NYSUM Mission Trip Guidelines
A. What to pack:Regardless of whether your trip will be a weekend, weeklong or somewhere in between, NYSUM recommends traveling light and bringing only essential items for the trip. We recommend not bringing personal items of value that won’t be used during your mission work as NYSUM is not responsible for anything that might be lost or stolen.
NOTE: We provide 1 set of linens for your whole stay which includes a washcloth, bath towel, a fitted sheet, flat sheet, pillow case & pillow, and a blanket.
- Modest clothing according to the weather, with at least 1 pair of pants even during summer time. A light wind/rain jacket is recommended. No tank tops, spaghetti strap shirts, short shorts, miniskirts nor form fitted clothing.
- At least 1 pair of closed shoes or comfortable sneakers, shower shoes are also recommended.
- Should your team be scheduled to visit a mosque, please bring a long sleeve top and scarves for women.
- 2 Masks per person
- Hand sanitizer
- Hats and sunscreen recommended for summer
- Water bottle
- Phone Charger
- Small bag or a sack pack
- Basic travel size toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
- Thermometers (Team Leaders)
- Small First Aid Kit (Team Leaders)
- Pocket Money to use on your day off
B. Room & BoardAccommodations are dorm style bunk bed rooms, which house 6-8 people and include a private bathroom stall (toilet/sink), with common individual shower booths scattered throughout each floor. Floors are gender specific & during peak seasons, it’s possible your team may share their room with other guest teams.
Hot and/or Cold
Served 7am – 8am
Hot entree plus soup & salad bar
Served 12pm -1pm
Cold cut sandwich, snacks and water bottle. Given when out on ministry during the day.
Available for pickup 8am -9am
Hot entree plus soup & salad bar
Served 5pm – 5pm
C. What to expect:As with any trip, New York City offers a wide range of experiences and encounters. Please be open to reaching the variety of diverse religions, nationalities, social classes, political & philosophical worldviews, and gender orientations that your team may be exposed to while ministering to our communities and sharing the gospel. For a glimpse on this diversity feel free to click the links below:
D. How to prepare – SpirituallyJust as many of us prepare physically for major competitions, be it sports games or a marathon, it is essential to prepare spiritually for your trip. We must never lose focus that despite engaging in practical holistic activities, the difference between Kingdom work and secular community service is letting the Lord work in and thru us to reach those we serve for Christ.
Whether be it in more spiritually focused activities like evangelism and prayer, or practical work such as serving food or children’s ministry, impacting the people we serve and leading them to them to the Lord is impossible without the Power of the Holy Spirit. Neither NYSUM nor your leadership can set up the divine encounters and supernatural events that your team will experience while serving, as evident or subtle they may be.
We recommend the following as time and opportunities allow:
- Constant prayer as a group and individually for the trip
- Lift up the trip and group during church service and prayer meeting
- Follow a group devotional plan based on mission themes along with a small group study.
- Praying & Fasting, individually & collectively as health/time permits
- Practice public prayer with team members, along with role-playing witnessing encounters. If possible transition locally to real street outreach before coming.
- Adopt a servant heart at home, work, school, etc. serving those around us in need, be it strangers or family & friends.
- Adopt a prayer/ministry partner from your group to help you serve on your trip.
- Memorize some basis scriptures to enable you to become an effective soul winner while on the streets of NYC, such as but not limited to:
E. How to Prepare – The Ministry WorkWhether specific outreach activities were requested by your group, or you’re willing for NYSUM to set up your schedule as we feel led to, please download and review the following documents in the links below. They breakdown the mission work your team will be engaged in so you can prepare accordingly. Our Outreach Overview will cover the general sense of the varied outreaches your team may be engaged in, while our Ministry Booklet will cover our most common outreaches in depth.
We recommend they be printed and distributed to the whole team, then meet as frequently as possible to prepare for the outreaches that can be prepped ahead of time. Children ministry will require skits, games, songs, etc. to reach multi-cultural inner city kids, while small worship sets may be used for a small chapel service or street evangelism. Should you have any questions or need further guidance feel free to contact us.
F. How to Prepare – Urban TravelNYC can be vastly different for your home town/city, and even if coming from another major city in the US, New York can have a totally unique and different environment compared to the rest of the nation. The diversity in almost every aspect of our society can be a culture shock, add to that the large scale of the 5 boroughs and the massive transit system underground, and your team can feel overwhelmed. We strongly recommend instilling in your group the following guidelines to ensure the team remains safe and focused on their trip:
- ALWAYS follow and comply with your leadership, be it from your group, NYSUM staff or a partner site staff. This is especially essential while traveling thru the city. Open communication, clarification and questions are always welcome. NYSUM follows this model of ministry, in that Spiritual Breakthrough comes through servanthood and humility.
- Never break off from your group without an escort and permission from the NYSUM Staff Leader
- Always be accompanied by at least 1 more person
- Never give cash to those we serve, and don’t carry unnecessary valuables with you
- Never provide personal info, phone number, home address or social media
- Stay close to the group and avoid having the team stretch out unnecessarily
- Maintain the pace consistent and keep up with the group, avoid having leadership be calling your attention constantly unnecessarily
- Follow instructions/directions while traveling. That said, be mindful of your surroundings, paying attention to signs and traffic as opposed to just following the group around distracted
- Be courteous and respectful to those around you regardless of their demeanor or attitude, avoid conflictive individuals
- Always be open to ways we can bless and serve others as the Lord gives us opportunities
- Notify your leadership or NYSUM staff of anything unusual, be it a health issue or an apparent/possible dangerous person and/or situation