W. Austin Gardner
My Personal Promise and Covenant for the Missions Trip
The following is a covenant we asked our visitors to Peru to read, talk about, and sign before visiting. It helped us to prepare them to know how to have a great mission's trip. I recognize and accept the following conditions which will further the usefulness and safety of our short-term mission trip. I understand that Peru is commonly referred to as a third world country and does not have the same conveniences that I am used to at home. I realize how important it is to be flexible and willing to adjust to the expectations of my host. If accepted as a member of this Mission Group I agree to:
I will go as a servant-disciple of Jesus Christ and will adopt that attitude when dealing with my fellow team members and the people I meet during this trip.
I realize and agree that this is a missions trip and not a vacation. I want to go on this trip to learn more about missions, learn how I can serve God better, and be a blessing to other Christians and the missionaries on the field.
I will accept and submit to the leadership role and authority of the team leader and promise to abide by his or her decisions as they concern this mission trip.
I agree that in the event my conduct is considered so unsatisfactory that it jeopardizes the success of the trip, and that mediation during the trip has failed to correct my behavior, that my services in connection with this mission shall end and I shall return home immediately at my own expense.
If a loved one or dear friend is traveling with me, we agree to interact with all members of the team, not just one another. I promise not to initiate or seek new romantic relationships with team members during the trip.
I agree to avoid any actions which might be perceived as amorous attentions toward people I meet.
I will always pay my own way! Be careful not to allow the missionaries or national pastors pay your expenses or team expenses.
I will be a blessing to the missionaries we are visiting. If a missionary accompanies you on an outing or excursion, team members should pay for the missionary's entry fees and meals. The missionary is only going as a guide and has probably been there several times already.
I will not expect the missionaries to be my maids. They aren't offering room service. I will help out! Don't sit there and let the missionaries serve you. Go to the kitchen, see what you can do to help. Pick up after yourself. Take your dishes to the kitchen, help wash dishes. Make up your bed. Ask what you can do to help. Be a blessing that the missionaries will remember and be glad and thankful that you were on the trip.
I will not complain about the food, lodging accommodations, etc.
I will be a gracious guest. If your lodging is in a missionary (or national) home, remember you are a houseguest. This home has been opened to you. It is not a motel to be treated carelessly because you paid for the room.
I will be respectful of the missionary's home. In whatever home you stay, treat the possessions of the owner with care. Always leave a home and the furnishings in as good a condition as you found them. Do not drape wet towels over the back of varnished dining room chairs, leave your beverage glass sitting in a puddle of water on the coffee table or end tables, etc. Do not go into the closet or kitchen cabinets to get out clothing or food without permission. Many times the missionary has candy or special foods that he has brought from the states that will be rationed to his children over a long period of time.
Respect the missionaries right to privacy.
I will conscientiously set aside the time to have my personal devotions, take care of the daily responsibilities both spiritually and physically. Each group member will be asked to help with different house duties.
I will attend all services, activities, outings, etc. and carry my share of the load in the work we are trying to accomplish.
I will maintain and exhibit a good attitude that will honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember we are the new Christians from another part of the world and will be watched very closely. I will not take lightly this important responsibility of setting an example. I will submit to the instructions concerning attire, eating, drinking and other such traditions which will help me to assimilate into the local community.
I promise not to be overly demanding, to do my best not to offend or cause embarrassment for our missionary hosts, and to do my best to help them attain their long term goals.
As a Christian I realize that it is my responsibility to die to myself and seek to serve others. I will not seek my own but that of others. This means not putting myself first and leaving the others out. Be a blessing to all on your team and especially those that you have come to minister to.
I realize that others on my team, during the journey, and while onsite will look at me for an example of how a Christian acts, and will not treat that responsibility lightly. I understand that travel, especially to remote locations, can be difficult , and I promise to adopt a flexible attitude and be supportive as plans may need to be changed. I understand that I must travel with the rest of the team.
Before I give a gift to someone I will consult with the team leader and missionary and allow him to make the final decision on this matter.
I release and discharge the organizations and individuals which helped me make these arrangements, including the sponsoring mission agencey, sending church, their agents, employees, officers and volunteers, from all claims, demands, actions, judgments, or executions that I have ever had, or now have, or may have, or which my heirs, executors, administrators or assigns may have or claim to have against these organizations, their agents, employees, officers, and volunteers, and their successors or assigns for all personal injuries, known or unknown and injuries to property, real or personal, caused by, or arising out of this journey. I intend to be legally bound by this statement.
In signing below, I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or my parent/guardian will sign also, accepting the above conditions on my behalf.