You know you want to make your summer count. But is a YWAM mission trip right for you? Here are some details to help you decide. Be sure to contact us if you’ve got questions we haven’t answered.
What will a typical day look like?
Anything but typical! We kick off the mission trip with at least one day of “training camp,” taking time for practical orientation and ministry training. After that we’ll have full days of ministry. We’ll start each morning with personal devotions and worship, then spend most of the day in ministry, usually eating lunch while we’re out.
We’ll also focus on growing our relationship with God throughout the mission trip. Many evenings we’ll gather for prayer, worship, teaching, small group meetings, and reporting back on what God has been doing through our ministry.
We want to make sure you get the most out of your trip, so it’s a full schedule. We do our best to incorporate some free time each day, though, so that you don’t wear out before it’s over.
Will we have any free time?
To maximize your time, we have a pretty full schedule, but we typically plan some downtime during most ministry days. Our international mission trips have one day set aside for shopping and sightseeing.
What kind of ministry will we do?
Our ministry activities vary by location, but we always emphasize ministering to individuals and sharing the Gospel face to face. Here’s what that can look like:
- Visiting people in their homes to get to know them, share our stories of what God has done in our lives, and pray for them.
- Adopting a neighborhood and making sure every home has a Bible of their own.
- Playing sports and hanging out with kids in local parks, community centers, and schools.
- Presenting dramas that demonstrate the salvation message.
- Serving practically – like building a home, cleaning up trash, feeding the homeless, or visiting rehab centers and orphanages.
Our goal is to connect you with real people who need Jesus, and to give you opportunity to grow in sharing God’s love in a variety of ministry settings.
What about follow up?
Great question. We partner with local churches and ministries in reaching out to their neighborhoods. This provides community for new believers or seekers to connect with after we’re gone. It can also be a great encouragement to the churches we work with.
How do I know if I’m ready to minister?
We’ll help get you ready! We have mission trip participants who come with lots of experience and others who have never shared their faith before. Our staff will come alongside your team to help facilitate ministry. We’ll also give you tools for your ministry times – phrases in the local language, dramas, and practical tips for sharing the gospel or your personal testimony. We also provide translators and cross-cultural orientation for our international mission trips.
Most importantly, it’s Jesus in you that makes you ready to minister. You can do it!
What if I don’t speak the language?
If there aren’t English speakers to minister to, we’ll have translators who join you in ministry and help you connect with people. We often provide simple phrases as well and help you learn them. Of course, even a little bit of language skill is a plus, but it’s definitely not required.
Where will we live?
In Louisville you’ll stay at the YWAM facility, sleeping on the floor at our training center and gathering in the gym where we eat our meals. Don’t worry: there are showers available! Overseas mission teams typically stay in basic (but clean!) hotels, churches, or campgrounds. Either way, we’ll make the arrangements for you and give you specific instructions for the trip you’re on.
What will we eat?
We’ll provide all your meals during your mission trip, whether from trusted restaurants or prepared by our staff. On international trips, you’ll get an authentic experience, but we make sure the food is clean and safe. We’ll do our best to feed you well on your mission trip, but if you’re a picky eater, you may want to bring snacks. Let us know if you have special dietary restrictions; we can’t always cater to everyone’s needs, but we’ll see what we can do.
What should I bring?
Once you’re signed up, we’ll send a pre-trip information packet which includes a packing list, detailed answers to questions you or your parents may have, and suggested reflection topics to prepare you or your team. As your mission trip approaches, let us know if there is any other way we can help you prepare.
How will I get to my ministry location?
If you’re coming to Louisville, you’ll provide your own transportation to get here, as well as around the city each day for ministry. We’ll help you navigate the city to make sure your teams gets to each ministry site. Contact us for day-to-day transportation options if you’re coming as an individual, not with a group.
For international mission trips, you’ll be responsible to book plane tickets for yourself or your team. Your airfare is not included in the cost of the trip. Plan to arrive the day your outreach begins. We’ll be waiting for you at the airport, and we’ll take care of your transportation needs from that point. We’re frequent fliers ourselves, so let us know if you need tips for finding a flight or recommendations for a travel agent. We’ll send a pre-trip information packet once you’ve applied that will help you navigate customs and immigration at your arrival airport.
What documents do I need if I’m leaving the country for my mission trip?
Every team member must have a valid passport for international mission trips. Visa requirements vary by location; we’ll send you a packet of pre-trip information once you apply that gives you specific instructions for your trip. In most cases, you’ll be able to get a visa at the airport when you arrive.
If you’re a minor, you need a notarized statement signed by each parent or guardian that gives their consent for you to leave the country. We can provide a template for this, if needed.
Are there any health concerns?
Minor intestinal disturbances are normal while traveling, and it’s easy to get exhausted with a busy schedule. The orientation we provide when you arrive will include some basic do’s and don’ts for staying healthy and well rested. Hydration is at the top of the list, and we’ll provide all the safe drinking water you’ll need.
Do I need to get any shots before I come?
We ask every mission trip participant to have an up-to-date tetanus shot. If you’re interested in additional precautions, check out the Center for Disease Control to see what they recommend for the country where you’re headed.
Is it safe?
No place in the world is perfectly safe, but we take care in selecting ministry locations and housing. We’ll give basic security guidelines upon arrival, and our staff will accompany your team as you go out.
We take safety seriously and would not take you on a trip that was unnecessarily risky. With that said, it’s important to acknowledge that neither we nor anyone else can absolutely guarantee safety. Bad things can happen right here in our own neighborhoods. Ultimately, we have to trust the Lord to protect us, wherever we are.
How old do I need to be?
Unless otherwise specified, you need to be at least 16 years old if coming on your own and 13 if coming with a group. Talk to us if you’re a parent wanting to bring younger kids – we love working with families and we’ll do whatever we can to accommodate you, but we’d need to make sure the housing and ministry situation is suitable.
Are YWAM mission trips suitable for families?
We love working with families! In fact, it’s one of our foundational values to facilitate the whole family serving in missions together. With that said, not every ministry site is suitable for small children, and space restrictions don’t always allow for families to be housed together. We’d love to see what we can do to accommodate your family, so please get in touch with us to find out which trips would work best for you.
What trips are available?
Check our upcoming mission trips to see what we’re offering this year. Don’t see what you had in mind? Get in touch with us; if we can’t make arrangements for your group, we’ll do our best to put you in touch with someone who can.
What if I want a longer mission trip?
How much does it cost?
Check out our upcoming trips and costs here. We want as many people as possible to experience a YWAM mission trip, so we do our best to keep them affordable.
If you don’t have the money to pay for the trip, please don’t let that hold you back! Get creative. Previous mission trip participants have taken on extra hours at work, done odd jobs, sold stuff, or requested donations from friends and family. Groups who are coming often collaborate and raise funds through dinners, auctions, talent shows, car washes, and more. Let us know if you need ideas! Remember, God is our source. He’ll be faithful to provide for the mission he sends you on.
How do I sign up?
How do I pay for my mission trip?
Once you’ve applied and been accepted, send a check made out to “YWAM” to PO Box 22185, Louisville, KY 40252. Include your name in the memo and specify what trip you’re going on. Please contact our accounting office for other payment options, if needed.
What is YWAM?
Youth With A Mission is an international volunteer movement of Christians from many backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), our purpose is simply to know God and to make him known. Mission trips like these are only part of what we do – check out our ministry training programs!
What does YWAM believe?
YWAM is interdenominational, which means that YWAMers come from all kinds of church backgrounds and traditions. We believe that the Bible is God’s Word, and our training is grounded in its principles. You can read our beliefs and values for more details.