Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Next Mission Trip in March


Applications are now being accepted to participate in a
WorldHope Corps Mission Trip to Malawi, Africa (March 4-14, 2007)

Sponsored by: CitiHope International and WorldHope Corps

Led by: Dr. Michael J. Christensen, Africa Regional Director, CitiHope International

DATES: Depart JFK on Sunday, March 4 for Johannesburg to arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi, on March 5; Return on Wednesday, March 14, and arrive JFK early on March 15 (11 days). Optional 2-day extension in South Africa (March 15-17)

Destination: Malawi, a small land-locked, developing country of 12 million people bordering Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, is particularly vulnerable to famine and disease, and suffers from extreme poverty and AIDS. The Trip in March will carry out its mission in and around Mzuzu City and Livingstonia in Northern Malawi, where CitiHope Malawi operates its relief and development programs. The CitiHope Malawi Mission Center is located in the heart of Mzuzu City.

Mission: CitiHope International began medical aid and food security programs in 2003, in partnership with the Presbyterian Synod of the Livingstonia—the spiritual legacy of David Livingstone. By supplying protein-fortified nutrition supplements to meals prepared for orphans and abandoned children, delivering life-saving medicine to hospitals and rural clinics, and providing Pastoral and Congregational Care Training (PACCT) in AIDS prevention and pastoral care in communities suffering from AIDS, CitiHope staff and volunteers are able to provide help and raise hope in Malawi.



Focus: Humanitarian Assistance / Social Justice / Relational Ministry / Project Work. We will engage in relational and supportive activities with vulnerable children and families in some of the 40 social service and medical institutions supported by CitiHope International. We will also explore with local experts some social justice issues affecting Malawians, including the AIDS pandemic, extreme poverty and tropical disease, and globalization.



Activities: Specifically, we will engage in daily mission activities with CitiHope staff and CitiHope ministry partners: 1) We will visit three Orphan Care Centers and help feed 300+ Malawian orphans (toddlers thru teenagers) and abandoned children their daily meal, and join them in recreational and educational activities; 2) We will deliver medicine and medical supplies to hospitals and visit patients in rural clinics. 3) We will visit prisoners in Mzuzu and deliver needed soup and soap. 4) We will drive up the mountain to tour the historic missionary compound of Livingstonia, visit the hospital and schools, and learn about the 19th century Scottish mission work of David Livingstone and Robert Laws. And we will worship with our Malawian brothers and sisters on Sunday in church.

Reverse Mission: Our service team will focus its activities on being fully present to human need resulting in “reverse mission.” By focusing our mission of help and hope on being with the poor and vulnerable, we hope to fulfill a ministry of presence (God’s presence through us) which may result in our own spiritual transformation. Henri Nouwen calls this “reverse mission.” In encountering the rich spirit of Christ in those whom we would serve, we ourselves are transformed in the process. One way to prepare for the trip is to read Henri Nouwen’s book Gracias to deepen our understanding of “reverse mission.” Other reading material will be recommended to team members preparing for the trip.

Accommodations: In Johannesburg, on the way to Malawi, we will stay overnight in a Holiday Inn near the airport. In Malawi, we will stay together in a Guest House near the CitiHope Mission Center in Mzuzu. In Livingstonia, we will also stay in Guest Houses. Most rooms are double rooms, simple and clean, with shared bathrooms. Single supplements are available if needed.

Meals: Group meals in Malawi are included in the price of the trip. Meals in transit, including the overnight in Johannesburg and in Lilongwe are extra.

Cost: $1000 per person for in-country expense, plus the cost of international travel (est. $2,000 on South African Air). Malawi in-country expense includes: transportation minibus, guest house accommodations and group meals. Thus, the total estimated budget for this 11-day trip to Africa is $3,000.

Cost of Optional 2-day Extension in South Africa (March 15-17): $500
Includes: airport transportation, 2 nights hotel stay in Johannesburg and one-day motor tour of Soweto, Mandela House, and city centre.

Funding: Although no scholarships are available from WorldHope Corps, team members are encouraged to request mission funds from their local church which can be channeled through CitiHope International. CitiHope also has offered to support individual or group fund-raising efforts by receiving designated mission trip contributions and issuing tax-deductible receipts for donations. A sample “appeal letter” is available by request that can be adapted and sent to family members and friends. Other mission team fund-raising ideas are available from WorldHope Corps to reduce personal out-of-pocket costs.

Availability: Limited to 12 mission-minded people, with priority given to individual donors to CitiHope and official representatives of local churches and organizations that help sponsor CitiHope programs in Malawi.

Who Should Participate? Mission-minded people of good faith and good will who share a concern for orphans and widows in Africa and who want to do their part to help end extreme poverty and AIDS in the world in our lifetime. Visit www.one.org to see how well you resonate with this faith-based approach to service in the world, and consider joining the One campaign. Also visit Dr. Christensen’s mission blog: http://malawi-mission.blogspot.com

Those who cannot go on this particular trip but want to participate in the mission through financial support are invited to donate to CitiHope International at www.citihope.org

Deposit Required: A $500 deposit with application is required by January 31 to reserve a space, with the total amount due for airfare before February 15. The final balance is due by March 1.

Disclaimers: CitiHope International is prepared to receive and host visiting groups to Malawi, but accepts no corporate liability for mission team organization, travel or activities. WorldHope Corps is an unincorporated agency that helps facilitate mission and service trips for CitiHope International and other charitable organizations.

Next Step: Applications (available via email) must be completed and returned before Wednesday, January 31, 2007, with the $500 deposit payable to CitiHope International, c/o Dr. Michael Christensen, 11 Ardsleigh Dr., Madison, NJ 07940. The group will meet once in February to discuss final trip preparations and assess team dynamics before departing for Africa on March 4. For further information, visit: www.worldhopecorps.org

Dr. Christensen may be contacted at info@worldhopecorps.org or 973-408-3738.

Prayerfully count the cost and consider joining us.
It will change your life and make a difference in the world!