- Official Name: Memphis, TN
- Population: around 647,000
- Time Zone: Central (CST)
- The capital city of Tennessee is Nashville. It is roughly 3 hours away from Memphis and is home to both contemporary and past musical legends.
- Memphis, TN uses the U.S. Dollar.
- Many of the city's tourist attractions are landmarks associated with the great Memphis music legends, such as Graceland, Elvis Presley's home.
- Memphis is known as “America's Distribution Center,” serving the northeast, southeast, and southwest regions of the country. The city has one of the country's largest inland ports and is the national headquarters for the Fed Ex air-courier company.
- Memphis is also the site of the National Civil Rights Museum. It was established at the Lorraine Motel, which was also the site of the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Memphis is a well-known music center and has been the home of several famous "sounds." One of the best-known places in the city is Beale Street, where W. C. Handy, the "father of the blues," wrote and played his music. It is known worldwide as the "Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll - not to mention gospel, jazz, R&B, rap and soul. Close to 20 percent of the earliest inductees (24 of the 97) in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame have come from within a 100-mile radius of Memphis.
- Generally, Tennessee has a temperate climate, with warm summers and mild winters. However, the state's varied topography leads to a wide range of climatic conditions. The warmest parts of the state, with the longest growing season, are the Gulf Coastal Plain, the Central Basin, and the Sequatchie Valley. Memphis is warm and humid during the summers.
- Teams are responsible for their own transportation in regards to getting to Memphis and during the week of ministry in Memphis.
- Teams wanting to fly to Memphis can contact Servant Life for help booking airfare.
- Travel is facilitated by two major Interstate highways,I-40 and I-65, that intersect at Memphis. I-240 is a highway spur that carries traffic around the city. A large volume of railroad freight traffic moves through Memphis, thanks to two Mississippi River railroad crossings. In addition, Memphis is the second busiest cargo port on the Mississippi River.
- Local public transportation in the Memphis area is provided by the Memphis Area Trasit Authority.
- Servant Life makes every effort to keep teams safe during our mission trips. We understand that safety can be a concern when you are taking a group into a foreign context, but we have more than 20 years of experience mobilizing groups, and safety has always been a priority for our teams. One of the ways that we keep teams safe is by partnering with local missionaries, organizations, and national believers who know their culture and context incredibly well. We partner with people who have an established presence in the communities where our teams are working, and they only lead our teams into safe ministry environments.
- You can help us by making smart decisions as much as it is up to you: staying in groups, not traveling alone, not flaunting or bringing expensive jewelry, watches, or electronics, being aware of your surroundings, and not leaving bags unattended are all encouraged practices.
"The Memphis trip is a fantastic trip to take with your students. It’s been a privilege to work with the Servant Life partners there. They’re organized and enthusiastic, great at working with you as you prepare your team to come, and most importantly their love for Jesus and their community is obvious. We loved that we weren’t just randomly going somewhere, doing some mission projects and then leaving; but instead partnering with a ministry that has a heart and vision to reach others with the gospel. We knew things wouldn’t end once we left, and that there would be follow up with those we ministered to during our week there. My students loved this trip! They were stretched in their faith, forced to step outside their comfort zones, and had some eye opening experiences. Some of my students who participated had never been on a mission trip before, and it was awesome to see how they were challenged and grew in their walks with God. The Memphis trip is a great one to be a part of whether it’s you and your students first mission trip or hundredth one. I highly recommend it!" - Mike, Student Pastor, Pennsylvania - served in Memphis
Servant Life began a partnership in Memphis in 2016. Serving in an impoverished area of North Memphis, TN, the ministry we partner with was birthed out of a local church, Brinkley Heights Baptist Church, seeking to reclaim their community with the hope of the gospel. For the children and youth living in the communities around the church and scattered around Memphis, drugs, gangs, crime, and violence have become a way of life. Many families have been impacted by some type of abuse and the results can be seen everywhere.
Our mission partner seeks to impact these children's lives by meeting them where they are at and running Backyard Bible Clubs in their neighborhoods, where they feel most comfortable. They also strive to meet the needs of the community and love them the way that Jesus Christ loves us.
What will my team be doing? Short-term teams are a huge part of the ministry of our Memphis mission partner, as there are many communities across the city that need to see the light of the gospel. During spring break and summer, multiple teams are serving each week in order to impact multiple communities with the good news of Christ. Teams are involved in Backyard Bible Clubs as well as other service projects throughout the course of the week. Other service projects could include sports camps, relational ministry, or community service projects. A few times during the week, teams are part of a worship service together before heading into the communities again the next morning.
For a sample schedule, check this out!
What does my cost include?
• Housing (except pillow, linens, towel)
• Ministry supplies (except crafts for Bible Club)
• Pre-Trip Training Manual
• Pre, During, and Post-trip Devotionals
One meal is not included, as your team is given "off" Wednesday night to do a fun meal or a nicer meal on your own.
Airfare or travel to Memphis is not included in this cost, but Servant Life does offer to book all airfare reservations. You will also be responsible for your own transportation in and around Memphis during the week. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to contact us! Be sure to check out these photos to help visualize the experience.
Why Go With Servant Life?
Our team at Servant Life has two primary functions: serving local churches here in the U.S. and Canada, and serving and supporting the work of missionaries around the world.
Servant Life serves the Church by equipping and sending believers to the nations. Our 20+ years of experience in short-term trips makes missions possible for many churches and individuals. Many churches do not have the training, experience, connections, or time to organize and execute trips of this magnitude. This is where Servant Life steps in. Our trips are all-inclusive, which means that we focus on the details so that you can focus on ministry with your team. Our team will work with in-country missionaries to take care of food, lodging, and ministry experiences for your short-term mission trip. Servant Life also provides international traveler's insurance, trip devotionals, training videos, and other resources as part of your basic trip cost. Servant Life exists to be a fantastic resource for churches as you make disciples of all nations.
Servant Life serves missionaries by equipping and sending the Church. According to our mission partners it can take a combination of 50 phone calls and e-mails to prepare a person to serve with them, not to mention countless hours before that trying to find and recruit churches to come serve with them. Equipping trip participants for the mission field requires time and resources that most missionaries do not have, as this pulls them away from ministry in their local context. Servant Life is ready to answer your calls, emails, tweets, Facebook messages, at your convienence and in your time zone. We can prepare you for the majority of the details for your trip to alleviate some of those communication logistics from the missionary, and then as we get closer to the trip the mission team will be able to communicate the specifics of your schedule and talk through your trip in more detail. Servant Life will also provide training materials for your trip to walk through such topics about the "Why" of missions, how to share your faith, culture shock, and other logistical considerations, so that you show up prepared to serve in your context. Servant Life is not only a great resource for the Church, but a great resource for missionaries as well.
Who Can Go?
If registering and traveling with their church group to serve in Memphis, we recommend that students be entering into middle school or older. Of course, adults are welcome on these trips as well! Servant Life asks for at least a 1 to 5 adult to student ratio, but some groups even end up closer to 1 to 1 ratio, and we always love it when this happens because we know adults want to serve the nations as well. Teams may be made up of groups and/or individuals.
*It is possible for participants to be younger than middle school and traveling with your group, but that is taken on a case by case basis depending on the trip location and the discretion of our mission partners. Please contact us if you have younger students!
Servant Life trips are priced at a BASE COST PLUS AIRFARE (or plus travel, if domestic). The base cost varies per country and can be found by clicking on the link for a trip on the "Mission Trips" tab at the top of the page. The cost varies from trip to trip simply because our partners have different cost structures in their contexts and different expenses, and our partners set the price of our trips.
The bast cost covers all of your in-country expenses, including meals, lodging, transportation*, and even expenses like translators and local staff for the week. The base cost also covers training resources, traveler's insurance for international trips, and a t-shirt for every participant. Some of our camp ministries include scholarship funds in the base cost so you are helping students come to camp in these international contexts. As part of your base cost, Servant Life also offers to book airfare for you through our travel agent. Contact us if you would like an airfare estimate, and be sure to check out our Financial Guidelines to see a payment plan.
*Transportation is not provided for domestic trips like Memphis, St. Louis, Houston, and Toronto. It is provided in NYC.
Servant Life offers to book all airfare through our travel agency, though you may book with your own travel agent if you prefer to do so. We just want you to get the best rate possible! Generally everyone on your team must travel together, though we may be able to take exceptions on a case by case basis. We book group airline tickets and therefore cannot always accommodate special requests for different individual flights. Due to commitments to our missionaries to have groups there on set dates, trip dates may not be flexible, so once again we must take requests on a case by case basis. Generally with our travel agent, we can hold your airfare tickets with a deposit a few months in advance of your trip, but then the full price of the ticket is due around 45 days before your trip. Once a ticket has been purchased in your name, it must be paid for regardless of circumstances. If you cancel an airfare ticket, we will refund you anything that the airline refunds us, but you would have to pay the cancellation penalty that the airline sets. Airline tickets are non-transferrable as they are tied to a person's name, and they are only partially refundable based on whatever policies the airline implements for your specific booking. Airfare can be a headache, but we try to alleviate that burden for you and make it easy!
Servant Life works with missionary partners in each country. Your team will be helping local missionaries with various needs, and exact details may vary from trip to trip. Sample activities include serving at a Christian youth camp, hosting VBS activities in the community or the school, conducting sports camps, "backyard Bible clubs," or other community events, teaching English to internationals, helping with food and clothing distribution, and home visits-- with an emphasis on sharing the gospel and the hope of Christ in conjunction with each of these activities. Specific details for each short term mission trip can be found by clicking on the trip's link and looking under the "What will my team be doing?" section.
We encourage anyone interested in an international mission trip with Servant Life to go ahead and apply for a passport. The amount of time it takes to get a passport varies, and we generally do not recommend booking plane tickets without a copy of each person's passport, since the name on the airfare must match the passport exactly. 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 here. It is required for your passport to have at least six months of validity past your travel dates.
Will I need a background check?
For groups serving on a Servant Life trip, the group leader will need to sign an agreement stating that background checks have been performed for all adult leaders 18 years or older. For individuals, Servant Life will perform a background check for you if you are 18+. The estimated cost of a background check is $10, which will be added to your base cost.
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, but please give us a call and we can talk through the recommendations for your specific trip. Ultimately, this will be up to your discretion, as we are not medical experts and default to your local doctor, the CDC, and your own judgment. The CDC website is www.cdc.gov/travel 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 letting you know we have received your registration. The next step would be accessing the Prep Center where you will find needed paperwork to be filled out by each participant. An initial per person deposit is due by November 1, and paperwork is due by March 1. If you register after November 1, the deposit is 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.
How many adults will be on each trip?
We request that groups bring at least 1 adult for every 5 student participants, but it is ok if you have even more than this. This is to ensure to the team's safety. Each setting you are working in is an area designated specifically for youth and college teams, but when traveling in a foreign context that you are unfamiliar with, it is always wise to have sufficient adult supervision.
Will my student serve alone or as part of a team?
On each of our trips, your student will be part of a Servant Life team, which typically consists of a youth group, college group, or other group from a single local church. The majority of our trips feature teams in which 100% of the members come from the same local church. However, if your student is registering alone and not with his or he group, he or she may be able to join a group from another church. In that case, the participant would join the rest of the team at a domestic or international airport, and stay and work with that team for the remainder of the trip. Individuals being able to join teams is taken on a case by case basis.
What kind of supervision will my student have?
Servant Life trips are led by our in-country missionary 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. Additionally, we request that groups bring 1 adult for every 5 student participants to supervise the trip. We believe that this is the best (and safest) model of leadership. We rely on local leaders from their local contexts, because they know their contexts far better than any outsider would. And we trust the leaders from your group to come alongside those local leaders to help shepherd your team well.
How safe are these trips?
Servant Life makes every effort to keep your students safe during their entire short term mission trip 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 have fun. We do recognize that any "safe place" can become unsafe in a matter of seconds if an outside threat comes in, which we have sadly seen more often in our own country than many of the places we serve. However, we take safety very seriously and our partners on the ground do their due diligence to keep teams in the safest positions possible.
Who will the teams work with?
All teams work with established missionary partners in the Servant Life network. These are either missionaries or ministry leaders who have a history of service in the country and programs that fit with the mission vision of Servant Life. The people leading your team for the week are going to be the people who are staying behind and continuing to serve that context well after your team leaves.
Who do I call in case of emergency while my student is traveling?
If you are unable to reach your child or their group leader in the event of an emergency, you can contact our team at 1-800-772-2615 or send us an e-mail at email@example.com. We will not answer calls to that number on the weekends or after hours, but we will see e-mails coming through at that time. Your group leader will also be provided with a cell number for us and can share that with you so that you have it on hand. We can help get in touch with the team, the missionaries, etc.
Will my student 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 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 (since we do collect emergency contact information for every participant). So remember that no news is good news!
We have a frequent flyer program. Can we use those miles to cover my student's ticket?
Possibly, but you will probably have to book flights on your own separately from the rest of your team, since travel agents cannot utilize those forms of payment to purchase tickets. Also, we cannot guarantee which airline each team will use in advance, 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 student apply for a passport?
We recommend applying for a passport immediately after registering for a Servant Life mission trip. Even if you were to back out of the tirp for some reason, passports are eligible for 10 years and you will be able to use it in the future. Passports can take up to 8 weeks to arrive, and it will be helpful to have your passport well in advance of the trip so that we can make sure your airfare information is correct. Costs related to obtaining a passport are the responsibility of the participant.
Is a visa required for my student's trip?
The only areas that Servant Life is currently sending teams to needing visas are Cuba, East Asia, Uganda, and Kenya. Specific information will be provided to team leaders and/or students traveling on their own, as Servant Life will help teams secure these visas. In each of these locations, the cost of the visa is included in the trip cost listed online.
Will my student receive any training?
Servant Life will send a preparation "Field manual" filled with detailed information regarding your child's mission trip, as well as training sessions that we provide for your team leader to go through with your group. Training sessions cover topoics such as the "why" of missions, training in evangelism, culture shock, and other logistics. Hands-on training will take place with the ministry partner once the team arrives at their destination.
What about immunizations?
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/travel and has up-to-date info on immunizations for every country.
Why should my student 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 that your child may wish to purchase while in country, any expenses related to obtaining a passport and immunizations, and any additional "free day" expenses that your team chooses to add. If there are additional expenses, they will be outlined in the profile of each trip. For example, all of our domestic trips require you to provide your own transportation.
Are there scholarships available for my child?
Servant Life does not offer scholarships. We encourage participants to raise support through fundraising efforts such as church partnership, personal support letters, and fundraisers such as t-shirt sales and other activities.
For information regarding Servant Life's financial guidelines, please Click here.
What's included in the cost?
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 costs such as:
• Meals (minus one dinner mid-week)
• Pre-Trip Training Manual
Costs not covered in base cost of the trip include:
• Personal expenses while traveling, including meals in airports and Wednesday night meal
• Any additional costs associated with the trip before you arrive and after you leave
Deposit: Deposits of $75 per person is due November 1. If you register after November 1, a deposit of $75 per person is due within 30 days of registration.
*Deposits are non-refundable.
Payment 1 and Registration Number (January 1 for Spring Break or March 1 for Summer): The first payment is half of the remaining cost after the deposit payment. For example, the Memphis trip at $275 would be ($275-$75) / 2 = $100. Your minimum registration is also due on this day. After this date, deposits will no longer transfer to your balance.
Final team size confirmed (Feb 1 for Spring Break or May 1 for Summer): Last chance to confirm your final number. After this date, you will be fully financially responsible for each spot that you are registered for. This will be the last chance for you to decrease space without having to pay for the full balance. As a reminder, you will however lose the deposit on any space you decrease.
Payment 2/ Final Balance: The final balance (remainder of trip cost, based on your registration number on Feb 1 or May 1) 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.
Airfare: 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.
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.
|Date||Price (Per Person)|
|May 31, 2020 - Jun 05, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jun 07, 2020 - Jun 12, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jun 14, 2020 - Jun 19, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jun 21, 2020 - Jun 26, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jun 28, 2020 - Jul 03, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jul 05, 2020 - Jul 10, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jul 12, 2020 - Jul 17, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jul 19, 2020 - Jul 24, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|
|Jul 26, 2020 - Jul 31, 2020||$275.00||Urban Ministry / Local Church Outreach||100|