If you had anywhere from $100- $200 to pick up some little trinkets, gifts for your family and friends, etc., it would probably be plenty. If you would like to stay for more than a month you would probably need around $100 or so for each additional month you would like to stay. There will really not be any living expenses unless you have some special needs. Food and shelter will be taken care of by us. The only time we would ask for help with food and transportation costs would be with larger groups.
Where would I be flying to?
Your end destination would be Mt. Hagen. That’s the town we drive into to do our shopping. However, when traveling to Papua New Guinea from any other international city you must fly into Port Moresby first, and then fly into Mt. Hagen. You can find more information on that in the section about tickets.
What would you use me for/how can I be a help?
The size of the group and length of stay really determines how you can best be a help to us. Each short term missions trip is tailored to fit the individual or group, if possible. For instance, if you would like to be a part of a tent meeting we will let you know what dates you plan for. It is also determined by what you are coming to do (preaching, building, medical, etc.) and what time of year you can come. The best way you can be a help is to come with a willing attitude and a servant’s heart. In general, you will be just plugging in to whatever is going on at the time and helping alongside. Just remember, the school year runs from February through November so anything school related should be during those months.
What would my sleeping arrangements be?
Sleeping arrangements are determined by length of stay and the size of the group. For larger groups a mattress and bedding on the floor, dormitory style, will be the most likely scenario. For small groups and individuals you will either share a room with someone (or more than one someones!) or possibly even have your own room.
What would I need to bring?
The most important thing to bring is a servant’s heart and a willing spirit. Bring any medicines or personal items you might need. Bring your Bible, of course! If you have a little iPod or MP3 player that is fine. You will want a camera. If you have a laptop so you can type out a journal, download your pictures, etc., that would be good. If you don’t have a laptop we can put your pictures on a thumb drive to send back with you (so bring a thumb drive or two with you). If you are coming with a large group think about bringing just one or two laptops total. I like to encourage keeping a daily journal, so whatever method is easier – whether it’s on a laptop or a spiral notebook. I highly recommend it. A backpack would be a good thing to bring. You can use that as your carry-on to save space. We encourage visitors to keep correspondence and contact with friends and family in the States at a minimum, and only use their phones as a camera. We have seen the results of both sides and feel that the visitor gets more from their missions experience when the distractions of “home” are minimized.
How long can I stay?
You can stay, with the free tourist visa, for 60 days. This is the easiest option. If you would like to stay longer please contact us and we can let you know your options.
What are the best dates that would be a help to you or that I can be used?
If you would like to be involved in the youth camp you should start looking at January. To be involved in the school you should look at February through November. There are many other meetings throughout the year that you could also be involved in. Once you get in contact with us we can start discussing what you are looking to do (preaching, building, medical, etc.) and when the best time would be. It would also be different for a group vs. an individual. If you are interested in coming just email us (email@example.com) to start discussing your options.
What shouldn’t I bring?
First, follow your airline’s requirements for what not to bring. In addition to that, follow the dress code (mentioned in #9). Don’t bring any clothing that has worldly pictures or logos. Any clothing, hats, shirts, etc. that have sayings and words – other than Bible verses – are best left at home.
What is the best clothing/shoes to bring or not to bring?
Light clothes (temperatures range from a cold 60 degrees to a slightly warm, muggy, 85). I usually preach in Dockers and a colored dress shirt (white just isn’t very practical) and work in jeans/Carharts/Cargo pants and a T-shirt/Polo Shirt, etc. A pair of sandals and a pair of day hikers, with some good tread are good to have. If you have a pair of big hunting boots or something similar, that’s fine, too. I have found that a lightweight backpacker boot is optimal for most activities. A hooded sweatshirt or a light jacket is usually a good idea.
Men – do not bring any shorts. No tank tops or sleeveless.
Ladies – bring only skirts and dresses. Straight skirts are really not as practical (it’s hard to sit on the ground or hike up a hill in a straight skirt). Below the knee is required, mid-calf is desired. Please only bring loose fitting tops that are modest throughout all kinds of activities (walking, playing, working, etc.). No tank tops or sleeveless.
Is there any special prep that I should do here (in the States) that you would recommend?
There are a few books we would highly recommend reading. The first one is called Peace Child, by Don Richardson (ISBN: 9780830704156). It is available on ebay, Amazon, etc. and can also be ordered from our home church’s bookstore (Treasure Valley Baptist Church, 208-888-4545, www.tvbc.org). This book will give you some great insight into some of the culture, hardships, and experiences of a missionary in PNG. The events of this book happened in the 60’s and 70’s and even though New Guinea has changed a lot since, in its advancements and technology, there are many people, in many areas, who still live very similarly to what is described in the book.
The second book is called Re-Entry by Peter Jordan (ISBN-13: 978-0-927545-40-2). It does a great job of dealing with some of the challenges of coming home from a short-term missions trip and gives you some things to look for and expect. It is a great help to your family so that they can understand some of the things that you’ve experienced. It will also give you some insight into some of the struggles that missionaries experience, which will, of course, help you understand not only what you are going through but will help you know better how to pray for your missionaries.