Kenya mission trip
GOALS FOR THE MISSION
1. Conduct eye care clinics in congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya (ELCK).
2. Partner with ELCK leadership to bring outreach missions to specific congregations in Kenya.
3. Partner with host congregations’ evangelism teams to present the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ to each person who visits a clinic.
What is “Vision for Kenya?”
“Vision for Africa” is a united effort of multiple Lutheran congregations to reach the mission goals stated above. Salem Lutheran Church, Tomball, Texas, serves as the administrative center for “Vision for Africa.” Redeemer Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas serves as a mentor congregation providing assistance in scheduling trips, securing supplies, and hosting regular meetings for participating congregations.
Cost and age requirement
Redeemer’s cost for each clinic mission is usually$2,500-2,700per participant (includes air fare which is usually $1,000 from Houston, although it can go as low as $800; Kenya ground expenses which include transport, meals, lodging, and insurance which is usually $500 and supplies for the clinic are about $1,200.) Members of Redeemer are requested to contribute their own airfare and personal costs… usually $1,300-1,500. Redeemer congregation covers the cost of the clinic supplies. Non-members areasked to contribute the full amount or to make arrangements with their own congregation for support. Limited financial assistance or “scholarships” may be available. Contact one of the team leaders listed at the bottom of p.2. Recently we are noticing that if you purchase your own tickets you have a locked in price and generally the earlier you purchase the less expensive. Minimum age: Age 18 (or 16 if accompanied by parent/guardian)
application and registration deadline
After making the decision to go and filling out the application online HERE, the participant will purchase their own ticket to/and from Nairobi on the flight the team has chosen to take. This is usually done in January or February for the best rates. Before purchasing tickets make sure you know the flight our team is taking so we all travel together.
April 15, 2019 -- $500 non-refundable payment to Redeemer for Kenya Ground Expenses due
– Email a color copy of your passport to Kevin Westergren immediately upon completing the online registration.
Passport & Visa
Every participant must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after entry date into Kenya. The process of obtaining or renewing a passport can take as long as 4-6 weeks
- An electronic Kenyan entry visa MUST be obtained before leaving for Kenya at www.evisa.go.ke. Currently the cost is $50
- We will share an electronic help sheet to work through the visa application with you. Generally you will get your visa one to two months before you leave and after you purchase your airplane ticket.
There are no required immunizations for travel to Kenya. CONTACT YOUR PERSONAL PHYSICIAN OR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AGENT FOR RECOMMENDATIONS.
Worth consideration are the following: Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever.
Malaria is very common in Africa – Contact your physician for a prescription of a preferred anti-malaria drug for Kenya. Do NOT use chloroquine in Kenya. Chloroquine is not effective in Africa. Persons with hypertension should consult their physician regarding precautions against malaria. Be sure to bring mosquito repellant that has at least 90% deet (check the label). We have been going to Nairobi for many years and have not had a problem with malaria, but you want to be safe and protected.
We all travel together from Austin or Houston on a specific flight. We generally book the tickets individually on the same day, but you may book your own ticket as long as it is on our designated flights. It is critical that the team arrives in Nairobi at the same time. Again we encourage you to get your tickets booked early since it generally will cost you less. Each traveler is responsible for his/her own transportation to and from George Bush International Airport in Houston (IAH) although we usually work on travelling together.
training & Orientation
Everyone is expected to attend the training and orientation session usually in March. (time and place to be determined).
Thursday, Friday, – travel from Houston to Nairobi
Saturday, – jet lag recovery, safari, shopping, final clinic briefing, and evening worship
Sunday, – usually worship at local congregation and set up clinic
Monday – Friday, – conduct clinics during day – fellowship, meal, devotions in the evening
Saturday-Sunday, – safari in Nairobi Game Park, rest, meet and share experiences with other teams’ members until departure for Nairobi airport in the evening.
Monday, – Arrive back in Austin
Some team members choose to schedule personal travel for sightseeing, visiting, etc. after a mission to Kenya through Mission Opportunities. Generally a trip will include a two day safari leaving on Saturday, two nights in either Masaai Mara or Amboseli National Game Park and flying out of Nairobi on Tuesday, June 11 arriving back home on Wednesday, June 12. Contact Dave DeVore if interested. Cost is determined by the number of participants and style of accommodation. Make sure you contact Dave BEFORE you purchase your airline tickets, if you are interested
food & Drink
As part of the accommodations in Kenya, breakfast and the evening meals are provided. Lunch is the responsibility of each individual although we will often join the local volunteers for lunch. The clinic work proceeds uninterrupted on the clinic days and team members normally take individual short breaks to snack for lunch. Bringing food from the U.S. is discouraged, since you will have limited packing space. Snack food can be obtained in a “WalMart” type store in Nairobi.
The “don’t drink the water” advice for foreign travel applies to Kenya also. Safe, bottled water is readily available at reasonable prices and you are expected to purchase your own supply of drinking water. DO NOT drink any water or brush your teeth with water from a faucet, shower or water tap. Antiseptic hand lotion is available in Nairobi.
clothing & Luggage
Clothing for the mission must be chosen carefully. Although Kenya is located on the equator, the climate at most of our clinics and lodgings is mild due to their higher altitudes. A light jacket or sweater may be desired in the mornings or evenings. Medical scrub tops are worn by most team members at the clinics. Long pants are recommended. Do NOT bring shorts. Longer skirts or dresses are permitted. A light rain “poncho” plus an extra pair of shoes are suggested. If rubber boots are advised for your clinic, they can be purchased on the first Saturday while shopping for personal food, sanitation, and water supplies in Nairobi.
You must pack lightly. On the aircraft each team member will be allowed only one regulation size carry-on bag plus one other SMALL personal bag (large purse, briefcase, etc.) YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO CHECK A SMALLER SUITCASE under 50 lbs, but the checked-bag allowance for each ticket WILL FIRST BE UTILIZED by the team to bring clinic equipment and other clinic supplies.
You are advised to bring at least $300 in $100 dollar bills. These bills should be crisp, unworn, without creases or marks and dated 2003 or newer. Contact your local bank several weeks in advance. Many banks do not have a supply of “perfect” $100 bills on hand. (Bring clean $20’s, and $5’s or $10’s for your visa in Nairobi). Team leaders can advise you of the exchange booths to use in Kenya. Visa and Master Card are accepted in many places in Nairobi and larger cities. Advise your credit card company that you will be travelling abroad. There are some ATM outlets in Nairobi.
safety - security - accomodations
Redeemer has been doing this mission for over ten years and makes every effort to ensure that the group is safe at all times. Accommodations will be different from American hotel standards, but generally are very safe, clean and very nice usually with a private bathroom in your room. Meals will be taken either at our lodgings or at restaurants known by our hosts.
English is widely spoken, but knowing a few native words or phrases is appreciated by the people. You will receive some common phrases in Swahili at the Orientation meeting.