VisionTour: Taiwan

2020 Missions Trip: Taoyuan, Taiwan

I want to invite you to consider taking a short-term ten-day missions trip to Taiwan. We are looking for several churches to join us over the summer of 2020 to help host Vacation Bible Schools (English Camps) as we reach out to the community to

Planning for the future?

If you are interested in taking a missions trip in the future for any of the following years: 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023; please use the link below to access the contact form and let me know of your interest.


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purpose | information | application

Taiwan VisionTour: Purpose

To give you a VISION for Taiwan and the world. We try to communicate the need of the gospel in Taiwan through our blog and prayer letters but some things are hard to communicate in written form. We want you to feel, smell, taste and see Taiwan. We know that your eye will affect your heart and we want you to be affected. We want to open your eyes to the possibility of what God can do through you to help see Taiwan reached with the gospel.

To allow you to be involved in MINISTRY on the frontlines. Even though you don’t speak Chinese there is a small door of opportunity for you to use your English and help us reach out to students and families who are learning English. Teaching English classes or spending time practicing spoken English with a Chinese person can be seen as a good work in the community. And of course, all of these interactions are geared twoards sharing the gospel with them.

To be an ENCOURAGEMENT to you and the missionaries on the field. Churches and missionaries who partner together can be mutually encouraging to one another. It is like a reverse furlough and allows for a time of refreshing fellowship and encouragement for both sides to keep on fighting the good fight.

Taiwan VisionTour: Information

There is a lot of information that you need to know about taking a short-term trip to make sure you get the best out of the trip. Below we have divided the information into separate categories to help you easily find the information you need.

Dates

  • A general set of dates can only be given until the plane tickets have been purchased.
  • 1 year prior to the trip, set dates, make plans, apply for a passport.
  • 9 months prior to the trip, $200 non-refundable deposit & application.
  • 6 months prior to the trip, reserve group plane tickets.
  • 3 months prior to the trip, apply and pay for visas.
  • 1 month prior to the trip, pay the final amount due.
  • Day of the trip, bring the designated cash and any extra cash with you.

Cost

  • The cost is approximate $2,000-$2,500.
  • Breakdown of the general cost is:
    • $1300 Airfare (approximately).
    • $650 Food, Lodging, Transportation, Activities
    • $140 Airport Meals, Souvenirs, Spending Money.
  • If you do not have a valid passport, you must obtain one for an additional $135.
  • Airline Tickets range from $1,000 – $1,800. We base our pricing round trip from Atlanta, GA to Taipei, Taiwan. If you are not flying into or from either of these airports, the pricing may be different.
  • The cost doesn’t include transportation from your house to the airport and vice versa or meals previous to the time you are flying out.
  • The cost does include everything from once you check in at the airport until you return back to the airport (unless there is something unexpected).
  • It is not hard to have enough money but you should start planning now.
  • It is better to have “too much money” and leave an offering than leave the missionaries to pay your load. You are responsible to cover unexpected expenses during this trip.
  • You will also be visiting churches and will have the opportunity to give in the offering. This is money you will need to prepare in advance and above the trip cost. This is your opportunity to be a great blessing to the churches.
  • You will be responsible for any incurred expenses due to interrupted travel plans, price changes, or any problems that are unforeseen.

Schedule & Activities

  • Devotional time each day.
  • Attend church services in a local church
  • Orientation, missions classes and discussion.
  • Various outreach activities. i.e. English Camps.
  • Visit and tour the central part of town – streets filled with people.
  • Shopping in the markets and interacting with the local people.
  • Visit the local tourist areas of the city.
  • Visit the graveyard and consider your life.
  • Go to the highest point in the city and pray over the city.

Passports

  • Everyone participating on the trip needs a passport.
  • You need to get your passport ASAP.
  • This is the first step if you are really considering this trip. We need your passport number to for the application and to possibly to make reservations for plane tickets or hotels.
  • You can apply for a passport through your local court house/post office.
  • You will need a couple of passport photos, two pieces of identification, and the required fee.
  • It can take several weeks to get your passport so please start early. Call your local courthouse/post office to be sure of what you will need to do. Also, you can check online.
  • Every person is responsible for their own passport.
  • Every person needs to bring a copy of their birth certificate in case you lose your passport on the trip.
  • Keep your birth certificate in a different place than your passport.
  • If you lose your passport, you will have to apply for a new one at the nearest embassy. You will be responsible for all of the cost that is involved with replacing your passport (i.e. Passport Fee, Traveling to the Embassy, Etc.).
  • If you do not have an American Passport, please let your group leader know, because there may be different requirements for you.

Visas

  • You don’t need a visa if you are an American citizen. You can come to Taiwan visa-free and stay for up to 90 days. (Note: If someone on the trip is not an American Citizen, please contact the missionary.)

Shots & Vaccinations

  • You are not required to take any special shots or vaccinations to come to our area.
  • You are responsible to investigate and act as you see fit.

Traveling & Arrival

  • Keep in mind, for international flights, you are supposed to be at the airport at least 3 hours before your flight. Plan enough time to travel and arrive at the airport on time.
  • Remember your passport and keep it on you! Don’t pack it in your luggage. You can use it as your ID in the airport and must use it once you leave the USA.
  • If you want to exchange money, bring new bills. We have had the bank reject older bills and refuse to exchange them for us.
  • Everything won’t go perfect and at times plans might change drastically so when things like this happen our motto is “Adjust, Adjust, Adjust!”
  • Once you get to the airport, you need to check in all the bags (except your carry-ons and personal items). You can try to check in as a group!
  • Once you are checked in, you will need to go through security. After security, you will find your terminal and gate. After this, you can take a deep breath and get some food. Just watch your time and note when they start boarding.
  • Keep all luggage tags and ticket stubs. Once you arrive in Taiwan, they may ask you to see them.
  • If you don’t have a direct flight, you should still only need to pick up your luggage once you arrive in Taiwan. Check with the clerk at the ticket counter to make sure. Once you arrive at your layover destination, check in and find your gate as before.
  • Once you get to Taiwan, you need to go through customs and the baggage area and collect all of your bags (follow the crowd). Then you have to re-check-in all the bags and go through the whole process again (if you are flying to another city in Taiwan)!
  • Once you finally arrive at your destination, we will get all the bags and take a bus to the place you will be staying. For those that are hungry, we can make a McDonald’s stop (even if it is midnight)!
  • Time Change is hard. You will probably have a 12 or 13 hour time change (depends on where you are coming from)! On the plane, I wouldn’t try to force yourself to sleep at certain times. I found it easier just to fall asleep whenever I was tired and then wake up whenever dosing in and out of sleep.
  • Stay up the first full day here. You will be worn out and want to sleep, but try to stay up the first day you are in Taiwan and it will help you adjust for the rest of the week.

Housing

  • There are different options for housing and you need to be prepared for each and make sure you have a good attitude no matter where you end up staying.
  • Each person could be staying in a hotel, the home of one of the missionaries, or a rented apartment. Wherever you stay, there should be electricity, running water and a bed. There maybe several unexpected inconveniences, but then again, this is the mission field.
  • When you are “on the move,” each person might only have a chair for the night. You most likely will spend a night on the airplane due to distance and time change. We might travel overnight by train, in which you will have a sleeper bed on the train if available. Also, scheduling conflicts could lead the group to sleep in the airport for a night.
  • If you are staying in a missionaries’ houses, please be considerate and remember the following:
    • Do not drape wet towels over the back of varnished dining room chairs, leave your beverage glass sitting in a puddle of water on the coffee table or end tables, etc.
    • Do not go into the closet or kitchen cabinets to get out clothing or food without permission. Many times the missionary has candy or special foods that he has brought from the states that will be rationed to his children over a long period of time.
    • Help out! Don’t sit there and let the missionaries serve you. Go to the kitchen, see what you can do to help. Pick up after yourself. Take your dishes to the kitchen, help wash dishes. Make up your bed. Ask what you can do to help. Be a blessing.
    • This home has been opened to you. It is not a motel to be treated carelessly because you paid for the room.

Food

  • You will be eating Chinese meals from local restaurants, American meals prepared by the missionary wives and maybe a few fast food stops.
  • Meals may not be served at the consistent breakfast, lunch, and dinner times, but you should be well fed during your time here.
  • You will get meals on the plane, but it is also a good idea to bring snacks.
  • You should take caution from drinking water from the tap. You should only drink bottled water. Bottle water is easily accessible and available.

Safety / Caution

  • Thieves – Always be careful to watch your things while on the trip or in town. Airports always have lots of thieves, pickpockets, etc. Do not wear excessive amounts of jewelry or something that might call attention to thieves. Do not flash your money around.
  • Neglect – Please pay attention to your items as many things are lost simply due to neglect or leaving them in a taxi.
  • Stay Together – The group should stay together at all times and you should not wander off by yourself. This is for your safety. There should be the basic buddy system and if you need to go somewhere, you are feeling sick, have to go to the bathroom, or want to go back to the hotel, first, ask the group leader and lead missionary.
  • Own Risk – Taiwan is an open country for those taking short-term mission trips and shouldn’t be any retaliation to you being here sharing the gospel. But please know you come at your own risk and we hope you come willing to suffer for His name sake if it so happens.

Luggage

  • Check with the airline to see what the luggage requirements are.
  • Normally airlines allow two checked pieces of luggage, one carry-on, and one personal item.
  • If each person is allowed two checked bags, we ask each person only to bring one checked bag and allow the missionaries to use their second check bag to transport supplies (this is a huge help and blessing to the missionaries).
  • You will be asked to carry this second checked bag for the missionary. The trip leader will coordinate with you so that each person in the group can bring one bag in and take another out for the missionaries if needed.
  • When bringing the extra bag through security, if they stop and open it, don’t act like, “this isn’t my bag, I don’t know what’s in it.” You can just say, “it is stuff for the friends we are visiting.”
  • There are weight and size limits on each checked bag. Check with the airlines to confirm the weight. Usually, it can not weigh over 50 pounds and the carry on must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin.
  • If your luggage is overweight, when you get to the airport they will make you pay a pretty big fee or you must take stuff out of the bag (and you will just have to throw it away) for them to check the bag. You are responsible for any overweight fees.
  • Pack light. You are responsible for carrying your own luggage. We will be taking many different means of transportation and packing light makes it more convenient.
  • Keep your carry-ons with you. You usually don’t have to weigh them and check them in (a carry-on can be a suitcase and a personal item can be a backpack).
  • We have had luggage lost before. It was never found, nor was reimbursement given for it. So with that being said, if there is something you can’t afford to lose, don’t bring it or put it in the checked luggage.

Dress

  • We ask groups to dress modestly (at your discretion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) to be an example to the church here.
  • During the week, feel free to dress casually. The city can be dirty and we will be doing a lot of traveling.
  • During service time, treat it the same way as you do in America. Speakers should wear a shirt and tie, but it is not mandatory.
  • Bring/wear comfortable walking shoes for all the walking we will be doing. Door–to-door here means climbing several flights of stairs.
  • Take an extra pair of clothes with you in your carry on in case your luggage is lost or delayed.
  • Wear comfortable clothes when traveling, you will be in them for a long time. Also, at the airports you will be going through several metal detectors etc. so don’t wear too much bling.
  • Yes, it is okay to wear shirts with “Christian logos” (cross, church, verses, etc.).
  • You should pack according to the time of your visit and the weather/temperatures. For Taoyuan, Taiwan is very humid and the weather looks like this:
    • November-April: Comfortable 50°-70°
    • May: Warm 70°-80°
    • June-July: Hot 75°-95°
    • August-September: Hot & Rainy 75°-95°
    • October: 70°-80°
  • For this reason, you will need to contact the missionary to find out what would be the most appropriate attire for the weather during your visit.

Electronics

  • Electronics: Feel free to bring whatever electronics you want and the VOLTAGE AND PLUGS ARE THE SAME AS THE USA.
  • Remember, you always have the chance of something getting stolen.
  • On the long flight, every seat should have a personal screen loaded with movies, TV shows, games, etc. (but not every airlines, check your airlines). Some people take their computers or DVD players to watch stuff on the plane but know this option may be available, so it’s not necessary.
  • Most cell phones will automatically work internationally now, but you will be charged a fee for every text, call, data, etc. Make sure to keep your phone in “Airplane Mode” to avoid these charges.
  • The missionary should be able to provide a way for you to call the States for free if needed. Also, if any of your family needs to contact you, in an emergency, we can provide a number for them to call and reach you.

Culture

  • It is important to remember you are crossing cultural lines! They don’t do everything like you do back home.
  • Do not treat their church any differently than you would a church in the United States.
  • Don’t treat national pastors any differently than you would a pastor in the United States.
  • Do not eat or drink in front of them without offering them something.
  • Do not constantly criticize their country or talk about your country and all that you miss there or how it is better, etc.
  • Develop a taste for their foods. Eat with them. Do not turn your nose up at their food.
  • Do not skip church or stay outside the building during church services, even if you don’t understand etc. Get involved with the people in the service.
  • Look at things like they do. They aren’t strange or new–you are.
  • Learn to use Chopsticks! Seriously, they don’t use forks. Chopsticks are the utensil of choice.
  • If you are not used to being called fat, being stared at, or having people wanting to take pictures with you, then get used to it and don’t take offense while you are here.
  • I hope you like Chinese food because we will eat a lot of it! We also have some American restaurants in our city: McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway, Burger King, and Dairy Queen.
  • Practice your squatting skills! Most of the public bathrooms here are porcelain holes in the ground.
  • Make sure to always have toilet paper on you. Most bathrooms don’t have toilet paper in them.
  • Culture shock that you might experience from a short-trip: time change, huge city, poverty, dirtiness, the only white/black people are in our group, the number of people, eating different foods, or not being able to speak to the majority of the people.

Preaching, Testimonies & Evangelism

  • We want everyone who is willing to have a chance to preach, testify, or participate in evangelism.
  • Your group leader will organize this with the missionaries according to the service times and those willing to participate.
  • Preaching will be reserved for those in full-time ministry or preparing for full-time ministry. Please note the following:
    • Don’t use jokes unless you check with the missionary to make sure they will translate.
    • For any unfamiliar words or stories, check with the translator to make sure they know the less commonly used words.
    • Don’t speak fast unless your translator can keep up with you.
    • Speak, stop for translation, speak, stop for translation. Don’t speak a paragraph and then stop for translation, speak in phrases or short sentences.
  • If you are willing to give your testimony in one of the services, please follow these guidelines:
    • Write out your testimony. It will surprise you how easy it is to get sidetracked by all the commotion and translating.
    • Keep it brief, maybe about 3 minutes! With translation, 3 minutes will turn into 5!
    • Open with a greeting in Chinese. The folks like it when you try to speak their language and show a genuine interest in them.
    • Tell who you are and a little bit about yourself: married, work, family, etc.
    • Add a couple of positive statements about the country, the church, and the people!
    • Do not talk about the poverty of the area, the currency as funny money, how sorry you feel for them, etc.
    • Tell what Christ has done for you, how you got saved, how you realized your need for a Savior, how your life has changed, how Christ has helped you lately.
    • Give a verse and make sure to give the application.
    • Do not give graphic details about your sin or your past life.
    • Avoid slang, idioms, and jokes. It usually doesn’t translate with the same meaning.
    • Do not use very long sentences or very short either. Give a good thought that can be easily remembered by the translator!
    • Avoid stressing your material success or blessings and especially making any comparisons to what the people have in the country you are visiting!
    • Avoid speaking of the sacrifice that you made to get to the field.
    • Remember what it cost you to get to the country may be several months of a working man’s income. You may share with them the blessing of being able to come and how good God was to answer your prayers and make it possible to be there!
    • Thank the folks again and ask them to pray for you. Be excited about the country and the opportunity to be there.
  • When conversing with those who speak English, share your testimony with them and ask them their testimony. Sharing the Gospel is always our goal!
  • The two things that we try to avoid are (1) anything political (2) openly giving the idea we are here to proselytize (instead of giving the idea that we are here to openly proselytize, we just do it, telling them about Jesus).
  • We usually just refer to our ourselves as Bible teachers instead of missionaries because outside of the U.S. “missionary” has a bad connotation (what would you think of a person you met who said he was a missionary to your hometown). We would rather have someone compelled because we started talking about Jesus versus turned off because we gave our title.

Journal Your Trip

  • We encourage those taking a mission trip to keep a journal of the trip through writing down what happens each day and taking pictures and video.
  • Because of today’s technology, your journaling might not be by means of pencil and paper, maybe a computer or iPad. Whatever it may be, record your trip.
  • You will be so busy during the trip and so tired by the end of it, you don’t want to forget all the great things that happened and that you experienced.
  • Journaling will allow you to share with your family, friends, and church all that God did in your life on the trip.
  • Here are some ideas to help you journal:
    • Write down your daily thoughts and events.
    • Keep a record of your prayer requests.
    • Keep a record of how you felt on the trip.
    • Keep a list of what you are learning and how God is working in your life.
    • Right down quotes and sayings that you hear that are a blessing for you.
    • Review your day with God.
    • Start before you leave home.
    • Set aside a quiet time each day for writing.
    • Talk to your journal as though it were your best friend.
    • Keep your journal confidential.
  • Here are some questions you could answer:
    • What did I learn today that will benefit my spiritual life?
    • What areas of my life does God seem to be talking to me about right now?
    • What did I learn about serving Him?
    • What did we do today?
    • Who did we meet today?
    • What decision did you make today for your spiritual life and growth?

Airplane Tickets

  • You will need to find and purchase the airplane tickets as a group.
  • You can do this through an online website or through a travel agency.
  • Be constantly looking for cheap tickets online. Sometimes you can find a great deal. Sign up for cheap fare alerts from different websites.
  • Note that many travel websites will limit the number of tickets you can purchase (usually 6–9) at one time or per transaction. Also, you will need a credit card with a balance large enough to purchase the tickets for the group.
  • If the group has 10 people or more you can buy group tickets through a travel agent. Usually, you are only required to pay $100 per ticket to reserve seating for the group. The remaining cost of the tickets is due 90 days from the time of travel. This also allows you to change the name on the ticket with 72 to 24 hours before the time of travel. So if someone has to drop out, you don’t lose the ticket. It is good to reserve the tickets for 6 months before the trip.
  • You can purchase the tickets from the USA to China and fly into Taipei. Your host will help you make arrangements in the country.
  • Please check with your host before purchasing the tickets to confirm the dates work and the time of arrival/departure. For example, if you arrived on Sunday morning at 10:30, this would be a problem since the host would be in church.
  • If you are NOT flying directly to your destination city, you will have to purchase a second ticket. The host can help you purchase this ticket, but it may not be cheaper than a direct flight.
  • When checking prices, note the following:
    • Your City > Destination = $
    • Your City > Other City > Destination = $
  • Finally, if you are flying out of a different city (you live in TN and are flying out of GA), you will need to calculate the travel cost. So, it would look something like this: Your City + Airport + Taiwan City(s) = $.
  • Remember, this can be stressful, so be well organized and ask for help when needed.

Leader Responsibilities

  • Mobilize people in the church to participate in the trip.
  • Make information about the trip easily available.
  • Make a sign-up sheet and have people who are interested sign-up.
  • Plan an orientation meeting to explain the details and answer question.
  • Print and give everyone the About, Information, and Application documents.
  • For everyone who is committed to going on the trip, have them:
    • Read, fill-out, sign, date, and turn in the application and covenant.
    • Turn in their money for each deadline.
    • Apply for their Passports ASAP! This is the first step if they don’t have one.
  • Prepare a Passenger Manifest to keep up with all vital information about those going. It can include all the information on the application, such as name, photo copy of passport, passport number, shirt size, phone number, the amount paid so far, and any signed documents etc.
  • Turn in all the applications for each person to Vision Baptist Missions with the necessary money due per person.
  • Search for and Purchase the airplane tickets about 6 months prior to the trip.
  • Give all group members a copy of the trip itinerary.
  • Plan at least two meetings where you cover the content of the trip documents to help build camaraderie and excitement about the upcoming trip.
  • Prepare yourself and the group spiritually.
  • Assist the missionary in any area need to make the trip go smoothly.

Other Mission Trip Helps

Scan through the following category “Short-term Missions” to see all the blog post about this topic.

Taiwan Vision Tour: Application

  • Sign up with the group leader.
  • Read, fill-out, sign, date and turn in the application and covenant.
  • Turn in a photocopy of your passport with the application.
  • Turn in your funds and whatever is needed by each deadline.
  • Apply for your passport ASAP! This is the first step if you don’t have one.
  • Attend any meetings about the upcoming trip.
  • Prepare yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.