A Section Just for Parents
Welcome parents to this special section just for you. As the parents of 4 children and 5 grandchildren, we at Go Missions to Mexico understand your questions and concerns. We have spent our lives working with young people and believe that if we can influence them in their formative years, the lessons they learn will stay with them a lifetime. Please listen to other parent, teens, and children’s testimonies videos to the right about how their mission trips impacted them and then look below for solid answers about sending your child on a mission trip with us.
Is Our Area of Mexico Safe and What are the Risks in Travel?
Some of you might be wondering whether or not it’s safe to come to Mexico. You could be a concerned parent pondering whether or not you should allow your son or daughter to come. Or, you might be a leader weighing whether or not you should endorse your church to come. Following is some help and perspective on the matter from us as a family who live in Mexico as long-term missionaries. At the end of this page is a special section devoted to safety issues and in addition, we have an entire section on the website that deals with safety in our area of Mexico.
Please Look Below for Helpful Info
Feel free to print this info off and hand out to parents who might be concerned about sending their child on a mission trip to Mexico. Also, we have supplied many video testimonies to the right that show real people who have recently come to serve in Mexico with Go Missions To Mexico.
Helpful Info for Parents
Why should my child go on a mission trip?
Discipleship has a price tag. Making Jesus Lord is a process which involves the sacrifice of time, and of desires or rights. Giving up rights, an unpopular activity in our rights-conscious society, finds its ultimate expression in the Christian, who forsakes all to pursue a call to missions. Doing so involves taking a risk. As parents, we have to weigh the risks to which we expose our children.
The risks involved in a short-term mission experience are several:
The risk of a possible mishap while traveling
The risk of being rejected while sharing your faith
The risk of being vulnerable with your team
The risk of contracting an illness or having an accident
The risk of being unprepared to deal with culture shock
Against these risks we must weigh the risk of not engaging in a short-term mission experience:
Students will grow up with a narrow, self-centered world view.
No one will share Christ with the lost.
Students will inherit a lukewarm Christianity.
Materialism will never be challenged.
Students will live their lives as takers, not givers.
By the time your students reach their junior year of high school, you’ve made your mark as parents. A short-term mission trip can be a life-changing experience. Encouraging them to go may be your last, best shot at helping them to understand and identify with the Great Commission.
When should my child go on a mission trip?
Is junior high too young of an age for your children to go to the mission field? Some of the best projects involve junior high participants. A recent group from Edgewater Church in Grants Pass, Oregon, is a good example. During the day they worked hard helping a needy church. In the afternoons they led a VBS with around 100 children. By the end of the week, the group of 30 had helped a needy church and led around 40 children to Christ. Many led vacation Bible school and all of them shared the Gospel door-to-door and prayed with the sick and needy.
We're talking about middle schoolers—kids fresh out of elementary—naive about many things, awkward, and vulnerable. Kids hungry for ministry. If we're to build up the generation of radical disciples that this world needs, then we need to start with kids in junior high.
Is a mission trip Important for my child?
Given the recent surge of interest and involvement in short-term missions, you'd think that it was a new phenomenon. Actually, it is a tradition as old as Christendom. In the sixth chapter of Mark, Jesus sent not a select few, but all of His disciples out as missionaries for a short period. The disciples tasted what life would be like once they eventually became full-time missionaries. This experience became foundational to their growth as they traveled from village to village with only God's power to guide them.
Wouldn't it be great if the process was still so simple? Advances in transportation and other technologies have brought the world to our doorstep. Not all short-term mission experiences are alike; the choices can be bewildering. Regardless, of the places we let our child go to, there are no guarantees that nothing will happen to them. However, we do have the guarantee that mission work is important and was Christ' last command. We have the promise Christ will be with us as we go to the uttermost ends of the earth and will not allow anything to happen to us that is not within His will. Letting your child on a short-term mission opportunity takes work, but a little effort up front can pay off in an experience which God uses to change lives forever.
How can I help my child get ready for a mission trip?
Although all youth groups are given the same preparation materials, the time invested varies markedly. Inadequate preparation causes a youth group to drift. Students have inconsistent attitudes and mixed motivations. They function as individuals rather than as a team. When it’s time to minister, they hang back—unsure of themselves, their faith, and their skills.
In striking contrast are students whose leaders invested themselves in preparation for the mission field. They lead people to the Lord. Between ministry times, they pray with intensity. An hour and a half of team sharing time may be "too short". While praying as a group, a girl who has been holding out on God breaks down in tears, asking the Lord to take her back.
Same students, different results. It is the investment made in a deliberate and thorough preparation process that produces desired results. These students will never be the same. They'll impact their world for Jesus. Good mission preparation begins with recruiting a strong prayer base. It involves learning about the poor overseas and then seeking out the poor in your own community.
Good preparation marks the cost in advance and produces faith as a result. A good sending organization will ask participants to commit to daily quiet times of at least 30 minutes. Students should look for opportunities to minister at least once a month in their communities, putting evangelism and service principles into action.
How to be involved in your child's mission trip?
You can encourage – The leaders work very hard to be available and to lead with excellence. Encouraging the staff can be one of the most productive ways for you to contribute to the well-being of your child.
You can give – Frequently, you may hear about needs on the field related to your student’s ministry. When coordinated with the base director and home office, gifts to meet these needs are ordinarily welcomed.
You can go – We have an open door. We're sure your student's Youth Group would love to have an adult sponsor. You are welcome to accompany and see for yourself the ministry with which your child is involved.
You can pray – Prayer is a constant and a given. Stay in touch through the trip updates and with your student to know how to pray.
Is our area of Mexico safe and what are the risk in travel?
Some of you might be wondering whether or not it’s safe to allow your child to come to our area of Mexico.
Following is some helpful info to put your heart at ease.
Our area of ministry is in a rural, agricultural setting with little or no safety issues whatsoever. We are not in a large city, but a farming valley made up of smaller communities.
Your church group will be staying in a very safe, gated and fenced Mission Base where we as missionaries live. Your mission team will be well taken care of.
Most of the issues in Mexico have occurred over 800 miles from our area and involve infighting among drug traffickers. They do not involve tourist or the common people.
When comparing the murder rate per 100,000 in the larger cities in the U.S, you might be surprised to know what they are versus the larger cities of Mexico. New Orleans is highest with around 60 murders per 100,000, and the average, per other larger cities, is around 30 per 100,000. The border city of Tijuana (which you don’t drive through when coming to our area, but use a bypass freeway to go around it) is just 13 per 100,000. It's actually 3 times more dangerous to visit Washington DC than Mexico.
Most of the incidents mentioned in the media are isolated and mainly take place at night or in questionable areas. The newest U.S. Travel Update for Mexico says to use caution when going to Red Light Districts. It also recommends going to recognized tourist areas. Other than that, it is not telling folks to stay away from Mexico, but to just use reasonable caution as with travel anywhere, even in the U.S.
Contrary to what some might think, and the media portray, there are not people with guns randomly shooting at vehicles as they drive by. Virtually every incident is drug related and involves drug traffic infighting.
The main highway you’ll be using on your drive down is the major (and only) highway of the Baja Peninsula. Every day there are about 10,000 cars that use this highway and there have been virtually no incidents whatsoever on this road.
Mexico is very concerned about its tourism and is patrolling all its highways with additional police and soldiers to ensure maximum safety. The area is also patrolled by Green Angels who help tourist whose vehicles might break down and keep watch as well.We've been hosting mission teams for 20 years (well over 350 total mission teams hosted) and have had no issues whatsoever. We are on schedule to host another 25 teams this year and foresee no problems whatsoever.
We are Long Term Missionaries who are in our 20th year living here. You will be well taken care of by us. If we thought your lives were in any way in danger, or things were even remotely out of hand, we’d let you know. During your time with us in Mexico, someone from our ministry will be with your team at all times and act as your host.
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