Conference Calls

April 18, 2012  8:00 - 8:45 CST

To listen to the call click (The call actually begins around minute 11 so move the slider over to save yourself time)

Discussed Changing the dates of the trip to July 4-16th.  The clarifying question about arriving in DC on the 4th or the 3rd was asked.  I answered on the call with the 4th as I was trained to do, but now I believe the home office might not have followed it's own formula and misquoted the dates.  I am asking for concrete clarification and should have it by Thursday the 19th.

For girls, tank tops with straps wider than 1 inch are allowed.

Each member will be allowed one checked bag weighing 50 lbs.  We will fill that bag with our personal needs, our team needs (worship, crafts, sports), and then finally with other donations we can.  All other donations will be brought in the form of money which we will use to purchase needed items in country.

To be respectful of the people we will be blessing in country, we ask that all team members leave their large, imposing Digital SLR cameras at home.  We will have an appointed photographer on the team who will capture the memories, and others will be asked to help her out too, but we do not want 30 large black lenses in their faces constantly.  :)  Small, pocket point and shoot cameras as well as using your cell phones etc is perfectly fine.  Always ask an adult permission to take their photo.

April 1, 2012 - 7:00 - 8:00p CST
Went through and took role. 30 Members of our 35 member team were on the call. (AMAZING!) Discussed paperwork still needed to complete each individual file. Please check Managed Missions under Tasks if you were one of those still turning in papers to confirm when they post.
- Discussed GENERAL travel arrangements for the trip.
FLIGHTS: Will fly July 6th evening to Washington D.C. from your local airport. Will all be put up at the same hotel for the night where we will have our first meet and greet time. Morning of July 7th we will fly from Washington Dulles to Addis Ababa Ethiopia on ET Airlines. We will then catch a connection to Uganda for a week, fly back to Ethiopia and connect to Kenya for a week. Fly back to Ethiopia on the 19th and then connect to Washington Dulles arriving on July 20th. From Dulles we'll say goodbye and catch connecting flights to our various home states/cities. All these connections, hotel stays, etc are part of the single ticket purchased. (Confirming trip start date as evening of July 6th with main office)
VISAS: We will be giving you cash to pay for your VISA upon arrival in Kenya and Uganda. There is no need to prefill out any paperwork or send VO your original passports ahead of time. This is a change from the paperwork you were sent by VO stating you need to send your passport in one month in advance. (Confirming again with the main office that this is the new official policy.)
LODGING: Throughout our trip we will be housed in Guest House or Orphanage dormitory facilities. There will be laundry services available at various if not all points of our stay. We will allow flexibility in roommate situations as we travel. Husband and wives are not always guaranteed to be able to stay together. The four boys might be required to share a room and then the women split up among the other rooms available. We will make every effort to accommodate preferences, but again, flexibility, grace, and a team spirit! :)

Per our Trip Coordinator the official VO Policy on Dress is now that women wear skirts that come below the knee, men wear pants, and no tank tops. I understand from our past trips, and pictures of others past trips, that tank tops and similar strappy dresses were allowed and photographed. I am awaiting confirmation again from our Coordinator on this policy. We will ask that you graciously abide by whatever they say. They are continuously updating their policies to reflect as much respect and deference to the local people and their customs as we possibly can. Often times what we believe is "no big deal" has at one point or another been a source of tension on a trip and it will become new policy. We will await their final word on this matter before we pack! :)
Please pack at least one "nicer" outfit for days when we are visiting over the Sabbath or church services so that we may show our respect to their worship through appropriate dress. For men this means packing a polo or collared button down shirt, for women, a dress or blouse rather than tshirt with a skirt etc.
No camo.
Each care point that we will visit will have different needs and requests. Once our itinerary is "set" (again flexibility, grace, and team spirit) we will know what we need to bring to minister to the children individually and purposefully. We will also be coordinating with trips taking place before and after us to ensure that we are not replicating or ignoring a need. We will each try to fill our 2 allowed 50lbs bags with our needs and as many donations as possible.
Please be prayerfully considering which team you wish to be assigned to. Sports, Crafts, or Worship. These teams will be in charge of gathering plans, donations, and supplies to fulfill these roles while in Africa. Each member of our team will be called upon to participate whenever and wherever needed regardless of their assigned team! Many of you have emailed already to express your desire and we are logging those in. The rest of you can let us know via email by the next conference call where you'd like to serve most.
We spent a good amount of time discussing our behavior in country on this call. And please know we will spend the bulk of our training tilling our hearts to be prepared for the work Christ has called us to.
"Out of the heart, the mouth speaks." Luke 6:45
Prepare your hearts and minds for the fact that while on the mission field we will stick out like a sore thumb. We will be seen, judged, viewed, and examined every minute that we're in the eye of the people. We are the physical representation of Christ on this trip, He is sending us to do His will, so we must be Christ in our behavior, thoughts, facial expressions, words, and emotions.
This will not be easy. We are traveling to a third world country. We will be enduring conditions that we are not hardened to. We will be exhausted, hungry, dirty, hot, cold, sore, annoyed, under attack, and anxious. But we are filled with the Holy Spirit to be able to persevere in a gracious, flexible, united spirit.
There will be many times when you're going to have to pull yourself up and suck it up for the kingdom! :)
The reward for our sacrifice and obedience is tremendous! We are going to be filled to overflowing with the joy of the Lord. Blessings and honor poured out onto our heads with abundance and freedom. We will not suffer without His constant and pleasing arms wrapped around us in liquid love. There will be nothing you wish at the end would have gone unexperienced if you keep a flexible, gracious, and united spirit every moment we're in the field.
We'll be on Africa time. That does not have the same hard boundaries as time in America. We will go with the flow. Be willing to change plans at the last minute, and know in our hearts and in our minds that God knew before He ever called you to this trip how each minute would go. Regardless of your expectations and desires, what happens on this trip is what God knew would happen before He pricked your heart and asked you to GO. In the words of Jack Melson, "We'll go where the flow go."

Any questions should be first directed to Jason and I and you may contact us via Managed Missions, email, on Facebook, or by phone.