Important Notice Regarding COVID-19
Travel for all domestic and international 2020 Compassion GO Teams has been suspended until further notice. If you are a GO Team member, loved one or supporter and have questions regarding your trip click on ‘learn more’ below.
We encourage you to shift your focus to caring for your families and neighbors. Compassion is proactively putting systems in place to care for our communities by serving the most vulnerable among us. To find out more about how to get involved in our local response click on ‘our response’ below.
Congratulations on becoming a GO Team Member!
We are so glad that you’ve decided to trust God and participate on a GO Team this year. We believe that being a part of a GO Team is a step in discipleship and trust that God is going to use this time before, during and after your trip to draw you closer to His heart for the world. This page is full of helpful information as you prepare for your GO Team. You will see links below to Managed Missions and your GO Team Forms. Please take time to read through the Frequently Asked Questions and let us know if you have a question that is not answered here. Remember that your Team Leader is your guide for this experience and is available to you throughout the process. We can’t wait to see what God will do in His Kingdom through you this year!
Important Documents & Links
Utilize this online software to manage all the logistics of your trip, track team meetings, submit important documents, create a support raising profile and make payments toward your trip.
As always, online giving is the best way for your support team to make donations toward your trip. However, send this form with your support letter to be returned by donors who prefer to give by cash or check.
Below is an electronic copy of your GO Team Formations Workbook. You will receive a hard copy of this workbook from your Team Leader to work through at your team meetings. In it you should find the answers to all your questions about what to expect and how to prepare for your trip!
GO Team Forms
Your Team Leader will be reviewing these forms with you in one of your GO Team Formations. When you’re ready, review the forms, sign and submit online. Once submitted your Team Leader will mark this task as complete for you in Managed Missions.
GO Team FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about GO Teams
The primary purpose in going on a short-term team is to learn and, secondarily, to serve. Serving is the best means of showing the love of Christ in any culture, but learning is the goal…resulting in a reshaped life. Our GO Teams practice:
- learning to see the world more as God sees it
- learning to pray and bond with brothers and sisters of other cultures
- learning to see the diverse ways God can use you for His glory
- learning that our cultural worldview is not the only one out there
- learning to discern if God is calling you into cross-cultural service.
Our goal is not just to get people “involved” or to have “programs” but rather to make lifelong, mature disciples of Jesus with a heart for the world. In summary, this means learning to trust God in all things.
No. However, our hope is that all churches would be actively involved in God’s global mission! We believe this is both a Biblical mandate as well as the way all believers can experience the abundant life Jesus offered us in His Kingdom which is for every Nation! If your church is not currently engaged missionally then we encourage you to share your passion with your leadership and offer yourself as a servant leader for the outreach efforts of your local body – both locally and globally. That said, if your church is currently unable to provide short-term trip opportunities, you are welcome to join one of our GO Teams as long as you are a fully devoted follower of Jesus and an active member of a local church. We see our GO Teams as a way to deepen our church’s relationship with our partners and form of missionary care. Therefore, applications from members of Compassion Christian will be given priority for all GO Teams.
During the preparation process, the answer is simple: procrastination. Delay in asking questions, delay in making a decision to go, delay in sending out support letters, delay in beginning daily prayer for the Lord to bless your faithfulness, delay, delay, delay. The Enemy is never threatened by someone who will neutralize themselves by putting off important decisions. On the field, team members miss out on blessing (or cause other people to miss blessings) by being inflexible or proud. You are responsible for positioning yourself to receive the blessings that come from giving your best to the Lord in this process and being both flexible and humble in the field.
One of the stated goals of GO teams is to discern whether or not an individual is called to cross-cultural missions work. The methodology Compassion Christian uses for preparing teams for a short trip imitates the one most full-time missionaries use. There are distinct phases of the process: hearing God’s call, building a support team, preparing one’s heart and mind for the task, and then going. We believe building a prayer/financial support team is a critical element to this process. Even if you are in a situation of being able to pay for your entire trip, building your prayer & support team is critical. Not all of us are able to go on a short term trip, but we are ALL called to participate in God’s global mission. For some of us, this means participating as a sender by praying or giving financially to someone else’s trip. Asking for support can feel uncomfortable, but we should not allow our pride to keep us from giving others the opportunity to be obedient to God’s invitation to send. Often team members find that the support raising process is the most tangible way they see God ‘show up’ in the preparation process and confirm His calling for them to the field.
While tax laws are constantly changing, the key factors in the gift being tax deductible include: the contribution must be made payable to Compassion Christian Church; the giver must understand that he/she relinquishes control of the gift once it is made, per IRS regulations (this includes personal funds), in other words, once received, the gift cannot be refunded or directed to another designation. That being said, we always encourage people to seek professional advice as it pertains to tax consequences.
Outside of extreme circumstances, we ask that all team members travel to and from the host destination together both for safety and to minimize logistical challenges for our partners in the field
No. A fundamental truth is that you can’t ask God to provide in a time of need, and then want to personally control any extra He has provided. Extra funding will always first go to help another team member who hasn’t raised their full support; then if the team is fully funded it will be used to offset the cost of the leaders. Finally, it will help cover the shortfall of another Compassion Christian team. It will not go into the general missions account.
Unfortunately, no. To ensure consistency for team bookings, CCC Global Engagement will arrange all flight bookings directly with our travel agency. Booking teams together ensures that in the event of a change to the itinerary the team is re-accommodated together. We are also often able to buy airfare in bulk, which lowers the cost for the team as a whole. However, you will be the direct recipient of any frequent flier miles that you may incur on any flights booked for you.
No. You can apply for the team without a passport, but you will be responsible to ensure that you have a valid passport prior to the purchase of the team’s airline tickets 90 days before you depart. Passports must not expire until at least 6 months after the team’s departure or the airline will deny your travel. You are responsible for the cost of applying for or renewing your passport. Typically, passports take 6-8 weeks to process through the US Department of State. However, we encourage you to start the application process as soon as possible in case of unforeseen delays. You can find information on how to apply for or renew your passport on the State Department’s website HERE.
Yes. Thankfully, situations where this kind of treatment is needed is extremely rare, but Compassion Christian is committed to the safety and health of every one of our team members. Included in the cost of your trip is international medical insurance that will cover any emergency situation the team could face in the field including treatment at a local, reputable medical facility with consultation from licensed medical professionals in the US or, if necessary, evacuation to a US medical facility.
Letters should be sincere, focused, and sent to people with whom you have a personal relationship. Include specifics (including deadlines) about your team’s goals and your personal faith goals. Lastly, remember that sincerity and conviction resonates with supporters. They want to read your voice, not a standard form letter. There is helpful information and letter templates provided for you in your GO Team Formation Workbook.
GO Teams are planned in partnership with our missionaries in the field each year as needs arise and/or in areas where regular visits from teams are beneficial to local ministry and are an encouragement to our partners. We do not send Teams to every missionary partner every year. The logistical investment required to provide quality experiences for both our team members and our partners limits the number of teams we are able to send each year. Each team is prayerfully assessed annually to determine the need and at times we will take a year or two off in order to provide opportunities to new or different locations.
Our Team Leaders are prayerfully chosen by our Outreach Staff. All Team Leaders are members of Compassion Christian and are chosen because they’ve demonstrated servant leadership both in the Outreach and other ministries of our church. Team Leaders must be committed to the discipleship of their team members and have experience in one-on-one discipleship. They must also be able to coordinate the extensive administrative tasks necessary for the team as well as contribute to the care of our partners in the field. Generally speaking, all of our Team Leaders have participated as members of teams to the locations where they are leading and most have traveled to that missionary partner multiple times. Many of our Team Leaders lead year after year and some have led more than 20 teams to the field! Every Team Leader participates in additional trainings with our Outreach staff and undergoes individual and team evaluations after every trip.
A rule of thumb for GO Teams is that you should prepare to ‘un-plug’ in the field. Practically speaking, not all locations have regular access to internet or telecommunication services. Your Team Leader will make a plan with our partners for the team to submit blogs to our website as much as possible from the field so that your friends, family, support and prayer teams can keep up with what God is doing through you. Your Team Leader and missionary partners will also be able to communicate with the Compassion Outreach Staff by phone should there be a need to notify loved ones of anything in the field. You too will be provided with a phone number that your loved ones can call should they need to connect with you immediately in the field through our staff.
However, regardless of your ability to connect with those back home, we strongly recommend that you consecrate this time to the Lord. You will find that disconnecting from the ‘noise’ of our culture as well as the day to day responsibilities of your life will allow you to connect with God and others in a deeper and more transformational way. This investment in your personal relationship with Christ is the best thing you could offer those you love!
You are a giver to your own trip. As such, you also must understand that you relinquish control of your gift once it is made, per IRS regulations. We cannot refund tax-deductible donations. If supplemental funding does come in, it will first go to any other team member’s financial shortfalls, then to offset the cost of leaders and pastors and any unforeseen expenses of yours or another GO Team.
Compassion Christian Church does not sanction fund raisers outside of the general giving to the church. However, an individual or team may develop creative ideas to raise the necessary finances for their trip as long as our Christ-like witness to our community is not adversely affected. Please review the guidelines for fund raising laid out in your Formation Workbook. If you’re not sure if your fund raising idea falls within the guidelines please reach out to your Team Leader or the Global Engagement Staff.
Our goal is to have as many Compassion Christians as possible experience the blessing of serving on a GO Team. There are several factors in determining whether a person should receive assistance with the funding of their trip. These factors include the financial status of the team overall, the willingness of the individual to do what is asked of them (provide a copy of the support letter), and submit to the process of preparation – namely attend the team formations and work to be as prepared as possible for the upcoming experience. Only active Compassion Christian members will be considered for assistance.
Anyone receiving financial assistance for a trip is required to be fully funded the following year. In anticipation of this, there may be a longer time of preparation required based on circumstances. However, we are willing to evaluate each situation individually.
If you choose to withdraw from a team, your funding with the exception of your deposit and any funds already issued to our partners or other vendors (like airlines or hotels etc.) will be placed in a restricted account and be available for your use on a future trip within the next 12 months. It is imperative that you communicate your change in plans to the Outreach Team as soon as possible so that as much of your funding as possible is recovered. It is also your responsibility to communicate your change in plans to your entire support team – donors give in good faith that their gifts will be used for the trip you described in your support letter and deserve to be notified if they will not be used as intended.
If due to COVID related restrictions Compassion Outreach postpones or cancels a GO Team you will be given the opportunity to hold on to the funds raised in your name for a future trip within the next 12 months or until the original team’s travel is rescheduled. Alternatively, you may request a refund of any funds you personally gave toward your trip. If you choose to receive a refund your supporters will be notified so that they can make their own requests for refunds if they choose or give their donation to the local and global efforts of Compassion Outreach in the field.
We try to ensure that the cost of your trip is all-inclusive once you depart with the team. The cost listed for each trip includes all travel and lodging, food while on the field, project supplies and any fees associated to in-field activities. Not included, additional costs may include any personal pre-field preparation such as passports, immunizations and other travel needs prior to departure as well as any souvenirs and gifts you wish to purchase in the field. Meals & snacks while traveling may not be included if it is not practical for the team to eat together – ask your Team Leader about any meals not covered.
Most of the countries our teams travel to do not require vaccinations for entry. That said, we encourage you to check the US Center for Disease Control’s website HERE for any recommended immunizations for the area where you will be traveling and schedule vaccinations as needed in consultation with your family physician. Most local health departments offer travel vaccines as well as some pharmacies which include a travel clinic.
10% is a relatively small portion of the overall cost of a trip. If someone isn’t willing to do what they ask others to do, namely give sacrificially for this effort, very possibly they are not going for the right reasons. If 10% of the trip cost isn’t available, a longer preparation time may be necessary.
The expectation of all team member is that they will be a minimum of 50% funded by 90 days from their departure in order to purchase airfare for the entire team at that time. This is a firm deadline and we cannot purchase tickets for team members with insufficient funds.
Furthermore, we expect team members to have full support raised by the final deadline at 60 days before departure. It is your responsibility as a team member to raise all the necessary funds. Partially funded members jeopardize the welfare of the entire team, as it still leaves necessary purchases/costs to incur yet to be funded. The welfare of the entire team cannot be sacrificed in good faith for the individual who is not prepared for the trip. If your trip is not fully funded by the final deadline, even if a ticket has been purchased in your name, you will not be allowed to travel with the team.