Intro and History
Jason and Beth Lang and their family have been in Central America for a few years as career missionaries to Nicaragua. Through the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE), they plan to establish churches, train national leaders, and start works among the youth of Nicaragua, where almost half of the population is under the age of fifteen. They are located just twenty minutes outside of the capital city of Managua in a place called Centro ABEM. Their primary goal at Centro ABEM is to share the Story of Hope, build communities of faith, and serve the people of Nicaragua with love. For years, they have dreamed of having teenagers from the States come partner alongside them to offer a camp experience to children and youth of Nicaragua. It is their desire that teams would be used by God to influence both the church and the country of Nicaragua for the glory of Him. Nicaragua has an estimated population of 5.6 million. Nearly 50% of the population is under the age of fifteen. Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America with an area of 130,000 km2. At the same time, it is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Join us as we bring the transforming hope of Jesus Christ to this nation!
What will my team be doing? Teams will join the Langs in their ministry to local Nicaraguans. The majority of your trip will focus on VBS ministry. You'll get the chance to host a group of children and teenagers that Centro ABEM brings in for the day. You will be teaching Bible lessons (with a translator), leading recreation games, telling your testimony, helping with crafts, and doing some behind the scenes work such as clean up from the day camp. At the end of your trip, you will have a day to explore local markets and check out the nearby volcano.
What does my cost include?
• In-country transportation
• Supplemental Traveler's Insurance
• Pre-Trip Training Manual
• Pre, During, and Post-trip Devotionals
Airfare is not included in this cost, but Servant Life does offer to book all airfare reservations.
Learn more about the ministry of Centro ABEM by visiting www.centroabem.org.
Nicaragua is considered one of central Americas “Tropical Paradise.”
Nicaragua has two ocean coasts and each one is on the opposite side of the country.
Nicaragua is larger than Ireland and Portugal put together.
The oldest city in Central America is located in Nicaragua called Ruins of Leon Viejo.
Nicaragua hosted the 20th baseball world championship in early 1972.
The largest natural lake in all of Central America is located in Nicaragua.
Nicaragua is home to the world’s only “Dual Volcano.” This volcano is in a small mountain range and is fed underground by two separate magma flows. It is the only volcano in the world that can erupt with two diverse magma channels underneath it.
Nicaragua is famous for its dance called the ‘Palo de Mayo.’
Corn is the staple food of Nicaragua.
Baseball is the most popular sport in Nicaragua.
There are no street names in the Nicaraguan address system. The address are given by using reference points to major landmarks.
Several rare species of animals can be found in Nicaragua including sea turtles, green turtles, jaguars, sloths, monkeys, toucans, boa constrictors, manatees, etc.
Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua. This is the largest city in Nicaragua in terms of geographic and population size. This city was declared the national capital in 1852. Managua is located on the southern shores of Lake Managua and has a tropical climate. It is the economic center and a generator of services for the majority of the nation. Nicaragua’s cultural capital is Managua. There are several restaurants, theaters, museums, and shopping centers in Managua.
Servant Life makes every effort to keep our teams safe during their entire experience with us. You help us by using traveler’s common sense. Staying in groups, not flaunting or bringing expensive jewelry, watches, or electronics, being aware of your surroundings, and not leaving bags unattended are all encouraged practices.
Make sure to see your doctor at least 4-6 weeks prior to your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect.
Please check with your local physician and www.cdc.gov/travel for a list of recommended immunizations for Haiti. For international travel, all childhood and adult immunizations should be up to date, including tetanus.
Dos and Don’ts
DO feel free to give gifts, but please ask the ministry partner before doing so.
DO use the “buddy system.”
DO bring any medicines that you may need. If it’s a prescription, make sure it has the original prescription label with your name on it.
DO sanitize your hands before eating. But do it discreetly, not blatantly just after holding a child or shaking an international’s hand.
DO be friendly toward Internationals. Their cultures place a high value on friendships and time spent visiting with friends.
DO pray for your International friends. Only as God works in their lives will they be open to hearing more about Christ.
DO befriend Internationals who are of the same gender as your own. In other cultures, friendships between a man and woman who are not related are rare. Your witness will be more effective with International friends of your own gender.
DO remember that you are representing a ministry that has been around longer than you’ve been in the country and will still minister there after you have left.
DON’T be a loud/obnoxious tourist that needs to be toned down.
DON’T encourage begging by rewarding the effort.
DON’T go out after dark.
DON’T bring anything that you aren’t willing to give up if someone asks for it.
DON’T attempt to tear down the different religions you come in contact with in your conversations with Internationals. Rather, discuss the basic doctrines of your Christian faith, with an emphasis on salvation through Jesus Christ. Many Internationals enjoy discussing their beliefs and how they differ from other religions.
Official Name: the Republic of Nicaragua
Passport/ Visa Requirements: All U.S. citizens need a passport, valid for six months after the intended date of departure. Reconfirm travel document requirements with your carrier before departure. No visa is needed to travel to the Dominican Republic.
Population: approximately 6 million
Time Zone: Nicaragua is on Central Standard Time (CST). For example, 12:00 PM (EST) is 11:00 AM in Nicaragua (CST)
Predominant Religions: Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion in Nicaragua. Approximately 15% of the population are members of evangelical churches. Another 1.5% are members of the Moravian Church.
Voltage Requirements: Voltage in Nicaragua is 110-120 Volts (same as US/Canada)
The currency of Nicaragua is the cordoba (NIO). The exchange rate of the Nicaraguan cordoba to the US dollar is approximately 20 to one.
Nicaragua has a tropical and wet climate with constant temperatures averaging between 82-90 degrees. There is a distinct dry season between November and April, while most of the rainfall is received between May and October. Temperatures are highest in March and April, when the sun lies directly overhead and the summer rainfall has yet to begin.
The most common forms of transportation that you will encounter are buses and taxis once you are in Nicaragua.
Servant Life will take care of all of your in-country travel arrangements.
Servant Life has missions opportunities in Cuba, El Salvador, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Uganda, Kenya, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Haiti, United Kingdom, East Asia, Dominican Republic, Houston, Dallas, New York City, Memphis, St. Louis, Montreal, and Toronto Canada.
Who Can Go
If registering and traveling with their church group, students must be 14 years old or older to participate in a Servant Life missions experience. If registering as an individual participant without an adult, students must be 16 years old or older. Student groups, college groups, adults, and individuals are all welcome on Servant Life mission trips. Teams may be made up of groups and/or individuals.
Servant Life trips are priced at a BASE COST PLUS AIRFARE. The base cost varies per country and can be found by clicking on the link for a trip.
Servant Life will book all airfare through our travel agency. Everyone on your team must travel together. We book group airline tickets and cannot accommodate special requests for different individual flights. Due to commitments to our missionaries to have groups there on set dates, trip dates are not flexible. Once a ticket has been purchased in your name, it must be paid for regardless of circumstances. All tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Servant Life works with missionary partners in each country. Your team will be helping our missionary partner with various needs, and exact details may vary from trip to trip. Specific details for each missions experience can be found by clicking on the trip's link.
We encourage anyone interested in a Servant Life missions experience to go ahead and apply for a passport. The amount of time it takes to get a passport varies, and we cannot book plane tickets without a copy of each person’s passport. Any costs associated with obtaining a passport are solely your responsibility. You can download a passport application and read instructions on obtaining a passport online at www.travel.state.gov/passport.
Immunizations and any costs related to them are the sole responsibility of the trip participant. All childhood immunizations must be complete (measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus). We also HIGHLY advise any immunizations recommended by your physician and/or the CDC for the area of travel. Both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are strongly recommended for all international travel. It is solely the traveler’s responsibility to obtain information on required/recommended travel immunizations and travel precautions for the area. The CDC website is www.cdc.gov and has up-to-date info on immunizations for every country.
Once You Register
Shortly after you register, you will receive an email from the Servant Life team with forms your group needs to fill out. These forms, along with a deposit of $250 per person, are due by November 1. If you register after November 1, the forms and a deposit of $250 per person are due within 30 days of registering. A registration is not complete until we have received your deposit. Registrations cannot be held beyond 30 days if the deposit has not been received.
Will my child serve alone or as part of a team?
Your child will be part of a Servant Life team, which can be made up of groups and/or individual participants. If your child is registering alone, he or she will join the team at a domestic or international airport, and stay and work with them for the remainder of the trip.
What kind of supervision will my child have?
Servant Life teams are led by our in-country ministry partners. This partner serves as the host and leader for the team from the time they land in-country at the airport until they depart at the end of the mission experience.
How safe are these trips?
Servant Life makes every effort to keep your child safe during their entire experience with us. We visit every location before sending a group, and work with partners in the country who are familiar with the area we will be staying in and working in. We research and plan the safest places for your student to eat, stay, work and play.
Who will the teams work with?
All teams work with established Servant Life ministry partners. These are either missionaries or ministry leaders who have a history of service in the country and programs that fit with the mission of Servant Life. To read more about our ministry partners, click here.
Who do I call in case of emergency while my child is traveling?
All Servant Life participants will be given a list with emergency contact information and numbers. This list includes the contact information for Servant Life, as well as our ministry partner serving on the field with your child. If an emergency arises where you need to reach your child, please contact Servant Life first, and we will work closely with you to reach your child.
Will my child be able to call home and email while on the field?
Access to phone calls and email may be limited, and varies from location to location. As your child's trip approaches, more information will be given on phone and internet availability for that specific trip. In the event of an emergency, Servant Life will contact parents immediately. So remember that no news is good news!
We have a frequent flyer program. Can we use those miles to cover my child's ticket?
Possibly. We cannot guarantee which airline each team will use, as we are watching for competitive pricing and schedules. Please contact Servant Life if you are interested in learning more about using frequent flyer miles on a mission trip.
When should my child apply for a passport?
Your child should apply for a passport immediately after registering for a Servant Life mission trip. Passports can take up to 8 weeks to arrive. Costs related to obtaining a passport are the responsibility of the participant.
Is a visa required for my child's trip?
The only country that Servant Life is currently sending teams to needing visas is Kenya. Visas can be obtained prior to leaving or when arriving in country. Specifics will be provided to team leaders and/or students traveing on their own.
Will my child receive any training?
Servant Life will send a preparation manual filled with detailed information regarding your child's mission trip. Hands-on training will take place with the ministry partner once the team arrives at their destination.
Why should my child go serve over seas when there are so many needs here in the United States?
The first and primary reason we believe in sending teams on international mission trips is that God has commanded His followers to make disciples of ALL nations (Matt 28:19). Knowing that we are commanded to play an active role in global disciple-making, we have found that missionaries and ministries around the world have needs that short-term mission teams can easily and uniquely fill, thus helping to advance the kingdom of God in those countries. We also hope that participating in an international mission trip will leave such an impression on your child's life that they will become supporters of mission work for the rest of their lives, whether through prayer, financial support, church leadership, or even life service.
What is not covered in my child's trip cost?
The only expenses not covered in your child's trip cost are meals in airports on travel days, any souvenirs or snacks that your child may wish to purchase while in country, and any expenses related to obtaining a passport and immunizations.
Are there scholarships available for my child?
Servant Life does not offer scholarships. If needed, we encourage participants to raise support through fundraising efforts such as church partnership and personal support letters.
Servant Life is committed to providing a quality mission experience at the lowest possible price. Our goal is not to entertain, but rather to bring the teachings of Scripture to life.
The cost of the mission experience includes in-country costs, such as:
• In-country transportation
• Supplemental Traveler's Insurance
• Sponsoring local students to attend camp
• Pre-Trip Training Manual
• Visa, if applicable
• Exit tax, if applicable
Costs not covered in base cost of the trip include:
• Immunization Shots
• Personal expenses while traveling and in-country, including meals in airports
• Any additional costs associated with the trip before you arrive and after you leave
Deposits of $250 per person and a copy of the front page of your passport are due November 1. If you register after November 1, a deposit of $250 per person and a copy of the front page of your passport are due within 30 days of registration.
Deposits are non-refundable.
Servant Life will secure all airline transportation through our travel agent to insure teams arrive together. Once your group is in place, let us know as soon as possible so we can secure your tickets at the lowest possible rate.
You are responsible for the payment of any purchased tickets. Once a ticket is purchased, payment for that ticket must be in our office within 5 business days.
All tickets must be secured and paid in full 60 days before departure. Payments for airfare must be made via check. We cannot accept credit card payments for airfare purchases.
Summer Missions Payments:
The first payment, which is half of the base cost, is due March 1.
The second payment, which is the balance of the trip cost, is due in the Servant Life office no later than 35 days before departure. If your final balance is not received by 35 days out, a $100 late fee may be applied.
PLEASE NOTE: All checks and money orders must be made out to SERVANT LIFE. Please mail all payments and donations to PO Box 36307, Birmingham, AL 35236.