make a lay over at one of those airports).
Guesthouse fees? They will vary, most guesthouses that we frequent are $50-$75/night per person, and this usually includes a meal or two. PB&J are a staple lunch, FYI! However trips to the grocery will supply several other food options--but remember that may add to trip costs.
Age Range?--children under 14 are not generally recommended to travel without their parent. High school junior & seniors with a strong commitment in their faith and in doing God's work are welcome to travel with a team, once the team leader has met with their parents and signed consent forms. Adults +18 and into their 80s in good general health are always welcome!
Will we be safe? It is almost always very safe to go to Haiti. Political unrest is always a concern, however there has not been a time yet that our team leaders have felt required to cancel a trip. One thing to remember is that we have many Haitian friends and connections who live in Haiti, and if there is ever any question about the safety of traveling at a particular time, we ask their opinion.
What will we be doing? This varies from trip to trip. You may be asked to participate in a work project, but this depends very much on the work that needs to be done at the time. A big part of coming to Haiti is to experience the people, see both the poverty and the beauty, and to gain an appreciation of the needs and of what Joy in Haiti teams are doing while there. Some things that all teams do while in country are: Interacting with the Haitian people, friends made while there over past years and with the children at the school, church and orphanage; you may visit the school or even go out to local villages to repair hand-pumps and have VBS time with community members; a possible visit to a marketplace; and we do attend a Haitian Christian church on any given Sunday while there!
What will we eat? That depends on the guesthouse--however it will be mainly Haitian foods (chicken, fish, meatballs, beans & rice), eggs and fruits for breakfast--we have a grocer nearby to purchase snacks, energy bars, & sandwich foods (however it is expensive), so we also encourage you to embrace the culture of Haiti while there and try something new!
Do we need special medications or shots? Yes. You must have an up to date Tetanus shot. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control generally recommends the following vaccinations for people traveling to the Caribbean: MMR, DPT, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid. Many people who come on our teams do not get all of these shots, but these are your decisions to make-- we recommend you discuss what other shots or medications you may want with your own physician. Some people also choose to take an anti-malaria medication, you may want to discuss this with your doctor also. You can visit the CDC website for further information. Take note that most general MDs do not dispense travel meds--these are obtained through the local health centers. It IS better to be safe than sorry and you'll want your mission time to be spent praying with others--not others praying for your own daily wellness! ;)
What is the language? Haitian Creole--this is a mixture of French, a bit of Spanish and various African dialects.