July 13-20, 2013
(actual dates in country)
USA passport. Minors:
Mexican law requires that any non-Mexican citizen under the age of 18 departing Mexico must carry notarized written permission from any parent or guardian not traveling with the child to or from Mexico. See IWC's parent permission form.
Here's a word from our host missionary: "We certainly hope you will consider working with us in Southern Mexico. We have a huge task here, and our vision for Oaxaca will require many student teams, semester missionaries, and Journeymen to help us." IWC has been assigned the task of using sports and day camp activities to reach out to teenagers, partnering with several local churches to build trust and credibility with the community. IWC will also provide much-needed construction renovations and repairs of a seminary facility.
Located in southwestern Mexico and far from the tumultuous north, the state of Oaxaca is an important area for tourism and the city of Oaxaca is the heart of a region whose highly creative populace produces the country’s finest range of crafts and some of its most exciting contemporary art. With a lovely, tree-shaded central square, El Zócalo, Oaxaca is surrounded by fascinating archaeological sites and colorfully traditional villages and small towns.
Oaxaca is a cultural melting pot for southern Mexico. As a state of about 3.6 million people, it is home for at least sixteen indigenous people groups recognized by the state, and many more that are not. The most numerous and best known of the peoples are the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, both with long histories predating colonial times. These cultures have survived rather intact to the present due to the area's rugged and isolating terrain. While Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion across the country, the state of Oaxaca has quite a number of unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPGs
). Despite its cultural riches, Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s poorest states, and the city has been a stage to highlight the tensions and disparity between the Mestizo
ruling elite and the indigenous poor.
Is It Safe to Visit Mexico?
Here is a word from the US State Department's website: "Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes."
Oaxaca is listed as having no warnings in effect, but please see the State Department's travel website.
Total capacity for this project: 60
This project is open to a limited number of individuals traveling without a group.
IWC works with MTS to organize itineraries, arrange visas as needed and provide international emergency insurance. We make every effort to be economical without sacrificing safe and effective travel. Groups have the choice to work with MTS or make their own travel arrangements to the U.S. gateway city. Remember, airfare is in addition to your IWC registration cost.
Here are the steps you will take to arrange your travel:
Choose an available IWC project from our website.
You can also check the MTS website
for an estimate
of airfare from our gateway city. Fares cannot be guaranteed until final ticketing.
Register online with IWC.
When you have completed registration
with IWC (including deposit and application), an MTS travel agent will contact you and begin working with you to make your travel arrangements.
Finalize travel arrangements with MTS.
IWC has pre-booked seats from a U.S. gateway city for most projects in order to reserve space, get the best itinerary and provide consistent arrival and departure times. For groups of 15 or larger, customized itineraries may be available. Groups may elect to arrange their own transportation to the U.S. gateway city.
Pay deposit with MTS.
Seats on itineraries are not held until MTS receives your deposit. MTS fees include your airfare, international emergency insurance and emergency travel service.
Submit passenger information and balance.
MTS will provide a contract and deadlines for names and balance due.
International missions is not cheap, but it's worth the price. Family and student ministry budgets are often tight and tough choices have to be made about programs and ministry options. Consider these suggestions:
- Involve the whole church in your mission project planning. Help them see it as an investment and a priority.
- Leaders, remember it’s not how many you take, but who you take. Don’t forgo a project just because you can’t take as many as you want.
- Plan as far in advance as possible. It takes time to budget and raise funds appropriately. IWC provides detailed preparation materials that help you think through every aspect of the trip and share information with your church and supporters.
- Check out our ideas for Fundraising.
IWC project cost and airfare
- Project fees: IWC requires a $125-per-person deposit at the time of registration. This deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. IWC project balances vary between projects, but are all due May 1st. Registration ends March 15th.
IWC project fees cover: costs on the field, including meals, housing, in-country transportation, experienced leadership, IWC T-shirt, pre-project study materials and ministry supplies.
- Airfare: Airfare is a separate cost from IWC registration. Another $100-200 deposit per person is required by our travel agent, Menno Travel Systems (MTS), to reserve a seat on the project itinerary. See travel arrangements. MTS will provide deadlines for passenger name list and balance due.
MTS travel fees cover: international emergency insurance, airfare as booked to project location, 24/7 emergency travel services.
- Late fees: A $25-per-person late fee will be applied to all outstanding balances after the deadlines listed above.
IWC projects are intentional about sharing Christ with others. Participants must be able to talk about their faith in Christ and also serve as a living example. People associate your behavior, attitude and character with that of Jesus. Becoming like Christ—being conformed to Him in mind, in faith and in action—will not happen during a Bible study cram session the week before your trip. It takes time, discipline and your willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and shape you into the image of Christ.
Click to preview! IWC provides a pre-project preparation materials that include a Student Devotional Guide for each of your participants and a Group Leader's Guide to help you spiritually prepare your group for the project. Theme logos and posters are available for download. Look for the preparation materials to come to you soon after you pay your deposit (availability begins Nov. 1st).
One of the most significant elements of spiritual readiness for the mission field is your preparation for evangelism. You should be ready to share not only about what God has done in your life in the past but also about what God is doing in your life in the present. You should be able to share a brief testimony addressing how you became a Christian, the impact of faith on your life and the plan of salvation in less than five minutes. One of the most popular evangelism approaches in missions is the Creation to Christ
Take Jesus’ words in John 15:5 to heart. Apart from Him, you can do nothing of eternal significance. He longs to work through you, but you must be with Him every day, surrendering your will, seeking His face. Prayer is your source of power, strength and boldness. It will be the foundation on which your ministry on the mission field will be built. Build prayer and prayer support into your mission trip.
IWC enlists a Ministry Coordinator for each project who works with the field personnel to develop a ministry plan and helps groups and individuals prepare for the ministry atthe project. Ministry preparation may include prayer-walking, learning a skit, practicing songs in the language of the people group, bringing certain tools or materials and learning a particular way to share the Gospel.