New York City, USA

New York City

Location Details

  • Official Name: New York, New York
  • Population: 8.4 million
  • Time Zone: Eastern (EST)
  • New York uses the U.S. Dollar.
  • New York City is the most populous city in the United States. A leading global city, New York exerts a powerful influence over global commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion, research, education, and entertainment.
  • The five boroughs of New York City are: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
  • The term “melting pot” was first coined to describe densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side of NYC.
  • About 36% of New York City’s population is foreign-born and about 170 languages are spoken in the city.
  • There are more Jews within the city limits of New York City than within the city limits of Jerusalem, and NYC has the second largest Jewish community in the world.
  • Popular tourist sites in NYC include: The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Wall Street, Chinatown, and Central Park.
  • Manhattan's skyline with its many skyscrapers is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world.
  • Central Park, an 883 acre park in Manhattan, is the most visited city park in the United States with 25 million visitors each year. The park contains several lakes and ponds, two ice-skating rinks, the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, and the 106-acre Jackie Onasis Reservoir. Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature center and the historic Carousel.
  • Albany is the capital city of the state of New York. As it was originally a city of immigrants, the current population of Albany remains very diverse and multi-cultural.
  • Albany's geographical location (roughly equidistance between New York City to the south and Montreal to the north, as well as Buffalo to the west and Boston to the east), makes it a convenient and typical stop for touring artists and acts. This, along with the many festivals, museums, historic sites, and literature and film history that takes place within the city, makes Albany a likely tourist location for many.

Weather

  • Winters in NYC are cold and wet. The average temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.1 F. Spring and autumn are unpredictable, and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually pleasantly mild with low humidity. Summers are typically hot and humid with a July average high of 84.2 F and low of 68.8 F. New York City receives 49.7 inches of precipitation annually, which is fairly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall is about 28.1 inches, but this usually varies considerably from year to year, and snow cover usually remains little.

Transportation

  • New York City has the busiest and largest subway system in the Western Hemisphere. It has 468 stations in operation, most of which are open 24 hours a day. There is also a bus fleet and thousands of taxis. 3 major international airports serve New York City: John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, and Laguardia.

Personal Safety

  • 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. 

"We love this trip to New York City because it exposes our students to many people groups and religions with whom they normally do not have contact... Our students are able to spend time with children as they lead kids clubs in parks, pointing them to the Gospel but they are also able to interact with teens and adults through helping lead ESL classes. Spending an hour of focused time with one person during ESL is invaluable as our students build relationships through which they can share the Gospel. Every year our students tell us ESL is their favorite aspect of this trip. I would encourage any group leader to consider this trip because it is a great chance to share the Gospel with people who come from places where the Gospel is often not allowed to be shared publicly. Kids Clubs and ESL classes are more conducive to evangelism than other options offered on many mission trips." -Dave, High School Pastor, Texas - served in New York City

“One of the highlights of the trip was simply meeting and sharing Jesus with others.”
Allison - 17, Missouri - Served in New York

“Our students loved the ESL classes and the VBS at both of the centers. If you want to take a group on a great international experience, go to NYC.”
Jamie – Youth Minister, Mississippi - Served in New York

“I loved getting to work with South Asians and how I felt like I was in another country but really the whole time I was still in the states. It’s crazy how you can reach the nations in one city here in the U.S. I loved getting to learn about different reliions and getting to work with those people. It really gave me a larger burden for the lost.”  Erin - A1eight Project Participant, Alabama - served in New York City

Intro & History

Servant Life partners in New York City to send American teams on short term missions experiences. Our mission partner there is an outreach ministry to unreached immigrant people groups in New York. Most of the people ministered to come from closed countries where missionaries and evangelism are not allowed. Presently, they oversee two evangelistic ministry centers: one geared toward Muslims from West Africa, and one which focuses on Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs of South Asia. Servant Life teams will serve with this partner by hosting children’s and youth day camps, with the hope of sharing Jesus Christ with Muslim students.

Our NYC mission partner focuses on meeting the spiritual, physical, and social needs of the Muslims in their target neighborhoods. At the two ministry centers, they have many classes and services. Their missionaries lead ESL & citizenship classes, computer classes, youth and teen programs. They also host other special events in the summer and around holidays, which serve as platforms for evangelistic presentations. The next stage of their ministry involves starting small Bible study groups, individual discipleship sessions and, eventually, church plants among the Muslim converts in New York.

Servant Life is excited to partner with them to help reach the Muslim immigrant population of New York City. 

What will my team be doing? While you are in New York City, one of your primary ministry opportunities will be serving in their ministry centers to teach ESL to refugees. You'll also engage in children's ministry or possibly park outreach in these ethnically diverse communities. During your time on this trip, you might have the opportunity to minister to Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs from different countries around the world, people coming from places like South Asia and West Africa. On one day of your trip, you will have many opportunities to explore NYC.
 

What does my cost include?
• Transportation while you're in the city*
• Housing (sleeping in beds, not on the floor!)
• Some Meals**
• T-Shirt
• Training Videos
• Pre-Trip Training Manual
• Pre, During, and Post-trip Devotionals

*Transportation to and from LGA airport is included in the trip cost. Teams flying into JFK will owe an extra $10 per person.
**Breakfast is covered and lunch is provided Monday-Thursday. Most groups in NYC have preferred to do meals on their own for dinner and on their sight-seeing days, so we have reduced our trip cost and allowed teams to do that.

 

Airfare is not included in this cost, but Servant Life does offer to book all airfare reservations.

Short-term teams working with internationals in women's ESL classes.

 

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?

Servant Life hosts many youth mission trips, college mission trips, and even works with individuals to get them on a trip as part of a team. Trips will only occur if there is a group (youth, college, or adults) signed up to go. For individuals interested, we would do our best to add you on to a group already planning to serve, but this is not always possible.

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*. 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 14 years of age if traveling with a group, but that is taken on a case by case basis depending on the trip location and the discretion of our mission partners. For domestic trips such as Houston Memphis, and St. Louis, middle school students are welcome to participate. For international trips, we love to accomodate younger students when possible, but please ask us if you would like to do this in a certain trip.

Can College Students Go?

Yes! Servant Life trips are designed for all students from the age of 14 with a group, or 16 as an individual, all the way through college age. We have also specifically designated College Weeks in which only college-aged students will participate. Additionally, Servant Life has launched the  A1eight Project, an opportunity for college-aged individuals to serve with a missionary for the entire summer.

Trip Cost

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.

 Airfare Information

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!

Activities

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.

Passports

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

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.

Parent FAQs

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 info@servantlife.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:
• Housing
• Most meals (all breakfasts and lunches Monday-Thursday)
• T-Shirt
• Pre-Trip Training Manual

Costs not covered in base cost of the trip include:
• Airfare
• Snacks
• Souvenirs 
• Dinners and lunches on days other than Monday-Thursday
• 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 Breakfast at NYSUM
Sack lunches Mon-Thurs
All other meals on your own dollar (diinner and other lunches)

Financial Guidelines

Deposit: Deposits of $150 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 $150 per person and a copy of the front page of your passport are due within 30 days of registration.

*Deposits are non-refundable.

Payment 1 (January 1 for Spring Break or March 1 for Summer): The first payment is half of the remaining cost after the deposit payment. So for trip costs at $549 per person, Payment 1 would be ($629-$150 deposit) / 2 = $239.50. 

Payment 2/ Final Balance: The final balance (remainder of 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.

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.

New York City Trips
DatePrice (Per Person)
*Plus Airfare
DescriptionCapacity
Mar 07, 2020 - Mar 13, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Mar 14, 2020 - Mar 20, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Mar 21, 2020 - Mar 27, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Mar 28, 2020 - Apr 03, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
May 30, 2020 - Jun 05, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jun 06, 2020 - Jun 12, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jun 13, 2020 - Jun 19, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jun 20, 2020 - Jun 26, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jun 27, 2020 - Jul 03, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jul 04, 2020 - Jul 10, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jul 11, 2020 - Jul 17, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jul 18, 2020 - Jul 24, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25
Jul 25, 2020 - Jul 31, 2020
Open
$629.00
$629.00Refugee Ministry / English / Outreach25

* Dates and locations are subject to change