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FAQs - Pastors

What takes place on a Global Health Outreach trip?
How will this medical missions trip fit into my existing missions program?
Do you openly evangelize and preach on your teams?
What kinds of people are on the team?
Can students go on Global Health Outreach teams?
How do you vet your in-country partners?
How can the healthcare workers in my church get involved?
Can I have a GHO trip for just people from my church?
What does GHO do on each trip?
Who is in charge on a GHO trip?
What happens if something goes wrong?
Will these trips really help my people become active disciples of Christ?
What has to be done differently to have a medical missions trip than, say, a construction trip?
What do I need to do to prepare people in my church to go on a Global Health Outreach medical missions trip?


What takes place on a Global Health Outreach trip?

The focus of Global Health Outreach trips is to share the hope and compassion of Jesus Christ the Messiah with those who have never heard of Him, or the joy of a relationship with Him.  We do this by ministering to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs in word and in deed.  We provide high quality medical, dental, and surgical care to many people who lack the resources or access to such care, and seek opportunities to pray with our patients and their families, and to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ where culturally appropriate.

We work with many national partners who have a similar passion.  Our national partners greatly appreciate the sacrifice made by our team members in finances, time, and travel, and are deeply invested in using the medical skills of our team members to build the church in their service areas, and to build unity within the Body of Christ, based on the model given to us in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20.

How will this medical missions trip fit into my existing missions program?

Missions pastors who have participated in our trips have praised the experience. Several have commented that their church members have come back on fire and with a new desire to go deeper in their walk with the Lord.  Our team leaders focus on spiritual growth and putting one’s faith into action, so you can easily integrate the disciple-making focus that took place on the GHO team with your existing missions program.

Do you openly evangelize and preach on your teams?

We have missions teams that work in Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and animist cultural contexts, and in the cultural Christianity that is widespread in the Americas.  We provide holistic care that addresses physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs. Where culturally appropriate, with the consent of those to whom we are ministering, and under the guidance of our national partners, we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What kinds of people are on the team?

Our teams mostly provide primary medical and dental care.  The teams are about two thirds medical people, and one-third non-medical people.  Medical people include physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and dentists; nurses, pharmacists, dental assistants, dental hygienists and physical therapists, scrub nurses and scrub techs, and CRNA’s, among others.   Pastors, realtors, businessmen and women, and many other non-medical people are essential to the team, and help out in the pharmacy, the reading glass clinic, triage, and in other settings. We call these non-medical people “Logistics”.

Can students go on Global Health Outreach teams?

Absolutely!  We welcome undergrad students, nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy, medical, dental, and just about any other kind of student!  Students are primarily assigned to a professional in their area of study, but will also be rotated around to participate in other aspects of the medical team.  Middle school and high school students are welcome to join teams with their parents or another adult who assumes legal responsibility for them.

How do you vet your in-country partners?

We partner with proven groups that are committed to serving in their home country.  While this looks different in each country, you can be confident that their work has been evaluated by our Global Health Outreach leadership and is consistent with our overall goals.  Schedule a conversation here and we can give you more specific details.

How can the healthcare workers in my church get involved?

We take 45-50 short-term medical and dental trips each year.  There is often plenty of room for these trips to take another 5-10 people from your church, as long as the team is not yet full.  If you have a large group of greater than 10 people, you should talk with us 6-9 months in advance so that we can find the right trip for the size of your group.

Can I have a GHO trip for just people from my church?

Yes, if you can fill up all of the necessary trip positions to balance out the team with physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, etc.  Many churches begin by having 2-5 people from their church join a team, then the next year bring along 15-20 people, and then go from there.  Sometimes one or several people from one church have gone through our Team Leader Training process, and then have led teams that are predominately or completely made up of people from their own church.  Talk to us and we can figure out what will work best for you.

What does GHO do on each trip?

Global Health Outreach organizes each trip from beginning to end.  We vet the national partner, explore the area and the population to be served, identify the customs and licensing requirements for all healthcare workers, evaluate the lodging and dining facilities, and evaluate the security setting for any special precautions.  We coordinate with our national partner to identify interpreters, other volunteers to help support the clinic, and the necessary follow-up for any patients who need attention after the team departs.  We also recruit the right mix of team members – doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and others. We collect and turn in credentialing documents to the Ministry of Health, and arrange for all medications and reading glasses that are needed by the team.  During the time the team is serving in the country, Global Health Outreach manages all the food, housing, in-country transportation, medications, medical equipment and supplies, translators, and medical licensing with the authorities.

Who is in charge on a GHO trip?

Each of our GHO team leaders is experienced in participating in and leading international teams.  Additionally, each is trained in managing routine and emergency issues that pop up during the time that the team is serving. The team leader works closely with our national partner, and together they address any issues or emergencies that come up during the trip.  The team leader and national partner set the schedule, and adjust the schedule (often!) as needed.  The team leader will proactively delegate other tasks during the week to others, but he/she is ultimately in charge on the trip.

What happens if something goes wrong?

The team leader communicates with GHO and determines the most appropriate course of action to keep the team safe.  Our national partners have considered the different things that could go wrong, and together we take action to address the problem. Through our network of partners, no one will be left behind.  When needed, we have three types of emergency insurance in place for all of our trips.  We have emergency medical insurance in case someone has to go to the Emergency Room or be admitted to a hospital for an illness or injury.  (This happens once or twice a year.)  We have emergency medical evacuation insurance for the rare case when someone needs an air ambulance evacuation back to the U.S.  (We have done this once in 18 years!) We also have emergency security evacuation insurance, in case there are riots or some other kind of civil disturbance.  (This has never happened.) No one will be left behind!

Will these trips really help my people become active disciples of Christ?

We sure think so.  We see evidence on the trips of changed lives, and hear testimonies weeks and even years after people return of changed lives, a new boldness in sharing their faith, and praying with patients.  Here are a few testimonies that we received when people returned:

  • Physician – I grew spiritually in that living outside my own world and my own stuff is a reminder of what should be my single-minded devotion to Christ.
  • Non-medical person – I grew more spiritually on this trip than on previous mission trips because I made myself completely available to Jesus Christ by surrendering my will to him and praying that the Spirit would lead me.
  • Medical student – I received insight of God’s love and compassion for all types of people. The greatest blessing was being able to share the gospel with every patient who came through.
  • Teenager – This trip has helped me find comfort in my beliefs. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone and participated in group prayers. I really learned that God can use me, but I first have to step out of His way.
  • Nurse practitioner – The most significant spiritual insight I gained was the need for me to mentor younger Christians in my church. I was reminded of the importance of sharing the gospel on a daily basis.

What has to be done differently to have a medical missions trip than, say, a construction trip?

Lots! You need the right mix of doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and others; you need to work with the Ministry of Health to enable them to legally provide healthcare; you need to get all the medications, supplies, and equipment into the country; you need to identify a safe clinic site; you need to find the right partners to provide translators for each person seeing patients, and the nurse, and the pharmacy; and you need to make sure your national partner can take care of any patients who need follow-up care after the team leaves.
The good news is – we handle all of this for you at no additional cost!

What do I need to do to prepare people in my church to go on a Global Health Outreach medical missions trip?

We provide the resources that you need.  We have a Team Participant Manual available on our website here.  This manual provides the basics for everyone who is going.  Approximately 4 weeks before the team departs, we send each team member a copy of “The Next Mile: Short-Term Missions for the Long Haul Goer Guide” published by InterVarsity Press.  This short book provides excellent preparation steps, with an emphasis on post-ministry follow-through.  Further resources are available in our Church Leadership Packet.