What experience does STCH Ministries have in leading mission trips?
Joanna Berry, Vice President of Family and International Ministries, has a long history of experience in Latin America. Raised in the Dominican Republic by missionary parents, she has worked with missionary activities in many countries and speaks Spanish fluently.
Mark Lozuk is our Director of International. Serving with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention for 26 years, gave Mark a great deal of experience in supervising mission work in multiple countries. He is fluent in Spanish. He is a licensed and ordained minister who has planted new churches and trained new missionaries.
What is the purpose of STCH Ministries International?
STCH Ministries International is committed to the care and development of orphans and at-risk children through evangelism and loving interactions; providing needed resources such as food, medical and dental clinics, and training for parents and teachers; and construction projects for orphanages, schools, and churches.
STCH Ministries International also manages and encourages international child sponsorship through our Samuel’s Fund program. We are firmly committed to an on-going partnership with local churches, Christian schools, and childcare organizations who are dedicated to caring for children and strengthening families. You can be assured that the seeds of your efforts will be nurtured and continued as you return home.
Who can go on a STCH Ministries sponsored mission trip?
STCH Ministries International is focused on family and church groups of all ages. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. It is recommended that children be at least 6 years of age or older. Also welcome, are individuals with special skills such as health professionals, teachers, people with construction abilities, along with anyone who has both the heart to love children and a desire to encourage and support those who minister to children in Jesus’ name. We are always in need of participants who have the ability to speak Spanish to help with translation and communication.
What kinds of ministry activities and projects are available?
STCH Ministries International mission trips are tailored to each group’s interests and skillsets! This means that if you have a gift or desire to serve in a special way, please let us know. Some of the many activities available on our trips include:
Children’s Ministries – Backyard Bible Clubs, VBS, camp and recreational activities, handicrafts, puppets, musical and drama programs, taking an orphan or needy child shopping or on an outing to the zoo or beach, or visits with children sponsored through Samuel’s Fund.
Orphanage Ministries – opportunities to spend time with the children within several of the orphanages STCH Ministries International works alongside, you’ll have the opportunity to help meet some of their most pressing current needs.
Medical Ministry – medical, dental, and eye clinics.
Construction Ministry – building beds, desks, benches, and doing minor repairs to partnering schools, orphanages, and churches.
Teacher Training and Workshops – to help Dominican teachers gain new skills and strategies.
Parent Education – health, nutrition, and parenting skills.
What are the accommodations like?
Trip accommodations depend on the ministry activities and location and can vary between dormitories or individual rooms for couples and families at a mission compound to hotel room accommodations. We try to honor special requests when possible. More specific information on accommodations will be provided in your confirmation packet for the trip you have selected.
What about the food and drinking water?
Bottled water is provided for drinking. STCH Ministries International will also supply you with a refillable water bottle. Water coolers used to refill these bottles will be located everywhere we take you on your mission trip.
You will also enjoy a variety of food, both American and indigenous, carefully prepared either by the ministry staff or in restaurants recommended by the staff. Many of our mission trippers say with a smile, “You will definitely not lose weight during your mission trip!”
How can I sign up to go on a mission trip?
Select your trip and then complete and submit the application form online before the application deadline or as early as possible. If preferred, you can download the application form to complete and mail to STCH Ministries International, 4438 South Staples St., Corpus Christi, TX 78411.
After preliminary confirmation is received, download the mission trip agreement, sign and notarize, and return to the above address. Final acceptance will be confirmed at this time. Spaces are limited and may fill up quickly.
On rare occasions, mission trips may have to be canceled due to unexpected circumstances. STCH Ministries reserves the right to do this when necessary. In that event, any deposit for land expenses that have been made will be refunded.
Who will make my travel arrangements?
Our staff will research the best rates and schedules available from your preferred departure city and contact you with a proposed itinerary and flight confirmation number.* Individuals, or their group leader, will then purchase tickets directly from the airlines. For groups of 15 or more, our staff can help obtain group rates when possible. Please inquire about group rates and payment arrangements for groups of at least this size.
*You may make your own reservations using airline mileage credits, but you must coordinate your arrival and departure times with the group you are coming with or you will be responsible for your own transportation to and from the airport in the Dominican Republic.
What is the cost of going on a mission trip and what does it cover?
The land package price for 2021 trips is $850 per adult, and $550 for children up through high school age when accompanied by a parent or grandparent. For families with more than 2 children where both parents are going on the trip, STCHM International offers a discounted fare of $450 for the 3rd child and $350 for the 4th and more, providing they are staying in the same room. This cost includes all transportation, lodging, food, bottled drinking water, recreation fees, translators, and guides.
Half (50%) of land costs are due in the STCH Ministries International office 60 days before the trip travel date. The balance of land costs is due in the STCH Ministries International office 30 days before the trip travel date. This allows time for the funds to be processed and sent down to the International field to prepare for the team that is coming.
The cost of airfare is dependent on the season and other factors out of our control but typically runs between $750 to $1,000, including taxes and surcharges.
If you make a group reservation with one of the major airlines:
- You need to be prepared to make a deposit of either $100 or $200 per person (depending on the airline) when you make the reservation. The balance of the air expense for group reservations are due at the airlines 30 days before the trip travel date.
- In special circumstances, the STCH Ministries International office will help teams book their group reservations. When this happens, the airlines ticket cost will be due in the STCH Ministries International office 45 days before the trip travel date. This allows time for the payment to be processed before the ticket balance is due.
* Please note that prices are subject to change. However, firm prices for land and airfare costs will be quoted to you at the time a mission trip is booked.
What costs are NOT covered?
You will need additional pocket money for meals while traveling through airports to and from the field, snacks, and souvenirs.
How can I pay for the trip?
Land Package Cost – 50% of the land cost is due in the STCH Ministries International office 60 days before the trip travel date, and the full land cost is due 30 days before the trip travel date. Trip payments can be made online with a credit card online at www.STCHM.org , under the “GIVE” tab, then under the “International Trips” tab, or can be made by check. When paying by check, the check should be sent to the trip group leader. The group leader will collect all of the check payments for his team/group, then send one payment to the STCH Ministries International office.
Airfare Cost – Individuals are responsible for purchasing their own airline ticket directly from the airline. In order to make sure that a group travels together, a group leader will often purchase tickets for all of his team at the same time, and then collect payment from each individual member. In special circumstances, STCH Ministries International has made group ticket reservations for a whole team. Please contact STCH Ministries International to inquire about how this would work.
How can friends and family help to sponsor my mission trip?
Friends and family members can contribute toward your mission trip expenses as well as to ministry expenses such as food for orphanages, school supplies, construction materials, medicines, etc. Donations can be made online at www.STCHM.org , under the “GIVE” tab, click the drop down for designation and choose International Trips. Please make sure they put a note for who they want their money to go to. Donations can also be mailed to STCH Ministries International, 4438 S. Staples St., Corpus Christi, Texas, 78411. Please make sure to include the name of the person that you are sponsoring on your check.
A sample letter is available to customize and send to interested individuals who may want to help you and STCH Ministries to accomplish the mission that God is calling us to do. We encourage you to make presentations to groups about the work you will be doing, as well as the overall ministry of STCH Ministries International.
What happens if I have to cancel my trip at the last minute?
If you have to cancel your trip within 30 days of the trip travel date, STCHM will refund you 50% of the land costs for the trip.
If you have to cancel your trip within 30-60 days of the trip travel date, STCHM will refund you 75% of the land cost for the trip.
If you have to cancel your trip, and you or your group can find a person to replace you, STCHM will refund you 100% of the land costs for the trip. The person taking your place will be responsible for paying his own land costs for the trip.
What additional funds will be needed to support our ministry projects?
Additional project funds are always needed to cover the expenses of mission team projects, such as medicines for medical clinics, construction materials for a building project, or supplies for an orphanage or a school. These activities and costs will be discussed and chosen according to your group’s interests and the needs of the ministry. Information will be provided to help you share these needs and opportunities for giving with interested individuals and church groups.
Do I need a passport?
Yes, you must have a current passport to travel outside the United States. Information on obtaining a passport can be obtained by visiting your local post office or on the web (https://www.usa.gov/passport). Note that most countries want you to have a passport that is good for at least 6 months before letting you in to their country.
Do I need immunizations?
Immunizations are not required, but you should consult a qualified medical professional for specific recommendations for your individual needs.
If I sponsor a Samuel’s Fund child, can I visit my Samuel’s Fund child while on a mission trip?
Yes, you can. The STCH Ministries International office keeps a database of sponsors and the kids that they sponsor so that they can make sure that every sponsor will get to see their sponsored child on their trip. However, it is still a good idea to let the office know when you are traveling so that we can arrange a visit. You can Email or call 361.994.0940 for information and assistance with planning a meeting.
If I sponsor a CLEP student, can I visit my CLEP student while on a mission trip?
Yes, you can. The STCH Ministries International office keeps a database of sponsors and the CLEP students that they sponsor so that they can make sure that every sponsor will get to see their sponsored student on their trip. However, it is still a good idea to let the office know when you are traveling so that we can arrange a visit. You can Email or call 361.994.0940 for information and assistance with planning a meeting.