Mission Trips & the
effect of COVID-19
effect of COVID-19
You’ve probably felt it. That nagging sense there must be more to this Christian life than you’re experiencing. It can’t just be saying a prayer, going to church on Sunday, and striving to be a good person, can it? The World Race offers you an incredible opportunity to make an impact on the world while also having your eyes opened to the reality of who God is and all that He has for you.
Fall 2021 Update
This past year has given us at Adventures in Missions an even deeper commitment to the mission God set before us as an organization: to awaken and activate Christ followers worldwide to their identity and role in God’s Kingdom. While COVID-19 has affected each of us, our ministry partners are living and working in communities that are severely impacted, struggling financially and looking for hope. Our partners are ready, eager and prepared for teams to come and help as they serve their communities.
In March 2020, as borders started to close without much notice, Adventures worked around the clock to safely bring home 570 participants from 26 international squads over the course of 6 days. We spent the rest of the year canceling and postponing trips, while working hard to create a variety of opportunities that adhere to government regulations and safety guidelines. We found ways to launch domestic trips and host a 4-month extended training camp on campus for our 2020 Gap Year Racers. We have equipped our leaders and teams and are effectively managing COVID-19 realities, both on our campus and for our participants around the world.
With a desire to launch internationally in January, we talked to experts, researched the recommendations from the CDC and other organizations, assessed possible locations (with information about entry requirements and how they were handling COVID-19 internally), and generally continued to watch the pandemic situation both in the U.S. and overseas. As potential locations began to appear viable we worked with those ministry hosts to develop an on-field COVID-19 protocol that would minimize risk to our participants and to those they serve.
As a result, In January 2021, we were able to safely launch over 300 participants internationally, across 8 World Race squads and 3 Semesters teams. The Gospel is being shared, work is getting done, and God is moving (check out some stories here!).
In the fall of 2021 we have seen entry requirements around the world change quickly and dramatically as countries, businesses and ministry hosts have begun treating vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers differently. This has profound implications for our route, location and ministry options. For several months we have been communicating our expectation that this would happen at some point and we have told our participants to hold their anticipated locations lightly since they are subject to change.
We now have a better understanding of how these new restrictions impact the mission trip experience. Unvaccinated travelers will have fewer route options, they will spend more time in quarantine and their movement in and out of businesses, gatherings and ministry within a country may be very restricted.
We do not require our participants to be vaccinated, and we are working to continue to provide options for unvaccinated travelers. However, the impact on their experience may be substantial and some options will very likely be unavailable to them.
We continue to move forward with expectancy, wisdom, and intentionality as we pioneer in a world that looks different than the one we were navigating a year ago for the sake of the Gospel. Now, more than ever, our world needs hope.
Mission trips are happening in 2022!
World Race, World Race: Gap Year, and Semesters by World Race initially launched teams to serve alongside long-term partners in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, and South Africa. We have, and will continue to, move into other countries as they open up and become viable options for us.
COVID-19 & RISK MANAGEMENT
DAILY HEALTH SCREENINGS
We are committed to complying with any government regulations that exist throughout your mission trip. This could include entry requirements, curfews, in-country travel restrictions or more. We are also committed to having field policies in line with best practices for our mission trips and gap year program. We will continue to work closely with our ministry partners to monitor the advice of international health organizations and local regulations.
Now that more and more countries are loosening COVID restrictions, we are no longer requiring the COVID vaccine for any trips. The COVID vaccine will now be treated like any other vaccine, in that it is only required if a country you are going to logistically requires it for entry (like a visa). As such, most (likely all) routes will not require the COVID vaccine!
Our internal risk management team and our external consultants will continue to monitor the COVID-19 implications for international travel. If quick action does become necessary, we have experience navigating that situation. In March 2020, borders began to close without much notice, and we safely brought home 570 missionaries from 26 international squads over the course of 6 days. While we cannot completely predict what every future situation would look like, we do have an experienced team that is ready to work around the clock to get our participants home, if necessary.
Yes. For all participants traveling internationally with us, your insurance policy includes COVID-19 coverage, at no additional cost. For additional information, see your profile or speak with your Admissions Advisor.
We have an experienced risk management team. They monitor political, health, weather, and other risks in the regions where we serve. We continue to confidently plan impactful mission trips and adjust when necessary. We won’t launch a mission trip that isn’t up to our standards of safety. In 2020, we canceled our international mission trips due to safety and travel restrictions with COVID-19 and gave options to our participants to join us domestically or defer to a later date. We currently feel confident launching future mission trips. If we have to cancel your mission trip, or you don’t feel comfortable going, the money you’ve raised can be applied to a different or future trip within the next calendar year. Our team will be happy to work with you to find the best option for your situation.
The more we get to know you (the AIM ministry), the more impressed I am about the quality of [this] organization, and I am grateful for your ministry in helping shape young adults to be strong ministers for Christ. Thanks again!
The staff there is unbelievable. I do believe God had his hands in this. God’s blessings to you all as this journey is not over. We continue to lift AIM up in prayers.
You all have been amazing!! I can’t thank you all enough for responding fast and putting into action a plan to get our children home as fast as you could. I’m in awe of your dedication and diligence in getting all of these moving pieces where they needed to go. Continuing to pray for all of you as I know your jobs aren’t done yet. This too shall pass and hopefully you all can rest and be still.
Your grace under fire is evidence of your deep walks with Jesus. Our young adults couldn’t have been under better leadership. We’ll continue to cover you in prayer in the seasons ahead.
Stories from the field
COVID ON THE RACE
LAUNCH WITHIN A PANDEMIC
025 GOD CANNOT BE BOXED (LAUNCH VIDEO!)
ECUADOR IS HOME NOW
TENDER HEARTS, SORE EYES, AND… RAW EARS??
SIX-FOOT CHEST BUMP
Looking for what’s next? Check out these upcoming trips!
Due to COVID-19 all routes are subject to change