Mission Trip Assignment
You and some of your friends want to travel to another country to provide aid in the form of a mission trip. You have been chosen as the team leader, and your job is to provide a plan for the trip, including a financial plan. This is a big job, and you want to do it right, so you and your team have agreed that the trip will take place 5 years from now.
Requirements for the trip:
- Who: You and 5-10 other individuals will travel to provide aid.
- When: 5 years in the future. The trip will last 2-4 weeks. This is not a large scale, so you should think carefully about what you can accomplish with a team of this size and time frame.
- What: This trip’s main purpose will be to fill some sort of tangible need to improve the day to day life of the people you meet. Therefore, your first job will be to decide what your team has to offer and to find a location where there is a need for your talents. You should think about what you can do to alleviate human suffering by working in an area of education, health care, basic supplies (such as clothing or home goods), housing, food or clean water, or work to repair the local environment. If you want to include evangelism as a secondary goal, that is fine, but the criteria you will be graded on is how you make a difference in the day to day lives of the people you work with.
- Where: You will travel overseas. To keep your project manageable, you must choose one of the locations on the Country List, which is included as an attachment to this assignment. Because of the size of the team and your time frame, you should narrow down your area within the country to fit your project. For example, you can’t expect to provide vaccines to the entire country of Brazil, but you could reasonably expect to provide this service to a small town in the country. So you will need to find an area within your chosen country to focus on. The people that you serve in this area are members of your target population.
Requirements for the assignment:
This assignment will have two parts:
Part 1: You will write a 1250 – 1500 word narrative describing the trip. This is a report, written in GCU style. You will need a minimum of three scholarly resources (see the resource list below for ideas) and needs to address the following areas:
- An overview of your purpose for the project: Where are going, and what service will you be providing? Remember, evangelism cannot be the sole purpose of your trip.
- Cultural and social aspects of the country and its population that led you to choose this area of the world.
- How your choice of project works toward fulfillment of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic ideal to love your neighbor as yourself: How does your personal worldview and the possible worldviews of your target population influence your plans for the trip?
- Information about your target population: Who are you planning to serve? How does this population compare to the population of the country as a whole? You will also need to make a projection about the target population in 5 years. The World Factbook provides population growth data to help you here. See the Tips and formulas section below for information about how to present this in your paper.
- Aspects of the country that make it a suitable location for your trip. In particular, include information about –
- The economic situation in your country and how your project will improve this.
- Possible concerns that you need to keep in mind to keep your team and your target population safe. This could be safety from violence or from health problems (for example, will your team need inoculations to travel to the country).
Part 2: A financial plan for your trip, which you will include in the provided Excel spreadsheet. Your financial plan needs to include the following information:
- A list of expenses for all members of your trip. This must include the following:
- Travel expenses, such as plane or bus fare, passports/visas, local travel within the country. Plane fare can be in U.S. dollars, but the local travel will need to be in the local currency of the country you visit.
- Lodging expenses. If you plan to camp, you will include expenses for your camping gear. If you are planning to stay with a host church or host family, you should research the cost of lodging in your target area and provide a per diem donation that is commensurate with the local lodging rates. This will be in the local currency.
- Food expenses while you are overseas. Again, if you are being fed by local residents, you will research the approximate cost to feed your group and provide a per diem donation to cover expenses. One way to do this is to research cost of living in your country to find out what a local family would expect to budget to pay for food. Again, these costs will be in the local currency.
- Supplies for your project. Provide at least four items that you will need to complete your project. Depending on the nature of your project, these might be in U.S. dollars, or in the local currency, or they may be a mix.
- For your expenses that are given in the local currency, a conversion to U.S. dollars.
- For each expense, you will use the CPI data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate your estimated expense five years in the future.
- A grand total of all projected expenses five years from now.
- Funding sources for your trip.
- Sponsorship: You are going to assume that you can find a sponsor that can provide 30% of your grand total of all expenses for seed money, and you will invest that money in a savings account for the next five years. Research current savings rates and calculate what this amount will grow to over the next five years.
- Savings: Your team will work on various fundraisers to save for the trip, and you estimate that you can raise $100 a month every month over the next five years, which you will also put into a savings account. Using the savings rates you found in part a., calculate what these regular savings amounts will grow to over the next five years.
- Loan: If your sponsorship and savings totals do not cover your expenses, then you will need to take out a loan for the remainder of your expenses. Even if your sponsorship and savings total do cover all expenses, then you will take out a $10,000 loan for an additional emergency cushion. Research loan rates from two banks, and calculate the monthly payment, total that you pay back to the bank and total interest you will pay for each loan. You will indicate in the spreadsheet which of the two loans is a better choice for you and your reasons why.
You should plan to use the following resources to help you with your plan. You can also use other resources, but at a minimum, you will need the Excel Budget Spreadsheet, BLS CPI data, and CIA World Factbook. Additionally, your paper requires three scholarly sources.
- Country list.docx: Includes the list of countries you are allowed to choose from for this project, along with some important facts about the country’s make up.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Data information: http://www.bls.gov/cpi/tables.htm
- CIA World Factbook: You must use this source. You will find that it contains a wealth of demographic, economic, and cultural information about your country. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
- U.S. Department of State website: This site will give you important information about your country, as well as information about travel overseas. http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
- Excel Budget Spreadsheet: Attached to the assignment directions, and provides a compact way to explain your budget and funding.
- Your course textbook
- GCU Library
- GCU Writing Center: your paper will need to be formatted in GCU style.
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