Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need a passport?
  2. Who participates in the mission trips? Do I have to be involved with a church to go?
  3. Can I bring my young children with me?
  4. Do I need to know Spanish?
  5. How big can my team be?
  6. Can I bring donations with me for the family?
  7. Do I need to bring my own tools?
  8. Do I need to have any special immunizations?
  9. Where will I stay when in Juarez? Do I need to bring my own linens and towels?
  10. How do I get to Juarez?
  11. Do I need to bring my own food with me?
  12. Do I need to bring my own water?
  13. What if there is an emergency and I need to be reached? Will my cell phone work at the Missions Center?
  14. How long are the trips?
  15. Is there any opportunity for additional projects or ministry or will I just be building a house?
  16. How long does it take to build the house?
  17. What about security? Is the mission trip safe?
  1. Do I need a passport?
    Yes, on June 1, 2009, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is expected to go into full implementation. This will mean the all U.S. citizens will need to present a passport for land travel between the U.S. and Mexico. Children will need a passport too.
  2. Who participates in the mission trips? Do I have to be involved with a church to go?
    People from all walks of life participate in the mission trips– men and women, young and old. They are great for adults, families, small groups, youth groups, family reunions, neighborhood friends and corporate groups. Missions Ministries is a Christian organization, but we welcome members of all faiths and you do not have to be a church group to participate.
  3. Can I bring my young children with me?
    The trips are a great experience for families. However, to adhere to safety issues and for the enjoyment of the team as a whole, we recommend that children be six years of age or older.
  4. Do I need to know Spanish?
    No Spanish is needed. It is a nice gesture though to learn a few Spanish phrases such as “Hello”, “How are you”, “It’s nice to meet you”, in order to communicate with the families you’ll be working with.
  5. How big can my team be?
    More than 20 adults are required to build two homes.
  6. Can I bring donations with me for the family?
    Yes, we encourage that. Due to size limitations of our vans and border restrictions, all donations must be placed in individual luggage or duffel bags. Many team members just bring an extra, old duffel bag that can just be donated and left in Juarez. You will also have opportunity upon arrival in El Paso to visit a Walmart, so you may purchase the items for the family at that time if you wish. Please see Page 5 of the Team Leader’s Information Pack for a detailed list of needed items.
  7. Do I need to bring my own tools?
    Yes, each person needs to bring his or her own tools. In addition, there are some tools that need to be brought by the team. See page 3 of the Team Leader’s Information Pack for a complete listing of all the tools you will need.
  8. Do I need to have any special immunizations?
    Health alerts come up unexpectedly, so it’s wise to check with your doctor concerning any recommended immunizations. You should get a tetanus shot if your immunization in not up to date (every 7 years).
  9. Where will I stay when in Juarez? Do I need to bring my own linens and towels?
    You will stay in the Team Center on our property. The rooms are very nice and designed to hold a family of five with a queen bed, single bed and bunk beds. Each unit has a complete bathroom with shower. All linens and towels are provided.
  10. How do I get to Juarez?
    Team members can travel to El Paso by driving or flying and our staff will facilitate transportation across the border into Mexico. For teams that are driving the meeting spot to leave cars is at Harvest Christian Center (HCC).
  11. Do I need to bring my own food with me?
    Meals are all provided by the ministry, including evening of arrival.
  12. Do I need to bring my own water?
    Yes. Teams will have the opportunity to visit the local El Paso Walmart upon arrival to purchase the water they would like on the trip, as well as any additional items. It will be a very short visit, so please plan ahead for what you’d like to purchase. Plan on lots of water – it’s easy to become dehydrated on hot summer days, so one gallon of water per individual is recommended.
  13. What if there is an emergency and I need to be reached? Will my cell phone work at the Missions Center?
    Emergency numbers are provided to team leaders for distribution to team members before they depart for Juarez. These numbers are cell phone numbers of our staff representatives that lead the teams. These individuals have special coverage plans for Mexico, so emergency calls can be made to these phones. Your individual cell phone will most likely not work while you are in Juarez.
  14. How long are the trips?
    The trips are four days long, including travel time. They run from either Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday through Saturday.
  15. Is there any opportunity for additional projects or ministry or will I just be building a house?
    Yes, there are many opportunities for extra activities after your work on the house is completed each day. Many teams are involved in food outreaches, V.B.S. or crafts for the children, prayer walks, visits to local shelters and more. Call the Missions Ministries office for more details.
  16. How long does it take to build the house?
    The house will be completely constructed in two days. Typically, depending on the size and composition of your team, time at the worksite will be from approximately 8:30 AM until 1:30 PM or 2:00 PM.
  17. What about security? Is the mission trip safe?
    We at Missions Ministries understand security is important to each team member who comes with us on a mission trip. Missions Ministries’ primary ventures are into the colonias of Mexico, just southwest of Juarez. This is the same area where we have worked with literally hundreds of teams building homes for the poor, working with local Mexican crews and supporting the local Mexican pastors for more than twenty years.
    Missions to Developing Nations
    Mission trips to developing nations, by nature, include some measure of risk. Organizations around the world offer many wonderful short and long term mission opportunities. Their missionaries face challenges and conditions unique to the area they serve. Variables include political landscapes, the strength of national and local security, military activity, societal movements, violence, crime and extortion, local health concerns, etc. When choosing a mission it is wise to research the sponsoring organization and the mission area. The US State Department and mission organizations provide timely security updates on their respective websites. Short term mission members should understand the risk of changing environments that do not provide the consistency and civility we enjoy and are accustomed to within the United States. However these very risks and difficulties actually present the opportunity to the mission team to make such a difference. These are times to reach out to those who have experienced deep hardship, oppression, hopelessness and who struggle to help themselves.
    Missions Ministries
    Security is a subject Missions Ministries takes very seriously, both for your team and for our US and Mexican staff who serve in Mexico. On your mission trip, the first border crossing is from El Paso, Texas into Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. We travel as a group and make daylight crossings whenever possible. The drive to the colonias from the border is approximately 30 minutes. The destination is the Missions Ministries Team Center where food and lodging are provided. This is where we all stay for the remainder of the trip. The Team Center is surrounded by a wall, has barbed wire and glass atop, and has 24/7 security during the team’s stay in Mexico. We have local Mexican staff with us when we aren’t inside the team center. The Mexico staff and Mexican pastors and their congregations provide Missions Ministries with local information about the community and have a vested interest in seeing to the team’s safety during their stay in Mexico as you construct a home for one of the church members. We are always together as a group when outside of the team center during home building projects and any outreach activities. We normally cross the border to and from Mexico at the Santa Teresa, New Mexico crossing for added security. It is important to know that Missions Ministries hasn’t experienced any security related incidents with our teams to date.That being said, there are never any guarantees. We are cautious to provide as secure an environment for our teams as we can. We will not hesitate to cancel a team or trip if the conditions in Mexico deteriorate to the point Missions Ministries has concerns for your welfare or that of our staff. We are prudent and care greatly for our teams. We trust God to watch over us, guide and protect us.
    Updates/Questions:

    In addition to this security policy, we provide current security information on our website under “Updates and News” for your review. We are always available to address any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to serving God and the people of Mexico beside you! Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to transforming both lives and communities with you. May God bless you and your team!

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